by Mark S. WeinerWeiner is a statist. He favors individual independence and freedom and thinks that a powerful state is the only source of these. Most of my libertarian friends probably disagree. I am unconvinced. Weiner does not address such issues.
At the end of section 2 Weiner reveals his hopes, that clan mentality will continue to turn into the same sort of positive force as he portrays the modern form of the once infamous Scottish clans.
Weiner seems to assume that clans are bad. I can’t think of any exceptions but that’s his job at to make that claim. I heard a libertarian describe his recent travel in Somalia—a place ruled by clans. He described how inter-clan relations worked when they worked well. It was not all bad; not all conflicts between members of different clans resulted in war. (Weiner describes such processes at L 600.) Still the traveler admitted that he did not want to live in Somalia.
At L 724 Weiner says that you better not let the state wither lest the rule of clans return.
L 1512: Perhaps this is a good delineation between western individualism and clannish society:
In shame cultures it is not a person’s behavior that creates shame. It is instead the fact that the person’s community has witnessed or learned of the behavior.
(L 2077): About French colonialists:
(L 2186)It occurs to me that Weiner contrasts central with distributed power and also contrasts individual vs societal values. I do not see the correlation between these two comparisons. Why does societal values (clan) stem from distributed power? What about the Soviet Union? Central power—societal obligations.
L: 3246 Weiner paints a picture of a modern world with the return of clan values. It is remarkably like the picture that Neal Stephanson paints in Diamond Age. They both sound slightly dystopian to me.