12 Feb 2016

The Peasants are Revolting!

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Justin Raimondo is cheering as the mob bearing pitchforks and torches advances on the castle.

The results of the New Hampshire primary are in, and the big winner is the new populism: that mysterious pro-“outsider” phenomenon that has the political class in a panic, and which no one has adequately defined – including its current practitioners. …

Ideologically, what New Hampshire tells us is that the “centrist” anti-“extremist” political paradigm that has restricted our political perceptions – and choices – for lo these many years is obsolete. For months, voters have been told that someone who defines himself as a “democratic socialist” could never mount a credible challenge to Queen Hillary, and that the victory of the Clinton Restorationists is inevitable. Now, however, nothing seems inevitable, as voters ignore the media and its version of the conventional wisdom, and the “political revolution” led by Sanders seems fully capable of upending the Democratic party.

On the Republican side of the equation, it’s much the same story – only more so. While the Sanderistas are a movement of the “left,” Trumpism is less easily categorized as a rightist phenomenon. On domestic economic issues, Trump is all over the place: he wants to lower the tax rate, but penalize the financial speculators: he opposes Obamacare, and wants to allow competition between insurance companies over state lines, but he also wants to take care of the indigent. He is protectionist on trade, tough on crime, and even tougher on immigration – all stances one would normally associate with the paleo-conservatives. And yet when it comes to defense spending and foreign policy, on close inspection he is remarkably “left”: he opposes a new cold war with Russia, doesn’t’ want us in Syria, highlights his opposition to the Iraq war, and has recently declared that he opposes hiking the military budget. He wonders aloud why we are pledged to defend both South Korea and Japan while they “screw us over’ on trade.

Indeed, when it comes to foreign policy he is a lot closer to Sanders than to any of his Republican rivals. And on trade policy, too, the Sanderistas and the Trumpists sound eerily alike: both movements are protests against the hollowing out of America’s industrial capacity and the rise of paper-pushing financiers as the robber barons of a New Gilded Age. The divide between them is not so much ideological as demographic: Sanders holds the loyalty of the under-30 crowd, while Trump garners the allegiance of their parents and grandparents. What unites them is their rebellion against the political class and a system built on cronyism and perpetual warfare.

What the twin victories of these two protest movements prefigure is the rise of a new nationalism in America. Not the outward-looking aggressive militaristic nationalism of pre-World War II Europe, but the introspective insulating “return to normalcy” nationalism of prewar America: wary of foreign adventurism, almost exclusively concerned with bread-and-butter issues, resentful of a “meritocracy” that rewards anything but genuine merit, and in search of a lost greatness they may never have experienced but only heard about. …

The political and corporate elites that have ruled, unchallenged, since the end of World War II, and whose perspective is globalist, imperialist, and mercantilist, is facing a serious insurrection: the peasants with pitchforks are gathering in the shadow of the high castle, their torches illuminating the twilight of the West. Whether they succeed in penetrating the fortress and violating the inner sanctum matters less than the destructive effects of the battle itself. Does our ruling class have the will to fight and win? We’ll have the answer shortly.

Yes, it’s all lots of fun, and a revolt against the American pseudo-intellectual, urban community of fashion establishment is long overdue, but neither a geriatric hippie communist nor an egomanaical vulgarian is a leader fit to be entrusted with power. If you don’t like the current frozen economy, just go elect Comrade Bernie or Smoot-and-Hawley Donald and see what you get.

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

2 Feedbacks on "The Peasants are Revolting!"


What also unites them all is a willingness to suspend economic reality in favor of Utopian fantasies.

Both Trump and Sanders believe that there is nothing inherently unworkable about powerful top down government. We just haven’t had the right man in charge yet.

sound awake

“The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Being Right About Donald Trump”

But it looks like you can’t teach old pundits new paradigms. After presidential candidate Donald Trump finished in second in the Iowa Republican caucus, the media went straight to work picking out a coffin for his campaign, battling it out to see who could write the most definitive obituary. After months of being wrong about Trump, something finally happened to make them look right: All the Iowa polls were wrong — Trump lost! Sure, he scored more Iowa votes than anyone ever — excepting Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), who won Iowa — but he lost. Trump is a loser and this proves it.

The pressure of being wrong about Trump over and over was building, so when it appeared they were finally right about something, the release was earthshaking.

Good assumption: Honesty transcends ideology. Voters would rather disagree with a straight-shooter than agree with a political wind-tester. We’ve seen too many politicians run as conservatives and then prove not to be. Voters have become suspect of politicians with ideologies that try too hard to match the electorate.



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