I liked the idea of looking for commonality in disparate protests. In Europe (and soon, America) people are frustrated with the limits of the social welfare state to extend more benefits than taxation and borrowing provides, without compromising economic growth, and in spite of declining population growth. (See WRM.) In the broader Middle East, people are frustrated that a once-great civilization is being left behind by modernity. Commonality? >
> 1. Fear of necessary change, which, according to Milton Friedman and classical liberal philosophers, requires more capitalism and freedom, not less. >
> 2. Lack of effective leadership to “resolve the tension in relations between the people and the state,” which requires the bipartisan courage to place the long-term collective interest above short-term partisan or ideological interest. >
> 3. If this thesis of global outrage is correct, and threatens vital interests in critical regions and civilian lives in the wake of revolution & counter-revolution, then is stability ops so last strategy or the next one? Agree we should avoid intervention as much as possible, but (a) wonder if we can, and (b) perhaps FID should be focus of BPC? >
> Actually, very, very good. I really liked this paper. Explosively imaginative. Taffy for the mind. Wonderful. >
> However, I am afraid I am still a bit of a statist, as my emails perhaps suggest. >
> Or maybe I’m just a dinosaur.
> Hasn’t it been a trope since at least the 15th century that the rulers were afraid of the rulers (or maybe that’s just Europe–for Rome it is much older–turn of century, and for Asia it would much, much older, as it feels like it is for EVERY interesting poli sci problem and solution). That they always knew that power and privilege could be taken if the peasantry could just their shit together. >
> Isn’t the history of government the story of how this tension is resolved by different people’s at different times? Plato’s cycle and all of that? >
> So if I have a singular objection, it’s the breathless tone here. Like war, should we be talking about a change in the character of how the tension in relations between the people and the state are resolved, vice a change in its very nature? >
> The choices also feel interesting if shortchanged. The most fascinating is the last one, with the lingering suggestion that perhaps the US–perhaps we too are surfing, and just don’t know it.