Sweeping historical changes happen when many factors all pushing in the same direction combine into an irresistible juggernaut. These factors can be moral, religious, nationalist, economic, ideological — only but rarely will major change arise out of a single, isolated motive.
Arguments in favor of an innate origin of political views are undoubtedly intriguing because of the strong correlations between certain traits of personality and corresponding politics, but — likely in a way unintended by proponents — these correlations may in fact imply a causality quite in the opposite direction. Even casual observation leads one to conclude that political views are largely heritable, if not from one’s family then certainly from one’s environment. We can see this heritability empirically in the tight geographic clustering of adherents by political conviction.
Given the largely random production of types of personalities at birth, and if views are correlated with traits of personality, then, it is the personalities that are shaped by the views rather than the other way around, and the genesis of cautious neat-freaks and impulsive artists owes more to milieu than to genes.
Business, by its very DNA, is amoral, un-national, and un-ideological. No matter the innate beliefs of the people who make up its structure, the organization gravitates to maximizing value for those who control its resources and ultimate decisions. What is good for business then, is not necessarily congruent with the good of nations and their peoples or even rulers.
The tension in balancing the needs of business interests against such concerns as national security, political stability, and social cohesion is rooted in the fact that economic health — at least for nations not relying on direct plunder of the productive classes for their income — require prosperous business to support their citizenries’ livelihoods. Incentives and laws that temper businessmen’s behavior work to an extent, but because wealth brings power, their effectiveness is always tempered. Thus capitalism, as we now call it, contains the seeds of its destruction, as much as all economic systems that Homo sapiens have tried to date.
How can evil exist in a world governed by an all-good, all-knowing, all-powerful and ever-present god? If such a god is all-good then he must desire to prevent or to eliminate evil, but since he does not then he is either unable to foresee its emergence and so is not omniscient, unable to eliminate it and so is not omnipotent, uncaring of its existence and so is transcendent rather than omnipresent. If however, such a god is in fact omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent then he cannot be all good. Continue reading
The rise and fall in income inequality is directly correlated with the trend in general prosperity because when all are better off, the better-off are more better off than the less well-off.
When practice fails to confirm to theory, it is incumbent on the theorist to repair the equivalence rather than the other way round.