Sunday, August 08, 2010

Positive Waves

From time to time, Mrs. Utah chides me for being cynical. Everyone gets an opinion, and I value hers most among the people I know.

But she might be just wide of the mark.

The following is a comment left here, in response to a question about cultural evolution:

TmjUtah said...

The essential unit of human advancement is the individual.

Societies that nurture healthy, responsible individuals who are able to realize the benefits of their labors, inventions, or art... those societies leave the others behind.

Free men, in free markets, change worlds for the better. For themselves and their neighbors.

Until they forget that it is the individual that counts first.

Our FOUNDING PRINCIPLES pivot on the absolutely radical idea that before any strongman, before any chief, before any apparatus of The State, stands The Individual, who PERMITS the State to exist, and only exist to perform specific, enumerated duties.

But the individual must be of stern enough stuff to handle the responsibility inherent with being responsible for his own governance. Franklin and Jefferson and to a lesser extent Adams were all right; it would be failure of citizenship, not conscious machination of tyrants, that most threatened the Republic. They were simply off in their time frame.

Principles are just goals, and the absolute very best a mere human can ever hope to accomplish in pursuit of individual achievement is to make progress in the right direction. The pursuit of perfection to the absence of any other standard is always fatal. We are only men.

We are all expendable. But it was expendable men who built the pyramids, harnessed steam, and walked on the moon, too... so there is always that level of "just men" to aim for.

Have a fine week. Smile. It's contagious!

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