No, it’s not the Cold War: Ukraine and the paradigm shift

Interesting times.

Have you felt the paradigm shift?  It’s happening all around us.  But I’m not sure most Western pundits have realized what they’re sensing (or perhaps even begun to sense it yet).

George Will’s column from the past week has stood out in my mind.  He’s by no means the only one, but he’s been one of the most categorical, putting the Ukrainian crisis in the terms of the Cold War.  “Ukraine’s ferment,” he suggests, “is an emphatic, albeit redundant, refutation of Marxism.”

I don’t think I’m alone in recognizing that that formula has been overtaken by events. Continue reading “No, it’s not the Cold War: Ukraine and the paradigm shift”

Egypt: This is big

This will change everything.

One way to gauge the import of the conflict erupting in Egypt is by looking at the character of media coverage in America.  Both sides of the political spectrum have been slow to advance narratives of blame.  What’s going on in Egypt doesn’t fit into any pat, off-the-shelf narratives.

There has been a curious absence of “themage” on the left: no unified narrative about this all being the fault of Bush-era failures of good fellowship, or of the plight of the Palestinians, or (my personal favorite) of warmongering arms dealers, oil mavens, or ([insert ROTFLOL here]) international banks.

Meanwhile, blame-fixing criticisms of President Obama are getting little traction on the right.  (I even saw Sean Hannity shouted down by other conservatives the other day, when he was advancing an Obama’s-to-blame theory.)  I have the sense that most on the right see – Continue reading “Egypt: This is big”

Athens, Europe, America: The inverted triumph of Marxism?

Let the people work.

Ed Morrissey writes today about the burning of Athens after the Greek parliament passed the austerity measures demanded for the EU bailout.  He is quite correct that the Greeks need to reassess their own attitudes about a number of things, but I’m not sure we have all understood the most important thing the Greeks – and other Europeans, and Americans; in fact, the entire Western world – need to get over.

Most American pundits address the problem in terms of the Greeks (and undoubtedly some other Europeans) demanding “goodies” from the “government.”  And they are not wrong about that, but the refrain is an incomplete depiction of what’s at work with the public-debt implosion of the West. Continue reading “Athens, Europe, America: The inverted triumph of Marxism?”

Don’t Forget: The Regulatory State Requires You to Be a Marxist Laborer

Being both capital and labor is the American way.

Marxism posits two roles for labor: labor and consumption.  It distinguishes categorically between labor and capital.  The two do not – cannot – overlap.  The American model of the small-capitalist entrepreneur is Marxism’s “forgotten man”:  the actor Marxism has no role for.

If you are willing to accept the role of labor as defined by Marxism, government can tax and directly regulate everything you do.  It can offer you goodies and dispense or withhold cash flows you have agreed to depend on.  You don’t care, moreover, if government confiscates profits from “business,” or imposes a heavy regulatory burden on it, because that’s capital, and you’re not any part of capital.  Even your savings and investment portfolio are just a precaution:  a preparation for the future when you are no longer working for a paycheck, but still need to consume.

Your role in accelerating the economy is to consume. Continue reading “Don’t Forget: The Regulatory State Requires You to Be a Marxist Laborer”

We Are All Marxists Now

Marxism is the lens through which we see everything now, from Wal-Mart to Sarah Palin.

How do you know when the memes-‘n’-tropes of an ideology, and its policy corollaries, have become the defining features of our mental reality?

When nice Irish girls from Brooklyn use them, as if they are not hortatory (and certainly not revolutionary) but simply descriptive.

I noted in my last piece on Sarahnoia that Peggy Noonan, in doing her best to take down Sarah Palin, insisted with rather startling vehemence that Palin is not from the “working class.” Continue reading “We Are All Marxists Now”