Time--Oft Neglected Dimension In Social & Economic Analysis

September, 2010 Feature--Truth Based Logic


Synopsis
Neglect of time factors & failure to fully weigh time as a dimension in analysis of social & economic policy; flaws in argument of those seeking to change societies as we have known them.

We do not suggest that those analyzing social & economic phenomena deliberately neglect to consider time as a dimension; deliberately underestimate the effects of time in the progression of events good or ill. Almost all analysis of the future prospects for any enterprise, project, business, group, community, tribe or nation, must by definition consider what will happen in the framework of a passage of time. But in recognizing the obvious, a closer look at how those considerations tend to be factored into such analysis will reveal a quite inadequate comprehension of many variables that ought to be more seriously studied. Indeed, much of the relative decline of the West over two generations, may be explained by misconceptions of policy makers as to effects of time on the dynamics expected in various combinations of factors.

While those who seek great change in human societies, whether of the "mipip" (Marxist influenced pseudo-intellectual poseur) variety, the theorists & activists who 'pull their strings,' or some other type of reformer, will always see themselves as spokesmen for the future; few, if any, show much inclination to examine actual time factors, outside fantasies confined to wishful thinking. Conservatives, by nature of a proclivity to preserve what has been, both by achievement & Blessing, should always be aware of the significance of time; yet we tend--for a variety of reasons--to be only slightly more adept at analysis of time factors, in projecting human dynamics, than those who challenge our social values.

Here, we will but brush the surface of a concept, to suggest a few of the more significant aspects where time factors, essential to meaningful social & economic analysis of developing phenomena, are less than adequately considered.

Time Where Understood & Where Neglected

It is certainly not that those on the Left do not talk about time. Whether rooted in Jacobin or Marxist fantasy, the Left sees itself, collectively, as the wave of the future, often embracing the Marxist delusion that the future must follow a verbalized formula. But they reject the idea that traditional society can be trusted, without collectivist intervention, to deal with challenges perceived in an egalitarian or humanist imagination. An example of the latter would be the frenzied willingness of many on the Left to embrace the concept of man-made "Global Warming," with less than any real demonstration of either the mechanism or extent of the "problem"--if, in fact, it develops that there is a "problem."

Yet the same humanist enthusiasts, who project disaster within a short time frame from man's perceived influence on the weather, virtually ignore the effect--both of immediate & multi-generation social engineering--on man, himself, as well as on identifiable subsets of the species. But the potential for disaster from the latter, in any rational analysis, must be many times clearer, via ability to identify directly involved factors, than the conjectured potential for the former.

Incredibly, the same failure to look closely at determinants within the control of man, of the future course of human societies, is also evident among a business class, which ultimately has more to lose, from the standpoint of material as contrasted with spiritual factors, than the more ideological participants in the social debate between traditionalists & egalitarians. Thus while all business planning involves projection of time related phenomena, there is far more emphasis on the availability of inanimate objects, raw materials, credit & population trends, based not on a close look at the identifiable parties--and how they may significantly differ in the future--but on simple extrapolation from static past measures, dealing with results of past phenomena that may or may not be present in the future, and certainly not in the same proportions.

Thus many business leaders embrace notions of the benefit of substantial immigration, without real analysis of the type of immigration involved--indeed will embrace the popular shibboleth of those who want to internationalize America, that it is by immigration that America renews her innovative spirit! This concept illustrates not an actual dynamic, rather an example of the sort of "tunnel vision," which conveniently focuses on only those facts that fit a preconceived hypothesis, as we will illustrate in the next section. What is being left out of the equation is any real analysis of how different demographic elements in the perceived mix, actually perform over a period of time, and the radical differences in the contributions of identifiable groups--as well as means to predict such differences beforehand, simply by analyzing the evidence of the human dynamics involved.

What need to be analyzed over periods of time are such considerations as the selective mating patterns of various ethnic groups, specific environmental challenges in their lands of origin, historic periods of social & economic stagnation in their populations, how they responded to efforts to revitalize their society, patterns of sociability in each definable group, including subsets of each previously identified ethnic group, as well as the all important proclivity--or lack of it--to display a capacity for individual initiative, under a wide variety of circumstances, etc.. This sort of anthropological study of Mankind is not impossible, it has simply been increasingly & outrageously neglected, under a gathering onslaught of Egalitarian hysteria since the Jacobins succeeded in chopping off the heads of those found guilty of having an above average social position in 18th Century France. The modern "Mipip" is simply a contemporary version of the disgusting idiocy that has recurred many times since the original "Reign of Terror."

