Two sobering fourth turning perspectives.

Start at City Journal with The Riot Ideology, Reborn.
The West Baltimore rioters of 2015 didn’t call for more LBJ-style antipoverty projects but for less policing. In a “keep off our turf” version of belligerent multiculturalism, the rioters see police as both to blame for black criminality and as an embodiment of bourgeois white values. The old riot ideology referred to mostly white urban police forces as occupying armies; the new version sees even Baltimore’s integrated police force, under the leadership of the city’s black mayor and (until recently) a black police chief, as an occupying army. Withdrawing the police from black neighborhoods is the only acceptable solution.
Understandable, though, given how well the Technocratic Vision worked.
The city’s dominant political figure post-1968 was the colorful William Donald Schaefer. A meld of old-style machine pol and new-style harvester of federal funds, Schaefer served as mayor from 1970 to 1987 and then as a two-term Maryland governor. Under Schaefer’s mayoral leadership—and with the help of Senators Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski—Baltimore became, in effect, a second Federal City, cadging a disproportionate share of federal subventions that produced numerous but invariably ineffectual antipoverty efforts. “Bureaucrats lived well off the anti-poverty programs,” explains Baltimore writer Van Smith, “without enhancing the lives of the poor.”
You mean that Ann Coulter schtick about "mascots" is valid? Or that the clerisy is about rent-seeking and keeping the grants and conferences coming?  By their fruits shall ye know them.  "West Baltimore has, for the time being, been liberated from American morality."

The rot is not confined, however, to communities rendered uninhabitable by Democrats.  Here's Richard Fernandez.
If political columnist Ron Fournier is right about this election cycle, it is less about achieving incremental policy change than precipitating a radical institutional change.  In that case the current unpopularity contest can be seen as an deliberate process to increase instability by hoping the worst man wins, not in order to continue the status quo but to tear things down and start afresh.
A Fourth Turning is a situation in which an old saecular order comes apart and a new one emerges. But whether you identify the turning as beginning with either the hung presidential election of 2000 or the September 2001 terrorist attacks, or with the financial meltdown of 2007 - 08, apparently neither National Greatness Conservatism nor Hope 'n Change have convinced enough people to get on board with one or another of the legacy political parties' less incrementalist agenda (that being the usual emergent phenomenon, as in the New Deal or Emancipation or Independence, although none of these were preordained.)
This dynamic suggests that no candidate will win the election.  The divisions are now too stark for the old modus vivendi to be established on the former terms.  Whoever succeeds to the presidency in 2017 will preside over a deeply divided country, without a mandate because the system itself now has a legitimacy deficit; a kind of caretaker over a Republic no longer one thing yet not yet another; a kind of hapless driver of a runaway team of historical forces.
Perhaps it's time to dip into Emerson.
Things are in the saddle,
And ride mankind.

There are two laws discrete
Not reconciled,
Law for man, and law for thing;
The last builds town and fleet,
But it runs wild,
And doth the man unking.
Here's how Mr Fernandez proposes we deal with the wild-running events.   "The sole lesson we can learn from it is that waiting for history requires intelligent anticipation and doing our best. Some things you just have to wait for."

I add only, "intelligent anticipation" neither implies nor is implied by "intelligent design."

No comments: