The Righteous Judgment Of....

Richard Fernandez:
Within its bubble the Left's control of culture is so absolute they can watch 1984 without realizing it's about them....

The search is on for the regicide.

The only thing one can be sure of is that the Republican Party didn't cause it; nor did their tame and feeble publications. In fact, not even publications like Breitbart, valiant though their efforts were, can claim credit. Trump couldn't have done it either, since the proud tower that Gerlenter describes would have been impervious to the mere touch of the orange-hued real estate mogul without some other factor in play.

Yet most of us know who did it, though we hesitate to name the obvious suspect. The Left, even in its downfall, has stilled our tongues. The word comes to the edge of our lips before we choke it back, fearful even now of the ridicule and abuse we will get should we blurt it. That word is God. God killed the Left. Of course one could legitimately use some other term. "Reality," "consequences," the "laws of nature," "economics," even "truth" will do.
Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. The thesis was "liberalism," by which I mean the classical liberalism that was America's founding. The antithesis was communism. The synthesis was what Walter Mead calls "the Blue Model," which dominated for so long as Fernandez notes.

But the synthesis is just a new thesis; a new antithesis arises. Even for the Marxist, Hegel is hiding in the background. There is never an end of history.

But it's really the next synthesis that we're looking for.


Eric Blair said...

The antithesis was not Communism. You forgot (as does Fernandez) that there are these things called events, and the killing off of so many people in the 20th century had consequences that we don't even really understand yet, because we are too close to those events.

Grim said...

I was thinking more in the Anglo-American context, where we killed relatively few people in moving through this process. The communists were there, at the back of the early labor unions; here in America, the free silver movement was a kind of brake on that, because the poor farmers didn't want to give up their own property. So that goes on until the Great Depression, when Roosevelt creates all these Blue Model systems (and a parallel process happens in the UK).

And that worked for a long time, but it doesn't work any more. I think Mead's analysis is more on point than Fernandez's on this question. It's clear that it worked because there was this particular time and place in which America emerged relatively unbloodied from WWII, and then rebuilt the West through the Marshall Plan and trade. So for a while, there was this significant economic advantage in America and the West that allowed the Blue Model to work; and there wasn't enough development in other places to allow for economic competition of workers there for factory wages.

The antithesis of that is globalism, which is what really broke the Blue Model. Trump's "MAGA" movement is about trying to restore a privileged economic position to the United States, so that something like the Blue Model can work again -- American workers can once again receive the kinds of benefits that they used to from participating in a market that would once again need them.

I don't think that will work, but in any case it's only the struggle of thesis and antithesis. It's the new synthesis that might work. Maybe Trump's team will figure it out; maybe they won't, and it'll be the next guy (or some next guy after that).

Eric Blair said...

The blue model was always going to break, given that underpinning facts that it was never be able to be paid for on an ongoing basis.

All the politicians kept kicking the can down the road, and it appears that isn't going to stop even now.

You're right that the recovery of the world after WWII and the development of previously undeveloped nations has turned everybody into equals more or less, and I have no ideas on how that gets managed. Probably can't be.

Tom said...

I didn't know you were a Hegelian.

After reading about Marx's life, I thought it was interesting that Marx hated Hegel and stated outright that he intended to turn Hegel on his head, and that's pretty much what Marxism was originally, ending in a materialist paradise.

The idea that MAGA is about making the economic changes necessary for the Blue Model to work again makes a lot of sense. If that's true, that sucks. I guess the constituency for freedom is pretty small these days.

Grim said...

Heh. You're right, I'm really not a Hegelian.

The dialectic isn't what Hegel thought it was; it doesn't create reality. It is a way that people think, though, and we have something to do with creating reality.

It's very difficult to come up with a new way to do something. Sometimes people do, but not usually. What they usually do is react to the thing that isn't working by finding something in it to reject. And, usually, the rejection had some logic to it -- but not enough to make the new thing work. So you go back and figure out how to incorporate aspects of the rejection with the old system, so that it's an adjustment rather than a rejection.

That's all that's happening with thesis/antithesis/synthesis.

It's even more likely that politics will follow the dialectic, because politics means convincing lots of folks to think a given way. Democracies obviously do, but even revolutions need to convince a certain number of folks to go along if they're to work. It's even harder to convince large numbers of people to abandon everything they know for something totally new than it is to come up with something totally new. It's not hard to talk a critical mass into an antithesis, though, because it relates so clearly to what is bothering them about the current system. And, after some trouble, it's not too hard to convince people to try to synthesize the ideas to avoid further trouble.

Really thinking of something new is easiest to do if you go back to the assumptions and work through them carefully to find the questionable ones. It's philosophy, in other words: checking the foundations of the ideas. Philosophy ultimately is of great importance to politics, but not usually directly in this way.

douglas said...

Evolution not Revolution. I've always said that's where reality is wont to go.

Tom said...

Yeah, there is something to Hegel's idea of dialectic. I think you explain it well, and you're right, we are looking for the next synthesis.

Ymar Sakar said...

This goes all the way back to before the foundation of the Earth was set.