Sundown

David Stockman rests his analysis of recent economic history upon one basic presupposition, whose modesty is expressed by an intrinsic inclination to a negative form: Radical dishonesty cannot provide a foundation for enduring financial value. This assumption suffices to expose the otherwise scarcely comprehensible rottenness of American public affairs, to organize an integral understanding of the gathering calamity, and to marginalize his work as the over-excited howl of a lonely crank.

In any society where minimal standards of civil decency were still even tenuously remembered, his ideas would be simple common sense. In the bedlamite orgy we in fact inhabit, Stockman’s thoughts appear wildly counter-intuitive, rigidly structured by uninterpretable imperatives, and suffused by an improbable aura of doom. In fact Stockman is quite clear — implicitly — that under American political conditions sanity was strictly unobtainable. The coming calamity fulfills a (bi-partisan) democratic destiny — but that is to anticipate.

Stockman’s latest compressed overview of our contemporary crisis — generated by the accelerated demolition of economic civilization over the last quarter-century —  explains the “Sundown in America” — “a dystopic ‘new normal’ where historic notions of perpetual progress and robust economic growth no longer pertain.” It outlines a vision that supports a theoretical bet, or short speculation on the economic infrastructure of the Cathedral: “Now the American state — the agency which was supposed to save capitalism from its inherent flaws and imperfections — careens wildly into dysfunction and incoherence. […] Washington’s machinery of national governance is literally melting-down. It is the victim of 80 years of Keynesian error — much of it nurtured in the environs of Harvard Yard — about the nature of the business cycle and the capacity of the state — especially its central banking branch — to ameliorate the alleged imperfections of free market capitalism.” The enemy will never again have a record of effective economic performance to legitimate itself through. What it is doing — and has to do — however politically efficacious, is locked tightly into an inescapable vector that can lead nowhere except utter financial ruin. (Neoreaction should bifurcate on this point, because adaptation to an alternative possibility is something so completely different, very little of strategic substance will translate across.)

Stockman is able to draw upon his own biography to reveal where the GOP went wrong — the political necessities of democratic acceptance drove economic policy into the abyss:

… the circumstances of my own ex-communication from the supply-side church underscore the Reaganite embrace of the Keynesian gospel. The true-believers — led by Art Laffer, an economist with a Magic Napkin, and Jude Wanniski, an ex-Wall Street Journal agit-prop man who chanced to stuff said napkin into his pocket — were militantly opposed to spending cuts designed to offset the revenue loss from the Reagan tax reductions.

They called this “root canal” economics and insisted that the Republican Party could never compete with the Keynesian Democrats unless it abandoned its historic commitment to balanced budgets and fiscal rectitude, and instead, campaigned on tax cuts everywhere and always and a fiscal free lunch owing to a purported cornucopia of economic growth.

Winning elections was conditional upon fiscal barbarism, given only the quite reasonable assumption that nothing except radical dishonesty could ever be popular. Insane promises, short-termism, and whole-hearted participation in a bi-partisan conspiracy to eradicate the last vestiges of responsible government were indispensable steps towards the exercise of power.

The fiscal end game — policy paralysis and the eventual bankruptcy of the state — thus became visible. All of the beltway players –Republican, Democrats and central bankers alike — are now so hooked on the Keynesian cool-aid that they cannot imagine the Main Street economy standing on its own two feet without continuous, massive injections of state largesse. […] the stimulus bill was not a rational economic plan at all; it was a spasmodic eruption of beltway larceny that has now become our standard form of governance.

Hence the Stockman forecast:

… the Federal budget has become a doomsday machine because the processes of fiscal governance are paralyzed and broken. There will be recurrent debt ceiling and shutdown crises like the carnage scheduled for next week, as far as the eye can see.

Indeed, notwithstanding the assurances of debt deniers like professor Krugman, the honest structural deficit is $1-2 trillion annually for the next decade and then it will get far worse. In fact, when you set aside the Rosy Scenario used by CBO and its preposterous Keynesian assumption that we will reach full employment in 2017 and never fall short of potential GDP ever again for all eternity, the fiscal equation is irremediable.

Under these conditions what remains of our free enterprise economy will … buckle under the weight of taxes and crisis. Sundown in America is well-nigh unavoidable.

This is the terrain that neoreaction takes root within. It frames our problems, opportunities, and expectations. The overwhelmingly preponderant part of our intellectual energies should be targeted at the future it anticipates.

