The environment is going to hell, and human life is doomed to only get worse, right? Wrong. Conventional wisdom, meet Julian Simon, the Doomslayer. _Julian Simon Doomslayer
Julian Simon’s evolutionary economic outlook is a stark contrast to the mainstream drivel of universal entropy being spewed by lefty-Luddite dieoff.orgiasts who populate media, academia, and government.
Simon’s reasoning is basic but incisive. Here is a sampling from the 4th chapter of the online book Ultimate Resource:
If humankind had not evolved patterns of behavior that increased rather than decreased the amounts of resources available to us, we would not still be here. If, as our numbers increased (or even as our numbers remained nearly stationary), our patterns had led to diminished supplies of plants and animals, less flint for tools, and disappearing wood for fires and construction, I would not be here to be writing these pages, and you would not be here to be reading them.
… Our whole evolution up to this point shows that human groups spontaneously evolve patterns of behavior, as well as patterns of training people for that behavior, which tend on balance to lead people to create rather than destroy. Humans are, on net balance, builders rather than destroyers. The evidence is clear:
the civilization which our ancestors have bequeathed to us contains more created works than the civilization they were bequeathed.
In short, humankind has evolved into creators and problem-solvers. Our constructive behavior has counted for more than our using-up and destructive behavior, as seen in our increasing length of life and richness of consumption.
This view of the average human as builder conflicts with the view of the average human as destroyer which underlies the thought of many doomsdayers. From the latter view derive such statements as “The U.S. has 5 percent of the population, and uses 40 percent of resources,” without reference to the creation of resources by the same U.S. population. _Ultimate Resource
Evolution is a powerful force, operating on many levels simultaneously. When evolving societies take a wrong turn — such as Pol Pot’s Cambodia, the Kim’s North Korea, Castro’s Cuba, Mao’s China, Chavez’ Venezuela, Stalin’s USSR, the mullah’s Iran etc. — such societies pay the price. They either change to follow the evolved rules for success, or they suffer, and die.
The rules for society which US President Obama and French President Hollande brought with them, were clearly dysfunctional from the evolutionary standpoint. And yet their societies elected them anyway. Welcome to the Idiocracy, the world of democracies underpinned by declining demographics. Expect more of the same, even in the wealthiest and “most advanced” countries.
When governments grow too large and extortionate, an explosive proliferation of policies, prohibitions, taxes, and mandates combine to tie the hands of normally creative, innovative, entrepreneurial, and inventive persons. The well connected elite can buy protection and exemption from ruinous rules and regulations, while the masses sink into dependency upon a bloated and largely indifferent bureaucracy.
Julian Simon’s online magnum opus is worth reading, if only to understand what would be possible to a free, intelligent, voluntarily inter-cooperative people. It may even give you some ideas about how to create stop-gap workarounds to government idiocy. Those are only short-term solutions of necessity.
The long-term solution should be clear — to develop a society that largely bypasses interference from corrupt and bloated governments and their well-connected lackeys and enablers. Such an innovative solution to the nightmarish problem of an ever-growing quasi-global bureaucratic monster is entirely in keeping with Julian Simon’s thesis.