When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
The Apostle Paul
1 Corinthians 13:11
I recently had a conversation with a gentleman who had migrated here from Cuba and was now an American citizen. Though his accent made it difficult for me to understand him and I have long since forgotten what little high school Spanish I had taken, we had a very interesting and quite deep conversation on politics. He was attempting to convince me that the United States needed to be more open to other cultures and that in the long run the United States must join in partnership with all of the Americas, both North and South.
Although I have always felt that the United States needs to foster good relations with those in our hemisphere and we ought to do more to develop those relationship, the conversation went sideways when he pointed to the European Union as an example of the sort of alliance he envisioned. I pointed out that the EU was an economic basket case on the verge of financial collapse and that no nation's citizens, when the choice of belonging to the EU through popular referendum has ever wanted to be a part of it and most member nation's citizens want out of it. The only reason that the EU exists today is that elitist autocratic politicians have for the most part over ridden the "consent of the governed" and forced the EU on their populations.
The gentleman seemed not to understand that the EU was not actually working very well, it was the idea of it that impressed him rather than the reality of its actual application that captivated his thinking. I concluded the conversation as I often do when faced with this type of thinking, "Well, I said "it is one of those things that sounds good on paper."
The world, especially the world of the left, is full of such "sounds good" unsophisticated thinking. For example, if the government needs more money just tax people more, or more taxes=more government revenues. But we all know that despite the idea sounding logical, in practical application it does not work that way.
This is what you would call linear thinking. It doesn't work, simply because there are variables outside the linear a+b=c thought process, usually the human element.
In the case of tax policy at a certain point people will make changes in their lives to avoid paying more taxes, both legal and illegal. Consider the mass exodus from California and New York to less taxed states to be an example. They raise taxes and people move a+b does not equal c at all.
There are countless examples of governments taxing their way into debt I could point to but the simple truth is, when you account for natural human behavior more often than not increasing taxes does not increase government revenues it generally ends up reducing it.
I was reading about another example of this linear thought process where it involves energy, in particular- oil. (emphasis mine)
The idea of peak oil originated with an eminent earth scientist, Marion King Hubbert. In 1978 he predicted that children born in 1965 would see all the world’s oil supply gone in their lifetimes. Humanity was embarking upon “a period of non-growth.”Some of this "narrow mindedness" is understandable nobody can predict the future, what technology will be discovered, what events will shift the paradigm or what Einstein, Edison or Job may bless mankind with their genius. But one thing that thousands of years worth of human history does show us, mankind will progress.
“By 2010, U.S. production was four times higher than Hubbert had estimated — 5.9 million barrels per day versus Hubbert’s 1971 estimate of no more than 1.5 million barrels per day — a quarter of the actual number,” notes Yergin. Hubbert simply did not account for the impact of prices, substitution, and technological innovations.
Well unless you are a Progressive. In which case history and man's place in it is simply linear a+b=c. For all their elitist arrogance the progressive mind seems incapable of grasping the idea that man(kind) is always progressing, despite them. Or more accurately in spite of them.
The example of peak oil could easily be replaced with such linear thinking as the "population bomb"
In The Population Bomb's' opening lines the authors state that nothing can prevent famines in which hundreds of millions of people will die during the 1970s (amended to 1970s and 80s in later editions), and that there would be "a substantial increase in the world death rate." Although many lives could be saved through dramatic action, it was already too late to prevent a substantial increase in the global death rate. However, in reality the global death rate has continued to decline substantially since then...Among other things the Ehrlich's had not counted on the genius of Norman Borlaugand and the "Green Revolution". But more importantly those who promote Malthusian theories, a progressive hobby horse if there ever was one, do not recognize a very simple and well understood characteristic of humans. Wealth creation is the most efficient population control there is.
According to the World Bank, the world's fertility rate is 2.45, slightly above the replacement rate of 2.1. Some demographers believe that by 2020, global fertility will drop below the replacement rate for the first time in history. Why? Because the world is getting richer.
As people become wealthier, they have fewer kids. When times are good, instead of reproducing exponentially (like rabbits), people prefer to spend resources nurturing fewer children, for instance by investing in education and saving money for the future. This trend toward smaller families has been observed throughout the developed world, from the United States to Europe to Asia.
The poorest parts of the world, most notably sub-Saharan Africa, still have sky-high fertility rates, but they are declining. The solution is just what it has been elsewhere: more education, easier access to contraception and economic growth. Catastrophe avoided.
The solution to the population "problem" is free peoples and free markets creating wealth. But the progressive would rather focus their attention on how to control people through Eugenics which begat the abortion tragedy in the western world and ignore the roots of the problem, poverty.
In their elitist arrogance the progressive sees poverty as a human failing, the cure is to eradicate the inferior and minimize the damage that too many will do to their Utopian view of society. Rather than seeking solutions to enrich society to uplift society as a whole, they single mindedly concentrate on methods to limit the spread of the problem, the inferior classes of individual that do not meet the standards of their "Brave New World."
The recent gun control debate is just another in the never ending battles against the cancer of progressive thinking. The normal human being is incapable of restraint and judgement so we, the progressive elite, must disarm them. Guns=murder, solution take away the guns. Of course all the evidence indicates that where you take away guns, Chicago, Washington DC, New York etc crime and murder increases it is irrelevant to the progressive ideology. If the progressive is not in control of everyone's life then it can not be the correct solution.
Only the progressive has the solution to what ails society and that solution is to control the masses. The Progressive group think is played out everywhere. This imprisonment to the linear thought process that demeans and ignores the creativity of the human race except their own permeates Western society today.
The truth however is that the Progressives are not the best and brightest among us that they so desperately portray themselves to be, they are simply the control freaks. Their is no enlightenment in the Progressive age, only an incremental slide back into darkness.
The damage the Progressive ideology inflicts on mankind and society is reaching a point where it must implode. Billions of people can not be centrally controlled, freedom is the natural progress inbred into the human spirit and it ultimately must triumph. This is the the paradigm" shift in the that will soon change everything...again.