Innovation, degradation, and delusion

“People who create things nowadays can expect to be prosecuted by highly moralistic people who are incapable of creating anything. There is no way to measure the chilling effect on innovation that results from the threats of taxation, regulation and prosecution against anything that succeeds. We’ll never know how many ideas our government has aborted in the name protecting us.”
— Joseph Sobran

“Revolutionary” is a term bandied about today to describe just about everything except for those things which are really novel and innovative. However, when one looks at the 100 year period from 1890 to 1990 I think it is fair to describe the innovations developed during that period as revolutionary. In every aspect of human activity progress advanced at a breathtaking pace, and America led the way.

What has happened since 1990? There has been a tremendous amount of innovation in the world, but little of it has come from America. As Mark Steyn points out we have spent billions of dollars on medical research, and the only condition we have been able to cure is erectile dysfunction. And even that was an accident. The scientists were actually diligently researching the ever important issue of balding and discovered an interesting side effect. We have also abandoned our leadership in every other aspect of scientific research intended to better the human condition. We have given up on curing diseases, and instead focus on how to keep people from getting fat, depressed, or anxious (at best). We no longer try to develop new and affordable means of transportation like high-speed rail, supersonic jets, etc. The space race is now a distant memory for us; no research platforms located in geosynchronous orbit for us. All those pursuits and many more have been picked up by our competitors around the world while America languishes in Reality TV oblivion.

There are a few industries we still seem to dominate: internet pornography. We have surpassed the Swedes in this vital area of human behavior with California becoming a global center of production. Who needs scientific innovation when you can have a steady stream of free pornography and cheap designer drugs to satisfy, or perhaps deaden, your every desire.

Although America has accomplished little during the last 30 years Americans have learned to be extremely confident in our lack of accomplishments. I think it is fair to say Americans have become the most successful people in promoting self-esteem. I remember reading a study about global math skills; needless to say American students performed poorly. The interesting aspect of the study was the student attitudes in regards to their abilities. Before and after the test American students believed they had performed much better than they had actually scored. Asian students on the other hand, who had in fact performed much better, believed their personal performance was far worse. I can only suspect the Japanese students must have been suicidal after the test. So much for self-esteem. Without real accomplishment self-esteem does very little.

And that is where we come to delusion. It appears if you feed self-esteem to people long enough they become truly insane. Just look at the entire nation of Greece. A few years ago there was a study asking all Europeans who are the hardest working people in Europe. Clearly the Germans won, and quite justifiably. It was a conclusion that few contested. The French are quite proud of their culture but they are wise enough to know that they are not the hardest working. The same can be said for Spain and Italy. They did not fool themselves into believing that hard work was part of their national character. But not so for the Greeks who when polled believed that they were the hardest working people in Europe. Now I love Greece and I love the Greeks, but no rational person after spending any amount of time in the country would conclude that the Greeks suffer from working too hard. In fact I would have to say that they may very well be the laziest group of people in Europe, which is just fine by me. It is perhaps one of the things that is most charming about Greece; a decidedly slower pace to things. However the Greeks seem to have mastered the power of self-esteem to the point of insane delusion. I think the last election in Greece confirms this. They confidently voted themselves into prosperity; who needs hard work, a responsible government, or a competitive business environment.

As an American I see my country going the same path. We have abandoned innovation, embraced degradation, and are on the path to complete and total delusion. We are not quite as desperately insane as the Greeks, who have nothing whatsoever to support their delusions of grandeur (after all WE can still bomb the begeezus out of just about anyone in the world), but we are on our way.

About fafc

The goal of the “Find a Free Country Project” is to research, explore and find a safe and secure free country outside the USA, that is not too large, has a relatively open immigration policy, has a friendly business climate, has a non-intrusive government committed to freedom, and then move to it.
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21 Responses to Innovation, degradation, and delusion

  1. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Yes, it’s sad how little (real) innovation and great projects there are in America in comparison to the Cold War era, especially in regards to NASA, Americans visited the Moon in 1969, and should have visited Mars by now, but at this rate it probably won’t be accomplished before the middle of the century, by which time NASA/the USA might be beaten to the punch by either Russia, China or the EU,

    • fafc says:

      A very bad sign. The young are being indoctrinated to see business as a negative thing, and government as a good thing. But on the other hand I don’t want to try to start a business in Obama’s America. What would be the point unless I had some sort of inside government connection to provide me with business and protect me from competition?

