Fear and Trembling: letter to an American friend


“Part of me is going to miss liberal democracy.”

Dear friend,


I continue to be amazed and not a little alarmed by how rational people, such as yourself, are themselves seriously disturbed  about Trump. [That was an awkward phrase.] I see it on Boards that I sit on, I see it in some friends. They are really concerned, such as I have not seen since Reagan’s days.


See the above cartoon from the New Yorker; it captures the angst. I say to myself:  “This is the United States. They change King and Prime Minister at the same time. They change the direction of government and the arbiter of social mores at the same time. Not my system but you  would think they would have grown used to it  after 230 years.”

And my response to the thought is : “Apparently not”.



As to this being the last hurrah for Republicans for a while, I think not. [Please understand that everything I say at all times these days is preceded by a serious caveat: I could be wrong]


The Republicans are being invaded by Trump and possibly by his followers. This may mean that the white working class (and like-minded) may find a home in the Repos. The old adage of the Democrats was that the American working class would  vote Democratic if they could only see their interests properly. Such a view needs adjustment. Before Trump, many American working class people were voting for Republicans because Republicans were talking to a broader range of moral issues than the merely economic; issues of loyalty, country, solidarity, and the sacred. These are issues that the Democrats abandoned, leaving them able to talk about only two axes of differentiation: procedural fairness (or its absence) and equality (racial outcomes, income) versus inequality. I borrow this analysis from Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind in its entirety.

I cannot sufficiently praise Haidt’s book for its analysis of how societies evaluate issues.

Now, with Trump, the Republicans are talking a language of fairness of outcomes, as well as patriotism, inclusion, unity and God. The equality of man under God, not the inequality and oppression of groups; the equality of Americans as patriots, not the inequality of who needs special toilets, special legal privileges, and special status. It is a powerful language of equality in unity, and it has nothing to do with the dollar.

On top of that,  Trump is telling the American people that he is looking out for their interests, in a way that the previous three, maybe four, Presidents have not.


When the Reagan revolution began, the move was to crush communism and deregulate the economy, and open international trade. Both succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations. In so doing, it appears that the social and economic interests of the elite prospered, of whom most seem to be Democrats, with Republicans a well-represented minority in the coastal elites, as well as those who draw upon government for sustenance. So it was a coalition of the state-dependents and the elites versus the middle classes. (Roughly speaking).


Forty years later, what needs doing has changed (or not, depending on your politics). The country at large seems to have felt that, for there to be a United States, a country at all, certain processes of social and demographic change had to stop, be slowed, or be reversed. These are racial and demographic in part, but so is everything else in society.


Right now I am watching the elites (of which we are members) having a conniption fit, but for whatever reasons, probably of temperament, I am unable to be greatly disturbed at the change. In fact I am watching with some amusement the incredulity of elite opinion in Brexit-land and in the United States as the masses speak through their imperfect prophets, Farage and Trump.  People who think themselves better do not like to be told they are wrong. No one likes to be told they are wrong; I don’t.  But the tones of outraged privilege emanating from all quarters of elite opinion (The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the Washington Post etc.) allow for some questions as to who is the true upholder of democratic values?

Is the Smaller cartoon right?

Am I missing something important? Is liberal democracy under attack?

Or is it just the whining of left-wingers and the privileged when their cultural and political hegemony is overturned? In short, have we just seen an important election in which liberal democracy worked? And the elites do not like it one bit.

Until further evidence is  available, I shall remain confident that one flawed President has been replaced by another flawed President, of different policies,  and that the system is holding.


As always, best regards and good luck in your projects



“I said, ‘Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women,’

but the media took that totally out of context.”


It is not what is said, it is what is heard, that counts


Mrs Dalwhinnie said that she finally had understood what the women’s protest in Washington was about, and since her concerns reflected exactly what Kate Heartfield wrote in the paper this morning, I shall cite Miss Heartfelt:

Anti-Trump women’s marches send message to misogynist demagogues: We won’t go back to the bad old days

“Going backward is the thread that runs through Donald Trump’s plans.

