As Samuel Huntington noted back in the 1990s, liberal democracy has entered its final stages. It seems to be at the peak of its power, but these are really its dying throes; no longer having any competition to the Left, it has followed the Soviet Union in the pursuit of a total managed economy and society and by doing so, has strangled its host civilizations.
That is the good news. That which has peaked has nowhere to go but down, and in the case of unrealistic beliefs like Leftism, coming into power means that it demonstrates its unworthiness to hold power. The only difficulty is that here we are not deposing a single dictator, but as many tyrants are there are voters.
The first signs of its failure came with the rise of the Tea Party. This group wanted a libertarian revolution, or a removal of government from as much of everyday life as possible, but also paired this with more extreme social conservatism than mainstream politicians would accept. The Tea Party wanted to end the role of government as enforcer of civil rights, tolerance and other “blank checks” for more government power and money.
Out of that movement came the force that catapulted Donald J. Trump into the presidency, along with more extreme social conservatives like the Alt Right. These groups realized that ideological government, or government that enforces civil rights, quickly becomes even worse than the Soviets. It turns genocidal and manipulative, and will deplete a civilization and leave behind ruins.
In doing so, Trump developed a new doctrine: the role of government should be to enable business and culture to exist together, and it should replace ideology with commonsense functionality. That requires removing the power of many layers of government, displacing the people who benefit from them, and liberating business from excessive regulation.
As part of that, he is setting the stage for the next act in the drama, which is the downfall of liberal democracy itself once it becomes clear that (a) these governments always spend themselves into bankruptcy and (b) the voters will always support them in doing so because voting encourages people to spend the wealth of a society on special interests. Democracy has failed because it cannot succeed.
It seemed to succeed, at first, but then again, so did the Soviet Union and the French Revolution. Almost anything can succeed in the short term because it rides the inertia of the past by benefiting from the wealth, institutions and functional people left behind from the previous stage in society. But inevitably, it raids and displaces those, causing them to fail.
The Trump Doctrine begins with a simple observation: the herd is wrong, and the herd always wants one-step solutions that involve stronger government. Trump made his career out of finding properties that “everyone who knows anything” agreed were not wanted, and then turning those into success stories. It did not always work, but it worked more often than it did not.
The herd hates Trump, but the perceived consensus is fading:
Is it possible that weâ€™re wrong about Donald Trump? …I ask because when thereâ€™s a stampede of critics headed in one direction, maybe itâ€™s time to stand back from the herd. When an overwhelming consensus builds in serious academic, media, and political circles, and when comedians can make a good living mocking the man in the Oval Office, it makes sense to wonder if perhaps everyone is wrong. Because it wouldnâ€™t be the first time people have been wrong about a president.
Our academics, media and politicians know how to be popular. They follow whatever the herd decides. This is measured not by what everyone actually thinks, but what they will admit in social situations, and the group influences each other and comes to compromises. These involve fond dreams of free government benefits, world peace, racial reconciliation and other emotional pursuits.
This is why they are always successful, but also always wrong. We knew that some day the gig would be up. That day is now.
In their quest to make everything perfect and safe, the voters unleashed a government that has shattered the middle class by destroying their sources of income:
Then, as commentators as diverse as Pat Buchanan and Ed Schultz have noted, more than 50,000 factories closed over the years.
This is why President Trump in his statement about the Paris Accords talked about â€œlost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production.â€
…Most of the businesses that closed were small or medium-sized businesses that were killed in large part due to environmental regulations and/or foreign competition, both of which the president mentioned in his Paris statement.
In the mind of a voter, a one-step solution is the only one that will work. Indirect solutions like markets and culture just do not “feel” solid enough. So instead, they approve more power for those in charge, forgetting that they are handing this authority not to geniuses but to mid-level bureaucrats, most of whom have Napoleon complexes.
Those people in turn write millions of words of rules, sign hundreds of treaties, establish law through the judiciary, and do anything else to increase their power in pursuits of blank check goals like civil rights or environmentalism. They do this because they perceive that it will increase their power and make their careers successful. It is a tragedy of the commons.
This in turn creates a huge cost burden to the taxpayer, which is passed on to those working for government and those receiving entitlement payments, effecting a wealth transfer away from the productive to the parasitic. Note how bureaucrats get paid more than you do to do a whole lot of nothing constructive:
The village manager in my hometown will be paid $221,375 this year and is in line to receive a $33,000 pay increase next year. He also gets a $6,000 car allowance, according to the village. At least 16 other Village Hall employees make more than $100,000 in base salary.
My local township appears to be so flush with cash that every season I receive a full-color, glossy newsletter that boasts all the programs I don’t use and never asked for. The newsletter advertises critical services such as a workshop about choosing between a tablet or PC.
…Similar situations are playing out all across the state. Government pay isn’t just higher than what the rest of us make â€” it’s more than we can afford.
With this change, America is following the Soviet Union pattern: only the people in government do well; everyone else suffers. And the solution to that will be more government as well.
The Trump Doctrine has shown a willingness to change this. He wants to cut the size of government, end the regulations, restart industry and pay off the deficit. He hopes to have a trickle-down effect as local governments imitate the success of this. However, he cannot do enough, and he knows it. He just needs to do enough to demonstrate that he is right.
Even if he were given free rein to do whatever he wanted, Trump — one man — could not reverse the past century of horrible decisions, nor could he fully displace the toxic government. Luckily for us, he will not achieve victory directly. Instead he will show us that democratic government has become just as abusive as dictatorships, and pave the way for the next phase of humanity.
Much as Francis Fukuyama argued for “the end of history” with liberal democracy as the final stage of humankind, Trump believes that history has ended, which means it has been restarted. All of the assumptions of the past 228 years have gone out the window. Instead, we will be looking for a way out of this system, which has now failed just as surely as Communism and National Socialism did.
Our time is the “Berlin 1945 moment” for liberal democracy. It has failed by creating a monster in the form of our national government, the EU and the UN. This monster threatens to destroy us and replace us with foreigners so that it can remain in power forever, but its plan is not working. The new occupants are not generating the wealth, knowledge and quality judgment that secured our success in the past. As a result, civilization is failing.
If the Trump Doctrine has a core, it is a rejection of ideology and its replacement by real-world, commonsense thinking. That in turn is a precursor toward replacing democracy and equality with known methods of thriving, and directing ourselves toward transcendent goals instead of human ones. The future is bright, even if it must get worse before it gets better.