What has been happening in the West for the last decade, or so, is a populist reaction to the rise of global technocracy. Globalism is the spiritual-economic model that rewards poor people in poor countries and rich people in rich countries. The rich people in poor countries get a boost, as well, but that is a happy accident. The rich people in rich countries, pushing free trade and open borders, get their spiritual boost from seeing poor strangers rise up to challenge the middle classes in Western countries.
Global technocracy is the administrative off-shoot, where the attendants of the ruling elites take up newly created positions in the growing international administrative bodies. This includes Western universities, which have been deliberately transformed into international indoctrination and propaganda centers. In 1970, for example, Boston University was a commuter school for middle class kids in Massachusetts. Today the student body is close to 50% foreign born. Nowhere is the New Religion more popular than the college campus.
Popular resistance to this new form of governance is striking fear in the hearts of the ruling class, mostly because the people in charge have come to believe their own rhetoric about the arc of history. The people in charge of the EU just assumed everyone wanted the amorphous, gray blob that is Europe, rather than the vibrant national heritage that is their patrimony. Resistance to turning large swaths of Europe into Muslim ghettos has come as a bit of shock to the people in charge. Why wouldn’t people want this?
That fear will eventually be replaced with a response and that response will not be a change of heart. As we see in Europe, the people in charge have no limits when it comes to inflicting harm on their own people, as long as it supports the European project. Angela Merkel invited in a million Muslims, that no one wanted, because she hoped it would weaken the strength of Germany’s native population. Obama opened the flood gates with a similar goal in mind, but he was just a bit too late to stop Trump.
Anyway, that’s my reaction to this column in the New York Times. It reads like a planning session, by managerial class types, about how to de-legitimize the resistance.
Political scientists have a theory called “democratic consolidation,” which holds that once countries develop democratic institutions, a robust civil society and a certain level of wealth, their democracy is secure.
For decades, global events seemed to support that idea. Data from Freedom House, a watchdog organization that measures democracy and freedom around the world, shows that the number of countries classified as “free” rose steadily from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s. Many Latin American countries transitioned from military rule to democracy; after the end of the Cold War, much of Eastern Europe followed suit. And longstanding liberal democracies in North America, Western Europe and Australia seemed more secure than ever.
But since 2005, Freedom House’s index has shown a decline in global freedom each year. Is that a statistical anomaly, a result of a few random events in a relatively short period of time? Or does it indicate a meaningful pattern?
Mr. Mounk and Mr. Foa developed a three-factor formula to answer that question. Mr. Mounk thinks of it as an early-warning system, and it works something like a medical test: a way to detect that a democracy is ill before it develops full-blown symptoms.
The first factor was public support: How important do citizens think it is for their country to remain democratic? The second was public openness to nondemocratic forms of government, such as military rule. And the third factor was whether “antisystem parties and movements” — political parties and other major players whose core message is that the current system is illegitimate — were gaining support.
You’ll note that there is nothing in there about the conduct of the ruling class. If whatever they are calling “democracy” at the moment produces degenerates like the Clinton Crime Family or easily manipulated airheads like Bush or Obama, people are going to get suspicious of whatever you’re calling democracy. Of course, the fact that democracy, strictly speaking, is just mob rule, is not addressed. According to our betters, the Founders were a bunch of Nazis, because they opposed democracy.
The big point is the last one. Any resistance to the status quo will now be classified as anti-democratic. This is, of course, a backdoor way of smearing anyone who questions the wisdom of allowing unaccountable bureaucrats free rein to rearrange the social order, based on theories popular only on the college campus. It is a lot easier to call critics immoral and beyond the pale, than it is to debate them, so there will now be a healthy market for intellectuals, who can demonize the resistance to the status quo.
The humorous part of the story is this bit.
According to the Mounk-Foa early-warning system, signs of democratic deconsolidation in the United States and many other liberal democracies are now similar to those in Venezuela before its crisis.
Across numerous countries, including Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States, the percentage of people who say it is “essential” to live in a democracy has plummeted, and it is especially low among younger generations.
For the last decade or so, it was popular on the Official Right to use Venezuela as a club to beat their liberal buddies over the head. Now those liberal buddies, having lost an election, are using it to beat their “conservative” buddies over the head. What’s funny about it is that the people who voted for Trump did so as a rejection of the Official Right, as much as a rejection of the Left. The Punch and Judy Show among defenders of the managerial class has lost its audience.
The fact is, democracy is a disaster. It’s a free shot for despots and lunatics to gain power, at which point they put an end to democracy. Democracy is a bus that runs in one direction and only has one destination – authoritarianism. It’s why sensible men of the Right, notice the qualifier, have preferred ordered liberty in the form of representative self-government. It permits the state to be responsible to popular will, but it protects the citizens from themselves and their worst instincts.