The Fragility of Good Government

it’s an enormous and very rare privilege to have lived in the days of good government across nations and centuries few people have ever done so by a rare bit of of luck certain groups in a few corners of the globe tasted decades of this remarkable anomalous blessing they might foolishly especially if they traveled little seldom read history books or had a very high estimation of their own populations they might even have started to assume it was a natural or god-given norm yet the default state of almost all nations is quite other it is authoritarianism bullying demagoguery corruption monopoly racial segregation and state-sponsored aggression and murder we will not now it seems be living in dramatically unusual times it was the years before that will be remembered as unusual a daring bet against the facts of our nature we are sliding into a new age of darkness we are reverting to a mean civilization was always simply an unlikely concept those who are afraid are typically reassured by optimism all will eventually be well the kindly tell them but we need stiffer darker council we should explore not what might ideally happen which leaves us oscillating painfully between hope and despair but what will happen if the worst comes to pass we need to make ourselves entirely at home with catastrophe looking at it squarely in the eye so it’s not to keep catching glimpses of it here and there and so taking fright and you every time we stand to see that whatever comes to pass will in a desperately reduced and pitiful form still be survivable a home could be built among the ruins there might be some sort of life to be led despite everything nothing is ever properly unbearable not least because we always retain access to the best escape route the stoic philosophers of ancient Rome those poor souls agitated beyond compare by the antics of their hysterical thin-skinned murderous Emperor’s would known to calm themselves down by holding up their veins to the light and calling out freedom knowing it could if it came to that all be over in minutes we shouldn’t be surprised by our fellow citizens this is what the human animal is really like very sweet at points from close up usually generous two small children and the elderly hard-working but highly prone to delusion tribal offended by strangers an inclined to rational analysis and with a fondness for slaughter and reckless messianic plans the elite routinely derided as out-of-touch and not so on the basis of forgetting how much milk or the rent costs rather on the basis of forgetting have dark and broken human nature really is there’s a natural longing to do something quickly and angrily there’s an equal longing to give up and hide the Council of quietism neither feels quite right neither endurance nor explosion the only true avenue is to commit ourselves to years of careful adroit plotting to bring about a renewal of that now ever more implausible dream a land governed for a little while longer by a spirit as fragile as crystal of wisdom and tolerance

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. How is forcing people to buy overpriced health insurance policies with unaffordable deductibles, thereby leaving them uninsured whilst extracting 10% of their income… "good government"?
    How is butchery in Libya "good government"?
    How is opening the door to state sponsored terror by relinquishing the hard won Middle East presence "good government"?
    How is denying people the existential right to protect their one and only life (existence) "good government"?
    How is enslaving ~1/3 of the population and forcing it to support another 1/3 of it financially "good government"?
    "That government governs best which governs least."
    "Alliance with none, trade with all."
    Append Bill of Rights just here…

    FOAD we're just getting started and we're taking the whole world back… if you want to devote your life to the care and feeding of useless drug addicted zeros… who's stopping you?
    Go and live amongst them if that is your dream.
    Or you can join in the effort to protect the inalienable existential rights of every human being who has not willingly squandered the opportunities of her birth.

  2. "Oh, this video is so biased!! :(" They are allowed to be biased, this isn't a damn news outlet. Stop complaining about people's concerns on Trumps presidency. He is misogynist, homophobic, racist and xenophobic. In my opinion, Trump is unfit to be president. The fact that Trump was elected is laughable. He is the embodiment of everything I hate about America.

  3. I disagree with this. In hard times, philosophers will express their frustrations against "That Non-Reflecting Man." This is not a constructive response to the problem, in my opinion. If we say that violence and madness are the historical norm, we are effectively already giving up on the future.

  4. democracys are held up by only the belief and respect of our democratic traditions once sacrilege of our democracy becomes normal thats when empires fall. trump completely disrespected and mocked the very thing that makes our country so great lets just hope our system can survive this.

  5. Alan, thanks for the video. I've been working on a song and video to help me process the election and your thoughts helped gel mine. While the situation is really bad, don't crawl into a shell… Rise Above It!

  6. As a non-native english speaker, it'd be highly appreciated if the vocabulary you use could be a bit simpler. It gets difficult sometimes to keep up and fully understand. Either ways, thank you for your efforts to bring us such rich material. ❤️

  7. Brazil, and the rest of this planet, is going through tough times too, not only the United States of America…

  8. Fuck the Trump supporters who down voted this video. This is well made.

    Trump is not Hitler, he is American Bersciloni and pulled the ultimate con on America.

