November 8, 2012

Non-linear events

The Refugee promised to help bring Blog Brother JK out of his post-election funk. Never let it be said that he isn't there for a friend. Especially if it involves coffee.

Many on the right, perhaps including our illustrious blog leader, postulate that we have crossed a rubicon of takers versus makers, never to return. They are ready to Go Galt. However, The Refugee can recall his grandfather having a similar view in the '70s. Of course, Ronald Reagan was later elected to the great benefit of the American ideal.

The problem with making long-range forecasts is that they assume linear events. An unforeseen event of sufficient magnitude can completely alter the tragectory of a society's direction. The depression certainly did so by making conditions ripe for the era of big government. It could be argued that the Iran hostage crisis make Reagan's ascension possible. Such events, in this case, might include the financial meltdown of Europe or major war in the Middle East. The Refugee sees these events as virtual certainties (although he will not make predictions of timing, having been wrong about Israel attacking Iran before the election). Either of these events would change this country's trajectory, although the revised course is unpredictable. Nevertheless, such events are opportunities to reassert ideas at a time when people are listening.

The fundamental human yearning to be free is unquenchable. Good ideas will always come back into fashion, often when least expected. Keep blogging, my friend.

Philosophy Posted by Boulder Refugee at November 8, 2012 9:35 PM

Good point, well said. Coffee is on me...

Posted by: Jk at November 8, 2012 10:17 PM

Martin Van Buren is elected in 1836. He has nationalized the Tammany Hall/New York political machine, the demography of those way out west states like Kentucky and Ohio favor the Democrats. After a landslide victory to succeed Jackson, clearly it's all over nobody will ever beat the Democrats.

Then, the Panic of 1837 and Van Buren loses in the 1840 rematch to William Henry Harrison.

Excellent point. I'm cheering up.

Posted by: jk at November 9, 2012 9:58 AM

Right now the only question in my mind is whether it will be the Panic of 2013 or 2014.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at November 9, 2012 3:14 PM

You're that confident about December, eh?

Posted by: jk at November 9, 2012 3:34 PM

Non-linear event:- Petreuas esigning - Benghazigate? Yes, he says he had an affair, but could it open the gate to other revelations? Probably The Refugee just hoping against hope.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 9, 2012 3:56 PM

You mean when those mean old Republicans force a decorated war hero to resign because of their indefatigable pursuit of a ginned-up scandal to tarnish our great President?

That one?

Posted by: jk at November 9, 2012 4:05 PM

I'm not content to wait for some random event to reassert ideas. In fact, unless the public's preference for security over liberty is reversed in advance there's an equally likely chance that some unforseen event will precipitate a totalitarian state as it will a free one.

I don't necessarily agree that our society will never return, but I absolutely agree that it has crossed a rubicon - and longer ago than this week. I'll post evidence of this soon.

Posted by: johngalt at November 9, 2012 4:44 PM | What do you think? [7]