(Posted in the comments section of the NYT)
In response to the comments section of one of Paul Krugman’s articles: British Decline
I felt that all the people that were commenting were right. They understood the failure of conservative policy. The same way that conservatives understand the failure of liberal policy. But they are working on different axis. Neither to do with one another.
Our ideological war has now become a race and class war. New elites are emerging. They are less invested in the previous order. They are messianic. They are driven by the one force that is unstoppable: the loss of status and power, which no group will tolerate, and which whites only tolerated because of the combined guilt of slavery and colonialism, and the attack on men by feminism. The elites widthrew from society, participated in the commercial marketplace, left the arts to immigrants, and abandoned high culture. This was fine until the middle class was threatened. At this point, not only is the middle class threatened but so are the working class whites.
Under duress people rely upon the mirror test: people who look like them. They are under duress economically. And they feel that their government, the very government that they surrendered, is against them. The ascendency of europeans and the protestant reformation is being undone. Classical liberalism is being undone. It is being undone for exactly the reasons conservatives stated it would be undone. The inability of conservatives to produce a cult (romanticism) and the abilty of conservatives to produce an economic and political model to compete with socialism and social-democracy, using the tools of monetary policy, and the state, to transfer power and advantage.
RE: “Japan has a big asset: a leadership that honestly cares for its people. This caring (amateur sociology, according to professional economist), is due to their tribal unity.”
This comment correctly states the issue: that despite hardship and demographic changes, the japanese remain under solidarity.
This is scientific data, not amateur sociology: The japanese are a homogenous racist society. Economic success by any group will not lead to political disenfranchisement of another group, wherein the dominant group will lose privilege and opportunity, or the competing groups will not eliminate but simply alter the baises of privilege and opportunity.
The USA is an empire. People of different races, cultures and religions, do not mix except under very rare circumstances at the margins, largely to do with status economies and the resulting access to mates and opportunities. The human accounting system is status, not money. Because intra-group status is more rewarding than extra-group status.
We will not have multi-culturalism when different groups have the ability to obtain political power, and can undermine the majority status system. There was far more multi-culturalism under the great monarchies of europe than today. Simply because commercial excellence was the only status route available to minorities, because the political system was not open to them. Power is not meritocratic. It just is power, and the most important objective of power is to deprive other people of it. And the most important feature of western culture was that it allowed status gain by market activity even if denied access to political office which might alter that dichotomy.
The conservative movement was a reaction to a violation of its core principle of long term group cohesion – a necessary component of land holding and trade-route holding – persistence which cannot be maintained through economic means alone. Only tribalism and pure military strength are strong enough to hold trade routes. THe conservative movement since the end of the war was a reaction against the disintegration of the sentiments of group-persistence, due to immigration, post-slavery political problems, feminism and anti-colonialism, as a coalition against the established political order. And instead of obtaining their ‘rights as englishmen’ of property, and market participation, these groups sought political power – political power is not meritocratic. It is just force.
This process s playing out, and will play out, as materially important and highly predictive. Our culture will not assimilate and unify. It will not achieve the grand vision. We are demographically adopting the south american model. We will, and are, fragmenting to the point where the government may lose the ability to govern. If we get only two states to make use of nullification that will be the end of our multi-cultural, melting-pot fantasy. And three more years of low employment will almost guarantee it.
Good economics is not macro economics. All economics is micro. Because the vast movement of human beings over time is determined by what they cannot sense by quantitative means, and what they can sense by qualitative means: the loss of their status and opportunity due to enforced competition, and competition from people who are no longer asked to integrate and to be ‘american’ and adopt american values, but to oppose those values and retain their culture at any cost, because en-masse, it is a way to obtain political power, rather than participate in the market and become an american by earning status in the market.
All your criticisms of the free trade movement are correct. Conservatives were attempting to preserve the cult of american classical liberalism, preserve existing status hierarchies, and force people to conform to that value system – their cult – and therefore force people into the market under the monarchic classical liberal model. THe conservative policies that you are railing against are simply means of undermining the attack on the classical liberal cultural order. Justified as economic nonsense maybe. But pursued for precisely conservative reasons.
Neither side wins. Period. We all lose. A nation is its cult. Because economics is not a sufficient means of decision making in a polity. Democracy wasn’t the only god that failed. It married secularism. And it’s child is stillborn.