Rebellion against the tyranny of the 'experts'

Joel Kotkin:
The Great Rebellion is on and where it leads nobody knows.

Its expressions range from Brexit to the Trump phenomena and includes neo-nationalist and unconventional insurgent movement around the world. It shares no single leader, party or ideology. Its very incoherence, combined with the blindness of its elite opposition, has made it hard for the established parties across what’s left of the democratic world to contain it.

What holds the rebels together is a single idea: the rejection of the neo-liberal crony capitalist order that has arisen since the fall of the Soviet Union. For two decades, this new ruling class could boast of great successes: rising living standards, limited warfare, rapid technological change and an optimism about the future spread of liberal democracy. Now, that’s all fading or failing.

Living standards are stagnating, vicious wars raging, poverty-stricken migrants pouring across borders and class chasms growing. Amidst this, the crony capitalists and their bureaucratic allies have only grown more arrogant and demanding. But the failures of those who occupy what Lenin called “the commanding heights” are obvious to most of the citizens on whose behalf they claim to speak and act.

The Great Rebellion draws on five disparate and sometimes contradictory causes that find common ground in frustration with the steady bureaucratic erosion of democratic self-governance: class resentment, racial concerns, geographic disparities, nationalism, cultural identity. Each of these strains appeals to different constituencies, but together they are creating a political Molotov cocktail.
There is more.

The so-called "progressives" have always favored government by experts to government by the people.  They have a general distrust of capitalism and the markets.  I keep going back to the EU ruling on the shape of bananas that may be sold in the common market.  I find this ridiculous on several levels.  If people don't like the shape of the bananas being offered the store will have to cut their price to find someone who will take them and if they become unprofitable he will quit buying funny shaped bananas on his own.  But it is emblematic of how the European markets are rigged.

Then there are the immigrants and the inability of the EU to regulate their flow.  Many of them come from failed states in Africa and the Middle East and they bring with them some of the failed cultures they fled adding to the discomfort of native Europeans.  The Eu has been telling Britain that it may not deport some of the terrorists back to their native country and requiring that they keep them on the dole and take care of them.  This is just nuts. They care more for the comfort of terrorists than the safety of the people.


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