… Here’s another way to put my concern. The percentage of global GDP which is held in relatively non-free countries, such as China, has been rising relative to the share of global GDP held in the freer countries. I suspect we are underrating the noxious effects of that development.
If freedom has become disconnected from economic competence, then classical liberalism is dead.
(The XS suspicion, however, is that Cowen’s sense of “freedom” has been so corrupted by social democracy that it’s incapable of doing the work he wants it to here.)
Thus, nationalism turns into a class struggle.
Is anyone still disputing this proposition?
It’s probably unrealistic right now to think the non-demented Left is going to be able to cut the hysterical weeping long enough to realize: You’re going to have to put your social ideals into Neocameral format if you want to play in the 21st century.
They really could do that. Sovereign stock distribution could be wholly egalitarian. If Neo-Maoism seeks a sensible sized patch, they should clearly be given one. (That would be a Neo-Maoist garbage disposal program, as far as everyone else is concerned.) At the highest level, NRx is first-order politics neutral. Do whatever you want, within precisely formalized bounds.
There’s no audience for this point yet. Eventually there will be.
“But … but .. the whole point of the Left is that we don’t think government is a business!” — Then call it a ‘co-op’ or some equivalent bullshit. Jesus, use some imagination.
The Anglosphere re-emerges:
From U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” to Brexiteers’ “Global Britain” and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “Great rejuvenation of the Chinese people,” nostalgic nationalism has become a major force in politics around the world. Appeals to past national glories animate far-right populist movements in Europe, fueling Russian President Vladimir Putin’s expansionism in his neighborhood, and animating Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman ambitions. Such a world is prone to conflict. Yet nostalgia can still be consistent with some form of international cooperation, especially where culture, history, and values overlap. And in that context, the re-emergence of an Anglosphere — a long-held dream for many proud Britons — is no longer so far-fetched. …
Even the Brexit-phobic Economist is catching the Anglosphere flu.
Think Anglosphere, and the impending death of NATO (or “the West”) has an entirely different valency.
Watch the whole of modern political confusion expose itself in a micro-tremor:
Locke’s commitment both to voluntary religion and voluntary, contractual government are mutually reinforcing. Just as people join and remain in religious communities by their consent, so they enter and sustain political communities. “Men being, as has been said, by Nature all free, equal, and independent,” Locke writes in the Second Treatise, “no one can be put out of this estate and subjected to the political power of another without his own consent.” If the members of a faith community believe their church is failing to uphold its spiritual responsibilities, they have a right to leave — without fear of reprisal. Likewise for a political society: If its members believe the political authority is failing to safeguard their natural rights — their “lives, liberty, and estates” — it forfeits the right to govern.
“Likewise”? Yet one leaves a church, but replaces a government. The fall from liberty into democracy takes only a single false step. With a little more consistency, the case for Exit-based control of government would have been solidly made centuries ago (intrinsically secure against all Rousseauistic perversion). Still, it’s not too late to do that now.
Apparently we’re already in the next phase:
To call Trumpism fascist is to suggest that it demands from us a unique response. We can deploy the “fascism” moniker to Trump’s ascendance by recognizing features like selective populism, nationalism, racism, traditionalism, the deployment of Newspeak and disregard for reasoned debate. The reason we should use the term is because, taken together, these aspects of Trumpism are not well combated or contained by standard liberal appeals to reason. It is constitutive of its fascism that it demands a different sort of opposition.
I doubt whether they’ve thought this through, but don’t let that get in the way of progress.
An instant Twitter-format classic, by David Hines, on the Leftist political violence to come. Storified here.
Among the critical points:
Righties tell themselves that *of course* they’d win a war against Lefties. Tactical Deathbeast vs. Pajama Boy? No contest. … Why, Righties have thought about what an effective domestic insurrection would look like. Righties have written books and manifestos! … It’s horseshit. … The truth: Left is a lot more organized & prepared for violence than Right is, and has the advantage of a mainstream more supportive of it.
ADDED: Spandrell’s take.
If we want to increase freedom, we want to increase the number of countries.
That’s as basic as political economy gets.
If this is a realistic left re-emerging, bring it on (it’s a feast of insight and sharp sentences). The conclusion in particular, if a little repetitive, is radically sound:
Under such [impending] conditions, the future of progressive and future-oriented mass politics of the left is very uncertain. […] In a world set on objectifying everybody and every living thing in the name of profit, the erasure of the political by capital is the real threat. The transformation of the political into business raises the risk of the elimination of the very possibility of politics. […] Whether civilisation can give rise at all to any form of political life is the problem of the 21st century.
Depoliticization is the only thing the right should be serious about doing.