Then we’ll look on the object level about how we compare to past societies along dimensions we might care about.
We’ll make a lengthy digression into social justice issues, showing how some traditional societies were actually more enlightened than our own in this area.
If you really need convincing, suggest re-implementing segregation, or how about slavery? In America, it will get you fired from your job and ostracized by nearly everyone.
To steal an example from the other side of the aisle, it’s positing something more like patriarchy.I have tried to be charitable towards these ideas, which means this post will be pushing politically incorrect and offensive positions.If you do not want to read it, especially the middle parts which are about race, I would totally understand that.Patriarchy doesn’t have an actual Patriarch coordinating men in their efforts to keep down women.It’s just that when lots of people share some really strong cultural norms, they manage to self-organize into a kind of immune system for rejecting new ideas.Despite the iconic image of the dissident sent to Siberia, this is how the Soviets dealt with most of their iconoclasts too.If you absolutely insist on imprisonment, you can always go to Europe, where there are more than enough “hate speech” laws on the book to satisfy your wishes.Expect a post critiquing reactionary ideas sometime in the next…week? [EDIT: The Anti-Reactionary FAQ is now available] In any case, this is not that post.This is the post where I argue that modern society is rotten to the core, and that the only reasonable solution is to dig up King James II, clone him, and give the clone absolute control over everything.The great thing about western liberal democracy is that it has a free marketplace of ideas. Noam Chomsky made a career of criticizing our society and became rich and famous and got a cushy professorship. If you “criticize” society by telling it to keep doing exactly what it’s doing only much much more so, society recognizes you as an ally and rewards you for being a “bold iconoclast” or “having brave and revolutionary new ideas” or whatever.So our advantage is that we admit our society’s imperfections, reward those who point them out, and so keep inching closer and closer to this ideal of perfect government. Suppose you went back to Stalinist Russia and you said “You know, people just don’t respect Comrade Stalin enough. It’s only when you tell them something they actually don’t want to hear that you get in trouble.