One of the most arresting aspects of the start of the Trump era is that nearly everyone, regardless of their political persuasion, seems convinced that their side is losing.
Perhaps because the thing that’s winning is unrecognizable? Partly its the rise of China, partly its Capital phase-transition, and partly its the messy stage of collapse. In any case, it looks like the signature of the Outside.
Cynical insight from Spandrell:
… nobody cares about the public purse. It’s public.
The narrative that Russia — a country with an economy smaller than Italy — smaller than New York State’s — will take over the world is less compelling than than the alternative thesis: that the tide of chaos is rising across the planet. With the European Union weakening, the Middle East perceptibly falling apart and African and Latin America their same old selves the danger is less that some rival empire will conquer the world than that power vacuums will spread entropy all over the planet.
Much moral hardening lies ahead.
It just keeps coming.
There have been suggestions it’s a parody, but my guess is that they really are this demented. Hard as it is to imagine, it doesn’t sound like mad barking to them. (They’ve been spoiled.)
Democracy dies in darkness.
— This magnificent prophecy now stands just below the masthead of The Washington Post.
It’s almost impossible to over-estimate how important this is (and the trend matters more than the current level). Regime legitimacy is sunk in radical crisis.
Fighting-talk from Jim:
The rise in education costs is runaway rule by priests. Most education is useless, and gets more useless at the higher levels. If you ask why we are giving more stupid people more useless education even though it costs much more than it used to, then you also have the answer to why it costs more. If you have priests in charge, they will make everyone go to church all the time. Our education system is the state church making everyone go to church and attend religious festivals. It is time for the Dissolution of the Monasteries. We need degree deflation. […] Our education system is state church making everyone go to church and attend religious festivals. In other words, degree inflation To deal with this, needs a full on attack on priestly power. We need a revolutionary transfer of power analogous to the dissolution of the monasteries.
ADDED: The SSC post, which at least partially set Jim’s trigger, provides critical context —
So, to summarize: in the past fifty years, education costs have doubled, college costs have dectupled, health insurance costs have dectupled, subway costs have at least dectupled, and housing costs have increased by about fifty percent. US health care costs about four times as much as equivalent health care in other First World countries; US subways cost about eight times as much as equivalent subways in other First World countries. …
Harry Potter and the crisis of left-liberalism:
From an outside perspective, Harry Potter is a funny fantasy for liberals to cohere around. Going off to centuries-old boarding school where your mum and dad were Head Boy and Head Girl, where tolerance and broadmindedness consists of admitting that lower-class Muggles can occasionally have the same genetically-mediated gifts as the gentry, where the greatest possible action for a woman is to let herself be slain so her son can grow up to revenge himself on her killer, where ignorance of the supernatural is a form of willful self-delusion,a pathetic blindness to the real forces that move the world, where all the kids eat Merry Olde England foods like Roast Beef and Kidney Pie and Yorkshire Pudding all the time, all sounds more reactionary than progressive. But if contemporary liberalism is the ideology of imperial academia, funneled through media and non-profits and governmental agencies but responsible ultimately only to itself, the obsession with Harry Potter makes a lot more sense.
Prominent opponent of white nationalism chalked-in to speak at Berkeley, so (of course) this happens.
The Left, as pretty much everyone now recognizes, is a fascism factory.
ADDED: Sailer’s coverage. “Seriously, what % of the political violence in the U.S. over the last 18 months has been from Trump’s side of the spectrum and what % from the respectable side? […] 5% vs. 95%? […] 2% vs. 98%? […] I resist the 1% vs. 99% ratio as improbable (although, admittedly, possible).”
The situation is volatile because the old balances have imploded. There is a political vacuum in the heart of the West that cannot easily be filled by the debris, riots, or noooo! What Donald Trump has come into possession of is probably a mystery to him as well. His instinct is to circle the wagons around America. Perhaps that is not as silly as progressives think. You consolidate on general principles precisely when no one knows what is next and only huge shadows are seen moving beyond the campfire.