The Center Never Holds

Updated: Dec 18, 2019



A new center is certain to be born. Only no one knows where it will be staked.

The ideological "big government v small government" dichotomy was always mostly a confabulation of the commenting class. And the idea that the redistributive state was essential for preserving the "freedoms" of predatory economic actors (a.k.a. "the market") was clear in theory well before the US finally actualized it during the 1930s. The 1930s New Deal also demonstrated how the redistributive state will always be essential for preserving the most humane incarnations of "individual rights" which in complex societies are largely dependent on the institutions of liberal democracy and its associated cultural attitudes.

The new "center" Brooks so devoutly prays for will probably involve some configuration of a "Green New Deal", but this time its formational forces will not be merely economic and political. They will be geological in the sense that climate change driven by global warming will also change landscapes and their carrying capacity for organized human life. If this image invokes images of inevitable political clashes of "biblical proportions", with mass migrations, fire & brimstone, and globally echoing wailing and gnashing of teeth, then we can see what is truly at stake.

The original New Deal barely averted the US descent into fascism. But our fascist (we, unfortunately, lack a better word) tendencies were only held at bay when FDR forged his coalition. An ongoing mistake which seems only to be encouraged by ANTIFA street reactions is that the enemies of liberal democracy are best depicted by the devastating realities of desolate gunmen and despicable fringe groups with their "embittered yet defiant" fashion statements. Those agonized souls are symptomatic pawns of an unholy entanglement between militant religious fundamentalism and the most atavistic elements of the 0.1% (a true "idiot elite").

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