  2. Croatian Capitalist says:

    I get how you feel, here in Croatia it doesn’t make much sense to open a private business (unless it is a bakery, fast-food place or something of that nature) if you don’t have some kind of “connection” with(in) the bureaucracy, for example, in 2013 a entrepreneur who had a company which (among other things) successfully produced power generators for nuclear plants in Russia and parts for shipyards in Russia and Northern Europe had to halt production because the state inspectors demanded the enforcement of some insane regulations (which somehow are not enforced when the companies owned by the state are involved), in the end he had to close his business because of the state bureaucracy (which meant that dozens of people employed by the company lost their jobs), he now lives and works in Finland, and there are countless stories like this one in Croatia.

  3. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Another sad thing is that even people (the non-moocher ones of course, since the moochers who do nothing (but damage) always get their undeserved (high) wages and privileges on time) working in the public sector are not immune from the government causing them trouble, for example recently our best fighter pilot trainers left the Croatian Air Force for Qatar because of the horrible conditions they had here (low wages, they even had to buy some of their own equipment out of their own pocket, etc.).

    • fafc says:

      That would seem to reflect the common priorities among leftist/progressive socialists. Gay marriage, transgender surgery, endless propaganda disguised education, creating and supporting an underclass dependent upon the crumbs from the tables of the elite, etc. Those are valuable “investments” in society. Defense, transportation infrastructure, libraries, etc. Nothing. And then when everything begins to fall apart, like in Venezuela, then it is always the capitalists fault.

  4. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Yes, even though the leftists here are less pronounced on those social issues than the ones in America, and the thing you mentioned in the end of your second sentence is done differently here, while the American leftists want to secure their rule over America by giving minorities handouts and by legalising pro-socialist illegal immigrants who work minimum wage jobs, the method employed by the left here is to hire as many of their party members (and their relatives) as possible into the public sector when they get into power at any level of government and finance it through taking out foreign credit and squeezing the people who actually work for a living (the private sector) to the maximum, and thus those moochers and their families will always vote for the party that gave them their “jobs”.

    As for infrastructure, the only really useful thing the leftists have done in the last 24 years is build highways, but even that was done for a price that was way over the market one (I will leave it to your imagination to guess where the difference ended up), otherwise their infrastructure policy has mostly been a complete shambles, for example, some of our railroad infrastructure dates back to the time of Austria-Hungary!

    So, even though I am not particularly fond of Qatar, I can’t blame our pilots for leaving, here they were treated like garbage by the moochers, while in Qatar they will get close to 6000 USD per month tax-free, pilot the best fighter-jets and I am guessing that housing and work related costs will be all be payed by the state.

    • fafc says:

      The public sector was an omission on my part. The same thing is going on here. The number of government employees has exploded over the last 6 years. I can only imagine how they vote.

  5. Croatian Capitalist says:

    As for the Venezuela comparison, thanks to the luck of geography and EU membership, Croatia will never sink that low, I am even hopeful that things will eventually turn around (either by the EU forcing it or that when the people who grew-up after the communist Yugoslavia collapsed become the majority of the voting population, the mentality of the majority will become a pro-market one, even though another problem arises here, the young pro-market people who actually want to work are currently leaving the country in droves (just in the first 6 months of 2014 21000 people left Croatia for Germany alone!), so I am not sure that enough of them will actually stay here to force a change of mentality, and once the people who leave get settled in the rich first World countries, it will be extremely difficult to convince them to return to Croatia).

    Of course I have no intention to wait for that turnaround, since even if I am being optimistic, I realistically can’t see it happening before 2030, that is just too much time to wait, and even if it does happen, I expect to be long settled in my new country by then, so I doubt that returning permanently to Croatia would be of interest to me).

    • fafc says:

      Congratulations America. You have raised a generation of over-educated fools with extremely high self-esteem, but with little or no practical skills worth mentioning. A delusional generation with no understanding of what freedom means let alone how to preserve. Congratulations Leftists. You have won.

  6. Croatian Capitalist says:

    To add insult to injury, the situation in reality is probably even worse, many countries whose young adults could conceivably outperform their American peers either didn’t take part at all (I don’t see Iceland on the list for example) or don’t have their scores listed for some reason, so if something doesn’t change for the better soon, America’s future won’t be pretty.

