October 29, 2012

{Reblogged} Are We Becoming More Medieval?

And, although I don’t necessarily agree 100% with the author, I think he does bring up some valid arguments.  I would diverge with him on a couple of points:

1. What is wrong with communitarianism? ( i.e. “nation states” or “city states” or as the author termed it “a nostalgia for localism”) — he seems to think that they are not wanted (I hesitate to use the word ‘bad’), somehow.

2. All the problems the West faces, specifically in the US, were not created by Obama taking office and running up 5 trillion more dollars worth of debt.  These problems are deep-seated, and transcend party affiliation, ethnicity or gender.  They have more to do with worldview, then with politics.  Which of course, are intra-related, one informing the other, hopefully.

Why is there today a nostalgia for localism? Shrinking Western populations with growing numbers of elderly and unemployed can no longer sustain their present level of redistributive taxation and entitlements. Europe, which can endure neither the disease of insolvency nor the supposed medicine of austerity, is only a decade ahead of what we should expect here in the United States, or what we see now in California — a construct more than a state, where the Central Valley is to the coast as Mississippi is to Massachusetts. 
Voters are also disgusted with government, and feel that their overseers are not even subject to the consequences of what they impose on others: We expect the Obamas to trash the 1 percent as they jet to Martha’s Vineyard, or a zillionaire John Kerry to demand higher taxes as he seeks to avoid them on his yacht, or an upscale French Socialist president to have a home on the Mediterranean — or, on the other side of the ledger, social-conservative elites to speak and act like metrosexuals. 
The frustration with the distant redistributive state extends beyond the technocracy to the very nature and legitimacy of the bureaucracies themselves. We know that no one trusts the National Bank of Greece or believes much in Eurobonds, but who trusts any more the GSA, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or even the Secret Service to fulfill their missions competently, and with honesty and decorum? 
Nor can the redistributionist technocracy any longer make the case that its certifications, its very claims to legitimacy and entitlement — a PhD from Harvard, a JD from Yale, an MBA from Stanford — and its experience — tenure at Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, two years in OMB, a billet at the CBO, three years at the Federal Reserve — have warranted our trust. We certainly do not believe any more that such a résumé makes one a better legislator or administrator than another who has run a company, built a business, farmed, piloted a plane, or served in the military. Certainly an Al Gore or Barack Obama does not seem wise, no matter where he was educated or how many government posts he has held.
You can read the article in it’s entirety, here.

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