Friday, August 12, 2016

"I Would 'Twere Bedtime, and All Well"

This season conservatives feel like we are staring into the abyss. And there's a temptation to wish it all away, and say, as Falstaff said to Prince Hal right before the battle: "I would 'twere bedtime, Hal, and all well."

It's a real temptation. To wish it all over. Think about it. The Republican base is angry. The white working class has come storming into the GOP with Trump. African Americans are angry that the First Black President turned out to be a complete bust. Feminists are determined to wipe out the rapists and the patriarchs. Gays are determined to wipe out the haters. Liberals are determined to stand against the xenophobes.

We moderns and globalists have a myth that everything can be resolved by rational discussion and the scientific advice of the experts. Alas, the experts are the bribed apologists of some special interest. And nobody can ever agree on the rational response to the current crisis.

So everything has to be determined by anger and force. This is hard to understand, but that is the way it has always been. in War Before Civilization the primitive tribes ran constant border wars featuring raids and massacres, but they didn't experience it as a rational way to maintain the borders and food supplies. Their wars were "caused" by cross-border insults, or the wrath of the gods.

So it is with us. We have our wars, that used to be about princely honor, then about national honor, and now about wars to save the world from fascism, communism, Islamism. That's when we are not fighting to save the world from environmental degradation, the ozone hole, or climate change.

And our local wars, that used to be between the king and his barons -- that's what Falstaff and Prince Hal were doing -- are now about class wars, race wars, and the various wars led by our modern barons of activism on behalf of marginalized people everywhere.

My point is that all the angry people here in the US want the government to put its thumb on the scales of justice for their benefit. The Republican base wants -- yes what do we want, exactly, beyond fighting back against Obama? The white working class wants the good old days of "good jobs at good wages" for graduating from high school, which are gone forever. African Americans want -- yes what do they want? We know what the elite Marxist lefty Black Lives Matter wants, but that will lead to nothing but misery. And African Americans got civil rights half a century ago. Feminists? They got what they want decades ago, only what they wanted didn't really pan out, so now they want more of it. Gender benders? They are swinging a lot of elite cultural weight but none of it will make them happy, because to get off the main stream of ordinary human sexual reproduction is to descend into a maelstrom of misery.

We conservatives can see, after a Trump failure, a Supreme Court that will roll back the First Amendment and make it illegal to criticize the Clintons and roll back the Second Amendment to make it illegal to protect your family. And more big government solutions to health care and education that will only make things worse.

But really, that's the way the world works. It doesn't get fixed by rational discussion and the timely advice of the experts. The world works with one mess followed by another.

We conservatives like to think that with some sensible reform and roll-back of big government excess we can return to a bourgeois world of responsible cooperation. We have been rehearsing this dream for half a century and more, but really, the world doesn't work like that. Instead the big government model will go on from one lurch to another until the whole thing collapses. And then something will emerge out of the ruins that nobody expected or planned for, something that completely confounds the experts and the activists.

Sorry, Jack Falstaff. Your hope for a quick fix and home by bedtime is not the way the world works. It is always much messier than that.

And we had better get used to the world as it really is.



  2. most of those government agencies (in the above meme) grew out of Government taking over the job that private industry did. Or in the case of the Post Office, the job is done better by private industry. DOT has created more stafus than helped. NASA was useful, now it has become a waste of money.Time as maintained by the Navy? Yes, one of the few constitutional described activities (protect the country) which requires a Navy. And the navy requires accurate time. Which US citizens see as GPS that is 1/100 as accurate as the Armed Services GPS.

  3. oh, yeah. The internet was developed by Darpa. But not in form that average citizens could use. That took private companies. Selling things that people wanted.

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