How Common Men and Women Created Civilization

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“Our cornucopia is the human mind and heart, and not a Santa Claus natural environment”
             (Julian L. Simon)

On Common People: "If they are wise, surely the rest of us are fools.
             (George Kennan)

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Published by LFB! -- all about GUTS, GRIT, and COMMON SENSE -- Learn How Ordinary People Create Civilization and Why the Intelligentsia Destroy Them

    While a major theme of this book is that a historical progress has bubbled up from the bottom -- from the actions of the common men and women of history--a secondary theme is that most of history’s evils have come from the top--the intelligentsia, the organized groups, the soft-science experts who arise in mature societies and lead their nation’s decline. In the final chapters of this book we will examine how the onset of decline in free societies has often resulted from the transfer of authority and leadership away from those who built the society  to a class of intelligentsia that always arrives after the heavy lifting has been completed. The arrival of intellectuals also marks the time when knowledge and decision making appears to enter a steep decline. A review of history proves that the greatest error in thinking is the common mythology that intellectuals are wise and should be listened to. This is a persistent, recurring, and insidious error that has doomed most past civilizations.

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Check out the sequel to Common Genius, WASTED GENIUS. Learn how IQ and SAT tests are being used to suppress the common people of America.

Wasted Genius

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Words of Wisdom:

“Most of the social pathology exhibited by the underclass has its origin in ideas that have filtered down from the intelligentsia.”
             (Theodore Dalrymple)
“The fundamental challenge to this faith (in self-government) was formulated, not by Hitler or Stalin or other totalitarians… but by Plato and his philosophic descendents.”
             (Sydney Hook)
“Inferiority may exist, but (it) is not an inferiority due to nature, but to nurture.”
             (Mortimer Adler)
“Like William F. Buckley, Jr., I would rather be ruled by the first two thousand names in the Boston phone book than by the combined faculties of Harvard and MIT.”
             (Norman Podhoretz)
“The direct economic drain of supporting an intelligentsia with little to contribute to the economy is by no means the sole or most important cost they impose on the rest of the people.”
             (Thomas Sowell)


Applying the Case Method to the Humanities
 In the hard sciences, rigorous observation and testing is used to discover truths about the physical world; in the study of law and business “the case method” is used to determine consistent practices and efficient methods; but in the humanities most analysis and teaching is based on the abstractions and subjective opinions of academics. The latter opinions, although dressed up with numerous statistics and scholarly citations, have generally thrown little light on mankind’s historical progress. “Common Genius” breaks new ground in historical analysis by applying the case method to economic and political events. This new look at the last 3,000 years explains: What is the fundamental theme of mankind’s history ? How did prosperity develop ? What are the forces that helped mankind and what were the negative forces reversing progress in freedom and prosperity?

The Freedom-Centric Theory of Historical Progress

 The Rise of the West continues today, surviving the Fall of many predecessor stepping stones along the way, always simply sidestepping to another more enabling locale. But this beneficial historical sequence should not be labeled “The Rise of the West.”  It has been more precisely “The Rise of Freedom”--because it was always the freedom of the populace that made a society Rise.  It has never been a purely ethnic matter. The peoples of Phoenicia, Greece and the Basques were quite different from those who populated Iceland and Scotland. If the Chinese or the Kenyans or the Argentines, or even the Iraqis adopt the mechanics and institutions that built progress in the West, the next stepping stone could well be theirs to stand upon.  There are ten “tipping points” in world history that are referred to in “Common Genius” and each one went in the direction of the emerging Western nations.  The next divergence could favor a different region--the blueprint is there for all to see--carved out by the enterprising free common men and women that built each ascending step during the past 3,000 years of history.

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2008 William C. Greene
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Last updated: 12/26/08.