Kishnevi on Beck on Commager

Kishnevi has closed his comments, so I actually have to post something here.

He makes an interesting point that the America of the 1890s was much more like now than that of the 1870s because of external technological and geopolitical factors. All true, but he really doesn’t tie that to a difference in thinking, because he neglects the various side-dramas of that Big Picture. For example, America as an industrial powerhouse required importation of lots of cheap labor, primarily from Slavic countries, who both brought in and were susceptible to Marxism. We were also digesting the Germans of ’48-65, and adding to them, and in spite of being one, I have to admit that the German influence on America was not entirely beneficial. (Proponents of free immigration of Latinos ignore the German experience, because to their minds, there was no downside to adding masses who were recently serfs to a country founded by Celtic rebels.) Mass immigration called forth public education (beginning with the Irish in the 1850s) to teach new citizens English and the American culture, or at least the government-supported myth version of American culture. Likewise, America as a military powerhouse was also related to industrialization. We needed markets for our goods and sources for raw materials, in an age where tariffs were falling, and colonialism was mercantilism by other means.


One Response to Kishnevi on Beck on Commager

  1. kishnevi says:

    I didn’t realize I closed the somments completely (I thought I left a 24 hour window or something like that). I’m trying to cut down spam for a blog where I now post maybe twice a month. I also made it invisible to search engines. Does someone really think I’m going to be interested in their products because they placed a bogus comment on my blog? Are some bloggers that stupid that they will actually be interested in those things?

    I loved the one that told me I needed to learn how to write English better. Sure–insult me, and then I’ll go by your product?

    Well, at least I haven’t gotten any spam since I made the change. I’ll try to go over later tonight to modify the comment closure.

    As to your comment on my comment on Beck’s comment (this layering of comments is approaching Talmudic levels)–you too make some valid points. But I was trying to say that what Beck perceived as a vast change due to philosophical changes (definitely heard Ayn’s ghost there) was really a vast change due to real world circumstances. The difference in thinking between 1850 and 1900 was because the problems changed,not because the philosophy changed; the similarity in thinking between 1900 and 2000 is because the problems, at a fundamental level, have not changed.

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