Friday, February 20, 2015

Aristocracy loses link with Nature in move from land capital to intellectual capital

It's past well known that until the passage of the Reform Acts and the Corn Bills, all of Aristocracy's power was firmly based on its near exclusive ownership of land but how did the decline in such land-based power effect how the rest of us viewed Mother Nature versus Man ?

It is worth remembering that under this old system, only the younger sons of land-rich aristocracy got a nearly free pass into even such minor elites as the military, medicine, public service or the university-based church ministry.

But fairly quickly after the passage of these Acts, great and not-so-great families were giving their children their inheritance while they were young - and it wasn't a piece of Pa's farm.

Instead they got 25 years of highly expensive education : tutors, educational toys, books and Grand Tours, prep schools, the best in university education paid for right into post-doc status if need be.

Only the very smartest of the untutored geniuses among the poorer sorts could push their way against this phalanx of the tutored un-genius children of the older aristocracies who came to dominate all the new as well as old professions - particularly in the sciences and amongst the university teachers.

Paralleling this, I argue , we saw a massive lowering of the cultural and political worth of Natural Science , science done by amateurs delving in and living close to Nature.

Instead the professional tenured lab scientist cum Natural Philosopher became the esteemed one : doing mind experiments on a chalkboard or with a few flasks and beakers in a laboratory.

Once cut free of the initimate connection to the land, this aristocracy of the mind lapsed quickly into synthetic autarky, convinced that modern civilized Man no longer needed Mother Nature's bounty.

The atom smashers could make anything and everything out of bog-ordinary atoms of useless rock.

Plenticide the Plentitude of Nature and we'd all be better off.

We've already done the Dodo and the Passenger Pidgeon - why not start work on the Slav, the Roma and the Jew ....

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