August 25, 2021

JAMES LILEKS’ WEDNESDAY REVIEW OF MODERN THOUGHT:

The mood was jittery. No one knew what was coming, except that it seemed to be coming from two directions. The early days after Pearl were not a smoothly-run affair, an effortless tooling up. It was fraught with cock-ups and bureaucracy and maddening bottlenecks. Far from being a Meat Behemoth, we had undernourished conscripts and volunteers. From what I’ve read, the mood was downcast, abashed, and hesitant about the future.

I felt that same mood in youth, after Vietnam, when the country was seized by the idea that it couldn’t do anything, couldn’t make anything — and what we did make was bad, like our lousy cars. But here’s the thing: that mood was abroad in the land in the early 90s, too. People forget that Clinton won because the nation had been plunged into a deep, traumatic recession! Which wasn’t either of those things, but “worst economy since the Depression” was a common talking point, and there were lots of stories about industrial inadequacies. I remember this because our news bureau in DC decided to do a series of stories called What Works. It was designed to buck everyone up with tales of the things the country could do, still did, and did well.

This malaise feels different. Before, it seemed as if there were forces both vague and specific that caused our ills. History had turned against us.

Now, it feels entirely self-imposed by a class of managerial technocrats whose indifference is matched only by their incompetence, and a disconnected, destructive, frivolous intellectual class that looks daft and mad to the unwoke.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): The answer is purges. Our institutions need to be cleansed of the woke, the crazy, and the inept — but I repeat myself. This would have been gentler by far if Trump had been re-elected in 2020. It will be much less so whenever it comes now. And it will come.

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