It never really changes…

12 01 2012

…politics, that is. If there’s any single notion my whirlwind survey of global civilization has reinforced, it’s that human nature is immutable.

Human nature’s apparent rigidity is a source of major frustration for society’s would-be utopians, whose efforts to reinvent mankind always seem to fall a bit short of the hype. I personally find it reassuring; no matter how momentous our struggle du jour may seem, others have been through it before and survived. Some were even thoughtful enough to write about it for the sake of posterity.

And whether or not we like to admit it, humans are inherently political creatures–both our public and private lives.

I received a email today containing this poem, entitled Ode to the Welfare State, which was hailed as a prophetic critique of contemporary politics.

Snopes, that online arbiter of all things true, suggests that this bit of verse is probably authentic.

That’s not at all surprising–nor is it prophetic. Class warfare has existed for as long as men have had two sticks to rub together to make fire (some have only one stick, you see; redistribution is necessary). Nor is the welfare state a recent invention; Bismark had deviously solved that political equation before the end of the 19th century.

The political and fiscal cards seem undeniably dark today. It seems that, between the incessant and mindless cries of eat the rich and authoritarian nanny-statists who would deny us the simple pleasure of a fine cigar, we are on the verge of a new dark age.

Yet here we are, enjoying the highest standard of living in recorded history, because liberty and individual initiative has time and again triumphed over ruinous collectivism. Others have kept up the fight in far darker times–there’s simply no excuse not to press onward today.





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