October 6, 2013admin 10 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Commerce

TAGGED WITH : , ,

10 Responses to this entry

  • Mark Warburton Says:

    Nice. Good to have compression here. I really don’t have the time to wade through my ‘Great Deformation’ copy. It’s the size of a bus.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I have to confess to not having read it yet — on the arrogant assumption that I’ll agree with it so comprehensively as to make the exercise somewhat redundant. The dam is crumbling though. I’m beginning to envisage it as an encounter with an economic bible.

    [Reply]

    Mark Warburton Reply:

    He’s an entertaining writer, and from what I have read so far, is ‘on the money’. *exits after bad pun*.

    [Reply]

    VXXC Reply:

    By Bible I assume you mean Old Testament?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Yes, Jeremiah obviously comes to mind.

    Posted on October 6th, 2013 at 4:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    NO.

    Funny how’s it’s all Reagan’s fault still…with him safely dead and all.

    Stockman was nothing until he stabbed Reagan. And a crook himself after.

    Which doesn’t mean he’s wrong about this bunch. But it’s a different bunch. Reagan for instance prosecuted crooks and jailed hundreds of them. I don’t think it’s happened to any appreciable degree since Daddy Bush.

    I’m still going to take issue that you can buy the Cathedral theory of governance and then turn around and call this democracy. It’s as if the LA District Attorney turned around at the summation of their case with OJ and suddenly dropped the charges.

    The Cathedral ended Democracy in America 80 years ago.

    When Stockman’s generation of the Cathedral [of which he was part] announced themselves holier than God they then went and governed with more chaos and evil than Lucifer. I don’t recall Lucifer himself ever claiming he was holier than God. He’s more modest.

    Stockman is a Boomer. Of course it’s Daddy’s fault.

    Supply side itself is not harmful. Keynes applied at Bretton Woods wasn’t either. Even social democracy as it existed until the mid 1960s.

    Radical Dishonesty as the foundation of rule, pervasive corruption, criminal pilfering at all levels by criminals with degrees instead of rap sheets, all underlay by a fathomless malice towards their parents and the nation is the problem. Evil is the problem. Not any philosophy.

    Dear Sir there is absolutely no system of government or organization devised by man that does not crumble beneath the rule of such people. Name any that have not modern or ancient. The Catholic Church has succumbed, is there a more ancient organization in existence? Every institution is either damaged or shot through with corruption, pilferage, bankruptcy, and consumed with distracting witch-hunts on who scrawled nigger on the bathroom walls.

    No system or organization survives this, and their secret weapon and cloaking device that allows them to survive the consequences of their crimes seen by all the world unscathed.

    That weapon being LAW, and the enervating cowardice it afflicts it’s victims with…and can we not say the Law is now Pandemic?

    You see until you are ready to spit on your hands and raise the Black Flag….

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 6th, 2013 at 9:40 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    The problem is Stockman’s generation of Cathedral Priests have pursued from adolescence the Policy of Unlimited Liability and Damages against America. *

    And their parents.

    Their chief weapon has all along been LAW. Which is now Pandemic.

    You see…every disorder is…LEGAL. Is it not?

    Until like killing under the Nazis even the Laws no longer matter. Peculation by government officials, Bankers, and the rest are strictly speaking illegal…but so was killing under the Nazis. Once you have power and what is technically an offense becomes the common practice and custom…the Laws no longer apply.

    Law was the viral pathogen that enabled all of it.

    *As he admits he did himself. He’s a crook.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 6th, 2013 at 10:03 pm Reply | Quote
  • bob sykes Says:

    Unfortunately, economic collapse will more likely lead to a communist dictatorship rather than a neoreactionary Eden. And all the Oath Keepers in the police and military will gladly sign on to enforcing its dictats.

    [Reply]

    enjoy the decline Reply:

    as the ussr demonstrated, communism costs alot of money. cops and soldiers want to be payed. broke doesn’t pay. i don’t see leviathan surviving on nothing. we won’t get more centralized, we’ll get decentralized chaos.

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 7th, 2013 at 11:43 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Admin and DEC don’t understand. The Founders you see – were Divine. They had to have some way of testing their divine government. Evil you see was allowed to borrow their Map of the True Destiny of Man. The Founders and the Supreme God they serve had to have some way of testing their design.

    It’s Free Will you see. That’s why Evil and hence Prog Rule exist. The Founders as the Direct emissaries of the Divine Being knew this would happen, the Supreme Being isn’t entirely Dim.

    First things first. Every bit of Evil in this bin, here. Watch that stuff that’s concentrated Evil. One drop of that could turn you all into Transsexual Hermit Crabs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw9IqUgGlzs

    [Reply]

    Posted on October 7th, 2013 at 2:57 pm Reply | Quote

Leave a comment