Friday, April 02, 2010

Farewell to the World as We Know It

I smell death. I think the modern left, at least, is going down. Of course, there will still be a left and a right, but the centre is about to shift. I see the current attempt to attack the pope; I see the recent passage of “Obamacare”; I see the recent attempt by the Liberal party in Canada to defeat the government on the issue of abortion; and they look to me a bit like desperation. They seem unrealistically ambitious.

I think this happens when a persistent bluff is just about to fold. Before we abandon it, we are inclined instead to up ante, by doing something fairly extravagant, a big final play with all the chips down. Maybe, what the hell, the other side will cave in. One last chance.

If the Catholic Church caved, yup, big. But the odds are profoundly against. And yup, it was big to pull off Obamacare. But will it really change American society in time for the next election. And yup, it would have been big if the Conservative caucus, instead of the Liberal one, had split over abortion. But the odds were always the other way.

I think the leadership on the left knows more than the average sod among us knows. They may not be smarter than we are, but they are paying closer attention, and have access to some privileged information. Reputedly, at the recent think-tank meeting of the Canadian Liberal Party, Frank McKenna turned to Paul Martin, and said, “We're ****ed”; and Paul Martin replied, “The whole world's ****ed.” That may sum up the mood on the left.

The problems coming down are:

1.Immigration/depopulation. The left's insistence on smaller families, women in the workforce, and removing the traditional rights and protections of the family, has led to a demographic crisis with horrifying ramifications; and quite possibly to the current recession. The reckoning has been postponed by the left's promotion of immigration and multiculturalism, but this too is now creating a huge backlash, partly thanks to 9/11. One important consequence is that any form of “welfare state” is going to soon be unaffordable.

2.Information technology. The left's power base has been the clerical class: the professions and the bureaucracy. The premise has been that, being better educated and supposedly smarter, they had the right and the duty to run things for everyone else. Quite similar to the premise behind the old aristocracies, in fact. Unfortunately for the left, with the vastly greater availability of information thanks to the Internet, this premise is crumbling. Repeatedly, professional groups of cogniscenti are being shown up with relative ease by eager amateurs as either foolish, or corrupt, or both. The journalism “profession” has been taking an obvious, severe beating for a while. The heart of the academy in the “hard” sciences has now been hit by “Climategate.” Politicians are getting their worst flubs posted on YouTube; and this is what Ezra Levant was able to do to the bureaucrats behind the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

I am not as pessimistic about “the world” as Martin and McKenna; but that is probably because I see the interests of the world as distinct from those of the Liberal party or the left.