  1. He has promised to undo the progress of the past half-century, in ways that completely unnerve reasonable people on both the left and the right in every country. Undoing decades of trade liberalization and market-friendly policies that have brought unprecedented peace and prosperity to humanity.
  2. Undoing the legal and cultural reforms that affirm an individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
  3. Overturning the Cold War victories of so many around the world who declared, sometimes at great personal cost, that a free press and an open government were the better way.”

(numbers are mine)

  1. True, in part. He certainly talks of protection and managed trade and negotiating better trade deals, controlling US immigration, deregulating energy exploration and production, lowering taxes, school reform, cutting government spending by 20%, abolishing some cultural spending agencies, increasing personal choice in education, and crushing Islamic terrorism. This is an ambitious program.
  2. Where? When?
  3. Whaaat? Same questions as 2 above.

In discussing this with Mrs Dalwhinnie, I was stumped when she said “it is not what is said, it is what people hear”. Appeals to facts when dealing with emotional issues are mostly vain. In the spirit of combatting emotional truths that are just not so, let me ask the following:

  • When did Trump promise to roll back abortion rights?
  • When did Trump promise to roll back gay rights?
  • When did Trump promise to roll back Cold War victories, or suppress free speech and open government?

[hear the sound of crickets, or wind over snow]

Trump is a New York liberal on social matters and a pragmatic conservative on matters of economics. So far as I can tell, he does not give a damn for conservative Christian shibboleths popular among Southern Baptists and some Evangelicals.

Where there’s smoke, said President John Kennedy, there’s a smoke machine. In the case of the well organized and supposedly non-partisan women’s march, here is some  research of interest. It shows that the links between the march organizers and the funding activities of George Soros are clear, many, and uncontested.

These were the principles of the Women’s March.

This was part of the statement of mission:

The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.

In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.

All important, but it is fair to say quite peripheral to what the election was about – as if reality matters. And in addition I observe that the gap between the treatment by the official feminist movement of Trump for his vulgar but private comment of 22 years ago in a locker room about grabbing pussies of women who offered them, and the treatment of Bill Clinton for his serial seductions over the decades, is grotesque.

This brings me around to the comment that “what matters is what is heard, not what is said”. Today we see directly in Heartfield’s article the lies – that is not too strong a word – about what Trump said, and what the Post is willing to publish. What Trump intends is revolutionary enough, but it has nothing to do with women’s rights, or anyone else’s rights, for that matter.

If I may borrow a line from the People’s Cube, that naughty satirical pseudo-Communist send-up of all  things Leftist:

“Arguing the issue is beside the point. The issue is never the issue; the issue is always the revolution.”

David Warren on Trump

My thoughts exactly, only Warren  said them better. A tip of the hat to the prisoner in the High Doganate.

Doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink. Admits to a germ phobia. Works twenty hours a day. This might be a crazy man.

Or possibly an android. But androids aren’t vain. And besides, he admits that he is vain, unlike the previous android. Prides himself especially on his “common sense.” He also seems to have a sense of humour, and to be capable of self-deprecation. But hasn’t made a habit of it.

Extreme self-confidence; comfortable among strong-willed people.

He is very smart, very sharp, with that kind of intelligence that was made for survival on a stage. Quick on his feet; knows when to duck. And unlike a politician, when not to. (As I mentioned in a recent post, the public are good at judging pretty faces on their TVs; not so good at estimating intelligence.)

Remarkably candid. Doesn’t mind if you don’t like it.

Likes people in uniform, from generals to hotel cleaning staff. Knows how to wear a tuxedo; or a babe on his arm. Decidedly heterosexual. Likes strong women, too. (Women are discovering that sometimes a man is okay, for a change.)

Can do business with anybody, both in his imagination and in fact.

Bit of a temper on him: retaliates for slights. Can recall, but does not nurse a grudge. People who have actually known him for a long time say he is a warm, loyal, generous friend, who remembers birthdays. (Certainly well organized, in that way.)

And I have seen interviews with him from years ago, in which his political views were solicited, before he became a professional politician. (Once a hack, always a hack: I can’t stop myself inquiring into “background.”) Those views have not changed: a “populist” then as now.

