Joe Bob Briggs writes:
“Well, the way it works,” Christie said, “is that I might not want to beat you up, but if Animal here decided that he wanted to beat you up, I would have to join in.”
I was reminded of this Angels principle while rereading that great study of the French Revolution—you gotta hang with me this week, we’re covering a lot of ground—written a decade or so ago by Eli Sagan. It’s called Citizens & Cannibals: The French Revolution, the Struggle for Modernity, and the Origins of Ideological Terror. And it’s not so much history as an extended study of why some countries can handle democracy and some can’t ever do it right. Even France couldn’t do it right for a long, long time. And the most common reason countries fall apart is that they can’t get that “loyal opposition” thing down. After every election, the losers are so mad they wanna kill the winners—so, in order to avoid being killed, the winners go ahead and get proactive and kill the losers.
Anyway, in Sagan’s main passage, he goes over all the countries that have transitioned from the Middle Ages into modernity (some aren’t there yet), and he notes that there are only six kinds of government that ever result. Five of them are bad.
But I think Eli Sagan left one out. I think societies transitioning from medieval to modern can also go through a phase called:
Consider the evidence…