Collapse or Correction

Arthur Harrison suggests that the rise of Trump means that “the collapse” is already happening.

Those of you who are sitting around waiting for the collapse don’t get it – it’s happening NOW.

It may even be ending.

Did you think a collapse would mean that the Internet went down and all the banks stopped running? Were you expecting a Hollywood movie?

Maybe you live in a safe white neighbourhood — maybe the looting hasn’t come to your street.

But there has been looting.

When Rome fell a lot of people didn’t notice — but it fell all the same.

The absolute crisis of confidence in the Occidental elites *is* the collapse.

People like Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump simply are the new elites #NRx was hoping to influence when it theorised the collapse in 2013.

Seriously, what did you think would happen?

Were all the buildings going to spontaneously combust?

You guys wouldn’t know a collapse if it bit you on the ass.

What do we mean when we talk about collapse?  There are actually a couple of different things. One is the decline in certain capabilities of our civilisation.  There’s general agreement that that has been going on for a while, so that isn’t what @AvengingRedHand is talking about. (You can point to the downfall of the old European order with the First World War, or suggest that there was a peak in scientific and technical achievement in the 1970s).

The notion of collapse that Harrison is emphasising is the opportunity for a change in the system of power of the US (and, by extension, US satellites).

So, do the breakdown of order produced by “Black Lives Matter”, and the rejection of elite assumptions exemplified by Donald Trump’s campaign, constitute the end of the status quo, and an opportunity for a restoration or reset?

I don’t think so. It isn’t quite business as usual, but if anything it represents a correction to some recent excesses of the mainstream left. The left through the twentieth century was always a balance between practical power-seeking politicians and enthusiastic puritan youths, and for the last decade the idealists have been gaining the upper hand. This always produces a backlash, but that backlash produces a discrediting of the openly ideological left and a recovery of the realistic strategy-minded left. It also produces narrow but significant victories for the right. What it does not produce is the end of the system.

I think it is reasonable to compare the current situation with the end of the 1970s.  The sixties had produced an excess of idealistic leftism, which had run out of control. The mainstream right had followed the zeitgeist to the extent of accepting a steady growth of welfare, increasing state control of industry, and a foreign policy conciliatory to the Soviet Union and international communism.

The backlash brought a former Democrat with celebrity status and a populist tone to the presidency. Some of the leftist excesses were rolled back temporarily—welfarism, alliance with international leftism—and some others were permanently ended—nationalised industry. But the system didn’t change. The left reorganised, became more sensible, and a decade on began to both recover its losses and make new advances in other areas.

It seems quite possible that 2016 could see a similar backlash and correction to the recent excesses of leftism. It is possible that in some areas—for instance on the immigration issue—there could be a change in policy and attitude that lasts for decades. But that would simply be a shift from the current unsustainable leftist spiral to a more sustainable leftist spiral.

What is more interesting is what the result will be if there is no correction.

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