Doesn’t like wars. Knows they cost a lot of money. Would rather that no one got hurt.

Given to overstatement and wild exaggeration, but with enjoyment. Needs coaching on the understatement side.

Basically honest, in a businesslike way. Unlikely to commit crimes, once he knows what they are.

I have no reason to believe he is a gangster, apart from the fact he’s been in real estate, and often talks like a gangster. Also looks like a gangster, and dresses like one, and has a wife who looks like a moll, but I don’t think it’s fair to dwell on appearances. (Too, she looks absolutely gorgeous in powder blue.)

For that matter, most gangsters are refreshingly honest, when the stakes are low. Gratuitous dishonesty is for the general population, who never take big risks.

As protection rackets go, one is probably better off with gangsters than with minor-league bureaucrats, looking for something to enforce, if only to assuage their minor-league bureaucratic egos. Gangsters are happy to overlook the small stuff. They get big by focusing on the “bigly.” We get small by focusing on the small change. Fortunately for us, gangsters create employment, and don’t make a scene unless they have to. (However, little-league gangsters can be a pest.)

Moses gave ten commandments, by the way. Only three are currently enforceable, and those only in carefully specified cases.

But there are more than 10,000 felonies on the U.S. books today (I saw an estimate somewhere, of nearly 17,000) — from dwarf tossing (in Florida) to slow dancing (in a national park). They are currently increasing faster than 1,000 a year: a few by statute, the rest through regulatory codes. Goodness knows how many misdemeanours. Nanny State can always nail you for something.

Nineteen in twenty convictions are by plea bargain; 97 percent of charges stick in some form (approximately the level in Stalin’s Russia). And this despite sometimes slovenly police. Tens of millions of convicted felons; about 7 million currently in gaol or on parole; well over a million busy lawyers. Just think if they had proper trials.

So yes, the people in the inaugural crowd who shouted that Hillary should go to gaol, had a point. And Donald should surely go there, too. So should everybody. Indeed, it is conventionally Christian to observe, that we all deserve to hang.

I listened carefully to the inaugural speech. You had to be a foreigner to appreciate it. To such an one, it sounded as if the new Chief Executive conceives of Natted States Merica as one yuge protection racket. As I said: better to be in than out.

And on reasons hinted, I think this is for the best. The previous Chief was a fusspot, a nickel-and-dime man, lacking the strategic vision. He was never sure whose side he was on. He set some sort of record for new laws. High time to simplify things.

American Revolution Redux

The media squirmed, the Establishment fumed, and the ever-demented left took to the streets for violence and mayhem.

A call to arms and a call to America to reclaim her heritage as the leading light of liberty in the world; to put her people to work, to reject identity politics and to cleave to all things the citizens of the nation have in common; and to learn loyalty, not only to the nation, but to one another.
….Thus Spake The Donald.
The Donald delivered a remarkable speech at the Inauguration, rejecting the creaking platitudes and oily pablum (aka Obama’s “soaring rhetoric”), thereby placing the country firmly on a path toward reaffirming the nationality of America, toward re-employing American working people, and toward a new America on the world stage as a free nation, not an empire builder.

True to his character of “never give a inch”, he gave them all both barrels. After eight years of Obama’s corrosive policies eating away at the roots of the American nation and culture, President Trump has set the stage for a house cleaning the country hasn’t seen in decades.

Racial divisions, fueled by the spiteful identity politics of the left must be swept away. The education system, poisoned by years of cultural Marxism, must be thoroughly reformed, Western Civilization taught to students, standards invigorated, and the unholy racket of public service unions and the Democrat Party broken.

The immigration laws must be enforced and all criminal aliens deported. The years of lawlessness under the Obama administration must end. “Sanctuary cities”, or any institution that refuses to enforce federal law must be denied federal funding and prosecuted. Attorney General Sessions seems the man for job.

At the root of it all is the idea that America is a nation, is a people, has a culture, and the government serves her citizens whose well-being is the prime responsibility of government. To be a conservative means to recognize these facts. Without them, there is no nation or people or culture to conserve.