What we suggest, here, is that the ability of any group, tribe, race or nation, to achieve in a particular area of human endeavor, or to retain previous achievement, may be better understood by a well directed study of how such group, tribe, race or nation (obviously on average, but with study of the degrees of variation from such average within each identifiable subset) has performed under a wide variety of historic circumstances. Despite the hysteria that Egalitarians have injected against such study, it should be clear to any reasonable man or woman, that there is no better way to promote positive progress among any subset of any population, than by furthering understanding of aptitudes, propensities, etc.; that guillotining, shooting, starving, destroying the works or otherwise punishing high achievers, accomplishes nothing but to retard or reverse the true progress of all Mankind.

Understanding Vital Aspects Of Experience In Time vs. Make Believe

We have frequently cited the absurd conjectures of Ashley Montagu, a principal spokesman for Mipip extolled social fantasy, which seeks to justify a denial of the importance of human heredity. We dealt with Montagu at some length in Chapter XVI of the Debate Handbook, but the brief reference in Chapter V is more directly in point here:

"One of the most notorious practitioners of this sophistry was Ashley Montagu, author of Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race, who was in such extreme denial that he refused to even use the term 'race'; employing instead the term 'genotype' to define a population possessing a commonality of genes which distinguishes them from other populations. In 1961, Montagu offered this bit of pure conjecture, as his answer to those urging racial study:

...the authors have discussed the evolutionary factors which render it probable that in the course of human evolution natural selection has favored the behaviorally plastic or educable rather than those who were possessed of some special trait. All the evidence at our disposal supported this interpretation of the evolutionary process with respect to the evolution of man's mental capacities, and the conclusion that was drawn, namely, that because natural selection put a premium upon the general trait of educability rather than upon any special trait, the mental capacities of mankind probably did not differ in any marked way among any of its genotypes."

Now consider, in stark contrast to Montagu's conjecture, Professor Richard Lynn's conclusion from a detailed study of actual evidence--observable data--as to the evolution of man's mental capacities, pages 243 & 244 of his Race Differences in Intelligence; An Evolutionary Analysis (Washington Summit Publishers, Augusta, Georgia, 2006):

The IQs of the races . . . can be explained as having arisen from the different environments in which they evolved, and in particular from the ice ages . . . exerting selection pressures for greater intelligence for survival during cold winters; and . . . from . . . mutations for higher intelligence appearing in the races with the larger populations and under the greatest cold stress. The IQ differences between the races explain the differences in achievement in making the Neolithic transition from hunter gathering to settled agriculture, the building of early civilizations, and the development of mature civilizations during the last two thousand years.

The position of environmentalists that over the course of some 100,000 years peoples separated by geographical barriers in different parts of the world evolved into ten different races with pronounced genetic differences in morphology, blood groups, and the incidence of genetic diseases, and yet have identical genotypes for intelligence, is so improbable that those who advance it must either be totally ignorant of the basic principles of evolutionary biology or else have a political agenda to deny the importance of race. Or both.

Of course, as we have explored in other essays, there is also a compulsion for uniformity that drives the current crop of egalitarian environmentalists; as it drove the Jacobins, Marxists & Nazis, earlier, in seeking to remake the world in a succession of onslaughts against groups who, in many cases, only sought to be themselves. The bottom line is that none of Lynn's ten different races, none of Montagu's "genotypes," will or can ever benefit from being seen only in a world of compulsion driven make-believe that refuses to accept what is unique about each of us; which treats observable realities of human existence, both in the past, present & reasonably expected future, as some form of "social injustice." And yet accepting time as a mechanism in the process of human variation is only part of what must be understood.

While the passage of time is significant in evolutionary development; significant in demonstrating what works & what does not work in any of a myriad of challenges that have and will again face a people; significant in planning for any contingency; there are subtler aspects of the appreciation of time, which may ultimately determine which nations thrive & which fail in the ongoing flow of human history.

Appreciation Of Time (As Medium For Historic Experience) As A Determinant Of Social & Economic Progress

Time must be understood, not just as a linear dimension--not just as something which must be viewed conceptually as going forward or backward--but encompassing many facets, such as the cyclical, with cycles that repeat with varied intensities, infinite variation; yet tending to endlessly repeat previous phenomena, however varied in that repetition. We submit that much can be garnered as to likely responses by any human subset, whether of race, nation, tribe, class, or continuing subdivision of any such, by studying how that subset has previously responded to like phenomena; further that such understanding is vital to any identifiable people seeking to achieve the best, most practical, approach to future challenges & opportunities.