    Congrats you useful idiots, Don the Con gotchya! Watch as he does nothing you wanted, watch as everything he said barely comes to fruition and a economic crash occurs.

    Well, at least he's not Hillary right? Amiright?

  9. Hm… the rhetoric of post war tolerance. John F Kennedy, was behind the covert CIA operation that saw the north of Laos receive more bombs dropped upon it than all of Europe in WWII. I wonder how the people of Laos view these years of "wisdom and tolerance"? Or what of Obama's use of drones? I wonder what the Afghan wedding party obliterated by one of these thinks of it again? Yes Trump is immensely dangerous and Brexit was inward looking but we kid ourselves if we think prior to these events that the same moral hypocrisy was really entirely held in check. It is almost "comforting" to see that it is "more of the same" and a dangerously bombastic version of the former.

  10. Applauds to you School of Life. Thank you for this and the urge for us to "plot" our futures. Now is the time to organize. Now is the time to be true to our values.

  11. Instead of relying on optimism for government to adapt to you, how about y'all adapt to live in a democratic society which had enough of corrupt politicians and lobbyists?

  12. One of your worst videos, what are you even trying to say all based on assumptions, didn't learn a damn thing from this video what is the point of this channel?….

  13. I had begun to use the term Regression to the Mean (learned from John C. Bogle) to explain the recent elections. Glad to know that I was onto something before watching this video. However, I find it a bit depressing. There must be another way than holding our wrists up and saying "Freedom". There must be a middle ground where suicide is not considered at all.

  14. An honest assessment. The task of those who want a better world is to keep trying in spite of repeated setbacks and disappointments.

  15. Hehe, why does it sound like an atom bomb dropped on your office, take heart, there is yet a chance of good governance coming back!

  16. good vid. sucks that Clinton didn't win and thus makes it seem wrong.
    thank God the chances of war with Russia are now faint, praise Trump!

  17. "You know what I think? I think the Constitution and Federalist Papers of this country were an incredible moral and imaginative achievement. For really the first time in a modern nation, those in power set up a system where the citizens’ power over their own government was to be a matter of substance and not mere symbolism. It was utterly priceless, and will go down in history with Athens and the Magna Carta. The fact that it was a utopia which for over two hundred years actually worked makes it beyond priceless—it’s literally a miracle."

    — The Pale King (David Foster Wallace)

  18. Dear Trump supporters: this isn't a news channel, it's not a biased view, it's their sincere opinion about human decandency.

  19. This is why I left the democrats and this is why the left lost. People are leaving the democrat party, because it's being controlled my snobbish elitists.

  20. I'm not sure I understand this video. I am usually fully in tune with your message but for some reason this piece seems more like pretentious ramblings than a coherent essay or message.

  21. Can we please stop with this defeatist dribble. The ideas of the enlightenment are not on they're last leg. This is not the first the evils of nativism, racism, and ignorance have had the day in the U.S. or in the UK. During one of those hot contentious days of the constitutional convention in the U.S., a crowd had formed outside of what would be known as Independence hall in Philadelphia. The crowd almost riotus demanded to know what would come. Benjamin Franklin was sent to speak to the mob. He was asked "is it a republic or a monarchy?" and he answered "it's a republic, if you'll keep it". What did he mean? He was implying that maintaining a free republic would ultimately be the charge of the masses, the masses indeed have the ability to cast the die. Do keep in mind for the better part of human history, people were easily mislead because of thier ignorance, and while ignorance did play a part in the Trump and Brexit movements respectivley, there was no indication that the general public was overwhelmingly ignorant to such populist pipe dreams, in fact in the U.S. the majority of people were not, and still there were also other complex factors contributing to the results of both events, like poor leadership, the dissemination of misinformation. Also remember there is more knowledge and literacy now then in all of human hisyory.All of this can be overcome but not if people act like all is lost, and the need to figure out which kid they're sending to the Hunger Games.

  22. Funny how everything is fine and dandy until we speak our minds about government. Then we are pretentious clowns, apparently… judging from the comments on this video. Excellent video.

  23. I love school of life, but come on guys. maybe you should retitle this video "we're sad trump won so we made this video." don't fucking call it "the fragility of good government" as if it wasn't so obnoxiously and obviously about the outcome of the US election.

