The "Open Society" is the doomed society

Any living society is based on a shared way of life, a "public orthodoxy": once it abandons that and is "open to whatever," it is disintegrating, and will soon cease to exist.

8 comments:

  1. I think we've been an open society for a long time. Either this process takes a while or an "open society" is not self-destructive.

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    1. Nope: we now simply enforce a new "public orthodoxy": see Brendan Eich's dismissal from Netscape. He was apparently a fine CEO. But he did not hold the "correct" opinion about SSM, so he lost his job.

      It is not that "open societies" are not as good as "closed" societies: they do not, in fact, exist. They are an impossibility, given human nature.

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    2. Then what do you mean by "once it abandons that and is 'open to whatever,' it is disintegrating, and will soon cease to exist."?

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    3. "They are an impossibility, given human nature."

      Logical impossibility is more like it. No need to invoke human nature.

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  2. Strange claim. Absent calamity of the military or natural disaster variety, does ANY society "cease to exist?" My perception is that societies change and evolve into other societies, which is not the same thing at all.

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    1. I suppose we can say ancient Egyptian culture did not cease to exist. Just like we can say "that tree did not cease to exist: it just turned into dirt."

      But my "strange claim" is a very common way of speaking -- see Spengler and Toynbee -- and I think it works just fine, so long as one is not determined to read tendentiously.

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    2. Ancient Egypt would seem to be evidence for my claim rather than yours.

      It was certainly modified -- Hellenization being the first big example -- by increasing travel and trade.

      But even after major military calamity #1, its conquest by Alexander, the Ptolemies referred to themselves as, and comported themselves as, successors to the Pharaohs.

      And after it was annexed by Rome in 30 BC -- major military calamity #2 -- the Romans for a long period of time mostly ratified the Ptolemaic system until Constantine began the process of forcible Christianization.

      And then of course there was major military calamity #3, the Muslim conquest. The Egyptian language only persisted for a thousand years or so after that!

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    3. And Cleopatra is not really "dead": her corpse hung around for a while, and her name is still spoken frequently, and people put on plays about her, and every atom that was in her is still with us...

      Oh, and by the way, there were not forced conversions under Constantine.

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