August 31, 2005

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Virginia shows how to be a sore winner. She gave a speech 6 years ago in a eulogy for socialism and a call to arms against new threats to liberty and was privately critiqued by Vaclav Klaus afterwards. The criticism must have stung because she can't be gracious about gaining a new ally and instead claws and hisses this:

Well, now he's apparently come around--at the Mont Pelerin Society meeting, no less. Turns out old-style socialism is not, in fact, the biggest threat to liberty in the 21st century. Turns out it's not heretical to say we shouldn't fight old battles--at least if you're Vaclav Klaus. Gee.

His analysis isn't as clear as mine (nor can it accommodate Islamicism, which is a virulent form of reactionary stasis). But at least he's finally grasped the general point. Better six years late than never.

Way to go in forming those new alliances you were going on about in that speech, Virginia! I'm sure that Vaclav Klaus' fans will feel all sorts of warm fuzzies at Virginia Postrel's next pronouncements.

In any case, I think both of them are significantly missing the reality of what's happening. Like a cancer that has been insufficiently excised socialism has ceased to be a single tumor bundle of malignant memes and has now metastasized with a whole host of successor movements who only share parts of the original cancerous growth. Socialism was so awful not just for its bad economics, there were Sun kings in France who were just as wrong headed. It's putrescence derived from the combination of bad economics, bad politics, bad ideas on culture and religion, even bad ideas about logic.

The old cures will not work as before, that much both have right. But the ease of alliance between such disparate movements derives from their instinctive realization that they are family, they are tribe, their common mother is socialism, whether national or international doesn't matter anymore. That family fight is pretty much over. It is not time to completely reinvent the wheel.

Stasis is one way of looking at the problem but how do you fit in animal rights terrorists with their radically innovative conception of species ordering in the stasist order? You really cannot without seriously distorting their agenda for change. The voluntary human extinction movement, the earth firsters who want to reduce human global population to 100,000, the nihilists of all stripes, are they really for stasis?

Stasis isn't the uniting meme of a new movement but rather a common trait of a large subset of the movements in this shifting alliance mass.

Posted by TMLutas at August 31, 2005 10:18 PM