While competition and free trade are, in moderation, advantageous to prosperity, they are not ends in themselves. Like oxygen; too little, and the organism suffocates; too much, and the metabolism is poisoned. The art of good government is to balance the opposing forces, always with the objective of preserving the nation and its culture.

The political class of the US has carried them to extremes, resulting in the impoverishment of much of suburban and rural America. This has led to the ruin of millions of families in America’s heartland and the enrichment of an arrogant and parasitic establishment in a few coastal cities and the corridors of Washington’s halls of power. The bailout mania after the 2008 crash has only enriched the New York Money Power. The objectives of the political class have, until now, been to weaken and destroy all nation states and national democracies with political thought control, mass immigration of incompatible cultures through the Big Lie of multiculturalism, and the destruction of national cohesion by pushing identity politics everywhere—especially in schools.

The pursuit of identity politics, where everyone is a hyphenated citizen, black, wimmin, queer, weirdo, (never white), only serves to divide all citizens into tribes and to destroy our common interests. Thus divided groups harboring enmity to others make us easier to control by the forces of national disintegration.

The pursuit of mass immigration, particularly of Islamic immigration, is designed to import an unassimilable culture into the West. This misogynistic, anti-gay, anti-Semitic culture, unreformed from seventh century Arabia, is subversion of the values enshrined in the constitutions of many Western states. Allowing sharia law a foothold in any country is the first step toward surrendering our freedoms to a multicultural world order dominated by the oligarchies of the EU and the New York Money Power. Islam is inimical to all the values that form the bases of the nations of Western Civilization—it is a totalitarianism similar to communism, but without the charm. The destruction of faith in the historic structures of Western Civilization is the object of multiculturalism—the death of free nations. Any government of any free nation must put the safety and integrity of its citizenry prior to all other considerations. This is why the immigration issue is of paramount importance and why the establishment powers wish to suppress discussion of it at every opportunity. Trump just blew all that out of the water.

So, buckle up folks, it’s going to be a great ride. Finally, a leader to take on the rotten establishments of the West and ready to inject some self discipline and self respect into the national and international discourse. No wonder the political class and its toady media are having a bad case of the vapors.

And, as an addendum, the “wimmin’s march”, a parade of ill-mannered, lefty slags, perfectly illustrates why Trump won the women’s vote too.  And guess who was one of the organizers—Linda Sarsour, a pro-Palestine Muslim activist who advocates sharia law in the West and has ties to the terrorist Hamas.  A fine example of womanhood!

Suck it up, buttercup.

Rebel Yell

Regimental Sergeant Major Trump addresses the regiment


That was by any standard an extraordinary speech from the President: direct, short, and clear.

The situation has been made intolerable. We are in dire straits. Your leadership has failed you. But patriotism will see us through. Patriotism will leave no room for whining, prejudice, or anything that divides us. Cohesion to the whole will leave no room for private piques and quarrels. There is only one team, and one objective. Make this regiment great again. We have been defeated in the past. We will no longer be defeated. We will prevail. We will win.


Whether you agree with Trump, or with this interpretation of Trump, you will be struck by how simple the message was. Every private citizen can understand it. Every guy in a bar, every woman loading the dishwasher, every kid above the age of seven: they have heard the message. Get aboard. Get with the message. This is one team, not twenty, only one team.

Abandon your separate little worlds and concerns: there is only one large concern. I summon you to your duty, Americans. This is what is expected. Was there anything I said that you did not understand? Good. Now get on with it. You have your orders.

I can see why the Left is in deep panic, because this guy means what he says, and what he says is that this place needs shaking up, and some discipline, and that the ideas of the Left: multiculturalism, diversity, racial specialness -are the expression of dissolution, decadence, and destruction of a coherent political order. Trump is not arguing this point. Trump assumes it, and he expects you to assume it.

I have always thought that “diversity” was a stalking horse for civilizational and cultural dissolution.  By “diversity”, they do not mean diversity of thought or belief. They mean iron adherence to something hostile to civilized order. A free and liberal society requires an adherence to common standards. The very idea of common standards has been under  serious attack from the Left and,  if I may say so, from the apostles of the 1%, who overlap with the Left on many issues.

