Belmont Club

The ex-Future

Mao says not Moses

A Reuters/Ipsos national opinion poll reported that the Democratic Party is losing its popularity edge among millennials even though they don’t like Donald Trump.  An “online survey of more than 16,000 registered voters ages 18 to 34 shows their support for Democrats over Republicans for Congress slipped by about 9 percentage points over the past two years, to 46 percent overall. And they increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy.”

When considered in the context of the near-total liberal domination of the media, academe and entertainment industries, the chief influences of the youth, the millenial disaffection assumes almost the proportions of a revolt.

In fact the American millenials are late to the party — or the revolution if you will. The Europeans preceded them.  In January 2016 Ryan Girdusky wrote “Unlike in America, Europe’s millennials trending more conservative”.

There’s a growing rift between Western millennials: Millennials living in America are excited about left-wing progressives like socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), while those living in heavily taxed and regulated nations in Europe are flocking to right-wing nationalists parties.

In the France’s regional elections last December, 35 percent of millennials voted for the right-wing Front National, a full eight points higher than the party polled nationally.

Similar results occurred in Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Poland, where the youth vote went heavy towards the far-right parties like the Freedom Party of Austria, The Danish People’s Party, Party for Freedom, and the Law and Justice Party.

Establishment figures on both sides of the Atlantic have been scratching their heads about these developments — American millennials are moving towards democratic socialism, at the same time their counterparts in Europe are shifting to nationalism.

The Atlantic noted that “the new face of European right wing populism” was 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz. “Kurz could be a sign of what’s to come from the next generation of European leaders—one that is running and governing in a time of turbulent political change across the continent.” By contrast the American Democratic Party’s flagbearers are people like Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. Manifestly they  can no longer automatically assume their program represents the future. In fact, as the Reuters/Ipsos poll suggests they may already symbolize the past.

Despite the touching sentimental attachment that publications like the New York Times have for Karl Marx, there is a big possibility that the ideas upon which big government liberalism is founded are irrevocably mired in the 20th century — if not in the 19th.

The thesis that the current rebellion against the liberal orthodoxy is only some kind of 1930 racist atavism, a kind of survival from a bygone age, will eventually disappoint its adherents.

The genuine loss of confidence in liberalism explains why the strategy of “freezing and personalizing” all evils in Donald Trump, despite the epic efforts of the media and cultural elites to destroy him, has not stemmed the defection of the millenials from their ranks. Trump is the result and not the cause of the populist revolt. Destroying the Donald will produce only a negligible check on rebels. The idea that the special prosecutor or a comedian at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner can by some magical words, effect the restoration is doomed to fail.

The times, as Bob Dylan once put it, “they are a’changing”. Only the Times has not.

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For a list of books most frequently purchased by readers, visit my homepage.


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Books:

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. This book reveals the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. As the full impact of digital technologies is felt, we will realize immense bounty but also experience wrenching change. Professions of all kinds – from lawyers to truck drivers – will be forever upended. Companies will be forced to transform or die. Recent economic indicators reflect this shift: fewer people are working, and wages are falling even as productivity and profits soar. Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, MIT’s Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and a new path to prosperity.

Open Curtains: What if Privacy were Property not only a Right, by George Spix and Richard Fernandez. This book is a proposal for bringing privacy to the internet by assigning monetary value to data. The image of “open curtains” is meant to suggest a system that allows different degrees of privacy, controlled by the owner. The “curtains” may be open, shut, or open to various degrees depending on which piece of data is being dealt with. Ultimately, what is at stake is governance. We are en route to control of society by and for the few rather than by and for the many, because currently the handful of mega tech companies are siphoning up everyone’s data, for nothing, and selling it. Under the open curtains proposal, government would also pay for its surveillance in the form of tax rebates, providing at least some incentive for government to minimize its intrusions … (from a review by E. Greenwood).

Skin in the Game, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. In his new work, Taleb uses the phrase “skin in the game” to introduce a complex worldview that applies to literally all aspects of our lives. “Never trust anyone who doesn’t have skin in the game. Without it, fools and crooks will profit and their mistakes will never come back to haunt them,” he says. In his inimitable style, he pulls on everything from Antaeus the Giant to Hammurabi to Donald Trump to Seneca to the ethics of disagreement to create a jaw-dropping tapestry for understanding our world in a brand new way.

For a list of books most frequently purchased by readers, visit my homepage.


Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with your friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.
The War of the Words, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
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