Monday, July 25, 2011

History is maturation, and more

New technology destroys old groups. We maturing ones have the task of making new, better groups.

We should be technological Amish, that is, we should not worship the technology, but use it to make better groups. This maturation is difficult.

Example: Creveld says that the nation-state came about when the organization was separated from the person. The nation state had great advantages. Now it is failing because of lack of justice and because of lack of stable currency for retired people (Barzun).

What group(s) might replace the centralized nation-state organization? Dr. North suggests local, local, local--counties.

It could be strong men, as happened after Rome fell. (And after the horse collar increased by 10 the amount a horse could pull, thugs around these strong men were turned into knights, protecting travelers, I've read. How did this happen? Apply it to present situations).

Monasteries were incredibly important. Each was founded in a 'desert'. Forests were cleared, swamps drained, etc.

A hospital management company ruled much of Europe--Knights Hospitaler--someone has written.

'Organized crime'--as some would see them--might carry the burden. Renegade History of the USA.

Great families. Rockefellers are only, what, 4 or 5 generations old.

Start one of these organizations.

Cassiodorus was a secretary of state in the declining Roman Empire. He saw what was coming, retired, turned his lands into a monastery, and set the monks to copying ancient books. He outlived many of the first generation, and at 90, I've read, ended up teaching spelling to the next generations of copyists. [We can save that many documents on a laptop computer].

CONCLUSION: To repeat, new technology destroys the old group, while increasing the space over which we can operate, and decreasing the time needed to do things. Our job is to know this so as to keep the good of the past, and plant the seeds of the future new organizations. Someone recently wrote that the Black Death brought in 'the saints'. And within a few centuries, the Reformation. The Reformation's 30 Years War killed half of Germany, but brought in Westphalia, and then the organization separated from the person of the ruler, the nation-state. Now the nation-state is failing, but corporations are here, each of us has more horsepower than tribes had horses. There were 3 million in colonial America, 300 million in contemporary America.

Let's use these great Providential gifts, first by being thankful for them, and then by remembering what bad happened with previous technological advances.

In a way, history is maturation.

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