Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The End of Tradition

Tradition is dyeing slowly and in many different ways. In the day of Confucius, tradition was a virtue, in fact the highest virtue. It was the way of life. One son took over the rice paddy. The other sons helped or left home to wander, be merchants, some to the military, government service. Later the military became a separate class, as did the merchants. Their sons became the next generation of their class. Tradition was supreme.  Not any more. Many recent authors have pointed this out: Diamond, Dennett, Frankl, Graying, Tennesen, Dawkins. I am going to take that hypothesis as true.

The trades were inherited, for the most part, from the father to the sons. The son likely started after school at about age seven, and by the time there were young adults, were competent at the routine work.  It was common for a middle aged man to find himself in the trade of his father, teaching his sons, as his farther had him, perhaps even living in the house he grew up in, married to a second cousin, or a neighbor, having hardly made a decision for himself.  It was all tradition.

In my maternal family history, there is a story of the third and fourth son of a blacksmith/iron worker to being trade to the neighbor for two daughters, to become wives of the Two older boys. That third and fourth son took up the neighbors trade, and became a harness maker/shoe maker, and the fourth later immigrated to the new world, and begat a huge family, none of which were iron workers or shoe/harness makers but farmers, many of which blacksmithed or worked leather to some extent, supplementing farming. But one turned the farm over to a son when the son married, and set up a saddle shop (or went full time), which made saddles for years. A new tradition of nearly self-sufficient farmers was established... until the tractor removed horses as the source of power. That family gave up the traditions, unlike the Amish and Mennonites, which thrive today. 

I have very little in common with my parents life style, except a big garden, a tendency toward self-sufficiency, packratism, frugal or cheap, and all those other learned characteristics like people avoidance. Our method of earning a living were far different, but on the otherhand, much of what I learned about working, not being afraid of dirt, allowed me to make a living. When I look at the fear of my replacements of getting their hands dirty, I wonder where the industry will end up at. It is impossible to classify soil without getting your hands dirty, and through plastic gloves just does not work. Oh well, it is not my problem.

Yesterday the US elected a total radical as a president elect. Oh well, the GOP through the houses will soften the effect, until he gets a political schooling, but also he is impulsive. It will be a shakeup of the political system for sure. Oh well. The Canadian government has announced a plan to allow in some 400,000 immigrants next year. Was Trump anticipated, or was this all by chance? Cape Breton, the little island that thinks of it's self as a province, has offered properties  cheap, ( patent filings on crown land ( patches of barren rock), no services, ) if anyone wants them but they must build a house to prove up the land. There are some properties that have been previously developed, but the whole towns were abandoned. Oh well. Over population comes in many forms. 


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