The latest from Richard Fernandez, a superb pattern recogniser, and someone with interesting observations, questions and judgements.
The causes of the bleak future are easy to understand but difficult for the liberal project to accept. The West has spent its past and borrowed on its future to buy votes in the present. Now the the millennials are stuck with the bill. Giant deficits, unfunded welfare systems, crushing student debts have come down on them just like anyone who spends more than he earns. It’s the betrayal that must hurt most. The were told it was OK. Socialism would square the circle on the volume. Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman assured the public there would be no problem. After all, “the Great Depression wasn’t ended by the intellectual victory of Keynesian economics … what put a decisive end to the slump was World War II … this story is what led me to facetiously suggest that we fake a threat from space aliens, to provide a politically acceptable cover for stimulus.”
It worked until it didn’t. Youth unemployment turned out to be just deferred unemployment, the can big governments kicked down the road until the road ran out. We may be living through an enormously important period: the collapse of Gramscianism in the West. If Eastern socialism died with the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the Western version may at last be crumbling before a monumental wall of kicked cans. The Gramscian termites ate through the institutions and found with their last triumphant bite that they had eaten it all.
Its demise will leave an historic hole in Western civilization. For good or ill the Left was the West’s familiar: the wheedling family bum, what we defined ourselves through and in opposition to. Without the Left neither the 20th century, the EU or the American progressive project is even comprehensible. It was the future that never happened, the madness over which mankind walked the narrow path of nuclear destruction yet which framed the debate. Now it is passing from the scene with all the drama of an empty ramen wrapper on the sidewalk.
Fernandez is aware of the Cathedral:
The great locomotive of history is out of gas and we have to walk the remainder of the way wherever it is that the road leads. It’s demise marks the fall of a great civilizational cathedral. Once Lenin’s key invention the Bolshevik party stood ready at all times to seize the initiative on any issue and turn it into a vehicle to seize power. It told you what to think on every subject. Only the Jihadists had the same capability. “How did the Syrian uprising become dominated by jihadists?” asks one author. How? In the same way the Bolshevists once did: through quasi-religious commitment, a professional cadre, money and guns.
The link on the Cathedral is here: