What the “Anti-Federalists” Got Right

First, the Anti-Federalists predicted that the federal government the Constitution created would increase its power until states were merely secondary considerations. Second, that this powerful federal government would be too big and distant for the people to effectively control, and thus vainglorious men of ambition and avarice would control it to enrich themselves off the common people.Third, that it was unwise to govern a diverse and large population from a remote and distant government that would hold such immense power over the daily lives of common people, and, as a result, politics would become something more primitive than civilized, characterized by constant discord and fighting as different factions tried to control the lives of their fellow citizens.

Source: The Anti-Federalists Predicted Today’s Political Morass, & Can Get Us Out

Faster Evolution Means More Ethnic Differences

Russian scientists showed in the 1990s that a strong selection pressure (picking out and breeding only the tamest fox pups in each generation) created what was — in behavior as well as body — essentially a new species in just 30 generations. That would correspond to about 750 years for humans. Humans may never have experienced such a strong selection pressure for such a long period, but they surely experienced many weaker selection pressures that lasted far longer, and for which some heritable personality traits were more adaptive than others. It stands to reason that local populations (not continent-wide “races”) adapted to local circumstances by a process known as “co-evolution” in which genes and cultural elements change over time and mutually influence each other.

Source: Edge.org

The Conflict of Desirable Values

The central values by which most men have lived, in a great many lands at a great many times—these values, almost if not entirely universal, are not always harmonious with each other. Some are, some are not. Men have always craved for liberty, security, equality, happiness, justice, knowledge, and so on. But complete liberty is not compatible with complete equality—if men were wholly free, the wolves would be free to eat the sheep. Perfect equality means that human liberties must be restrained so that the ablest and the most gifted are not permitted to advance beyond those who would inevitably lose if there were competition. Security, and indeed freedoms, cannot be preserved if freedom to subvert them is permitted. Indeed, not everyone seeks security or peace, otherwise some would not have sought glory in battle or in dangerous sports.

Justice has always been a human ideal, but it is not fully compatible with mercy. Creative imagination and spontaneity, splendid in themselves, cannot be fully reconciled with the need for planning, organization, careful and responsible calculation. Knowledge, the pursuit of truth—the noblest of aims—cannot be fully reconciled with the happiness or the freedom that men desire, for even if I know that I have some incurable disease this will not make me happier or freer. I must always choose: between peace and excitement, or knowledge and blissful ignorance.

Source: A Message to the 21st Century | by Isaiah Berlin | The New York Review of Books