Climate & Culture

I stumbled upon a very interesting article on a hypothesis I’ve ruminated upon for some time: the idea that climate and geography profoundly affect culture. It may seem obvious, but few thinkers allow its implications to color their judgments.

America is a great case-in-point. Founded under a universalizing, Enlightenment-era liberal ideology, Americans have internalized a peculiar lack of attachment to place. (For more on this, visit the wordsmiths at Front Porch Republic). However, I have noticed in my late-night, pajama-clad research sessions, that warm States are different than cold, and coastal States different than inland.

I determined that despite my love of warm weather, the trade-offs were intolerable: high crime, corruption, dishonesty, and disease.

Meanwhile, coastal areas appear to be wealthier, more sophisticated, and to have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes their cultures widely envied and imitated.

Anyway, making such generalizations is certainly a troll-baiting exercise, but it’s just food for thought.

For the record, I admire the politics of the Mountain West, which is not coastal, and Texas, which is not cold. But we’re looking for tendencies here…

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Attention, Libertarian!

The sage Lew Rockwell wrote this piece in 1996, during another one of those tribal conflicts we call federal presidential elections.

It is important reading for those of us who quickly call ourselves ‘libertarians’, accepting the pessimism and hopelessness that hangs on that label. It reminds us that we are part of a proud tradition that has proven its success and popularity worldwide since the Age of Enlightenment, and even back to antiquity: liberalism. Continue reading