Our President has successfully fundamentally transformed the United States.  Nearly a quarter of the population is not participating in the labor force, and a Russian general apparently advised the U.S. military attache in Baghdad that "we commence bombing in an hour."  Well done.

Perhaps, though, it is beyond Our President's, or anybody else's, competence.  Complex adaptive systems tend to do what they d##n well please, and all that.

Here's Richard Fernandez, taking stock.
What no politician has yet nerved himself to tell the public yet is that normalcy itself may be ending and the actual facts of physical life soon depend on actions and virtues our elites have long deemed obsolete or worthy of extinction.  If historical discontinuities mean anything it is that “business as usual” is over.

The Western world had a extraordinarily good run in the years since 1945, so good that it was easy to imagine that constant progress was a permanent condition; that tomorrow would always be better than today; that there was some unstoppable march through history our politicians had only to get in spangled tights to lead.

Ironically the basis of that incredible prosperity may not have complacency but on the contrary, a constant vigilance over its fragile existence.  Business as usual looked easy because the Old Ones had the habit of putting another log upon the fire to keep the dark things away.  Now that our new leaders have said ”let the last ember go out.  Those needless fires put out too much CO2. There is nothing to fear out there”, we are beginning to have our doubts and yet aware it’s too late to go back now.

Now we get to find out the truth about whether there are wolves out there.  The answer will alter us.  History tells us that events always transform men.  They never leave them unchanged.  William Halsey recorded the effect of the 40s on his generation when he said “there are no extraordinary men… just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with.”
He's optimistic, despite the challenges.
The years since the fall of the Berlin Wall have been characterized by a futile attempt to buy stability through risk sharing.  There was no crisis, which if sufficiently enlarged, could not be solved. Yet it failed. In an era of rapid change emergent risks can no longer be spread.  Survival will depend not upon building a bigger boat but making the right choices.

This breaks politics, especially redistributive and identity politics and hence the politicians have not accepted that yet.  But they will, and relatively soon.  The next decade will be hard; and our only consolation will be that if we win through we will be better men and freer too.
But Arts Mechanical suggests winning through is not assured.  Marginalize the productive people, don't be surprised when the productive people opt out.
And they don’t see their part in the future.  There is a general malaise throughout the culture.  People are not cattle.  They will change their behavior in response to conditions they cannot change.  They can’t save money and start families. Women have to work to maintain the standard of living that they are used to.  They are forced to live week to week and prospects for improvement don’t seem to exist.  So by and large people don’t have kids.

Which in essence is the entire culture going Galt.  Which is what’s happening to the Blue model all over the planet.  If you really look at how things are going, it’s not hard to understand why.  In the end you can’t give away happiness.  Happiness is something that everybody pursues with their own efforts. Misery, on the other hand is all too easy to create.  A little oppression here, a little tax farming there, and some income redistribution and shortly thereafter, you get just unending tons of it.  Talk to somebody from the former Soviet Union.  The people that came up with the Blue Model don’t understand that they are just creating misery and the rest of us are just stuck with it.
That "women have to work" isn't accurate; rather, increased labor force participation by women plus the Say Aggregation Principle have something to do with it.  But the Blue Model is a burdensome bad idea, and one of the dubious victory dividends since 1945 has been the diffusion of bad ideas, many of which became Trendy Research in Prestigious Universities.  Fortunately, notes Michael Walsh, there is a corrective.
The way back from this brink, I argue, is through the rediscovery of the things that have made Western civilization great: its heroic, individualistic culture. Its art, literature, music and classically liberal political philosophy, which had found a way to accommodate both God and man until relatively recently.
And in deconstructing the technocratic impulse and the celebration of the odd simply because it is odd, perhaps we can see off the cult of expertise. Give S. E. Cupp the last word. "Complex problems are best sorted out by markets or confronted locally, not through one distant official's decree." She's addressing the pernicious cult of the presidency, but that, dear reader, is the Trenchant Observation of the Season.

So mote it be.

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