Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Occupiers' Gift

What do Occupy Wall Street, Ron Paul, David Cameron, Peter Ackerman, Xue Jinbo, Jeff Bezos, and Publius have in common?

They are all harbingers of the emerging international political economy.

The Recovering Bureaucrat is aghast at the insipidness of most 2011 year end summaries he has read so far.  With the exception of the wariness with which most of them assess the fragile Eurozone (“Europe is in a tailspin, and it's not at all clear that the rescue efforts will succeed,” writes Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds, one of the savvier observers around. “If they fail, and the Eurozone breaks up, we're likely to see major disruption—people are even talking about reinstating currency controls—and a major down-drag on the American economy, along with the rest of the world”) almost none sees the meta-pattern of the dramatic transformation of humanity’s self-organization.

Thus, as he has been noting all year, our political establishment across the globe—with a very few notable exceptions—continue to behave as if the now three-year old international financial convulsion is just an extended blip in an otherwise unchanging universe. 

Here in California, for instance, the commentariat are obsessed with the lackluster performance of Governor Jerry Brown, whose conventional approach to our current situation is somewhat obscured by his obsession with pursuit of the “green” unicorn.  His solution to the state’s structural deficits—half by cuts, half by higher taxes—is utterly unimaginative and ultimately self-defeating, for it does nothing to address the actual cause of the government’s deficits.

But Governor Brown is practically Lincolnian in comparison to the state legislature, a bought-and-paid-for subsidiary of public employee unions, with a Republican minority unwilling to defend the principles of free enterprise.  A review of the new laws about to go into effect should bring tears to the eyes of any thinking citizen, who will scrutinize the list in vain for any evidence that the legislature has the slightest idea about the ever-increasing drag that government imposes of economic growth. 

In September, in the midst of this muddled establishmentarian myopia stepped a ragtag bunch of lefties, anarchists, students, and other usual suspects to set up camp in Zucotti Park in Manhattan and proclaim to “occupy Wall Street.”  Within weeks this latest version of the evergreen utopian protest against reality caught the fancy of the mainstream media and spiritual gurus, who universally proclaimed it the harbinger of political shifts to come.

Other less delirious observers dryly predicted that, with the coming of the wintry blasts out of the north, most Occupy encampments would fade away without a trace.  And these guesses were the more accurate.