Marsden ends The Twilight of the American Enlightenment with reflections on the dead-end to which we have come. Consensus liberalism suffers from a fatal dishonesty. Because it claims to serve the common good and at the same time sustain authenticity with what it regards as exemplary non-judgmentalism, liberalism cannot recognize itself as merely one view among others. It must see itself as transcending the worldviews competing for control over American society (and, increasingly, over world culture). It is this conceit that supports the tyrannies of liberalism, which range from full blown political correctness and the politics of denunciation (accusations of homophobia, bigotry, and sexism) to various forms of social exclusion of the kind so blatantly expressed by Richard Rorty ("that's not the way we talk about things").The prescription is a perfectly short and perfectly comprehensive column by David Stockman. Do everything Stockman recommends, and we'll be on the way to overall recovery. Key paragraph:
The 2008 bailouts were based on a grotesque urban legend that we were faced with Great Depression 2.0. None of that was true. The resulting spree of massive lunatic money printing since then, in my view, is a monetary time bomb that will trigger the third thundering collapse of the 21st century. The meltdown going around was almost entirely in the canyons of Wall Street. The gamblers running the last remaining casinos, otherwise known as investment banks, had hit the wall because they were funding massive multitrillion-dollar balance sheets loaded with toxic securities. It would have finished and burned out in the canyons of Wall Street.Stockman's cure is the same thing Polistra has been prescribing here for the last 8 years. Won't happen, of course. We can't learn. We're EXCEPTIONAL. But we've been warned. We have no excuse.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.