Cycles of History

From Ace of Spades book thread this morning, where OregonMuse allowed:

I thought the USSR was therefore here to stay, because nobody wanted to go that route. The future was pretty grim. And then one day in 1989, poof, it was gone. Just like that. Of course it wasn’t “just like that”, the USSR was unsustainable and had been heading for a collapse for a long time, but nobody saw it coming, and that’s my point: Right now, I can’t see the progressives giving up without a fight, nor do I see how their poison can once and for all be expunged, but the events of 1989-1991 showed me how limited my vision is. So my hope is that once again, my vision will turn out to be inadequate.

I’ve made precisely this point to my wife and sons: yeah, it looks bad right now, but it’s looked bad before (the USSR, the loss of China, the Pusan perimeter, the Vietnam War, the apparent ascendancy of Japan, the Carter train wreck, to name a few just from the 20th century), and yet unexpectedly things turned around, and in ways that were not foreseen beforehand.

It’s true even in social mores. Fifty years ago smoking was fashionable, then went violently out of fashion in the 70s, only to come roaring back now among 20-somethings. Similarly with tattoos: they’re back, but with a twist that makes them identifiably different from before. I just hope leisure suits and disco never come back

The point is, channeling the late great Yogi Berra, predictions are difficult, especially about the future. For all we know, we may already be experiencing Peak Leftism, as mentioned in the recent post “Ourobouros.” We see through as through a glass, darkly, so keep a good thought.

5 comments to “Cycles of History”
  1. The USSR didn’t collapse without some outside assistance, and neither will liberalism. It takes opposing forces, which in the current situation are pretty thin on the ground (see: Congress).

    Yes, the unsustainable will eventually crumble. There are laws of physics, economics and Nature that will see to that. But as long as all parties concerned are busily propping up failure, it can continue well past our lifetimes.

  2. Agreed. Too many people on the right assume that market forces will destroy the excesses of progressivism, but I less and less sure of that.

    There has to be some countervailing force, so we must wait for our Reagan and JP II and Walesa….

  3. CBD, I guess we could have waited around and let the Imperial Japanese Forces, the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe defeat themselves, but if we had there’s a good chance we’d still be waiting for that today….

    I suspect a number of so-called conservative commentators are content to sit by idly and hope the lefties self-destruct. If so, I’d just remind them that Choom Boy was re-elected in ’12, and appears to retain most if not all his popularity. And he has the authority to take steps that push collapse off on a later administration. Which is what he’s doing.

  4. You make a valid point, but I’d say there’s a difference between international relations and domestic cultural trends. Going to war against a foreign enemy is one thing; doing so against one’s fellow citizens is another.

  5. Interesting. A couple of thoughts…

    Young people (30-minus) today are mostly dumb as stumps. It’s quite possible the right stimulus could cause a preference cascade, and without the young True Believers, the Left will fall to pieces. (Exept in government and academia, but eventually people die of old age, so we just have to wait them out.)

    Second, we’re going to have plenty external help for social upheaval and collapse of unsustainable things. The invasion of America may eventually cause social unrest; if there’s a tipping point there, it’s going to come in the next 10 years. Already where I live, I can’t hardly go a day without seeing a woman in a burqua pushing a stroller or leading a line of kids down the street. On the other hand, though, the number of illegals from down south is just approaching hopeless levels, so maybe eventually I’ll get desensitized to the burquas. And if not that, eventually the welfare state is going to collapse; but that one is going to have us going full Mad Max when the EBT cards don’t work.

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