Thursday, July 12, 2012

To The Manor Born: Why Europe remains the domain of Farm Animals® and we do not, so far

Recently, I had a run with some people on a Linked In Group. The group is Italian American Professionals. being of half Italian ancestry, I thought it might be a good group to join in terms of networking. Of course, the road to hell was paved with good intentions and in this case, the road to this group was littered with the dung of farm animals, of which had good intentions as well.

I knew it was going to go bad when someone brought up "free" healthcare in Europe as to why they have less obesity in Italy. Being a blogger of the Classical Liberal variety, I had to fight hard not to take the bait and I am here to tell you that I lost. Several members in this group are Italian and live in Italy. They cannot understand why someone not only wouldn't want "free" healthcare, but any entitlements that are "free" from the government. I have to say I was incredulous. After a back and forth, I found that my words were falling on deaf ears: Farm Animals® can't understand the language of human beings.

This of course fueled a further digression into the roots of European political economy. Those roots of what we see today were sewn from Feudalism or what is also described as Manorialism, which rose from the Villa System of the late Roman Empire.

From Wikipedia:

Manorialism was characterised by the vesting of legal and economic power in a lord, supported economically from his own direct landholding and from the obligatory contributions of a legally subject part of the peasant population under his jurisdiction. These obligations could be payable in several ways, in labor (the French term corvée is conventionally applied), in kind, or, on rare occasions, in coin.

While the article on Manorialism said it died piecemeal, I disagree. Manorialism evolved into at best social democracy or at worst, socialism. The thing to understand is that most people are at the bottom in the chart to the right, as it seems to be in every society and organization. The Peasants look for personal and economic security from the King, lord and knights, and in return, they give their labor or time as it were. Today we might call that consideration. The key is that they are not equal stakeholders in any way, and in a sense, they are indentured to the ruling classes. Some might say that it’s the same with capitalism, that the robber barons dominate the system and workers are subordinate to them and will always be that way. There is a difference though, but first let's quickly deal with the idea that somehow everyone can be equal economically. In normal distributions of systems, the bell curve usually rules. Most people for a given parameter will be in the middle with some variability. As the curve moves to either side of the bell, the numbers change exponentially. The key to this distribution is what happens in nature. As man tries to influence a system, it will shift the median and in the case of socialists they seek to have uniformity that occurs with a particular instance in nature: Entropy. As a system loses energy it tends to become uniform. To put it another way, if you want a uniform system, it will lose something in the process and it’s a net negative. The end game with entropy is a dead system.

With capitalism, there is always the opportunity for someone from the bottom to get to the other side of the bell curve. This idea and the very results of which destroy the progressive’s template. We have stories every day of people succeeding in spite of the obstacles they have in their way. If you want to read a great example, read Clarence Thomas’ autobiography. The progressive left hates this and will discredit any narrative that breaks their template. In essence, they are nihilists that do not believe that people are capable of making themselves into what their mind desires, but are limited by some intrinsic factor. Look at progressive policy towards blacks. They’ve promoted a safety net such that the plantation moved from the deep south to Washington DC. The progressives are no better than the KKK or some racist antediluvian troglodyte from the reconstruction era, but because they want to help with someone else's money somehow it’s ok. It’s tyrannical to take what another has earned because you know someone is better off with it and it’s heinous to believe that certain people aren’t capable of capitalizing on opportunities to better themselves, but this is where the progressive is. This extends to any minority that they believe need special rights or protections and they call it. With capitalism, and I mean as an ideal, everyone has the same opportunities, but outcomes are not guaranteed. With manorialism, outcomes are guaranteed by limiting opportunities. It is anathema to capitalism.

In the election of 2008, Americans had a choice to make and we chose a manorialist. With the 2012 election, we have a choice to make, will we chose the manorialist or the capitalist (some out there might say ersatz)? If we cause the victory of Obama, through voting for him or staying home or voting for some third party candidate, we will have sealed our fate. The question I have is, are we all talk or do we walk the talk? If we really aren’t Farm Animals®, then we’ll have to prove it.

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