On Reforms

No one can reinvent the wheel each time he wants to take a carriage ride.

Likewise, would be imprudent, were it not impossible, skeptically to examine all of the conclusions of saints and sages, jurists and scientists, the visions of poets and the reports of historians.

I, myself, have never seen the shadow of the Earth cross the moon during a lunar eclipse, nor seen a sail come over the horizon at sea before the hull was visible, even though these are the clearest visible evidences that the Earth is round.

Likewise, I have never looked through a telescope at the planets, much less taken the careful measurements of Tycho Brahe, but I put faith in the men who puzzled out the heliocentric theory.

And, again, the countless years of thought and revelation, testing and error, which invented the alphabet, the calendar, the institution of jury trials, secret ballots, common law, perspectival drawing, diatonic music, monogamy and monotheism are simply too voluminous to reinvent. It is proper to be ready to answer any skeptical questions seeking to know the roots of belief in these things, which is why the study of civics, history, and philosophy is needful for a liberal education, but the burden of proof is always on the radical.

One argument in favor of tradition, is that every generation thought the matters passed along to the next were worth passing along.

A pioneering people, as the Americans once were, are haunted by the fear that their fathers passed along material from their grandfathers merely because it was old, not because it is wise, and so tend to overly eager to dismiss the wisdom of the past. It is an error: a spiritual fever that loves novelty for the sake of novelty.

Ironically, the most tradition bound people on Earth, the Chinese, sons of a culture thousands of years old, are currently in the grip of an evil madness that sprang out of Germany, an ersatz religion called Marxism, which springs out of a pure wellspring of intellectual pride, and the love of novelty for novelty’s sake. The very word “radical” indicates a man so hubristic, so like a god in his own imagination, that he seeks to recreate all the carefully evolved intricacies of countless generations of civilization, and build civilization, economics and laws, morals and manners, as if on a blank sheet of paper, with the calendar reset to Year Zero.

Upon reflect, the record of reformers whose programs, once enacted, lead to improvement rather than disaster is remarkably slim.

Most of the positive reforms to our civilization came between the reign of Constantine and the Middle Ages, when the martyrdom of St. Telemachus, for example, led to the abolition of the gladiatorial games, or the growth of monasteries in the Middle Ages made the practice of selecting one’s leader by vote widespread.

The slave trade in the Middle Ages was diminished, almost forgotten, until reintroduced in Spain by the Mohammedans, whose heresy inclines them to promote slave-based empires, and prevents reformation. Abolitionism became a widespread movement again in the West during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.

During the so-called Enlightenment, a rebellion in the American colonies restored to the colonists their ancient rights they should have enjoyed as Englishmen, and which legally were conferred upon them by their colonial charters. The reformation of the system of government, from a monarchy to an federal republic after Roman and Greek models, was so successful a reformation, that European enthusiasm was kindled, leading to the French Revolution, the Terror and Napoleon crowning himself Emperor; and in turn, Marxists were inspired, first in Russia, and then worldwide, to use the language and postures of liberty for the common man, to impose the most bloodthirsty, sinister, sadistic and ruinous tyrannies mankind has ever imagined.

In America, the reform of our manners from polite to vulgar is a crippling disaster; the reform of our arts from classical models to modern absurdism, or a evolution of entertainment from decent and uplifting to boring, dreary, offensive propaganda has been an endless sewer stream;  the sexual revolution has been an unmitigated failure, spreading misery, divorce, bastardy, and all the social pathologies Pandora released from her jar onto the poor; contraception put the social order at odds with the nuclear family, so that to be a father in this generation is to find every major social institution in the posture of an enemy; abortion is a black and choking curse that has crippled the soul and darkened the heart and blinded the mind of America.

Do you hear of screaming rioters, burning and looting, and yet there is nothing to demand? The racism to which they object, the killing of blacks by police, is a non-issue, based on nothing, supported by the evidence of ‘dogwhistles’ and ‘glass ceilings’ and ‘subconscious bias ‘ and other things that cannot be heard or seen or known?

The hate crimes are faked. The reports of cops killing blacks, upon investigation, turn out to be legitimate self-defense by the police, or death by drug overdose.

The number of KKK members nationwide, according to the ADL, is three thousand or so, whereas the number of Americans who claim to have been abducted by UFOs is nearly four thousand or so. Belief in White Supremacy is more rare than belief in UFOs.

Our consensus no longer even grasps what it means to treat as human any person with whom one has the slightest variance of opinion: one cannot preserve freedom of worship, press, and speech, not the right to keep and bear arms, in a society that regards its own unborn children as less worthy of protection than dogs. Animal cruelty laws would prevent what is routinely done to third trimester babies.

As for whether the reform of granting women the right to vote was wise, so far, the evidence is mixed. The feminine hysteria, peevishness, and crone-like witchery afflicted even male politicians and pundits on the Left springs from a notion of government as nanny-state, a feminine notion of treating the government as breadwinner and protector. This notion was not seen in any era before the suffragette movement.

To what degree, if at all, the typical female psychology influenced the changes in government philosophy since the era of Woodrow Wilson is a question not to be dismissed out of hand: and yet I can not recall any public debate on the matter.

Reforms are needed, if, for no other reason, than to undo the rot and corrupting afflicting all our institutions. But the radical, whose propositions are untried, untested and simple solutions to to complex, far-reaching and subtle problems with grave risk of many an expected consequence, and also to problems that either are insignificant (such as racism in modern America) or are insoluble (such as the inhomogeneity of men versus women) should face a steep burden of proof, and be met by grave, stubborn, and judicious skepticism.