Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Age of Reform is upon us

It seems that the ancient Chinese did not have a curse, "May you live in interesting times".  Too bad, because there's a lot of truth in that expression.  We're finding this out right now as the entire West is engulfed in a massive reform era.  Consider:

  • The Republican Party has been in a civil war for 2 years.  The Chamber Of Commerce faction (call them the Optimates) is in a knife fight with the Trump wing (call them the Populares).  The rhetoric is ugly, a continual violation of Reagan's Eleventh Commandment.  This will feature prominently in the upcoming Supreme Court confirmation hearings, with center-left Republicans like Susan Collins possibly splitting and voting with the Democrats.  The Democrats have been watching with a mix of glee and horror, depending on whether the Trump wing wanes or waxes.
  • The Democratic Party looks like it has also descended into a civil war, with the establishment wing (Clinton, Schumer, Pelosi, Cuomo, Brown) arrayed against a nascent but growing socialist insurgency.  Hillary had to stack the deck to beat Bernie in 2016, and establishment bigwigs are getting knocked off in primaries.  Republicans grin and pass the popcorn, ignoring the fact that this is the first time in my lifetime that actual hard core socialists are on the ascendent in this Republic.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks to be hanging by a thread, with her "conservative" allies pulling the rug out from under her feet and forcing a humiliating change in policy.  We'll see if she survives politically but it looks like there's blood in the water.
  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May seems to be in the same cookpot as Merkel, only this time over Brexit.  Voters in Britain decided to leave the UK, but she seems to be trying to do a sneaky "leave but don't leave" swicheroo and is bleeding cabinet ministers because of it.  There is talk of a vote of no confidence which as far as I can remember hasn't happened since Margret Thatcher over two decades ago.
  • Italy (to great consternation in the European Parliament) has voted out its old center-left/center-right duopoly and voted in a Nationalist-left/Nationalist-right alliance.  There is talk about ITALEXIT, where Italy leaves the EU.  Whether it happens or not, this is a political earthquake.
Everywhere we look, the political establishment is being rejected.  Reform is in the air.

But the curse is funny because it's true: interesting times are uncomfortable times.  What if real Venezuella-style socialism comes to one of the 50 states?  [**cough** California **cough**]  What if bona fide fascists like Greece's Golden Dawn rise to power, driven by an militarily expansionist Turkey?  What if the US two party system splinters into a more European style four (or more) parties?

There has been an amazing era of stability in the West, dating back decades - certainly to 1980, and probably to 1950.  Everyone alive today, except for the very old, only remembers that stability.  The political churn that was the 1920s and 1930s is only known through dusty history books and flickering newsreels.  That was a reform era, too, as the old Imperial regimes crashed to the ground after the Great War.  Those were also interesting times.

POLITICS, n.  A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary


ASM826 said...

And if Venezuela style socialism comes to a State, who will feed the populace when all the stores close?
I'll link Bloomberg just to show this isn't a right wing analysis:


Gorges Smythe said...

I could be wrong, but I suspect that the socialist movement would have been smaller if the republicans had offered a viable alternative to the democrats. The socialist march within the democrat party would never have stopped, but those in the mindless middle would at least have felt that they had a choice.

Aesop said...

Chavismo only works in a disarmed populace.
Since 1989, several MILLION M4geries and AR-clones have been sold, compared to scarcely a few hundred thousands of (not)"Assault" weapons prior to the original ban.

Picture Venezuela after a couple of trainloads of rifles and live rounds have been distributed amongst the disaffected, and that's how it would (and will) fare in CA.

It's also, no coincidentally, what we should be doing in Venezuela: sending in small arms by the hundreds of thousands, and passing them out to the opposition.

Last I looked, we were still sitting on crate-loads of a few hundred thousand cosmoline-packed AK-47s ever since the Grenada Summer Camp in '83.
Time for those red hens to come home to roost, somewhere outside Caracas.

Let's give the Left some interesting times, for a change. Literally.

Glen Filthie said...

The Four Bads are about to be repealed by reality:
i). Racism
ii) Sexism
iii) Homophobia
iv) Facism

We are being forced, often at gun point, to understand that the racists were actually right about a few things that aren’t legal to talk about today. As are the sexists and homophobes. Fascism may well be a viable alternative to the millions that are going to be hurt or killed by socialism. Irregardless our current elite and leaders need to go.