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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest Post: Francis Funkymama on The End of History

Hi, Gene asked me to write up a little something about the way the political world looks to me here, in 1685. (He's developed a nice little space-time wormhole that lets us send message back and forth.)

It's clear, from the advanced state that society has reached in my time, that we are truly nearing the "end of history." The question of what form of social order is best has been answered with finality: it is a state under an absolute monarch, ruling over a mercantilist economy.

The two most advanced nations of Europe, France and Spain, are basically there already, and, of course, in the Orient, China has been showing us the way for centuries, if only we had had eyes to see. Denmark-Norway has already written absolute monarchy into law, and Sweden is rapidly advancing along this same path. And the tsar in Russia ought to be able to make similar gains over the next few decades.

Furthermore, one of the last, backward holdouts against this ultimate, rationalized form of social order, England, is finally coming around. (Hey, the backwards nations on the edge of civilization always take a little longer to get the message, don't they?) Having gotten past that ridiculous experiment in republicanism of the 1650s, and having experienced directly just how awful such a form of government is for the people, England, under Charles II and James II, has been rapidly advancing towards acquiring a modern, absolutist government.

But it would be stupid to boast we had reached the final form of social order simply because it is the current trend. Fortunately, we have the theoretical work of people like Jacques-Bénigne Bossuetand Thomas Hobbes showing us why this is the ultimate form of government: no need for us to rely on naive empiricism!

In any case, I'm sure by the time you are reading this, in the 21st century, every person in the world will be living under this most advanced form of government and be blessed with an absolute monarch to whom he can give his undivided loyalty. But we thought it might be interesting for you to see what things looked like at the time when it first became clear what the final form of government in the world would look like.

2 comments:

  1. The final form of government will be anarchy. It will be achieved about half a billion years from now, when the aging sun extinguishes all life on earth.

    It is comforting to know that history always progresses.

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  2. You and I both suffer from the same problem, Gene. We got PhDs and intended to make very serious contributions to economic science. Then a year into our careers we realized we would rather be comedians.

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