Nature hates monopolies and exceptions. ... The varieties of condition tend to equalize themselves. There is always some leveling circumstance that puts down the overbearing, the strong, the rich, the fortunate, substantially on the same ground with all others. ... This law writes the laws of cities and nations. It will not be balked of its end in the smallest iota. It is in vain to build or plot or combine against it. Things refuse to be mismanaged long. Though no checks to a new evil appear [at first], the checks exist and will appear. If the government is cruel, the governor's life is not safe. If you tax too high, the revenue will yield nothing. If you make the criminal code sanguinary, juries will not convict. Nothing arbitrary, nothing artificial can endure. The true life and satisfactions of man seem to elude the utmost rigors or felicities of condition, and to establish themselves with great indifferency under all varieties of circumstances. Under all governments the influence of character remains the same; in Turkey and in New England about alike.I'm glad I didn't read the whole essay earlier. The process of "reinventing" has led me through some productive chains of thought. If I'd known the end result was already there, I wouldn't have done the thinking. Oops, or meta-oops. Emerson already said what I just now said...
For the real price of labor is knowledge and virtue, whereof wealth and credit are signs. These signs can be counterfeited or stolen, but that which they represent, namely knowledge and virtue, cannot be stolen.On the Grand Blueprint:
The world globes itself in a drop of dew. The microscope cannot find the animalcule which is less perfect for being little. Eyes, ears, taste, smell, motion, resistance, appetite, and organs of reproduction that take hold on eternity -- all find room to consist in the smallest creature. So do we put all our life into every act. The true doctrine of omnipresence is, that God reappears with all his parts in every moss and cobweb. The value of the universe contrives to throw itself into every point. If the good is there, so is the evil; if the affinity, so the repulsion; if the force, so the limitation.Bear in mind that this was written before Darwin was published. Darwin's followers led science astray from this basic truth for 150 years, and most parts of science are still lost, still ferociously slaughtering the truth. Appropriately, the return to truth is led by microscopists who finally removed their Random Variation blinders when examining the WHOLE genome. They are finding exactly what Emerson said they would find. LIFE IS PURPOSE. All functions are available to every living thing, though some are not implemented. Plants have eyes, ears, taste, smell, motion, and resistance. On bullies and support groups, which I've been jabbering about lately:
As no man had a point of pride that was not injurious to him, so no man had a defect which was not somewhere made useful to him. ... Every man in his lifetime needs to thank his faults. As no man thoroughly understands a truth until he has first contended against it, so no man has a thorough acquaintance with the hindrances and talents of men until he has suffered from the one and seen the triumph of the other over his own want of the same. Has he a defect of temper that unfits him to live in society? Thereby he is driven to entertain himself alone, and acquire habits of self-help; and thus like the wounded oyster he mends his shell with pearl.It's all there. I've been writing glosses and annotations on the original text without reading the original text. ... Which in itself proves Emerson's point yet again, doesn't it? Aaaarrrgggh! = = = = = ** Footnote: I should call it a prebuke instead of a rebuke. No politician in Emerson's time was crazy enough to invade other countries because their governments didn't fit his personal Procrustean Bed of "Democracy". When George Washington advised later presidents to MIND OUR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS, he wasn't arguing against this craziness, which didn't exist. He was only opposing the sane but unwise idea that we should spend lives and money to defend "allies". 80 years later, Wilson implemented the Democracy shit and firmly demonstrated its looniness. He invaded Europe for Democracy and gave us Hitler. Most Americans learned the lesson. Schwellenbach was representing most Americans in 1938 when he used Emerson to make the point. Later thought: By defending 'democracy', Schwellenbach seems to have missed Emerson's main point. Emerson wouldn't have defended 'democracy' or 'dictatorship' as systems or ideologies. He said that conditions in any system are ultimately controlled by Nature and by the innate and cultural demands of local people. When ideologies attempt to reshape these forces, they fail. Schwellenbach understood the latter point for sure; he may have been using 'democracy' as a code for 'decent government' to aid understanding. Can't read his mind at this late date!
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.