Do you agree with this view? If so, you suddenly have found someone who shares your views running the US federal government. This is why the Left calls trump a fascist, which is their word for anyone not deceived by their claptrap, and not afraid to say so. The balls of Trump, to call out the policies of five prior Presidents sitting twenty feet from him! The effrontery, to condemn everything we have been doing for thirty-five years!

He may grow as tiresome as Thatcher became, but for the time being everyone has their orders. Carry on!


Commentary that I think hits the mark:

Peggy Noonan  is apprehensive

Rex Murphy is more hopeful for Trump.

The brevity of the speech had one unintended obscurity, or rather acted to obscure how momentous the Trump ascendancy threatens or promises to be. Just how much of a radical shift, a convulsion, that the moment of its occasion represented. Trump has virtually cleared the table of politics as it has been practiced and played for over a generation. He has bulldozed the old verities of political practice. He has shattered the codes of party politics, routed the tired mages of the political panels, the think tanks and NGOs. And he has utterly bypassed the hollow practices of virtue signalling and the insidious tribalism of identity politics. And as for the claustrophobic thought-amputations of political correctness, he has, correctly, shown nothing but scorn and dismissal. This is a wholesale reworking of the mode and understanding of modern American politics.


Piers Morgan wishes him well: Ten Minutes that Shook the World.

Soros versus Trump



An excellent article in City Journal on George Soros illustrates the extent of the defeat of Soros’ anti-national ideals by Trump. As Stefan Kanfer writes:

A few cases in point: last August, DC Leaks, a group of adroit hackers, got into the Soros files and released them. Perhaps the most notorious of the disclosures concerned Soros’s Open Society Foundations, named in honor of Sir Karl Popper. Underneath its lofty rhetoric, the organization was clearly devoted to the eradication of national sovereignty. A key Open Society paper, hacked in its entirety, described the Syrian refugee crisis as an opportunity to “shape conversations about rethinking migrations governance.” Translation: use agitprop to flood Europe and the U.S. with evacuees (among them some probable terrorists); make the old borders and institutions irrelevant; and, in the process, create a world liberated from the restraints of constitutionalism, American exceptionalism, free-market capitalism, and other obsolete isms.

Patrick Buchanan, who must be revelling in finally being proven right about really large events, wrote:

Of Brexit, the British decision to leave the EU, Trump said this week, “People, countries want their own identity, and the U.K. wanted its own identity … so if you ask me, I believe others will leave.”

Is he not right? Is it so shocking to hear a transparent truth?

How could Europe’s elites not see the populist forces rising? The European peoples wished to regain their lost sovereignty and national identity, and they were willing to pay a price to achieve it.

The long list of villainy and evil promoted by Soros is fully explored in the City Journal article, “Connoisseur of Chaos”.


Reagan versus Trump


The people who elected Obama elected Trump. More importantly, the people who elected Ronald Reagan elected Trump. This is the more important contradiction in my mind. Reagan and Trump both threw down the gauntlet to their respective establishments in their times. Both represented conservative insurrections. Both came to power against all the weight of the media and the political establishments of their days. I remember the brouhaha of Reagan coming to power in 1980, and it resembles the current frenzy about Trump, though perhaps the Trumpophobia is even more deranged than the anti-Reagansim of the elites.

In terms of policy Reagan stood for the opening of markets, an invigorating and sincere anti-Communism, a process of de-regulation from the policies set down by the New Deal, and confrontation with the then Soviet Union.

Trump stands for almost the opposite, but not quite: an increased control of access to the US market, and an acceptance, within limits, of Russia’s interests and legitimacy. In contradistinction to Reagan and the Soviet Union, Trump holds that Russia is not the focus of evil in the modern world, and challenges the Democratic party and security establishment line that Russia is the prime enemy.

