Summary: It is amazing to see the lack of analysis about the current waves of political change sweeping America. Let’s guess about possible revolutionary futures. They are all dark.
“A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous.”
— Words from one who knows about these things. From Mao tse-tung’s ”Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan”, March 1927.
Why the Left is winning.
The Left has carefully worked for decades to build the foundation for the 2020 revolution (foolishly, I did not see this). The gained dominance in key institutions, such as education, academics, the press, many NGOs. The press gives them information dominance, an immense influence on people’s thinking. Their dominance in education allowed them to create today’s world – the old-fashioned way. Powerfully, irreversibly.
“Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.”
— Jesuit motto attributed to Francis Xavier.
Lots of sloppy columnists say this is like the 1965 – 1975 riots and bombings by the Left. While that foreshadows the 2020 revolution, the Left’s institution power is far greater today. See the obeisance – and funding – by so many major corporations. The Left’s influence in the news media is far greater. But there is a more important difference.
“What he had learned from all his experience of fighting was that nearly always there are those who want to fight and those who do not but feel they cannot avoid it. …It did not occur to him now …that most of his rabbits were still outside; that those who were with him were fewer than those on the other side ….This sort of thing does not count among fighting rabbits. Ferocity and aggression are everything. What Woundwort knew was that those beyond the wall were afraid of him and that on this account he had the advantage.“
— Wise words from Richard Adams’ great book, Watership Down.
The Leftist crusades, such as the Campus Rape Epidemic, Me Too, and Black Lives Matter, are irresistible. Few dare oppose them, let alone criticize them. All the energy today is on the Left.
An even more powerful advantage is that the Left is smart and learning. They have activists inside the government.
The Portland Wall of Moms and Dads with Leafblowers (blowing back the tear gas) are brilliant (details here). Burning the flag excites the Left, but has little mass appeal. Let’s fool the proles by wrapping ourselves in the flag! This is what a learning movement looks like (unlike America’s Right).
The flag waving is a propaganda move for the cameras. They are discussing on Reddit & other places new ways to “change” public perception on the riots. This is a group that beats people carrying flags, burns US flags, & chants for abolishment of the US. pic.twitter.com/FipxGJUxNS
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 22, 2020
About the counter-revolution
There is much muttering on the Right about the Left over-reaching, and the Right’s coming counter-revolution. So far there is no evidence of any energy on the Right equivalent to the Left’s. Conservatives like William Lind look to the waiting hordes of conservative white Christian men, ready to rise and fight the Left. Perhaps they are hiding, organizing, and planning – but I doubt it.
Revolutions and counter-revolutions are done by the young. There are many young conservatives. Isolated, alienated, lacking any motivating ideology or goals. But they do have values, values very different than their Boomer parents and grandparents. Anti-liberal values brought forth by the ruin of the Boomers’ dreams. But today they are weak. Should someone come along and give them goals, something to strive for, pride and organization – them America might change. Their clash with the Left, neither valuing the Constitution or America’s culture, might bring down the remains of the America-that-once-was.
When the revolution changes leaders
Almost all the major public policy changes in America have been bipartisan. The decision of the Left and Right to open America’s borders guaranteed radical changes in every aspect of America. the Right was, as always, seeking greater profits for the plutocracy. The Left more wisely understood that this was an irresistible tool to reshape America. The next generation will prove the validity of their insight, as demographics brings them victory.
But the Left’s leaders did not see the implications of their success. As usual in our America. the Left sees the Right clearly – and the Right clearly sees the Left. Patrick Buchanan explains the almost inevitable future for the Left: “Rising Diversity Is Joe Biden’s Worry, Too.” Open borders, votes for felons, citizenship for illegal immigrants – anything to gain votes. But the current generation of elderly white Democrats are the last of their kind. The young upper-class whites hoping to inherit their power are delusional. A new generation of People of Color, fueled by affirmative action (now even racism and sexism), will inherit the Left and all its accumulated power. They will have their own values and dreams, drastically different than today’s elderly white leaders.
What does our future look like?
“The worse, the better.”
— One of the most powerful revolutionary insights, ever. Attributed to the Russian revolutionary socialist, Nikolay Chernyshevsky (1928 – 1889).
We need not guess about the consequences of rule by the Left. See the near-terminal decay and third-world like crime rate in many of the cities they run (see here and here). Their current policies are designed to destroy the America-that-once-was and allow them to build on the ruins. They are quite open about it in their writings for the faithful.
As for the further future, like all ideologues – the Left has dreams and abstract theories. We are the lab rats for their experiments in social engineering. Their revolution is the opposite of the Glorious Revolution in England and the American Revolution, careful and incremental changes made by cool considerate men.
Rule by the Right would require an epiphany among conservatives. I cannot imagine what that might be, or its results. All we know is that neither Left nor Right loves the Constitution.
The good news ending
Color me an optimist and dreamer, but I am confident that the collapse of the Second Republic (built on the Constitution) will lead to a new stability. Probably an autocracy run by the Left, Right, or something news. We will be subjects, consoling ourselves by awarding ourselves the exalted status of victims. Our rulers will laugh, but allow us our foolish beliefs.
But remember, whatever happens will require our cooperation. By inaction, if nothing else. We can make our future. We are responsible for our future.
I will send a copy of Rome’s Last Citizen (see below) to those who post the best comments to this series of posts. I have ten copies. Only one book per winner. Decisions are purely subjective by the judges, based on the originality and quality of insights, plus supporting facts and analysis, of the comment.
A copy also goes to whoever suggests a new masthead for this website. “Helping to reignite the spirit of a nation grown cold” shows a hopeful spirit I no longer have.
For More Information
I highly recommend Martin van Creveld’s new book, Seeing into the Future: A Short History of Prediction. “From the ancients watching the flight of birds to the murky activities of Google and Facebook today, Seeing into the Future provides vital insight into the past, present, and – of course – future of prediction.” Our media overflow with predictions. This will help you sort the useful ones from the chaff, and so better see our futures.
- Our institutions are hollow because we don’t love them.
- After Independence Day, look to America after the Republic.
- We have become cowards. We can become brave again.
- We gave our rulers the greatest gift that we can give.
- The Founders’ error dooms our Republic, but not the next.
- Fireworks for the mind on this July 4.
- The Boomers see the ruin of their dreams.
Look to the past to see our future
The Founders looked to the Roman Republic for ideas and inspiration. In this time of peril, we too can do so. See two books about the people who were the poles of the forces that could have saved the Republic, but instead destroyed it.
Rome’s Last Citizen by Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni – The life and legacy of Cato, the mortal enemy of Caesar.