The Problem with Directing Traffic
you increase the number of crashes
AmericanGreatness has a piece by Edward Ring on “American and the Future of Globalism.”
If globalization is the economic integration of nations in a world where technology has all but erased once formidable barriers to long-distance communication and transportation, globalism is its cultural and ideological counterpart.
Yes, but if “economic integration” is a process managed and directed by our beloved educated elite then we are missing the point. And God help us with our elites creating a “cultural and ideological” “ism” to try to get us to understand it.
I say that the world’s biggest problem is its elites imagining that they can direct traffic without creating a complete traffic jam. Thus it makes complete sense that the current push towards Net Zero and the end of “fossil fuel” is a complete and utter disaster in the making.
Earth to cultural and political and economic elites: you don’t know nothing! Yes, you can help a bit by making and defending a legal system that, like the common law, fixes problems as they occur. But that’s all.
Then there is the DEI monster. Yes, no doubt a culture of meritocracy easily fails to help marginalized people. But any sort of attempt to fix things beyond color-blind and sex-blind hiring and firing is bound to Make Things Worse.
In other words, there is only a limited amount that politics and culture can do to understand and solve economic and social problems. And there is a big chance that politics and cultural hegemony will Make Things Worse. And when, as right now, the political and cultural and economic elite are all united in the need to fight climate change and systemic racism, you can absolutely be sure that their efforts will Make Things Worse.
Why would that be?
It’s not that hard. If we are talking about the political elite then we are talking about people that only know how to fight the enemy. Is there anything about the global economy that requires people good at fighting the enemy? I don’t think so.
Then, if we are talking about the cultural elite, presumably, we are talking about the moral and the aesthetic. Does the current cultural elite fill us with confidence that it can solve problems in global culture on the moral and aesthetic front? I don’t think so.
And the economic elite? The only thing we can expect from them is Adam Smith’s reminder:
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
Gosh. Whatever could he mean by that? And when the economic elite meets with the political elite. Oh, never mind.
So, it’s not just a question of who is going to define the new global culture, or how economic cooperation should be regulated. The question is more: does anyone have a clue what is going on on the globalization front, let alone direct its traffic? And even if they did know, would we have any reason to trust them to do anything that Makes Things Better?
And the problem is nowhere more obvious that on the climate change front and the systemic racism front.
Is climate change a problem? Maybe. Is carbon dioxide a “greenhouse gas?” Sure, but will an increase in carbon dioxide have a significant effect on global climate? Maybe, maybe not. The fact is that a bunch of scientists have a bunch of ideas, but nobody really knows.
But I tell you what. If it turns out that there really is a problem, then we can all get together to save the people affected negatively by rising temperatures and rising oceans. Humans are really good at responding to a crisis, like a flood or a fire. Ask the guys in the Cajun Navy.
Is systemic racism — and homophobia and transphobia — a problem? Maybe, or maybe not.
The problem is that if we declare war on these problems then we reduce everything to politics and friends and enemies.
The only thing that a politician knows how to do is gift his friends with government largesse. And demolish his enemies with the police power.
I doubt if we can make the global economy better with politics. And I doubt if we can improve on anti-discrimination laws when it comes to systemic differences in outcomes for different races.
All we can do is let people do what they are going to do, and try to fix problems when they occur.