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The Art of The Argument: Western Civilization's Last Stand Kindle Edition
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My only complaint is that I there is too much politics used as examples. I don't disagree with any of those, but I also already understood the premise. There are some people who I would love to share this book with who are capable of thinking with reason, but are still heavily effected by their conditioned emotional responses. When they read the political examples it will cause them to shut down on the real meat of the book. I think that people need to already be thinking with reason and evidence in order to appreciate The Argument, but if you already think that way you don't really need the book. A bit of a cyclical problem.
There were parts of the book that read more like a podcast transcript. Nothing wrong with that, but it was a bit odd. I think however those bits will work quite well in the audio book. I plan on buying the audio version as well once it's available.
2. Read this book.
3. Read negative comments again.
You'll see what I mean.
[Error posting original review on tablet, so if this is a duplicate, I apologize]
His main focus is on the welfare state which he shows breeds crime and poverty as well as normalizing dysfunctional relationships. Proponents of the welfare state present it as benefitting the common good but the main beneficiaries are the welfare recipients and the bureaucrats who tax producers to run the welfare state. Welfare recipients get paid for irresponsible behavior such as remaining unemployable or having children they cannot afford.
The welfare state thus subsidizes bad decisions and bad behavior. Needless to say this cannot go on forever as society must deplete its capital to fund the welfare state. Above all the welfare state has created a cult of victimhood where such victims are the heroes of today. The welfare state has also overturned the definition of justice. It used to be that justice meant equality of opportunity. Now it means equality of result where the state uses force to create such outcomes.
Molyneux explains that humans are social animals and still possess a tribal mentality. Conformity to tribal rules is necessary for survival as humans generally cannot survive as solitary beings. But when such rules become too rigid society can stagnate and decline as happened with China until recently. The opposite problem is that rules can become too loose which causes chaos and subsequent decay. This was the case in the Roman Empire and is the case in America today where the country becomes more chaotic as the welfare state encourages a mentality of grievances.
The three main elements of Western Civilization have been free speech, free enterprise, and science. All three tend to disrupt the status quo and conventional political power. The welfare state tries to suppress any speech which questions the welfare state, as is especially evident in academia, which is one of the main beneficiaries of the welfare state and one of its main supporters. The main thrust of the welfare system is of course to destroy free enterprise to make more people dependent on it. But the welfare state values science as it can use modern technology, especially computers, to expand the welfare state.
History has shown that stable societies, whose stability has made them powerful, eventually overrun chaotic societies. The best example is the fall of the Roman Empire. Another prominent example is the subjugation of China by western powers in the 19th century. Today it is the chaotic west which is declining and China as well as Islam which are rising. Islam has succeeded in essentially invading Western Europe, thereby replicating the early barbarian invasions of the Roman Empire.
Western society has now reached a point where success is increasingly defined as exploitation while failure is a virtue. The state increasingly regulates the economy and confiscates wealth to fund the welfare state. Much of the justification for this is that since people are generally physically similar any success must be due to exploitation. But intelligence, ability, and effort are not distributed equally.
Molyneux states that today's welfare state is based on the resentment of the less capable or intelligent. He adds that virtue eventually has its revenge. This means that the welfare state will collapse and the survivors will the producers who will then begin a new system based on free enterprise.