Human progress seems nearly always to involve parallel paths. One thing doesn’t just change into something better. Instead, a new way emerges… seemingly fragile, small and tenuous. But because it’s a better adaptation, the old way eventually vanishes as the parallel path flowers.
Consider human evolution for starters: Homo erectus branched off from homo habilis some two million years ago (as best can be ascertained scientifically). At first, Habilis was still the big dog, and Erectus the newcomer… and it took half a million years before Habilis was gone and only Erectus was left. That’s progress (albeit very slow progress) by a parallel path.
And, of course, we have the same sort of thing happening all through, ending (so far) with Cro-Magnon forming a parallel line to Neanderthal and eventually succeeding them. This is what nature does.
It’s also what happens in human social development. Consider:
- The Hebrews separated from the ancient civilizations1, survived as a parallel society, and delivered their base philosophy to the Western world after the fall of Rome. (And please believe me, while it’s considered chic to lambaste Western civilization these days, those critics would go fetal upon arrival in an ancient civilization.)
- Classical Greek civilization became what it did because of massively parallel paths… hundreds of them, scattered across the Greek archipelago. It was the multiple paths of the 8th, 7th, and 6th centuries BC that ultimately spawned the geometry, philosophy and literature that we know from the 5th century BC. Compare this to the anything-but-parallel Egyptian civilization that produced elite monuments and not much else.
- The American experiment. This parallel branch of Western civilization started as a troubled nothing. A century or two later it was revising the West.
This is simply how progress tends to come on the larger scale. But it’s also a primary route to progress on a smaller and more immediate scale. Consider these examples:
- This first waves of Jews to “go offshore” from the Russian sphere were able to take in their relatives when pogroms struck, saving thousands of lives at least.
- Filipinos who “went offshore” to work were able to thrive, then to send money back home, keeping their relatives in food and medicine during rough times.
- Mexicans who made it to America did precisely the same things as the Filipinos… as did many other groups.
It is the parallel path that matters to the progress of both our world and our families. And whether those paths are evolutionary or simply international, they matter far more than we’ve appreciated. Are all parallel paths good? No, of course not. But since parallel paths aren’t supported and enforced by the status quo, they’re able to sort themselves, winnowing away the bad ones and leaving the good ones. Mainline cultures do not do that, and thus they rot away.
The Parallel Paths I Currently See
I’m seeing four big parallel paths just now… ways around a corrupt and moribund status quo. These paths are, in my view, the future taking root.
- Cryptocurrencies. Money in our time has become a ruthless means of domination and control. Government monetary systems are a surveillance apparatus, able to assert control over anything that is bought and sold. Cryptocurrencies are a path around that corruption. (Silver and gold would be, if people used them in daily commerce.) Crypto is an escape from the monetary enslavement of mankind.
- The new biology. It used to cost a hundred million dollars to sequence a human genome. Now it costs a thousand. And that is changing everything. All sorts of new cures and upgrades are now possible. Literally thousands of diseases can be cured and a new age of physical development has fallen into our laps.
- Home schooling. Home schooling (in all its permutations) is breaking the straight jacket of inferior government education. Not only does it provide better results, but it eliminates centralized indoctrination, provides a much safer environment, and allows a teacher to address the student’s individual strengths and needs.
- Space travel. Children of the 20th century (like myself) saw space travel leap into reality and then be yanked back out. Fifty years on, however, a new generation of rich guys are all over it, and for good reason: Space technology simply isn’t that hard anymore. On top of that, lots of previously “third world” nations, eager for national pride, have discovered that space is within their grasp… and are chasing it. The children of the 21st century will be going to space, and that will change a great many things.
The Long Run Is Here
The hierarchies of the 20th century are full of noise and furor as they sputter into the past.
The new ways of the 21st century are beset with insult and threat as they slowly root and grow.
Here are a few statements I think describe the tenor of the newly forming age:
- Science has won. Might is obsolete and deranged.
- Fear and obligation are retrograde.
- We deserve to be unimpeded.
Decentralization is functionally superior and morally superior.
This is what’s forming now… in parallel paths… in parallel societies. These are the things we should pay attention to, and these are the things, I believe, we should be working for.
1 From the Sumerians, to be precise. You can find all the details in my subscription letter’s archive: Free-Man’s Perspective issue #68.
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