27.2.17

NO MAN CAN KINDLE THE EKPYROSIS.

In What Does Steve Bannon Want?, New York Times scribe Christopher Caldwell (on loan from Weekly Standard) suggests Mr Bannon still thinks he can.
There are plenty of reasons for concern about Mr. Bannon, but they have less to do with where he stands on the issues than with who he is as a person. He is a newcomer to political power and, in fact, relatively new to an interest in politics. He is willing to break with authority. While he does not embrace any of the discredited ideologies of the last century, he is attached to a theory of history’s cycles that is, to put it politely, untested. Most ominously, he is an intellectual in politics excited by grand theories — a combination that has produced unpredictable results before.

We’ll see how it works out. Barack Obama, in a similar way, used to allude to the direction and the “arc” of history. Some may find the two theories of history equally na├»ve and unrealistic. Others may see a mitigating element in the cyclical nature of Mr. Bannon’s view. A progressive who believes history is more or less linear is fighting for immortality when he enters the political arena. A conservative who believes history is cyclical is fighting only for a role in managing, say, the next 20 or 80 years. Then his work will be undone, as everyone’s is eventually.
And complex adaptive systems will do what they d**n well please, the Fatal Conceits of Theoreticians, whether they think they're riding the arc of history or the hamster wheel of history notwithstanding.

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