Back in late January at the American Interest, Walter Russell Mead wrote “American Challenges: The Blue Model Breaks Down,” which brought Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave model of technological transformation up to date for the era of the Obama presidency. Last week, Mead added an update to tie in the government union reforms by Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and other governors, and the knee-jerk resistance from America’s reactionary legacy media and Obama himself:
Krugman and the Times editorial board are both examples of something important in American life today: left-liberal intellectuals are increasingly able to understand that individual supports of the blue social model are crumbling. But they are still so captivated by the blue model, so profoundly convinced that the Progressive movement’s solutions to America’s social ills in 1910 are still valid today, that they cannot yet look beyond the blue model to imagine a different and brighter future for the United States.
1910-era thinking also causes the forms of doublethink that Andrew Klavan describes here:
The trouble with NPR is the same trouble as the trouble with Hollywood and the rest of mainstream journalism and the academy. Their isolation from dissenting ideas has left them in an atmosphere of self-deception bordering on corruption. They’re conformists who think they’re rebels. They’re leftists who think they’re moderates. They’re middle-brows who think they’re elites. And all it would take for them to right themselves and make their programs universally relevant and appealing would be to hire some people who know what they know yet who disagree with them.
Why not? Peter Robinson is a far better interviewer than Charlie Rose. Nolte knows as much about movies as anyone in America. Mark Steyn is as good a cultural commentator as walks the planet.
But to NPR, these aren’t potential employees – they’re enemies. They don’t know they need them. They may not even know they exist.
Actually, returning to the middlebrow era would be a vast improvement for NPR and the Times, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.
As Meade wrote in January:
The collapse of a social model is a complicated, drawn out and often painful affair. The blue model has been declining for thirty years already, and it is not yet finished with its decline and fall. But decline and fall it will, and as the remaining supports of the system erode, the slow decline and decay is increasingly likely to bring on a crash.
And as, well, pretty much the entire year so far as demonstrated, the Ruling Class aren’t going to retire their power quietly.