Cuba and Views of History

Sept. 11, 2017

Jane and I like to stream movies after supper. Recently we chose a documentary series, Cuba Libre, from Netflix that tells the story of Cuba from early Hunting/Gathering days to today’s communist state. The theme, often repeated, is the lust for freedom of the Cuban people. You could also call the series the standard Progressive view of history, except for the anticlimax (you knew this was coming!). In the Cuban case, the final result is not a free society but a totalitarian jungle! Jane and I visited Cuba a few years ago and can attest to that harsh judgment.

My view of history is more real and cheerful than the Progressive. Let’s compare.

Their view takes no notice for instance of the astonishing leap of population numbers, life spans, resource availability, and the lifestyle changes that happened with the leaps: tribal Hunting/Gathering to Agricultural cities and civilizations; Agricultural to Modern. Progressives recognize these leaps but ascribe it vaguely to progress, assuming it doesn’t matter much, and continue to search for hints of progress in past cultures.

For instance, the popular Green author, Jared Diamond, claims humankind made a big mistake10,000 years ago when it left the Hunting/Gathering Age and took up farming life. (He ignores the thousand fold increase in numbers—many being our own ancestors (!). And the large gains in life spans). Other history buffs and progressive scholars claim to find hints of progress in pagan Greece and Rome, Muslim Bagdad and Arabia, or primitive African kingdoms.

What the world needs now is my view of history to replace the all too common progressive view.

If that sentence sounds arrogant and unlikely, so be it. Let’s compare.

I see history divided into three distinct Ages—Hunting/Gathering, Agricultural, and Modern. The Hunting/Gathering Age lasted 100,000 years and saw the final evolution of Homo sapiens; the Agricultural Age lasted 10,000 years, saw the birth of cities and civilization and is still alive in the world today. All modern countries and cultures have genes and memes inherited from past Ages! The Modern Age began just over 200 hundred years in the founding of a new country, the USA.

Progressives say the world is moving inevitably in the direction of socialist democracy.

I don’t believe a word of it. Let’s compare.

They see capitalism as ”trickle down” economics and don’t like it; see fossil fuels as evil energy sources certain to lead us into Climate Change catastrophe; military might as suspect; see all countries as “exceptional”; want us tear down all Confederate monuments; abolish guns; rage against “America First,” and despise  Christopher Columbus and Donald Trump.

My view calls all these “bad” things as positive.

Progressives respect Western Civilization and Christianity as examples but don’t see them as in any way superior.

My view does see them as superior. Especially to Islamic, socialist, and primitive tribal cultures.

Progressives see illegal immigrants and refugees as possible citizens (and voters).

My view sees them serious problems. Do we really want to trade our outdated Christian memes for outdated Muslim or medieval Catholic memes?

Progressives approve of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press; women’s rights; minority rights; LGBTQ rights; civil liberties; social justice and social welfare programs; fighting prejudice; universal health care; and tolerance for other lifestyles.

So do I. My view also sees them as good things worth preserving and fighting for, but only too often spat upon and betrayed by both far-left and far-right street activists and in some cases by the media itself.

My view also supports differences in talents and wealth, differences that account for all nation’s prosperity.

As for relatively minor stuff, the Progressives see things like tattoos, body jewelry, monotheistic religions, vulgar language, arts and music, abortion, marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, and psychedelics, and TV shows like SNL, Cuba libre, and Game of Thrones, as fine and dandy.

My view is amused tolerance and points out, smugly I admit, that most actors are blissfully unaware they are acting out memes from Ages thousands of years past.

Progressives also think we should spend more money on education, health, and the environment and less on the military and weapons and we should raise taxes on the rich to do so.

My view says we should reduce taxes on everyone. Instead of just giving social security only to the elderly and the handicapped, we should give a cash subsidy to every citizen. To pay for this radical expansion we should dramatically cut back on all current welfare charity programs.

For the sake of some largely fictitious and theoretical Climate Change, that might or might not happen in the next century, the Green/Progressive view proposes a major cut in things needed today for our prosperity, comfort, and pleasure. Specifically, they propose phasing out fossil fuels and replacing them with a mixture of socialism, renewable energy, cutbacks in living standards and populations, restrictions on freedom and private property, heavier taxing and control of business profits, organic home gardens, do-it-yourself technologies, and recycling or conserving of resources.

My view or the progressive view? What will your choice do in everyday practice?

My view will make us less apologetic, more confident, perhaps more arrogant but certainly more prosperous. Actually, it might make us more patient and humble. Rome wasn’t built in a day. The agricultural memes had 10,000 years to cement. Memes from the Hunting/ Gathering had a 100,000 head start. All are active in the only 200-year reign of science, freedom, and trickle down free-market economies!

And a last sting, remember my three Bill’s Laws: (1) a bad idea in science has a half-life of 10 years; (2) in politics 100 years and (3) a bad idea in religion has a thousand year half-life. All three laws have proved valid: science ideas like overpopulation, resource scarcity, sexism, racism, sterilization, and eugenics are now all but extinct; political ideas like socialism and monarchy are nearly so after abject failures of communism in China, Korea and Russia. And religious ideas, like Islam, are struggling currently on their final radically violent legs.

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President Hawkhill

P. S. For any who want to know more details on my life-long journey through the idea swamp from devout Catholic to left-liberal clergy to conservative libertarian, I suggest you buy and read one of my recent books (they are all cheap from Amazon)—Twilight or Dawn? A Traveler’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy, East Gilman Street, or Bill’s Blogs. Or view my ideas on science and society, streamed free on YouTube.

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