There's a lot of chatter among the #AltRight these days about Game and saving Western Civilization therewith. But one question that is seldom asked is what it is, specifically, that constitutes Western Civilization. What are we trying to save? Cell phones and Interstates? The nuclear family? Social Security? The Designated Hitter Rule? The fact that the definition is never addressed is one indication that it is too large, or contains too many pieces, to discuss intelligently.**
However, arguably the most important single idea that caused Western Civilization to evolve into the rich and prosperous place it has been for about 400 years now is what was once known as the Protestant Work Ethic.
While there are Calvinistic theological underpinnings behind it, the Protestant Work Ethic plays out primarily in the world of economics. And specifically in how the capitalist societies of England, Germany and other non-Catholic areas of Europe, and in the United States, grew so prosperous.
It's amazingly simple. The Protestant Work Ethic has three main precepts, applied both to the individual and to society:
- Hard, productive work
Since Keynes and especially neo-Keynesians fell in love with the idea of measuring activity no matter its worth, we have finally come to the point where no eyebrows are raised when a Keynesian says that the solution to the economy's current funk*** involves:
instead of making [negative interest rates] punitive on the banks, ...make them punitive to savers... Cash should be charged interest -- put the micro chip in large denomination notes/tax cash withdrawals.. encourage spending not saving.Encourage spending, not saving. There, in four words, is the pulling of one of the lynchpins of Western civilization. It is the epitome of short-term thinking****.
It is also the path to poverty. Our entire economy, which in the past 100 years has been converted into one that celebrates profligacy and living in the now - has been a lot of fun, but it is the end of the road for Western Civilization. Those in charge are purposely unmaking what made us into us. and we are loving every minute of it.
* this is not an argument to let any of them into the West, it's merely pointing out that the primary problem goes a little deeper.
** Perhaps one more reason why some of the more important insights into human behavior are primarily applied toward plowing college girls. Which activity is not itself very supportive of Western civilization, all things considered.
*** besides destroying the currency, natch.
**** There is no one with a shorter time preference than a Keynesian economist.