  24. What utter fucking garbage. Right now is a period of hope for many, and recent years have been an era of despair for those same people. It's not that the country has periods of hope and despair, it's that the half of the population who are being fucked over flips every 4-8 years!

    How about instead of defining politics you like as hopeful, you divorce political power from personal morality and stop passing laws like Obamacare that leaves us with no choice but to vote for literally anyone who suggests he might undo it? People who don't want to foot the bill for your "hope" are sick of your shit and we're going to keep electing whomsoever the hell it takes to stop being treated like piggy banks for social programs!

  25. As philosophers, I am amazed you refuse to acknowledge the true nature of government, the fact that it is, by it's nature, an oppressive force by the greedy who capitalize on their livestock. There cannot be a good government. It is not possible. There can, in fact, be governments which are not evil or wish to do evil, but a government can never be good.

  26. Is there much of a difference between the current overreaching of western governments and the overreaching performed during the cold war?

  27. Not only should we destroy the government, but also people who are naive enough to trust the president and the military. We need a mass elimination spree.

  28. I truly hate mankind for the first time in my life. I still want to rationalize that The School of Life is likely overexaggerating how ape-ish we all are deep down; that perhaps we have far more potential for altruism and combating tribalistic thinking. But they make too good a point to ignore. We have to face our blood-thirsty primal instincts and be aware that civilization and progress are very, VERY rare and unlikely things that we are lucky enough to keep in homeostasis for the good of us all. War and violence are never more than a few steps away.

  29. That was quite depressing… My grandpa always says that people have overcame so many shit that there is nothing they cant overcome even though many may die in the process. For that he says that there as many people as there is shit so nothing happens if we lose few of them. Yeah he likes to make the shit analogy a lot.

  30. Oh Thucydides, oh Epictetus, your thoughts echo through this video. If only your words were truly held as possession for all time. Oh well, seems like it's finally time to become a Stoic.

  31. All government is initiation of force fundamentally. So it's the exact opposite of what we want.

    This video only hopes for good government for a slice of time because it is confessing it doesn't have a solution to the very evil that is government itself.

  32. There is no such thing as "good government" because all government involves the initiation of force and a violation of the non-aggression principle. If there is anything that government agents are doing that is good, it is something that anyone else can also do. If it is something that only governments are ever allowed to do (ie initiate force) then it isn't good.

  33. There is no such thing as Good Government. Everything that is good is done naturally with out force. But government does everything with force. Which means they are doing things that we don't want. We would all be much happier with out government.

  34. This video does not take into consideration how the experience of childhood has changed in better after WWII. To say that the default state of humanity is doomed is scientifically incorrect. We know that the human brain is not born evil or good but it is the environment that mostly shapes it. So violence is a direct consequence on violence on children, e.g. the treatment of children in the US, or some "Third World" countries, is way worse than most European countries and we all see the results.

  35. Humanity. What a troubled species. How sad its psychopathy's keep it chained to old worn paradigms that long ago failed to serve it or the world it depends up. Perhaps nature will make a significant correction in the near future and the madness will finally stop.

  36. Here are some consoling words by Victor Frankl. The writer of the wonderful book" Man's Search for Meaning". He was a Holocaust survivor and a world famous psychiatrist. I remembered his words when you said that "There might be some sort of life to be led, despite everything" and that " nothing is ever properly unbearable". Here is what he says:

    " In spite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of the life in a concentration camp, it was possible for spiritual life to deepen. Sensitive people who were used to a rich intellectual life may have suffered much pain ( they were often of a delicate constitution) , but the damage to their inner selves was less. They were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner richness and spiritual freedom. Only in this way can one explain apparent paradox that some prisoners of a less hardy makeup often seemed to survive camp life better than did those of a robust nature".

    And I would love to have the following quote written on my grave stone, to give hope to the people passing by. ( From that serene and safe place it must be easier to offer hope I guess! )

    "He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how. "


  37. mostly yes but no. my relative peaceful and secure life has been bought with the blood of countless unfortunate others around the world, thanks to our "good government".

  38. Absolutely. Those leftist revolutionaries who claim to bring paradise to earth, ironicly only get to bring hell. Political 'goodness' and fancy and wishful idealistic infantilism thinking is typical for the left and the 'good'. They talk about revolutions, when in reality life and progress are a process and part of evolution. Not revolution.

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