There is absolutely no downside to the pursuit of understanding. Those who argue--however hysterically--that recognizing group differences in human personality traits leads to hatred, persecution or abuse, have yet to explain how this connection is supposed to work. Granted, the history of Mankind is replete with cruelty--savage mistreatment of individuals or groups of every definition--often without even a pretense for justification, although often rationalizations were offered. In recent centuries, the worst of such savagery has been visited on high achievers; the rationalizations based upon egalitarian, collectivist & utilitarian theories. Certainly, general recognition that people succeed in any direction because of particular aptitudes that enable, even propel, success, is not likely to add new incentives for more jealous--envy driven--barbarism. Rather, it is the best antidote.

Denial of the actual diversity of Mankind, so evident in corruption of such disciplines as Anthropology & Sociology, has also tended to "dumb down" the study of History. More & more, the focus shifts away from which specific subgroups contributed what, or when or how, to the unfolding history of specific times, specific nations, specific phenomena within those times & nations. In America, we see this acutely reflected in a lessening emphasis on close study of the Founding Fathers, on aspects unique to those specific men, in favor of what may best be described as a sloganized redefinition of what America is supposed to be about. In the process, an emphasis on individual responsibility for solving individual problems, gives way to a collectivist mindset that looks to collective action, even in such personal matters as should govern a relationship between a physician & patient; while we allow fanatic theorists to outlaw such once perfectly acceptable, even expected, preferences as hiring--or seeking employment from--those who most closely share a common history, culture or community experience.

This denial undermines the potential achievements of every people. For example, it has already created havoc in existing societies all over the world; turning people against people on the basis of imagined grievances--grievances often over something so innocent as someone having a clearer sense of their own identity. It is the basis for ill conceived immigration policies in the West, often justified on the claim that new immigrants somehow (magically, perhaps) renew or reinvigorate a nation. A closer look, however, will demonstrate that most of those "innovative" immigrants come from stocks previously associated with the same mental traits they evince; traits already well reflected in previous social history of the same stock, wherever found. Those who come from races or "genotypes" not known for great innovation, will contribute to a new homeland, only what they contributed to their own. (Thus, a Mexicanization of California uplifts no one but the demagogues who exploit ethnic unrest.)

We mention a subtler aspect of the appreciation of time; really not so subtle, only misunderstood. For centuries, the East Asian peoples, the Chinese, Japanese & Koreans, have shown a better appreciation of time than the Caucasoid peoples of Europe & America. Prior to the reopening of Japan in the 1860s, this was reflected more in a looking backward, often leading to smug Western derision for perceived "Ancestor Worship," seen as stultifying social progress. But when Japan turned her attention forward, she was able to catch up with several centuries of profound Western progress, in two generations. After World War II, that seeming miracle was repeated in Korea; and now China, motherland of the Mongoloid races, has become the amazing growth story of the new century. Yet few in the West recognize that the same time sense--that appreciation of time as a vital dimension in the affairs of Mankind that once influenced a backward vision & helps to instill patience--remains very much in play.

Western businessmen certainly look forward, but tend to concentrate time frames into a few quarters; the most far sighted, into a few years. While the Japanese & Chinese, looking a half century ahead, go all over the world, contracting for raw materials that will be needed decades hence--displaying that clearer conception of time as a dimension in planning;--our political focus is more on aggressive subsidies for human failure, even on the one that continues to pour money into the hands of women in the least talented subsets of society, inducing them to bear children out of wedlock. The contrast does not bode well for our future.

Final Note

In the pursuit of alien theories, we deny the lessons of the past; deny the insights for what works best in the human experience. This is not a formula for the advancement of any recognizable segment of Mankind. It is rather a foundation for certain disaster. We flirt with something beyond the ability of a Dean Swift, Lewis Carroll, or anyone else to satirize. There are transcendent moments in the human experience. There was one such, thousands of years before the birth of Christ, in ancient China; another was the fall of Rome. We may well be on the cusp of yet another. As the list of things, we in the West decide we must not study, grows, the possibility for an awakening, in time to reverse our loss of direction, diminishes. We are failing our posterity in an insane pursuit of a demeaning fantasy--the "equality of Mankind."

William Flax





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