Growing up is hard to do
Walter Russell Mead has been doing an excellent job documenting the last days of the “blue” government model, and if you have’t been reading it, you’re missing out on some insightful, in-depth coverage of the challenges western society now faces.
“In the old system, both blue collar and white collar workers hold stable jobs, a professional career civil service administers a growing state, with living standards for all social classes steadily rising while the gaps between the classes remain fairly stable, and with an increasing ‘social dividend’ being paid out in various forms: longer vacations, more and cheaper state-supported education, earlier retirement, shorter work weeks and so on. Graduate from high school and you were pretty much guaranteed lifetime employment in a job that gave you a comfortable lower middle class lifestyle; graduate from college and you would be better paid and equally secure.”
The “blue model” of lifelong government care is rapidly coming to an end as the simultaneous collapses of higher education, unions and state-run pensions are now demonstrating. We’ve reached the point that Margret Thatcher so wonderfully predicted so many years ago: We’ve run out of other people’s money, and something else needs to take the blue social model’s place.
Societal change on this level is never easy: History is littered with riots, assassinations and revolutions as societies move from one social model to the next, and unfortunately, I don’t see the change from the blue social model to be any less disruptive.
If anything, it may be worse than ever before.
The Blue Social Model relies on the infantilization of its subjects: We don’t call big government the “Nanny state” for nothing, and cradle-t0-grave government care turns adults into children.
What, you think that Chris Rock called Obama “Dad” because he’s distantly related to him or something?
The image of government that today’s progressives have in their minds: Government isn’t Uncle Sam, he’s Big Brother. Progressives are perfectly ok with that idea, because kid’s can’t take of themselves, they need someone to watch over them. This works out great for the “parents” in government, but is a lousy bargain for the “children”, as their passage into adult citizens is unnaturally stunted and they are never truly free to live their lives on their own.
Children are also prone to temper tantrums. I have a nine year old and a six year old and believe me, I know that children are prone to fits of anger that can defy belief. What happens when generations and generations of “adults” who have grown up under the nanny state find out they can’t have all nice toys the government promised them? What happens when the people who think they should get a Nobel Prize just for showing up realize that the smothering parent they’ve relied on all their lives has kicked them out of the house without the skills to fend for themselves in the cold, cruel world? What happens if the blue state’s antipathy turns into outright confiscation and conflict with the more-successful red states?
Children can get angry when you tell them they can’t have all the things they want. What happens when a nation of children is told that bad news?
Some people are starting to notice that a major upheaval societal upheaval is headed our way. It’s not a coincidence that concealed carry is becoming more and more popular. It’s not a coincidence that the unjustly maligned AR-15 has become America’s most popular rifle. It’s not a coincidence that “prepping” (or having enough of what you need to live for a time without the government’s help) is becoming more and more popular. It’s not a coincidence that gold prices have been soaring for years now: Some of us know the problems that problem children can cause, and we’re preparing for the future.
History has shown us again and again that societal change and social upheaval are rarely peaceful, but past examples have been adults disagreeing (sometimes violently disagreeing) what the next stage of their culture will look like. Today, we face a society that not only has to change, but grow up as well. History has no examples for us to follow on this: We are truly in uncharted territory here, let’s hope and pray we can survive the storm ahead.
Update: No sooner did I hit “Publish” on this post than this came across my Twitter feed: Chris Dorner, a fired cop suspected of murdering three people in L.A., was a big fan of Obama, Piers Morgan and an assault weapons ban. So naturally, he shoots up downtown L.A. and no one shoots back, because in California, only the cops can have guns because they’re the only ones who are allowed to protect us.
But what happens when the sheepdog turns on the sheep? In California, you and your friends and your family die, that’s what.