America’s new court prophet explains:
We live in an increasingly volatile and primal era, in which history is speeding up and liberal democracy is weakening. As Vladimir Lenin wrote, “In some decades, nothing happens; in some weeks, decades happen.” Get ready for the creative destruction of public institutions, something every society periodically requires to clear out what is obsolete, ossified and dysfunctional — and to tilt the playing field of wealth and power away from the old and back to the young. Forests need periodic fires; rivers need periodic floods. Societies, too. That’s the price we must pay for a new golden age. […] If we look at the broader rhythms of history, we have reason to be heartened, not discouraged, by these trends. Anglo-American history over the past several centuries has experienced civic crises in a fairly regular cycle, about every 80 or 90 years, or roughly the length of a long human life. This pattern reveals itself in the intervals separating the colonial Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Great Depression and World War II. Fast-forward the length of a long human life from the 1930s, and we end up where we are today.
Despite a new tilt toward isolationism, the United States could find itself at war. I certainly do not hope for war. I simply make a sobering observation: Every total war in U.S. history has occurred during a Fourth Turning, and no Fourth Turning has yet unfolded without one.
This would stir things up (just a little):
Taking his chicken game international probably is dangerous, but it might also be the only thing that works.
It’s getting difficult to set any kind of limit to where this stuff could lead. Whatever counts as a ‘realistic’ socio-political forecast today, it’s been pushed out vastly further than seemed imaginable only a year ago.
Eli Lake on the Flynn flip:
In the end, it was Trump’s decision to cut Flynn loose. In doing this he caved in to his political and bureaucratic opposition. [Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Representative Devin] Nunes told me Monday night that this will not end well. “First it’s Flynn, next it will be Kellyanne Conway, then it will be Steve Bannon, then it will be Reince Priebus,” he said. Put another way, Flynn is only the appetizer. Trump is the entree.
If there’s not much more to this than there looks, it’s hard to see it as anything but an unforced invitation to the hyenas. Or, turned around the other way, if Trump turns out to be anything like as incompetent as his opponents predict, he’s toast.
Mencken (cited here):
At the bottom of Puritanism one finds envy of the fellow who is having a better time in the world. At the bottom of democracy one finds the same thing. This is why all Puritans are democrats and all democrats are Puritans.
The blog obviously isn’t coming from where Scott Aaronson is, and the title of this post isn’t even centrally his question, so I’m asking it.
If you were trying to discredit a demographic policy that discriminated against Islamization, the thing rolled out by the US administration looks like a good way to do it. Shouldn’t selecting against Salafism be the policy core? Such a stance could be easily based upon solid American precedent. This looks like something else entirely. (It’s a dog’s breakfast, which is to say hastily hashed-up populism food.)
ADDED: The flip-side to Scott Aaronson’s concerns (from his own comment thread).
Steve Bannon’s world:
… And so I think we are in a crisis of the underpinnings of capitalism, and on top of that we’re now, I believe, at the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism.
The entire profile is exceptionally interesting. The explicit call-out of contemporary Russian (Hyperborean) Eurasianism is especially note-worthy, since it distances Bannon from the ideological core of the Alt-Right.
ADDED: More here.
When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders, then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won’t do.
(No one’s listening, but historians will.)
The final words (already implicit) are also good: “Angela Merkel and Donald Trump may be temperamental opposites. They are also functional allies.”