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table of contents COMMON GENIUS: Guts, Grit, and Common Sense 1 edition

table of contents COMMON GENIUS: Guts, Grit, and Common Sense
Bill Greene

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table of contents COMMON GENIUS: Guts, Grit, and Common Sense
How Ordinary People Create Prosperous Societies and How Intellectuals Make Them Collapse

Published 2007 by Laissez Faire Books .
Written in English.

About the Book

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1 -- The Theory of History 3
Chapter 2 -- Past Summaries of The Past 16

Chapter 3 -- The Nature of Intelligence 23

Chapter 4 -- Philosophers vs. Scientists 42

Chapter 5 -- The Stepping Stones of History 52

    Phoenicia -- The First Merchant State                    53
    Greece -- The Roots of Democracy                         56
    Iceland --  Overcoming  Geography and Climate                62
    The Basques -- The Importance of Undesirable Land                65
    Florence and the Italian City States -- Drawing on the Past          69             Holland -- Bourgeois Burghers at Work                                 79
    Scotland -- The Protestant Reformation Realized              84
    England -- A Thousand Years of Persistence by the Common People      90
    America -- Putting it all Together--The Ultimate Stepping Stone                             96

Chapter 6 -- Why The West Won 105

Chapter 7 -- Defining Historical Progress 129

Chapter 8 -- How Developing Nations Can Develop 138

Chapter 9 -- Smugglers, Mercantilism, Fishing and Illegal Immigration 156

Chapter 10 -- How Religions Affect Growth and Freedom 165

Chapter 11 -- European Diplomacy -- Two Hundred Years of Failure 182

Chapter 12 -- The Difference Between Principles and Ideas 198

Chapter 13 -- Drifting Backward--Totalitarianism and Genocide in the 20th Century 210

Chapter 14 -- Problems of Mature Societies -- The Intelligentsia Arrives 226
Chapter 15 -- The Decline of Societies -- Following the Wrong Vision 252
Chapter 16 -- What’s So Great About The Common Man 274
Notes 282

Edition Notes

Summary--
Common Genius represents a new theory of economic world history that suggests that all progress toward greater freedom and prosperity was accomplished, not by Great Men, not by climate or natural resources, not by luck or chance, and not by superior genetics, but by the combined efforts of many common men and women. Now, you might argue, there have been a lot of common people in the world, so there should have been a lot of progress and it should have occurred everywhere However, consistent progress in freedom and prosperity appeared most remarkably only in one small corner of the world. The new theory here outlined is that the innate common genius of most humans was thwarted in most of the world by oppressive leaders, demagogues, clergy, and philosophers who imposed stultifying forms of physical and mental oppression that prevented the common people from acting. Only in a few isolated enclaves were circumstances such that the common people escaped such oppression. And the one common denominator in each such successful enclave was that the citizens had more freedom to work and build their fortunes than did the citizens anywhere else. This book elaborates on how, when and where the people of these outposts carved out all the mechanics for progressive governments--The key was that their society empowered the people and freed them to act. A related finding is that such empowering societies were all distinguished by an absence of intellectuals or aristocracies--groups that we suggest have always retarded progress. In fact, the Radzewicz Theory here outlined shows that intellectuals were never present when vital new societies were built--Instead such elites arose only in comfortable societies already built, and then, their influence gradually led to the demise of the society. That reversal of a well-functioning society’s progress has usually been due to the substitution of leadership from those who knew how to build to those who did not. Another conclusion is that the Great Philosophers never contributed to progress other than by reporting what had already been accomplished by ordinary people. Throughout the book comparison is made of the dates when common people initiated certain favorable governing mechanisms to the invariably subsequent date when intellectuals wrote about such practices. It becomes evident the philosophers were always playing catch-up and rarely gave credit to the originators--indeed, they generally have passed off their theories as original work! Worse, they often garbled the actual innovation or altered it to meet their own fantasies or ideologies--distortions that have led otherwise successful people down many disastrous paths. Most of the breakthroughs in history came from people trying to solve problems--in hundreds of different ways over thousands of years. Anyone observant enough noticed the attempts that succeeded and those that did not. The common genius was frequently simple trial and error, learning from mistakes, and copying successful approaches. This case by case approach was the product of deliberate and sensible ordinary people. Most of the brilliant thinkers outside of the physical sciences did not use that approach--they theorized and conceptualized what solutions and outcomes they thought would be best and pursued those ideologies to the end, never willing or able to admit error. This difference in approach explains why ordinary workers produced results and intellectuals produced disasters The search for the real causative factor in mankind’s progression over the past 3,000 years is presented in simple form readily accessible to all. This answer to how we progressed from privation to affluence has great significance in addressing today‘s problems--It is only by knowing the techniques and governing institutions that created modern freedom and affluence that we can maintain that forward progress and spread it to the most depressed areas of the world that still suffer hunger and privation. Identifying such clear lessons from the past and applying them to the present is the noblest purpose in the study of history. If economics and political science are to serve any useful purpose it will be by objectively examining what has worked and what hasn’t . It will do great harm if we continue any belief that geography, climate, pollution, luck, ethnicity, or race played any significant role in producing the Industrial Revolution or the Internet Age. Those are dead-end theories that are not only unfounded, but provide no guidance for the future. On the other hand, Common Genius lays out the fundamental source of progress--the vital lesson from the laboratory of history-- and thereby presents a roadmap for the future.

2.)Table of Contents

Chapter 1 -- The Theory of History

Chapter 2 -- Attempts to Summarize History

Chapter 3 -- The Nature of Intelligence

Chapter 4 -- Philosophers vs. Scientists

Chapter 5 -- The Stepping Stones of History--Progress at a Snail’s Pace

    Phoenicia -- The First Merchant State
    Greece -- The Roots of Democracy
    Iceland --  Overcoming Geography and Climate
    The Basques -- The Importance of Undesirable Land
    Florence and the Italian City States -- Drawing on the Past                     Holland -- Bourgeois Burghers at Work
    Scotland -- The Protestant Reformation Realized
    England -- A Thousand Years of Persistence by the Common People
    America -- Putting it all Together--The Ultimate Stepping Stone

Chapter 6 -- Why The West Won

Chapter 7 -- Defining Historical Progress

Chapter 8 -- Solutions for Less Developed Nations

Chapter 9 -- How Smugglers and Illegals Beat Mercantilism

Chapter 10 -- Did Different Religions Affect Growth ?

Chapter 11 -- European Diplomacy -- Two Hundred Years of Failure

Chapter 12 -- Drifting Backward--Totalitarianism and Genocide in the 20th Century

Chapter 13 -- Problems of Mature Societies -- The Intelligentsia Arrives
Chapter 14 -- The Decline of Societies -- Following the Wrong Vision
Chapter 15 -- Concluding Thoughts

After word -- An Action Plan -- Guidelines from the Past on Current Issues

        *       *       *

The Physical Object

Format
Paperback
Number of pages
350
Dimensions
8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
Weight
1.1 pounds

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL11473659M
ISBN 10
0930073371
ISBN 13
9780930073374
OCLC/WorldCat
261267153
Goodreads
1972495

History

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