Each was elected as a candidate of the Republican party.  Each was elected by voters who rebelled against the presumed truths of their social betters, the Democrats and the media. Both were elected by an older, whiter electorate than their Democratic opponents obtained. Both were seeking to change the conventional agenda. Yet the net direction of the policies of Trump and Reagan may be opposite one another. How is this apparent contradiction to be reconciled?

In one sense, what they are both seeking to preserve is the United States of America, but each had a different idea of the principal threat. For Reagan, it was Communism, which looked like it might have prevailed if matters had continued as they had under Jimmy Carter. For Trump, it is the very concept of a United States itself. By this I mean that he may have foreseen that the path the US is on will lead to a pauperized working class west of the Alleghenies and that unlimited  immigration would reduce the US to something like the southern Confederacy, with wealth accruing to the top and a middle class wholly dependent upon the slave owners. To bring the message up to date, replace “slave” with “robot” and you get a rough idea of the expected outcome. I do not say he had exactly this image in mind, only that he does not like where de-industrialization is taking the US.

I find myself returning to the piece I wrote before Christmas, “Globalization, National Sovereignty and Democratic Politics”.

Trump has gone for a combination of national sovereignty and democratic politics. Hillary was working for hyper-globalization and democratic politics. And Reagan in his time may never have thought about hyper-globalization, though the forces unleashed by his administration have led to it.

My argument is that the same  sorts of people who elected Reagan elected Trump. Thirty seven years after 1980, the issues have changed. I have changed. My priorities have changed. And I would rather live in a coherent nation than live in the best hotel in the world, whether it be called Canada or the United States.


America’s Lying Media—Part 2

If you thought that the lying MSM in the US could sink any lower than the gutter, you’re right! They’re now in the sewer.

Not satisfied with being the cheering squads for Hillary Rodent Clinton, traumatized by their election loss to Donald Trump, they are now attempting, with the help of rogue spooks, to delegitimize the incoming administration. Good luck with that.

The scurrilous “dossier” (sounds more impressive than “document”) that purports to reveal dirt on Trump is so obviously fake it would be an embarassment to a satirical site like The Onion. The media have sunk to the Big Lie technique; if you’re going to lie, make it a biggy. The last shreds of their credibility have gone up in smoke.

The Establishment is set on provoking international tensions and war around the world. After the failure of their jihadi pals in Syria, where they have been defeated by the Russia/Iran/Turkey coalition, the American Deep State is hell-bent on creating an atmosphere of hysteria against Russia to justify further aggressive actions against any state that will not bend to their will. After the collapse of communism, NATO (read the US) gave commitments to the Russian Federation not to move military assets up to the Russian border. These commitments have been broken many times over. No wonder the Russians are concerned. The US administration under the man-child Obama has been woefully irresponsible in international affairs.

The real “aggression” in the world is coming from the US. We now know the WMD propaganda about Iraq was a pack of lies. Iraq was destroyed and the ground laid for the rise of Islamic State. Libya was attacked and destroyed, its infrastructure devastated, and its leader murdered, all under the watch of Hillary Rodent Clinton. And for what purpose? It is now a failed state riven by jihadist bandits and consumed by civil war. Egypt was almost destroyed by Obama’s support of the Morsi regime, but here the Egyptian army saved the day. Another smack on the head for the US Deep State.

To say that Russia is a threat to Europe is nonsense—it was a CIA-backed coup in Ukraine that generated chaos on Russia’s border. This is all a cover for more US meddling in the Middle East, particularly as they have been outmaneuvered by the Russians and Iranians. In the US, the Democrat Party is now the war party, busily whipping up hysteria in their intellectually challenged supporters and their lapdog media.

This could all backfire on them very badly. If further enquiries reveal underhanded attempts of bureaucrats in the intelligence services to subvert the incoming administration, it could give Trump a golden opportunity to cut them down to size and remind them that the people rule in America. This is the importance of the Trump presidency.

President Trump should immediately set investigations in motion on January 20th. Political appointees from the Obama years in the CIA and NSA should be fired immediately and heads placed on spikes. Clapper, the DNI, already has a solid record of lying to Congress (thank you Edward Snowden). Brennan and others in the CIA must also go. If investigations of their behaviors result in prosecutions, jail them.

