The Crisis of Liberty, Part 2

Hey Eric,

You neglected to answer this burning question from my last email:

which Eric are you?

Have we met at an LPSF meeting? I'm Michael Edelstein--the skinny guy with a
moustache who compulsively yells at inopportune times: "YOUR TIME HAS
EXPIRED." You may not have noticed, but that's ok, no one else seems to

I do not have a scenario in mind involving "following leaders" or "when a
culture collapses." Rather, I'm referring to the process over the past
100,000 years resulting in an increasingly prosperous, healthy, and wealthy
life for much of the world's population. The engine has been the
accelerating advance of science and technology, fueled by free exchange
based on comparative advantage and division of labor, within a culture that
increasingly appreciates the value of freedom. See The Rational Optimist, by
Matt Ridley, for detailed historical background.

Warm regards, Michael

Hi Michael;

  LOL no, I haven't been to your meetings yet (I don't live in SF). But next time I'm down that way, I'm likely to drop in.

  To comment on the rest: I wasn't referring to the overall human culture; but cultures during given historical epochs. For example, German culture survived Hitler; but the Nazi ascension to power was the collapse of Weimar Democracy. The same in Russia; Lenin and the Bolshevik Revolution ended the Kerensky Republic. In most of those cases the decline was rapid, in the US it's been a lot slower, but unmistakably there. American republicanism will finally have collapsed when we see a future President Gingrich or Huckabee voiding the 14th Amendment and declaring only Americans who swear alligence to them and their camarilla are 'US citizens'. (If you think that's stretching things, Senator DeMint advocated this on the Senate floor this very week and several neocon parrots in the media applauded).