    • fafc says:

      I suspect a lot of countries can outperform our education system. But it depends upon your metric of measure. If you measure success as teaching kids to function in a free nation and succeed on their own merits, America is failing. But if you measure success as creating a generation of ignorant cogs that will blindly participate in a suicidal utopian machine, then I think the American system is doing quite well.

  7. Croatian Capitalist says:

    As for the leftists winning, that is impossible, no matter how things end, the leftists/”liberals” will lose; If the Muslims take over the West, the “liberals” will quite literally lose their heads, if nationalists take over, they will most probably end up locked up in psychiatric hospitals or jails (maybe even get deported/exiled), if they manage to turn America into a new Brazil or South Africa, the criminals will murder, beat-up, rob, etc. them daily, etc., so they and their ideology are doomed to failure.

    • fafc says:

      Oh they are winning. They are destroying piece by piece a concept. It is all about definition. You define success as winning. They describe success as destroying. They are bringing down the system. Dancing as the building falls on top of them. The fact that they will suffer as well, perhaps even more, does not bring me much joy.

  8. Croatian Capitalist says:

    If we use their definition, then they are “winning” for the moment, but even that could spectacularly backfire on them, remember that the colonies which later became the United States of America were founded by people who left England because of religious persecution, so if that persecution didn’t happen, the America of old that you love so much would have never come into existence, so there is no reason that those who are being persecuted by the “liberals” in America now couldn’t build an even better “America” when this one eventually collapses (and whether they do it on the territory of the current USA or somewhere else is irrelevant), and the entire “liberal” society destroying play-book and all of the weaknesses of the system instituted by the Founding Fathers of the United States of America are now in the open for all to see, so when the new “America” eventually gets founded, the proper safeguards will be put into place to ensure that the “liberals” never again manage to take over society, thus any “liberal” “win” will be a Pyrrhic one, since their “win (societal collapse)” will in the end in all likelihood lead to an even better “America” being founded (some drastic changes for the better under the restraints of the current system were always going to be unlikely in the modern era), which would be an epic defeat and a death blow for “liberalism”.

    • fafc says:

      I hope you are right, but historically no nation has descended into degradation and then picked themselves out of it after a collapse.

  9. Croatian Capitalist says:

    Well, to my knowledge there has never been a moral decline in recorded history to rival the modern Western one, so there probably isn’t anything completely comparable to it in history to begin with, but there have been examples of nations of in moral decline collapsing and then picking themselves up, for example after the ancient Greeks went into moral decline, the Romans conquered them, but after Emperor Justinian died, the Greeks basically took over the Eastern Roman Empire/Byzantine Empire, made it their own country and it was quite successful for many hundreds of years, and many other nations recovered from collapses (some even multiple times) caused by various reasons, for example Russia became much stronger than the collapsed state of Kiev Rus’/Kievan Russia, China recovered from the Mongol-caused collapse, Iran recovered multiple times (after the Achaemenid Empire collapsed in the wake of the Greek invasion, the Parthian Empire eventually restored Iranian independence and became a very strong country, then after it collapsed came the even more powerful Sasanian Empire, etc.), so successfully recovering from a collapse has happened many times in history, and modern people have an advantage that they didn’t, back then significant historical knowledge was limited to very few people, and considering constant warfare that the rulers had to engage in and other problems, not repeating the mistakes that caused the original collapses to happen was probably never or very rarely seriously on the agenda, but today historical knowledge is widely available and most of the other problems they had to face are today minuscule compared to those in those times, so when the next “America” is founded, the people will have no excuse to not put the proper safeguards in place.

    • fafc says:

      All these suggest that in the “long-term” everything will work out. I don’t really believe in that, but even if it is the case, in the “long-term” we will all be dead. I like studying history, but we must live in the now. Today is what we have. We must make the most of it. Waiting for the American People to regain their sense of purpose, and America to regain its sense of dignity is not something I am willing to do anymore.

  10. Croatian Capitalist says:

    I am not asking you to (it would be hypocritical of me to do so, since I am tired of Croatia changing for the better as well), smart individuals will go (or stay) where they are the best off.

  11. Croatian Capitalist says:

    *=tired of waiting for

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