As for the media, Trump’s first press conference should set the tone for the future. Return their favor—show them no respect. He should radically reshape communications with the public, through more youtube presentations, townhalls, social media and invite more citizen participation in questions. Other than that, let the media sink into the swamp they have created; they will not be missed.

After the Glorious Inauguration on the 20th, he should act swiftly, extensively and ruthlessly. Real Americans will love him for it.

Rebel Yell

Cliodynamics and projection of political instability

Peter Urchin is a scientist, author and founder of a new transdisciplinary field of Cliodynamics (from Clio, the muse of history, and dynamics, the study of why things change with time), which uses the tools of complexity science and cultural evolution to study the dynamics of historical empires and modern nation-states. It is the “area of research at the intersection of historical macrosociology, economic history/cliometrics, mathematical modeling of long-term social processes, and the construction and analysis of historical databases.”

In 2010 he stated the following:

Quantitative historical analysis reveals that complex human societies are affected by recurrent — and predictable — waves of political instability (P. Turchin and S. A. Nefedov Secular Cycles Princeton Univ. Press; 2009). In the United States, we have stagnating or declining real wages, a growing gap between rich and poor, overproduction of young graduates with advanced degrees, and exploding public debt. These seemingly disparate social indicators are actually related to each other dynamically. They all experienced turning points during the 1970s. Historically, such developments have served as leading indicators of looming political instability.

Very long ‘secular cycles’ interact with shorter-term processes. In the United States, 50-year instability spikes occurred around 1870, 1920 and 1970, so another could be due around 2020. We are also entering a dip in the so-called Kondratiev wave, which traces 40-60-year economic-growth cycles. This could mean that future recessions will be severe. In addition, the next decade will see a rapid growth in the number of people in their twenties, like the youth bulge that accompanied the turbulence of the 1960s and 1970s. All these cycles look set to peak in the years around 2020.

He has since updated his views.

My research showed that about 40 seemingly disparate (but, according to cliodynamics, related) social indicators experienced turning points during the 1970s. Historically, such developments have served as leading indicators of political turmoil. My model indicated that social instability and political violence would peak in the 2020s…

My model tracks a number of factors. Some reflect the developments that have been noticed and extensively discussed: growing income and wealth inequality, stagnating and even declining well-being of most Americans, growing political fragmentation and governmental dysfunction (see Return of the Oppressed). But most social scientists and political commentators tend to focus on a particular slice of the problem. It’s not broadly appreciated that these developments are all interconnected. Our society is a system in which different parts affect each other, often in unexpected ways.

Furthermore, there is another important development that has been missed by most commentators: the key role of “elite overproduction” in driving waves of political violence, both in historical societies and in our own (see Blame Rich, Overeducated Elites as Our Society Frays). As I wrote three years ago, “Increasing inequality leads not only to the growth of top fortunes; it also results in greater numbers of wealth-holders. The ‘1 percent’ becomes ‘2 percent.’ Or even more. … from 1983 to 2010 the number of American households worth at least $10 million grew to 350,000 from 66,000. Rich Americans tend to be more politically active than the rest of the population. … In technical terms, such a situation is known as ‘elite overproduction.’ … Elite overproduction generally leads to more intra-elite competition that gradually undermines the spirit of cooperation, which is followed by ideological polarization and fragmentation of the political class. This happens because the more contenders there are, the more of them end up on the losing side. A large class of disgruntled elite-wannabes, often well-educated and highly capable, has been denied access to elite positions.”

Craft Whisky

Now that every young hip urban metrosexual is drinking “craft beer” made by a “hobbyist” with distinctly anti-Trump views in a “microbrewery”, you don’t have to be left behind if you are older and wiser. Beckon the rise of “craft whisky”! In particular, Balcones from Texas.

After a tumultuous two years between the founders and the money, their new operation in Waco is up to speed producing great whisky and a bourbon with Texas corn. The old single malt that won all the awards, is what is being shipped now and it was made under the railroad trestle at the old location. The new production, in their historic warehouse property, will start shipping sometime in the summer.