Is Big Government necessary to accomplish Big Things?
Big government built the pyramids. Big government erected the Great Wall of China. Big government put Man on the Moon.
But humanity could have reached Luna over a thousand years ago, had Roman civilization not gone into a death spiral.
Bill Whittle made this point in some recent talks on Afterburner and guesting on Stefan Molyneux’s philosophy show. He blames the fall of past civilizations on “sexual strategies”: the sociobiology of r/K. (The “r” strategy organisms make lots of babies, invest little in them, accept widespread predation; the “K” strategy makes fewer babies, invests heavily in each, and suppresses predators and parasites.) Civilizations start K-style and decline with r.
It’s a theory.
Whatever the biology, Big Government was integral to Rome’s decline, with its exploitative systems and corruption, monetary inflation and “handouts.”
Rome wasn’t destroyed in a day. There were delays and cost-overruns, like any government job.
But Whittle’s right about progress. Humanity would be a lot further along if it didn’t get caught in government/conflict/exploitation traps. Private companies might be on the Moon today were it not for Big governments that destroyed promising civilization in the past.
But hey: private enterprise is catching up.
“In an historic first,” Popular Science informs us, “the private company founded by Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos has become the first to land a re-useable rocket that’s traveled to and from space.” The rocket lands as envisioned in old science fiction flicks, vertically — though with the aid of “drag brakes” (parachutes).
Let’s hope our civilization doesn’t once again collapse before we witness (and contribute to) further progress.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.