The Gods of the Copybook Headings
Well, the Greeks rejected austerity measures in a referendum yesterday 61% to 39%. This should mean that Greece leaves the Eurozone but I doubt it. My guess is that the powers that be in the EU, afraid that the whole Euro edifice will crash, along with their phony baloney jobs, will craft together some sort of last minute mini-bailout to keep the Greeks in the Eurozone for a bit longer, making the ultimate collapse of the Eurozone that much more devastating. What all of this portends of course is the end of an era that is much larger than what happens to a minor Mediterranean economy, or even of the European economy. We are saying farewell to the era of Let’s Pretend.
Let’s Pretend began back in the ’60’s of the last century when it became a common belief among the intelligentsia of the West that the usual rules, what Kipling called the Gods of the Copybook Headings, that had governed human affairs since the dawn of Man no longer applied. We are clearly in the end game of this rubbish on stilts as reality keeps intruding. Summoning money out of thin air eventually comes to a crashing end, welfare states eventually collapse under their own weight, free sex burdens society with kids growing up fatherless and with adults that never grow up at all, imposing a common currency on nations with separate economies, banking systems and disparate cultures is delusional, and the list of collective flights from reality could go at great length.
In this end game we have the proponents of our Let’s Pretend Culture assuring us that sex is merely a made up distinction and that marriage includes joining men to men and women to women. Rather than ushering in a brave new world, this is a dying gasp of an exhausted project of reality denial. Of course we are not the first generation to engage in such a project. The lamentable chronicle of human folly and crime is replete with examples of societies collectively taking leave of their senses for a time. However, reality always wins in the end, and the return of reality is usually attended with the shedding of many human tears and the shedding of much human blood. Continue reading
Andrew Klavan at City Journal explains how the media creation Obama ended with the debate this week:
The Obama of the imagination is the media’s Obama. Out of their fascination with the color of his skin and their mindless awe at his windy teleprompted rhetoric, they constructed a man of stature and accomplishment. Now, with the White House on the line, they’re waging an ongoing battle against the undeniable evidence that he has never been, in fact, that man. The result in these quadrennial autumn days has been media coverage of a fantasy election, an election in the news that may bear no relation whatsoever to the election as it is. Polls consistently skewed to favor Democrats in percentages beyond any reasonable construct of reality have left us virtually ignorant of the state of the race. Orchestrated frenzies over alleged gaffes by Mitt Romney have camouflaged an imploding Obama foreign policy, an Obama economy threatened by a new recession, and an Obama campaign filled with vicious personal attacks and lies.
Governor Romney’s unprecedented dismantling of the president in their first debate—an encounter so one-sided it reminded me of the famous cartoon in which Godzilla meets Bambi, with predictable results—was surprising only for Romney’s warmth and clarity. Obama’s hapless fumbling, bad temper, and inarticulate inability to defend his record were actually thoroughly predictable. They were simply facets of the man as he truly is, unfiltered by the imagination of his media supporters: a man who has succeeded, really, at almost nothing but the winning of elections; a man who cannot distinguish between his ideology and life; a man who does not seem to know how the machinery of the world actually works.
Fantasy is a powerful thing, but reality will out. Perhaps by Election Day, the public will have awakened from the media’s dream. Continue reading
AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.
We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.
Another fine econ 101 video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity. That government monopolies like the post office and public schools deliver inferior service at greatly inflated cost is as well established as any fact can be this side of Eternity. The mystery to me is why we still keep making this fundamental mistake of assuming that a government monopoly is necessary rather than looking into new measures to reach the goal sought. The faith in government, especially on the political Left, is as charming in its naivety as it is irrational.
The last century was often a long sad failure to heed the warnings of Rudyard Kipling in his poem The Gods of the Copybook Headings. I hope this century will not repeat this inability to learn some very simple lessons about the limits of both government and wishful thinking.