The View From 1776

Servility vs Morality

People dependent upon the welfare state forfeit personal moral responsibility and personal liberty, becoming slaves to the bureaucracy’s conceptions of acceptable conduct.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/26 at 02:20 AM
  1. One pastor says that the bible makes it clear that God has established a polity
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/27  at  11:43 AM
  2. I've been reading David Hackett Fischer's _Albion's Seed: 4 Bitish FolkWays in America_. The New England settlers (both Puritans from East Anglia and Pilgrims) thought in terms of "ordered liberty", while the VA settlers (from SW England) thought in "hegemonic liberty" in which each person had his place and role in the hierarchy, the Quakers thought in terms of "reciprocal liberty", and the Borderers from northern England, Scots, and Ulstermen thought in terms of "natural liberty". (Of course, personally, I don't think there's any inherent conflict amongst natural, ordered and reciprocal liberty... until you look into the details of those shades of meanings these various people used.)

    FDR was from the New England settlers for the most part, so his cultural upbringing shows. Their notion of "liberty" was within confines that an autocrat or flaming radical leftist might love.

    All had notions of reputation and honor, but the shades of difference are just enough to generate radically different expectations and behavior. Each had a sense that people should be "industrious" and "responsible" and "self-reliant", but they meant those words in a different way, with different limitations/context. They all had different notions of investing, spending or killing time.

    Trying to digest 900 pages of details about 4 (really 5 counting the Dutch) cultural groups, on half a dozen dimensions is difficult. I'd probably have to read it and his source materials a couple times before daring much more in the way of a digest, but I wanted to post about it because it gives some insight into today's political and policy debates.

    Many New Englanders don't/didn't consider taxation to be extortion, and don't consider government mandated welfare to be different from voluntary charity, while the Borderers would consider today's taxation and regulation far too heavy. Well, that's not exactly it, but...
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/30  at  12:22 PM
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