The beautiful theory can’t be saved. The only question is how long it’s going to take to scrap it altogether. Sometimes it takes a very long time. Galileo was only fully exonerated by the Church a few years ago, after all…
What’s so important about the current paradigm shift is that it may do away with both a theory and a system of government. When Ptolemy and Aristotle-the-astronomer were sacked, it didn’t produce a political revolution, but if–IF–the beautiful theory of the-state-does-all is thoroughly rejected, its consequences could, and should, be global.
We’re now in a post-Galileo world, politically speaking. The theory of the “perfect” nanny state that will solve all our problems, cure our ills, and deliver us unto happiness is overwhelmed by annoying facts. We’ve known for years that centralized national power doesn’t work. All the rich states have tried it, and failed to fulfill its promise. But still the true believers insist that they can make it work, at least until they run out of others’ money.
We had several Galileos, from Thatcher and Reagan to Hayek and Friedman, from JFK (thanks, Ira!) to a generation of smart Czechs. Do we, here in America, have enough good leaders to spell out the nature and the urgency of the moment?
Or will the bonfires of the vanities consume the Cruzes, the Lees, the Palins, the Walkers and the others who are sounding the alarm?
There is nothing automatic about this process. It is all about winning and losing, about battles won and lost, about courage and opportunism. Ptolemy isn’t going to quietly surrender to Galileo, he’s going to keep inventing new epicycles and insisting that the planets move in perfect circles.
As I said several years back, we’re in for a hell of a fight. Just being right isn’t nearly good enough. Come look at Giordano Bruno.