25.2.03

FOURTH TURNING ALERT. Where Worlds Collide has comments on the upcoming splits in the British right. "There's one group (who I'll call Daily Mail readers) who are nationalistic, deeply socially conservative and hostile to immigrants and minorities, and there are a second group who are socially liberal but believe strongly in free markets. It's increasingly difficult for a single party to appeal to both groups; any policy that appeals strongly to one will alienate the other." Yes. Absent the war effort in the United States, that describes the two major classes of voters the Republicans wish to attract. But wait, there's more: as I've argued here and alluded to here, the divisions among the populations of the rich countries, including but not limited to the divisions on the Right, are more important for the life of the world yet to come than the divisions between militant Islam and either a Christian or a secular-humanist enemy. Consider the essay by Regis (cram it down the croissant hatch) Debray: "Whence this paradox: the new world of President Bush, postmodern in its technology, seems premodern in its values. In its principles of action, America is two or three centuries behind 'old Europe.'" Precisely. Fast-rewind to the thinking of the Scottish Enlightenment. Those older values have their champions, and those champions well might be interpreting reality correctly.

There's a corollary in Where Worlds Collide's post on "decline." I don't know how the British perceive the 1950s, but that was the last time just about everything worked properly in the United States. (My parents' view on that era was that it may have been the best of times, and well-earned after Depression and War. Perhaps times that trying are a prerequisite before such an era can happen.)

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