12.6.06

PROCESS, NUANCE, FAILURE. Peggy Noonan does an Opinion Journal column on the political classes' tendency to kick up dust and complain that they can't see.
The American people right now are not in a mood to trust any political plan, proposal or policy that seems complicated--highly involved, technical, full of phased-in elements and glide paths and Part C's.
Why not?
They think modern politicians hide in complexity. They think politicians evade responsibility with it. We can't do the right thing, it's too complicated! Americans don't trust "comprehensive plans," because they don't trust the comprehensive planners.
Not all politicians, primarily Democratic politicians. Ms Noonan does not go so far as to say, "Silent Generation Democrats, and their disciples among the older cohort of the Baby Boomers," but that's what she's really about.
People sense Washington is using public concern as a plaything to get what will serve the political class.
By "Washington," substitute "technocrats." "Bipartisanship," then, is the truce in the positional arms race by which the major parties exercise their residual claim on the rents being created. There's more.
Absent sincerity, the future is simplicity.
But even with a sincere political class, if such a thing is possible, simplicity is the efficient response to complexity. Repeat with me: Complex adaptive systems do pretty much what they damn please.

No comments: