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Sanders Erases the Progressives from History
2 hours ago
My own perspective should be perfectly clear, but I shall elucidate it anyhow. Due to past desegregation imposed by force of one kind or another, be it private action or government policy, rapid large scale segregation is going to take place because the vast majority of people on every possible side find it to be desirable. That future segregation is going to be either voluntary or involuntary, and will be either violent or non-violent. Therefore, government policies should, to the greatest extent possible, be strongly biased towards voluntary, non-violent, and gradual segregation in order to reduce the risk of rapidly destabilizing multi-ethnic and multi-racial societies.
Multiculturalism is dead. Desegregation is dead. MLK's dream is dead, and more importantly, it was never more than wishful thinking anyhow. Racial equality is the same failed myth as every other aspect of human equality, none of which have ever been shown to exist in any tangible form. And all that dropping weak-kneed to one's fainting couch or clinging to the oft-disproven canards of the racial equalitarians will achieve is to increase the level of violence and amount of involuntary cooperation that will eventually be required to recreate the historic balances that were originally brought about by the natural processes of group behavior. The American black/white situation is only one, and one of the smaller and less problematic, of the desegregations that should probably be anticipated in the medium term.
I know this is from a prior thread, but it is relevant to the wider discussion this post entails.
I think you have made a minor mistake in your ascribing a completely different cultural heritage to the British than the Swedes, German, Dutch and Danish with regards to freedom and what one would call a propensity toward representative institutions. The elite of England have a large amount of German, Danish and some Viking blood in their lineage. The entire idea of a parliament or the “thing” was an import that came to England with the early German invaders around 410 AD. If you go back and read Tacitus, his description of the ruling patterns of the German tribes to the east of the Rhine describe the rule by a form of representative government, albeit crude by today’s standards. But it is very much in line with the cultural traditions of the English people.
Now it is true that in subsequent centuries this tradition lapsed in central Europe, but far less then one is lead to believe if you only read the popular poorly written histories written in the 20th century. One of the overriding themes in these histories was that England and the United States as crusading nations brings democratic institutions to the benighted peoples of central Europe. Go back a read a real history of the period, written before 1902. The English ascribed the root of their representative institutions to Germany, and if you read about the rise of the free cities in the 12th century in Germany, the Hansaectic league in the 13th and 14th century, the rise of constitutional monarchies in Danmark and Sweden, the peaceful split of Norway from Sweden rule, the rise of the Dutch constitutional monarchy after the ejection of the Spanish Hapsburgs in 1572, you will see a fairly consistent picture of some form of representative government being the preferred form of government among the Teutonic and Baltic peoples.
Now if you take a closer look at England you will see how important this infusion of Teutonic peoples and concept were to what you see as a unique “English development”. I say that as compare the form of government that was adopted prior by the true Bretons, the Celtic peoples that lived in those islands. We have the examples of the Welsh from 455 to 1267, the Scots prior to 1600 and the Irish. Need I say more? The Welsh had no such similar example of representative self government, their lords spent most of their time fighting each other without any parliament which is why they were taken over by the English around 1267. The Irish, if you care to read a detailed history, responded to every attempt at offered self government by the English with complete disorder and promptly started to raid each other cattle pens (after killing as many English as they could). The Scotch had some good government, but did not seem to develop representative institutions on their own, but copied the more successful English institutions; at least that is my read of it. (I am not an expert on Scottish law and history, so perhaps a more educated chap could correct me).
Now let us look at the revolution and who made up the folks that did the fighting. While it is certainly true that the names of the leading lights were Englishmen, the Dutch of New York were instrumental in establishing the ideal of free speech and writing. The Germans of the Mohawk valley (New York) and Pennsylvania supplied a large amount of the troops that fought in the battles of between 1776 and 1781. Much of the frontier soldier class was made up of Germans (mostly from Rhine region) Scotch of course English and Dutch if they were from New Jersey or eastern New York. The loyalists were by enlarge completely English stock with the exception of some Scotch loyalist units that had sworn loyalty to the king back at the time of their transport after the failed rebellion of Bonnie prince Charles in 1746.
The fact was that the hard-headed “don’t tread on me” mindset, without which there would have been no soldiers to fight the great battles came out of an old concept of freedom that is not uniquely English, but has roots far back in to Teutonic blood. The idea of being free and armed was a concept as old as the original German invaders of the British isles between 410 and 455. I could go further but it would make this post too long.
Now you may have formed your ideal back in Minnesota during the 1980s and 1990s which is full of socialist Swedes that came over in the late 19th century. I do not know the area but I gather they came from a tradition of socialist moderate constitutional government. But it is representative government. That is very much of a different story and one worth discussing. But I live in PA and I can tell you the traditions of what you consider to be traditional English concepts of freedom have a very marked Teutonic bent to them here. After reading a lot of history, and the battlefields are right on my footsteps, the attitudes of the mixed English / German /Scotch settlers of the revolution are not far different in the descendents. I do not think what you ascribe the English stock alone is in any way representative of reality. I think that you are quite off on this assertion of yours.
Now I do not expect you to simply change your point of view. What I suggest is you go and read some of the older books on English history to see where they saw their traditions coming from. Here is a start: “A short History of The English People”, John Greens, 1887, 4 volumes read at least the first and the final volume. Then read Tacitus or any history on the cultural history of the Germanic people when the Roman encountered them. Read any pre 1902 book written about the rise of the Hanseactic league and the free cities of Germany prior to the disaster of the 30 years war. That will lead you to the next volumes you need to read. It is there you will find the cultural beginnings of the yearning for what you ascribe as “18th century English concepts of Freedom”
To explore the concept of "cool" would require more space than a newspaper column, much less a comment section. The Magnificent Seven is not at all a bad movie, but it is not good either, especially when compared with Kurosawa's original. It may have been influenced by the apparent coolness of Kurosawa's heroes who are not, however, indifferent, but merely Stoically Japanese.
As for cool, it is largely though not exclusively a post World War II phenomenon that is a convergence of several tendencies. The French existentialists clearly have a strong influence--Camus' Meursault seems indifferent to everyone and everything including his own death. Cool people have few attachments. They can, of course, fall into love or lust or cherish a tender spot for something or someone or somewhere, but outwardly they seem indifferent to their fate. One of the predecessors of the cool film hero is the Bogart persona. Rick Blaine: "I don't stick out my neck for anyone." Film noir heroes and villains are often though not always cool, though Richard Widmark is too over-the-top, usually, to be cool. The Man With No Name and his enemies are ultra-cool, because they are nothing. Harry Callahan, by contrast, only seems cool. At bottom he is a moral and compassionate man who refuses to show what he feels--another thing, entirely. What you put your finger on in the Magnificent Seven is the obvious fact that the Western is not a genre, really, for cool people. In the mythology of the West, only Doc Holliday is cool and that is because he know he is dying.
To cut this short, let me just say that the tight-lipped hero who does not often show his feelings is a solid Anglo-American ideal, who stands in stark contrast with the cool hero who is subhuman. Steve McQueen is a repulsive character in virtually every film as are most cool actors/characters. Cool is also related to hip--the people with so much inside knowledge about the human condition that they are indifferent to it. Hipness is of course a gift from black Americans who cultivated this act. Some time in the future we should take this up at greater length in Chronicles.