July 12, 2012

ROGER KIMBALL ON battling the amoeba.

It’s really just another step along the road to the coming middle-class anarchy.

When the backbone of a country starts thinking that laws and rules are not worth following, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to anarchy.

TV has given us the illusion that anarchy is people rioting in the streets, smashing car windows and looting every store in sight. But there’s also the polite, quiet, far deadlier anarchy of the core citizenry—the upright citizenry—throwing in the towel and deciding it’s just not worth it anymore. If a big enough proportion of the populace—not even a majority, just a largish chunk—decides that it’s just not worth following the rules anymore, then that society’s days are numbered: Not even a police-state with an armed Marine at every corner with Shoot-to-Kill orders can stop such middle-class anarchy.

Read the whole thing. This is what happens when the ruling class forfeits trust. It isn’t pretty. People at the top — in this country at least — used to worry about maintaining trust. Now they seem to take it for granted, or fail to appreciate the cost of losing it. The Gods Of The Copybook Headings are always there, though.

Meanwhile, Walter Russell Mead has some related thoughts.

UPDATE: Reader David Lange writes:

For the majority of Americans, who I assume are playing by the rules, they see more and more evidence that the entire system of government regulations, tax code, financial regulations, and enforcement, exist to benefit the well connected. The tipping point will come when this perception is shared by the majority.

And it will happen slowly, and then all at once.

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