If you pay any attention to American politics and you can look past the shouting and hand waving, you’ll notice that both parties are strikingly similar. In the House, the leader of the Democrats is an old woman from the most left-wing congressional district in the country. The Republicans are led by a strange little man from one the most liberal states in the country. Wisconsin is the ancestral home of the Progressive Movement.
As I pointed in my award winning post on the voting nations and America, the Republican Party is a southern party with northern leaders. Those northern leaders are thoroughly disconnected from their voters, but thoroughly connected to their analogs in the other party. America has been run by a Yankee coalition since the Civil War and we are now in the midst of a Yankee Crackup.
The ructions in the primaries are entirely due to the yawning chasm between the people and their rulers. Donald Trump is leading in the polls because he is a rebuke to the party leadership. A long time ago I compared him to Beppe Grillo, who was similarly dismissed as a clown and a publicity stunt until his party started winning elections. Even now, the European political elite dismisses these populist movements.
Dismiss is not really correct, though, is it? In Europe, Merkel is making war on the native population by actively encouraging a Muslim invasion. Whole German towns have been turned into Arab ghettos overnight. The reason seems to be nothing more than spite. The evidence is as clear as day that the people do not want this, so what other reason is there for pushing a policy that the people despise?
Now we are seeing something similar happening in the US. The budget pushed through by Paul Ryan is not just bad politics. It is a contradiction of everything he promised just a month ago when he got the job. It’s as if he deliberately assembled a bill that contradicted everything he promised just to stick a finger in the eye of his own voters. The reason to think the point of this point is to spite his voters is the immigration stuff. How else can you interpret such an outrageous betrayal?
Anyway, this latest insult to the people by their “representatives” got me thinking about the Irish Potato Famine. In America this event has largely been flushed down the memory hole because the Irish-Americans find it embarrassing. An estimated one million Irish died from famine within half a decade. Millions more simply fled the country for the rest of the English speaking world. Ireland lost 25% of its population in five years.
Historians blame the famine on a number of factors, but it was the political arrangements that set everything in motion. Oppression of Catholics by the English resulted in a system where the farm land was owned not by Irish, but by English landlords who lived in England. These absentee landlords relied on middlemen to collect rents and enforce their rights against an indigenous population that was trapped in a feudal system.
We live in a different age, but we are facing something similar in America where the financial elite are entirely divorced from the rest of America. They flit around between financial and political capitals without much contact with the people. They are the new ascendancy class and their middlemen are the political parties, who enforce the rules and guard their interests.
The Irish Famine was directly the result of a potato blight, but what should have been a minor disruption in farming was turned into a disaster by a break in the normal feedback loop in a society. The ruling class were slow to react and indifferent to the initial suffering, because the Irish were not their people. They may as well have been Bantus living in an African jungle. Politics then, as now, was local and all the politicians were across the sea, instead of talking to their people.
America is not going to be struck by a potato famine, obviously, but we are being hit with an immigration disaster and a looming financial disaster. The ruling elite is plundering the country and indifferent to the people. Instead, they rely on politicians like Paul Ryan to enforce their orders and collect their rents. The rents in this case are indentured servants brought in to displace native workers. Instead of being throw off the land, Americans are being thrown out of their jobs.
Historical analogies are never perfect. There’s no sign of Ribbonism or Whiteboyism breaking out in America, but who knows what tomorrow will bring. In some respects, the websites and podcasts of the dissident right are filling the role of those Irish secret societies. Our rulers and their middlemen are hardly aware that we exist. What they do know about us tells them we are trouble and must be suppressed.