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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII - Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from.  It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Technology and productivity.

The best means forward in every aspect imaginable.

by StFerdIII

As I wrote in my study of 'America vs Europe', technology and the use of 'appliances' is the surest way to create jobs; wealth and raise living standards. 500 million Chinese and Indians have been rescued from an impecunious marginalized existence, due to trade and technology. Technology development enables us to build up trade, capital formation and job creation. Technology innovation is thus one of the best forms of welfare. Creating opportunities and jobs with new systems, products, and ideas is far better than welfare, compassionate socialism, and redistribution. There can be no disputation on this point.

Consider the lowly can opener. I have often thought about this tool when I use it. A fascinating device. This interesting little creation was developed by a truly clever mind. It is small. It is easy to use. The moving parts are few. The teeth of the revolving serrated wheel are sharp and can quickly be resharpened. Yet consider the complicated processes in which the can opener plays a role. The intelligent human can make food, process it, can it, and ship it across oceans, using preservatives and natural juices to keep it fresh. This tin can from a foreign land arrives near you at a store, you buy it, and your magical can opener invented by someone you have never heard of [a Mr. William Lyman in 1870, another American whose country during the mid-late 19th century invented the entire basis for the modern world of appliances and science], opens it. The economic explosion in agriculture, shipping, jobs, and consumer usefulness, and wealth; impelled forward by the lowly can opener is rather remarkable. But who gives it a second thought? And why did Mr. Lyman endeavour to solve a problem which had persisted since 1813, when the British navy invented tinned meats for its sailors, but had a devilish time in controlling the weight of the tins, and in easily opening them up? Technological creativity is in my view, intimately linked with culture. It is clear that culture plays a vital role in society, manifested in the technology being created by that society:

"A crucial differentiation between Anglo Saxon societies and the EU model nations is that rights are earned in the former, they are offered as a matter of existence in the latter. The expression of individualism and the pursuit of capital returns, freedom of choice and accountability is in general far stronger in Anglo-Saxon nations than in others as reflected in economic freedom indicators and global competitiveness." [America vs. Europe, p. 106]

Individualism. Competition. Capital. Effort. Rewards and failure. Innovation. Earning your 'rights' instead of having the bobble-headed state hand them to you. These are much out of vogue today. Everything, including in Obama-Land, has to be controlled, managed, and regulated. All for the children's future, Gaia and social justice you understand. But these ideas are just cant and rhetoric. They produce nothing of value either as abstractions or in policy. They surely did not create the grand can-opener. Or consider the Renaissance. It was created out of competition for capital and projects. Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Bernini, Brunelleschi....and all their competitors ran workshops. They were business owners. They competed for private contracts from rich merchants and for public ornamentation's bestowed by Popes, Cardinals and Princes. The Renaissance was of course built on 1000 years of rapid development put into train once the despotic Orientalism of Rome fell. The northern Italian rebirth just did not appear out of nowhere. It was built in large part on the glorious expansion of capital formed from the 11th to 14th centuries, which made its appearance in investments in textiles and cloth manufacture in Holland and England. This was premised on a set of agricultural, social, military and economic revolutions from 500 to 1000 AD. Yet the spirit of the Renaissance – beauty, truth, grandeur, sublime genius, competition, capital accumulation and deployment – is a tale of civilisation. Why then would anyone deny these fundaments in our own world?

Technology is not only a platform for civilisation but also a means to lessen centralized control. Twitter and Facebook play prominent roles in a general Arab uprising to throw off the failure of Arab National Socialism and its replacement by a more secular, Western oriented Constitutionalism. It likewise plays a vital role for Islamic militants and true believers in the Allah-cult; who use Western inventions to organize attacks, bombings and theocratic intolerance. Technology is thus two sided. The use of advanced painting forms, oils, colors and canvasses can lead to a Caravaggio. But the use of advanced audio-tuning, computer digitization and mass media can lead to a Katy Perry or a Lady Gaga. Technology is not always benevolent nor enlightened.

In the main however, the use of digital technologies is a process of improvement, education and progress – or it should be. The release of information and the freedom to speak, associate, develop, interact, and seek out is a liberation. Or it can be if used properly. Importantly technology should aid us in avoiding the heavy jackboot of governmental diktat, and Statist control, even as these powers seek to limit technology, or use it to control populations. And let's be clear on this important point. The use of technology in my view not only can liberate the individual from centralized autocracy, but it will in time and space, actually accentuate differences at the national, local and regional levels. Thus 'Globalized' technology does not eradicate national or tribal differences, but it actually reinforces them – again the paradox of technological development:

Yet a crucial insight as pointed out by realists is that the nation state is stronger than ever. There is no post-modern world, where the nation state is submerged into a tidal wave of globalization or an agreed upon and benign internationalism of supranational legal stricture. Globalization is not forcing all Western nation states into political, cultural, financial, or economic 'homogeneity'. Neither are 'golden straightjackets' or international capital flows ensuring a global homogeneity and sameness as espoused by globalization enthusiasts such as Thomas Friedman or Francis Fukuyama." [A vs. E, p. 60]

Technology liberates but the patterns of technologically induced trade are in the main quite weak when compared to the power of the average nation state. We can sum it up in this way; Globalization is weak. Trade, technology and Globalization is not a tidal wave of state and class interdependence as depicted by the media. No more than 35-40 % of the average rich nation's GDP is on average, tied to trade, namely imports and exports. Only 30 or so states control 80% of all capital flows including trade and technology. Only a handful of states produce technology for mass export. We can say that the only globalized markets are finance and technology, but even those are highly regulated [for security concerns, protect domestic champions, money laundering fraud, bank stability etc.]. We need more technology, more trade and more of this thing called 'globalization' not less.

In the early 90s, Kenichi Ohmae wrote 'The End of the Nation State'. He was a globalization enthusiast of the highest order. Perhaps its high priest in many ways. He predicted cross border alignments and the dissolution of nation states. The Rhine area. Northern Italy and Western Switzerland. The Great Lakes region in North America. The Baltic littoral. Nonsense all of it. I am still waiting. It will never happen. Nationalism trumps economics. It always has and it always will. It also trumps trade and technology exchange.

In any event technology is the prime mover in a lot of what makes life worthwhile and interesting. This includes not just conveniences and snappy appliances, but the more important aspects of freedom, individualism, free-will, innovation and job creation. Some may want to follow L Ron Gore the heir to L Ron Hubbard [the founder of Scientology] and crawl back into the neo-lithic era. Others may want less trade, less technology, closed-off autarchic systems, and reduced wealth and jobs. Those of us who understand how the West was built disagree with the romantics, the Luddites and the Eco-terrorist Gaia cult. Technology rules, it builds, it employs, it generates wealth. This simple fact is as clear as the rising of the Sun each day.

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