It is fascinating in a way how so much of the current crisis parallels events in Europe a century ago, despite the many differences. This is supposed to be the peak of liberal democracy, but it feels more like the dying embers of the old aristocratic order that evolved out of the 19th century in response to the French Revolution and the changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution. Then as now, the one thing agreed upon is the current order is not satisfactory. The old order has failed.
The past is never a perfect parallel to the present, but the many points of comparison between then and now is what matters. The rise of industry forcing people into cities, altering the power arrangements in European societies set off massive cultural changes that resulted in two great industrial wars and the rise of communism. The technological revolution is having the same impact on the West today. The world after the internet is a very different place from the world before it.
The interesting thing about the Bolsheviks and the communists in general is they were the only people trying to come to terms with what in the world was happening and why it was happening. The parallel to today is that it is the dissident subculture in which there is any serious thought about what is driving the ongoing crisis. Establishment efforts like Caldwell’s The Age of Entitlement, want to keep the analysis within the liberal democratic order. The fault lies with people, not the system.
Like the old commies in the industrial age, it is dissidents in the technological age who look further upstream. Like those old commies, there is a theoretical side to the analysis and a practical side, even a sense of urgency. Industry brought both new economic relationships, but also mass movements of people. Millions of Jews, for example, left the Russian empire for America. Similarly, technology has created new power relationships and set up a massive movement of people.
What studying the events of a century ago shows is that the great chain of causality is true in the long view. Russia, for example, has kept reverting back to being Russia, despite the changes in political economy. We see this quite clearly with China today, which is a high tech version of the Tang Dynasty. In the short run, massive changes to political economy can ripple back all the way to the nature of the people. The short run in the context of history can be a few lifetimes.
This is another parallel between then and now. The communists saw the great hand of fate in their history books. Their claims about political-economy were based in a historical understanding that said the arc of history bent toward socialism. The dissident knows that today is the result of the millions of decisions that have happened up to this moment on the timeline. A man is the sum of the mating choices of his ancestors and a people is the sum of all the choices that made the people.
That does not mean that the future is fixed. Nothing is inevitable other than the fact that people have always been wrong about the future. That is another great lesson for us from the communists. They were so sure about how things must end that they did not think much about being wrong about it. You see that with what passes for left-wing radicalism today. They just know that without white people utopia will descend on the land, but how that is supposed to work is never considered.
This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.
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This Week’s Show
- 00:00: Opening
- 02:00: Theory & Practice
- 12:00: Partisan Opportunists (Link)
- 22:00: Political Organizing (link)
- 32:00: Rules & Standards (Link)
- 42:00: Tomorrow Belongs To No One
- 57:00: Closing (Link) (Be Like Me)
Full Show On Spreaker
Full Show On YouTube