- Man has developed two metaphors to conceptualize that institution we call the state: the machine, created as a tool and ruled by Newtonian mechanisms, and the animal, a living thing whose existence is due to organic development, not conscious design. Black proposes that the true divide in American politics is between those Americans who subscribe to the organic view, and those who subscribe to the mechanic.
For those interested, my thoughts matter were expressed in an earlier post: “The Death of a Nation“
- Totalitarian regimes were fond of calling subversive elements “sicknesses” and “cancers” that needed to be eradicated. While this seems quite horrid to us democrats of the modern day, the incessant “wars” we declare (on poverty, drugs, ect.) are not far removed from the totalitarian metaphor.
- When asked why Europeans were able to so successfully dominate Native Americans and Australian Aborigines but never do the same in Africa or Southern Asia, historians often point to the many tropical diseases that slowed European conquest and stunted European settlement in these regions. However, this explanation leaves us with a paradox. As Black points out, the European hold on Africa, India, and Southeast Asia was weakest just as European powers had banished these diseases to the point of irrelevancy.
Consider the comment thread a free space to discuss any of these points (or any of the other interesting asides Black makes – there are many) until I return. Cheers!