Sometimes the first step in building a thing of beauty is to dynamite the ugly, dying strip mall that occupies the real estate you want to build upon. We, the American Conservative Movement can rebuild once the junk gets cleared away. We just have to be ready, and we just have to avoid bailing the Progressives out of their own state-fueled death spiral of non-sustainability.
Brett Stevens of Amerika.org shows us how our society currently fulfills Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity.
Currently, our society is chasing its own tail into the abyss. The books give us certain rules and facts, and we follow those; when that doesn’t work out, we redouble our efforts using the same rules and facts. Like robots, we cannot deviate from our programming because we’ve eliminated the people who can think outside the box.
We hear this point of view from other ideological quadrants as well. James Howard Kunstler describes what he believes to be the greatest failure of the current Progressive hegemony over American zeitgeist below.
Meanwhile, the nation is lumbering toward an epochal moment of truth when the non-viability of how we get by day-to-day is exposed for all to see, including those other nations who have been lending us colossal sums of their hard-earned money to keep our operations afloat. This will be the moment when the US renounces its debt -- or just proves unable to continue pretending to service it.
Peggy Noonan (here), Walter Russell Mead (Here), DoD officials such as Jacques Ganzler and numerous others have voiced a similar refrain of !DOOM! We have been warned that our massive and weaponized bureaucracy would run us into the ground going back to Dwight Eisenhower’s final Presidential Address. Progressivism, like the burden of Frodo, has morphed into what JRR Tolkien described.
One ring to rule them all
And in darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the shadows lie
Yet while Kevin Williamson agrees the current system is quite possibly a Ganslerian Death Spiral, he doesn’t necessarily see that as a reason to cancel next weekend’s picnic. First he lays out his case for more !DOOM! below.
The total fiscal overhang of our federal, state, and local governments — their combined debt and unfunded liabilities — is around $140 trillion, and growing. That is about twice the annual economic output of human civilization, and nearly the value of all the financial assets in the world. It is something close to a mathematical certainty that those debts and obligations will not be made good on at their present value.
Then Mr. Williamson does something far better and more interesting than the other doomer-and-gloomer sorts. He keeps on writing his own Revelation until he gets to the cheerier parts towards the end. He writes about what happens after all the unworkable things have been smashed under the weight of their own vast and ineluctable enstupidation.* He describes the nettle we as Republicans need to grasp.
The real debate for the next 30 years is not how we go about paying our bills, but how we go about not paying them. What is most likely is a much smaller and more modest government, something closer to what Robert Nozick called the “nightwatchman state.” The reason for that is the fact that we have good substitutes for Social Security and the Department of Education but not for the army or the courts.
This all sounds painful and disruptive, and it surely will be, though exactly how painful and how disruptive will be in part a question of luck and in part a matter of how prudently and intelligently our policymakers proceed while we get from where we are to an economically sane position.
For those who wonder why I can’t quite bring myself to miss George W. Bush yet, reread that 2nd paragraph. We need to sell the concept of a safe shut-down as opposed to Chernobyl. We don’t really have to crash and buuuurnnn!!!! We just need to figure out how to slow this entire, colossal machine down and make it smaller.
Our President told us to reject cynical voices. Let’s start by rejecting the ones that tell us life would be unlivable under a smaller, less encompassing government. So I’ll tackle that for the next two or three times I post and try to talk about how to get it all smaller and better managed. The GOP has to discuss how we can be the alternative to the coming Big Government Chernobyl.
*-Fred Reed’s neologism for enforced and compulsory PC stupidity.