Like all of Latin America, Mexico after independence in 1821 turned its back on a triple heritage: on the Spanish heritage, because we were newly liberated colonies, and on our Indian and black heritages, because we considered them backward and barbaric. We looked towards France, England and the U.S., to become progressive democratic republics.
One of the things that I have seen change that warms the cockles of my heart is what is happening in the cosmetics industry. For years, they were doing horrible things to animals in the manufacture of cosmetics, and testing of the most barbaric types; today, if you go into a drugstore and go down the [cosmetics] aisle, look at how many of them say no animal testing. I've talked with people who work in the cosmetics departments, and they tell me, Without that, you can't sell them. And that's wonderful!
Remember, government is not an enlightened organization designed to promote public welfare. It is barbaric, uncivilized forcemilitary and police power put to the service of the insiders who control it. Yes, there are constraints on the way the insiders use their power. There are 'checks and balances,' built into the constitution, for example. And there are cultural norms and traditional prohibitions. But eventually, the norms and traditions wear off, like painkillers. And then, the pain of raw government begins again.
Deep thinkers who look everywhere for the mysterious causes of poverty, ignorance, crime and war need look no further than their own mirrors. We are all born into this world poor and ignorant, and with thoroughly selfish and barbaric impulses. Those of us who turn out any other way do so largely through the efforts of others, who civilized us before we got big enough to do too much damage to the world or ourselves.
The authority of science ... promotes and encourages the activity of observing, comparing, measuring and ordering the physical characteristics of human bodies.... Cartesian epistemology and classical ideals produced forms of rationality, scientificity and objectivity that, though efficacious in the quest for truth and knowledge, prohibited the intelligibility and legitimacy of black equality.... In fact, to "think" such an idea was to be deemed irrational, barbaric or mad.
Consider the wave of revulsion that floods the average person when he or she hears of the practice of human sacrifice by the Aztecs and other so-called primitive peoples. How savage and barbaric such practices seem. But when a Christian or Jew comes across human sacrifice in the Bible (see Jephthah's immolation of his daughter in Judges 11:30-40), is he or she repulsed?
In Spain in the meantime, Aristotelian scholar Juan Gines de Sepulveda was putting the impolitic moralizing of Las Casas into proper perspective for posterity: "Compare then the blessings enjoyed by Spaniards of prudence, genius, magnanimity, temperance, humanity, and religion with those of the little men [the Indians] in whom you will scarcely find even vestiges of humanity. . . . How can we doubt that these people - so uncivilized, so barbaric, contaminated with so many impieties and obscenities - have been justly conquered?"
Life will be wonderful when men no longer fear dying. When the last superstitions are thrown out and we meet death with the same equanimity as life. No longer will children's minds be twisted by evil gods whose fantastic origin is in those barbaric tribes who feared death and lightning, who feared life. That's it: life is the villain to to those who preach reward in death, through grace and eternal bliss, or through dark revenge.