America voted to return to its foundations as a constitutional republic instead of continuing on the path towards a corrupting welfare state. On their compulsive drive, the governing classes had become, well, ungovernable.
On Independence Day weekend, this writer published an article that rhetorically asked if the “American Spring” would be successful? The answer in rural talk was “You bet!”. Trump, the Republicans and the “deplorables” will indeed drain the swamp in early stages in another great reformation.
For many, the election was a shock followed by distress. This shows up in street riots and counselling sessions. Get over it, equally intense angst took to the streets with the transition from Carter to Reagan.
For beleaguered taxpayers, results signal relief from increasingly expensive and wasteful bureaucracy. High-fives all around. Hoist a beer and work with the reform.
In the last few years the thrust of state ambition became intrusive enough to arouse a popular uprising. Dating back to dynastic changes in Ancient Egypt, there is a long history of the public being provoked enough to reform predatory government.
The uprising in Czechoslovakia in 1989 was successful and attributed to the “power of the powerless”. The “Prague Spring” of 1968 was brutally quelled by tanks and machine guns.
For hundreds of years, neurotic intellectuals have scorned ordinary citizens as “bourgeoisie”. Hillary Clinton’s contempt was focused upon the “deplorables”.
The moment of success for an uprising occurs when state operatives lose the will to impose authority. At virtually the same time, submission loses its complacency.
Professional activists disrupted GOP meetings during the election and it was worth making the comparison to riots in Europe in the early 1930s. Those were violent streetclashes between international socialists and national socialists. Both were professionals and both sides were rioting for authoritarian government. Uninvolved citizens remained quiet.
Recent disruptions in American streets have had only one party clamouring for intrusive government.
While unremarked by legions of journalists, there has been an important distinction. Despite being burdened by the establishment’s intrusions, the general public remained silent and stayed home. With contempt, Dems abused them; too many in the GOP ignored them.
Suddenly, the uninvolved became involved.
The results are profound, irrevocable and quite likely long lasting.
Just how profound is that it was not just another struggle between two parties contesting the middle ground. The combination of the apparatus of government, the MSM and the Democratic Party had become a monolithic political force with seemingly infinite power.
Political Correctness has become one of the most formidable forces in history. Its remarkable success does not depend upon winning arguments, but in relentlessly attacking anything contrary to the notion de jour. Since the late 1960s, it’s been Global Cooling, Fluoridation, Alar on Apples, Acid Rain, Ozone Holes, GMOs, Global Warming and Climate Change, just to list the most compelling anxieties. Thoughtful folk are grateful that activists seem unable to get excited about all of the threats at the same time.
And, no matter the issue, the dogma is always settled.
Now for the irrevocable part.
The recent great experiment in authoritarian government has run for more than a hundred years. Each country ran its experiment in its own way. Some countries became murderous police states, some were constrained to mere envy, but most did not turn murderous.
In what seems a long time ago, Americans celebrated individual responsibility and limited government. But inspired by Obama, the long-running trend of intrusion went ballistic. In providing credit without limit, the central bank also went ballistic. Such extremes have provoked informed and legitimate opposition.
This uprising compares to the early 1600s, when the last great authoritarian experiment ran to political and economic distress. The burden of the ambitious combination of church and state became too much for the average household. England’s reformation was much less violent than Europe’s, and hopefully provides guidance for today. The “Glorious Revolution” of 1688 was bloodless and the highlight of the transition from absolutist monarchy to limited government.
The subsequent trend towards increasing freedom was described as liberalism and ran until the 1890s. Even if a researcher then had known the characteristics of the two previous great experiments in authoritarian government, it would have been impossible to predict another one. Fortunately, there has been two examples of ending action to provide guidance. The first one was the collapse of Rome.
Quite simply, undisciplined bureaucrats intrude until the money is gone.
