Noble Savage?


The wrong-headed, immoral nature in the thinking of progressive ingrates today can be traced back to Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778).   He was a horrible human, who abandoned all five of his children he had from a relationship with an illiterate maidservant, and infected humanity with the concept of “the noble savage”.  The term is an oxymoron; it doesn’t make sense – nobility and savagery are polar opposites.


But the evil genius Rousseau injected his thought poison by arguing that humans, in their natural state, are selfless, peaceable, and untroubled – greed, anxiety and violence are all just the products of civilization. Rousseau’s philosophy and the philosophy of many he heavily influenced was weaponized by resentful academics who feel that the rules of the economic game are rigged in favor of the powerful – nothing more than a system of exploitive capitalism, white privilege and hetero-patriarchy oppression.


The thought war between the ideas of John Locke (1632-1704), among others, and Rousseau protégés has been raging for centuries. Jonah Goldberg explains it in Chapter 5 of his book Suicide of the West (2018) “The Eternal Battle” and Yuval Levin’s book The Great Debate (2013) uses the notion as a launching point to contrast the views of Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine – See my 12/12/17 post ‘Crawling Up from Barbarism’.  Progressives want to tear down and strip away culture because they hate and resent the successful, while those that oppose them are generally grateful that humanity has and continues to become less savage and violent as history and culture evolve.


The idea of justice or morality can be difficult to articulate, or understand and may be radically different among thinkers. Maybe justice is simply the absence of injustice?  We can probably find more agreement on injustice because it generates moral outrage.  Everyone is entitled to their own views.  Leftist immorality stems from it being forcibly imposed on those who disagree with the idea that ‘the collective’ (whatever that is?) is more important than the individual.  Free market capitalism is moral because it’s based on the premise that we all own ourselves.  I am my own private property and you are yours.  Walter E. Williams (George Mason Univ.) writes:  “Murder, rape, theft and the initiation of violence are immoral because they violate self-ownership. Similarly, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another person, for any reason, is immoral because it violates self-ownership.”


My family and clients are fortunate and grateful. We will continue to barricade our blessings to protect them from those that seek to confiscate our capital for the “betterment” of society.  We treasure life, liberty and private property rights and shall vigorously defend them with the philosophical ammunition loaded into our Estate Planning War Chest weekly.


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