The Future Can't Be Planned
not then, not now
If you read The Communist Manifesto you learn from Marx that the future depends upon the ability to “wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, and centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the State.”
How did that work out, Chuck?
If you read Fabian Essays in Socialism you learn that taking the “rent arising out of the people’s industry… [out of] private pockets into the people’s pocket” should not be a problem providing that “State officials… obtained their posts [not by] favoritism and patronage” but by examination, and provided the executive is responsible to the government and the government to the people.
Should be no problem, right, Sir Humphrey Appleby?
And now we have our educated elite confidently writing laws and regulations to plan the energy transition away from CO2 producing fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.
It is useless for climate deniers to point out how there won’t be enough electric generation for all the EVs; there won’t be enough lithium for the batteries; there won’t be enough copper for whatever. Because as long as educated people can imagine a green energy transition they are going to mandate it and subsidize it until the moment after they crash the economy.
I just picked up a picture book of 100 Innovations of the Industrial Revolution. It’s good to be reminded of all the innovations that created our modern world, from smelting iron from coke rather than charcoal, to the numerous innovations in textile manufacture, to steam mine pumps, to the tin can, railways, steamships, to bridges large and small. The point is, of course, that each of these innovations were the idea of some unknown that became a someone because of the success of his innovation.
And none of, except perhaps the Suez Canal, was the result of some political Grand Plan.
The problem with government — and religion — is that it is always in the business of selling us a Grand Plan to save us from a fate worse than death. And always has been. So Curtis Yarvin can say that our present oligarchy runs a permanent tournament of ideas to see who can be the hero knight to save us.
In our oligarchical system of government, the marketplace of ideas that matters is the marketplace of ideas within the winners of these tournaments.
If you are not in the oligarchy you don’t get to get on a charger to compete in the tournament. And competing is the tournament is your only opportunity to matter.
Leftism at bottom is just the natural and inevitable human urge to matter.
Then Yarvin suggests something interesting about today’s ruling class. If you are a lefty, you are a minute grain in a huge mass of lefties, and there is very little opportunity to matter.
If you want to matter, Yarvin suggests, you should be teaching lefties — like this ex-Extinction Rebellion activist — that the way to matter is to leave the left and join the rightist rebellion.
And, I suspect, a huge rebellious opportunity will open up for disaffected youth as energy gets really expensive, as electrical blackouts start to spread, and as the COVID splurge starts to stink, and job in tech just evaporate.
In a way, it is the most successful confidence trick of all time to teach the young’uns that the way to matter is to serve as a drone in AntiFa or Extinction Rebellion. Because all you are doing is strengthening the current ruling class, and helping itsuck up more resources and limp on through another election cycle.