Friday, December 13, 2019

There's no substitute for legitimacy

Against legitimacy is arrayed usurpation; against modest, single-minded, righteous, and brave resistance to encroachment is arrayed boastful, double-tongued, selfish, and treacherous ambition to possess. God defend the right!
― Charlotte Brontë
The global elites have been searching for an alternative to representative democracy as a source of legitimacy for two decades.  They haven't come up with a viable alternative.  Sure, the EU was successful in their keep voting on EU referendums until you vote the right way but that was only on the continent, and while it gave the EU political power it didn't give it political legitimacy.  Not legitimacy in the sense that we've come to think of it over the course of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

While the elites have generally been able to tamp down the opposition, the lid is starting to come off all over the world.

The voters in the UK expressed their frustrations at how their clearly stated (and voted on) preference for BREXIT has been thwarted by three years of increasingly desperate backroom deals, shady political tricks, and double dealing.  As far as the EU is concerned, yesterday's vote was a resounding "No means NO" to the elites.  A large number of MPs who had said that they would support BREXIT but who then changed their minds - in the voters eyes broke promise and stabbed the electorate in the back - were turned out of office.  The Tories won their biggest victory since Margaret Thatcher, almost 40 years ago.

There really isn't any substitute to legitimacy via representative democracy.  At least, nobody's been able to come up with one.  Lord knows they've tried.

The problem for the Elite Technocratic worldview is generational:

  • The first generation knows the system thoroughly, because they built it.  This was the Greatest Generation who beat the Nazi and Japanese Supermen, landed a man on the moon, stared down the Soviet Bear, and brought unprecedented prosperity to the peoples of the West. 
  • The second generation understood how the system works because they saw it being built by the first generation.  This was the generation who built the original  Internet.  But the financial benefits of the system were not as evenly distributed as before, with the emergence of "Rust Belts" as a result of government industrial policy.  Hey, learn to code, amirite?
  • The third generation inherited a system whose functioning is a mystery to them.  Increasing resistance to their rule is met by censorship ("Hate crime" laws) and blackballing (elimination of all conservative voices from the faculty lounge).  Status hierarchy is no longer based on accomplishment as in the first generation, but via credential - especially Ivy League diploma.
The peoples of the West were right to vote for the first generation.  That support began to decay in the second generation but old habits (reinforced by propaganda) die hard.  By the third generation you see what had once been unthinkable - Appalachia voting solidly Republican and long time Labor districts voting Tory.  The world is turned upside down.

But legitimacy is earned, and the peoples of the West are quite right to vote against this third generation.  That generation lives in a bubble divorced from the reality facing much of the peoples of the West.  Until there's a replacement for legitimacy via representative democracy, it's buh bye Third Generation.

And quite frankly, good riddance.  They are self-important, self-indulgent dullards and fools.  They're Smart Dumbasses.  Many still don't know why they've lost, years after the fact.  It would take a heart of stone not to laugh at their confusion and hopelessness -I mean, didn't their Harvard professors tell them that they were all Philosopher Kings?

Snerk.  They are "adequately predictable".*  That none of them will have read this book - written by one of the towering intellects of the left - tells you all you need to know about them.  Now comes the American election of next year, following hard on what looks to be a spectacular flameout of a Deep-State/Democrat coup.  This will be above all a legitimacy election.  The American people will ponder the years of increasingly desperate backroom deals, shady political tricks, and double dealing and will vote accordingly.  May we see a similar result to Britain's, to warn the elite not to try that again.
To put on the garment of legitimacy is the first aim of every coup.
- Barbara Tuchman
* John Kenneth Galbraith is one of the poster children for the First Generation.  He has been followed by the likes of Thomas Friedman.  Sic transit gloria mundi.


Neal said...

Nailed it.

Richard said...

I would submit that the modern state in general, and the US in particular, is simply too big and too diverse to have legitimacy. No matter what happens, at least half the population feels disenfranchised and withhold legitimacy. So the answer is devolution into smaller, more cohesive polities. There is risk, of course, that the smaller entities will end of being prey for the remaining large ones, like the Chinese empire but hey, the famously divided Greeks beat the Persians.