Over the decades, intrusion has had many compelling political banners. Fascism, which is the combination of big business and big government, Communism, Socialism, Globalism and sadly a corrupted Liberalism. Not to overlook the remarkable persuasions of the Global Warming/Climate Change movement. Anyone who criticizes the compulsion of the day is often called a Nazi. All the banners represent arbitrary intrusion and clearly a universal definition of authoritarian ambition is needed.
“That which is not compulsory is prohibited.”
Which covers everything from Communist dictatorships to school boards.
Authority happened everywhere and the belligerence of the Obama/Clinton administration finally aroused an uprising that is now impressive. This is shocking to the establishment, which ironically, has suddenly become the reactionary force.
More recent political history could also provide guidance.
In the early 1980s, a popular uprising began in Europe and eventually took out totalitarian governments. The West enjoyed reform as well.
President Reagan won the White House, but was opposed by the Democratic House and Senate. More reform was prevented than accomplished.
In 1984, Canadian conservatives were revved up for change. This gave Prime Minister Mulroney the biggest landslide in history. In a parliamentary system the majority party has a lot of power. Unfortunately, even by the 1988 election the party did not understand the popular demand for reform. Some privatization was accomplished, but much of the potential for reform went unrealized.
In England, Prime Minister Thatcher’s majority was understood and accomplished massive reform towards more limited government. The greatest such success since 1688.
Brexit is a reform movement away from excessive and remote government. In 1776, Americans had similar issues.
Donald Trump will take office with the strongest Republican position since 1928. This includes 33 state governorships. What about continued activism by monolithic media?
The blunder by main stream media is finally being recognized and criticized. Some reporters could reform, but too many will not quit promoting intrusive bureaucracy.
In the late 1500s, England’s government enjoyed almost full control of the media, both in print and in the pulpit. But during the popular uprising of the early 1600s, Archbishop Laud at the notorious Star Chamber complained about losing control to the new middle class media. Because of establishment censorship, independent information was published as “newsbooks” in Amsterdam. And then distributed to discerning readers in England.
Some of the financial details of that period are fascinating.
As usual, a long expansion ended in a boom. Then the contraction with growing unemployment forced the desperate government to an experimental “make work” program. In real time, London merchants ridiculed the scheme in calling it “Tyrannical Duncery”. The severe financial collapse that began in 1618 validated the description. Intrusion worsened the financial calamity.
History records as many failures as there are theories of intervention. The last twenty years of policymaking has been providing another prime example of Tyrannical Duncery.
Lately, business is burdened by rules and regulation, which inhibits growth. Academic economists arbitrarily decide that GDP growth is too weak. Central bankers recklessly boost credit hoping it will “grow” the economy. The net result has been a weak expansion. But excess credit has bubbled up in reckless speculation in tangible and financial assets that is becoming unsustainable.
With a degree in geophysics, this writer has described the ambition to “manage” the climate as the most audacious boast in the long history of bureaucracy. Traditionally, wise priesthoods have only interceded with gods, not acted as if they were gods.
Understandably, the state has championed only economic and climate theories that serve its drive for power and wealth. Such corruption will become more widely understood. IPCC’s mandate was to investigate anthropogenic warming via CO2 and nothing else. One-dimensional research on a three-dimensional subject.
The electorate’s discovery of the modern equivalent of “Duncery” and the conviction to say “No!” is a start. Eventually, it will reform in-your-face and in-your-wallet governments.
Perhaps the movement really is becoming the “American Spring”. Opposing tantrums will be ineffective. The unprecedented union of state and media has had a serious setback. Generally, media could reacquire self-criticism as well as its former responsibility as the “Fourth Estate”.
As with so many historical examples, the uprising is the vehicle of reform. Trump just happens to be the leader, and personally he is more of a threat to good taste than to good order. Bureaucracy unconstrained by constitutional norms has always been the greatest danger.
You can wager on this.
Bob Hoye, Institutional Advisors – WEBSITE: www.institutionaladvisors.com