Here is a brief explanation of why 2020 has brought historic changes and a description of their nature. Shorter version: how and why the Left is winning, sweeping across America like Rommel did France in 1940. Perhaps like the incoming tide.
There are decades where nothing happens. There are weeks where decades happen.
— Paraphrase of a sentence from Marx’s letter to Engels, 9 April 1863.
2020 has seen the arrival of things I have long predicted. It seemed unnecessary and pointless to do more than document these events, which I have done daily on Facebook and Twitter. The comments to these and off-line conversations have shown my belief to be false. This should not have surprised me. Most of my successful predictions have been regarded as daft even as they were coming true.
So this post gives a summary of our situation, which further posts will develop in detail. What you will not get are forecasts. We have sailed off my map. Every week’s news surprises me.
Why the Left is winning
“Give me the child for the first seven years and I will give you the man.”
– True if exaggerated (7 is probably too young). About the Jesuits, attributed to Voltaire.
Beginning in roughly 1970, the Left and Right adopted opposite long-term strategies.
The Right planned wisely, using their wealth and power to build a political machine – gaining the power to reverse much of the New Deal. They cut taxes for the rich, slashed regulations (e.g., regulating labor, the environment, anti-trust), attacked unions, expanded corporate subsidies (extending patents and copyrights, more defense spending, etc.). This looked brilliant for a while, as short-term plans often do. Even the side-effects were often beneficial. They sent the Federal deficit skyrocketing (Bill Clinton’s reforms would have eventually paid off the debt) – which gave them an excuse to cut spending on the peons.
The Left adopted the opposite strategy (I kick myself for not seeing this). They strengthened their hold on institutions they largely controlled, such as universities and the press.
A common rebuttal: what about Fox News and Breitbart! Fox speaks mostly to old white conservatives (the Right’s faithful). Per Pew Research, 70% of its audience is over 50, 37% is over 65 – vs. 37% and 20% for the New York Times. As for Breitbart, ask your neighbors and co-workers who are not conservatives if they rely on it – or have even heard of it.
This became a winning strategy, as they successfully indoctrinated much of the educated young in Leftist dogma (they will run this nation) – doubly so those from the elite universities (who will lead America), and especially those with advanced degrees (who will control America). This seems likely to become the classic example of winning the Long Game: when the clash begins, they have already won. I cannot imagine a successful counter to this over any useful time horizon.
Sweeping across America
The Left has swept across America’s institutions – public, private, and non-profit – like Rommel did France in 1940. Their march to winning began with the rise of transgender rights from obscurity to among the highest in a few years (without any intervention by democratic institutions).
In 2020 the Left reached critical momentum. Institutions bow before them, contributing accolades, money, and obedience (e.g., indoctrination of employees, discriminatory hiring by race and gender). Each month brings new rules for proper speech. I have been documenting this daily in Tweets and Facebook posts. A thousand small steps, with no slowing in sight. Or opposition.
A common rebuttal: the Left is not winning because they do not control Congress and the Presidency. As objections go, that is absurd. America has many power centers, from local to national and public to private. The Founders’ designed the federal government to resist mass movements. It will be the last to fall.
Much like France in 1940, the lack of opposition is a key factor. The Right has been unable to formulate an effective response, short- or long-term. The most common reactions are fantasy or resignation. The former takes many forms. Dreams of a Trump landslide. Dreams of the conservatives minorities joining the GOP. Dreams of the rapidly shrinking white Christian minority regaining control of America. Dreams of the Armed Revolt on the Great Day When The Patriots Rise Up and Use Their Guns to Do Something Or Other.
A common rebuttal: the riots are not a big deal. Or that they are hurting the Left. Both are true. They are a distraction from the Left’s important gains. This is the tried and proven combination of a violent extremist group and larger political movement. As with the IRA and Sinn Féin.
What happens after the election?
From a long-term perspective, it does not matter much if we get President Trump, President Biden, or President Harris. All help the Left over various timeframes. Biden (for as long as he lasts) would advance the Left’s agenda at a slow to moderate rate. Harris would do so at a moderate or rapid rate. Trump would continue to discredit conservatives with his clownish and ignorant speeches and decisions. These are different paths to the same Leftist-run future (see See America’s dark revolutionary future).
The big picture
This is the culmination of interrelated long trends I have written about since 2003.
(1) The death of the Republic – The Consitution is dead in our hearts, an archaic relic that few believe in (details here and here). The Republic stumbles forward like a zombie while powerful elites contend over its ruins. America isn’t falling like the Roman Empire; it’s falling like the Roman Republic and for the same reason. We find the burden of self-government too great to bear.
(2) As Robert Heinlein predicted long ago, we are in the Crazy Years “Considerable technical advance during this period, accompanied by a gradual deterioration of mores, orientation, and social institutions, terminating in mass psychoses in the sixth decade, and the interregnum.” That is from his timeline of his future history stories; first published in Astounding Science Fiction, May 1940, later published as The Past through Tomorrow. We have entered a late stage of this: ClownWorld.
(3) Our institutions are falling like a row of dominoes. Our military can’t win wars. Our police wage a mad war on drugs, looting citizens through civil asset forfeiture. Many of our schools can’t teach their students the three R’s. Science is gripped by the replication crisis, a rot whose dimensions are far larger than most believe. Professional associations abandon their standards and obligation to protect us. Our major corporations are dying (Boeing is a typical example). Congress will do anything except govern. Etc.
What comes next, and after that?
Accurate forecasting is always difficult. Now it is probably impossible because it depends on us. There are no linear trends in society. What will we do as America’s post-WWII liberal values vanish like moths in a flame? Perhaps more extreme values will take the stage, as new values emerge from the Void. But such things are unpredictable. But we know one eternal truth …
“Every nation has the government it deserves.”
— By Joseph de Maistre (lawyer, diplomat, philosopher). From Letter 76 dated 13 August 1811, published in Lettres et Opuscules.
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 mission 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.
- The danger facing America, the names of the guilty, and our best hope for reform.
- Our institutions are hollow because we don’t love them.
- 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.
- This post changed everything: A new, dark picture of America’s future.
- Asking what caused our decline and how to fix it.
- A new beginning for America and this website.
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.