either we're both right and history is entirely subjective and nobody actually knows what causes events in history or else one of us is wrong and is unwilling to look past his own biases. in either case, it's good to bet on human fallibility.
tho Friedman was fond of saying that "sincerity is a much overrated virtue," i think we're both sincere in our desires of wanting a better society. and although we may differ on the best methods to achieve that and on what that society should ultimately look like, i still marvel at how far so many people have progressed in such a short time because of that common desire.
The most important of the bumper sticker slogans that comprise my belief system is: Question authority. I can see how that might get annoying, but I find it important to not accept a claim until and unless it is convincing, no matter who makes it. And I often don't have a better answer because I'm not an authority, but I don't like to assume something is right because of who said it.
it's my belief that there is no empirical way to determine whether one society is better than another. as people have a tendency to become acclimated to their environment, human experience is too subjective to make such clean judgments.
in any case Steppin, it's been stimulating if not a bit exasperating, as always.