The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Mead Seeks Technical Solutions To Existential Problems

Posted on | February 7, 2012 | 1 Comment

by Smitty

I’m still waiting for Walter Russell Mead to get down to brass tacks. In this third installment, Mead sounds like he thinks shiny gadgets are going to fix everything.

Economically, the decline of the blue social model presents Americans with some urgent questions: how can we generate a rising standard of living for our citizens in a post-Fordist world? If manufacturing and stable oligopolies won’t underpin lifetime employment and rising wages for new generations of Americans, what are we going to do instead?
To start answering these questions we have to think about whether the United States enjoys any comparative advantages or can we develop some that, wisely deployed, could provide us with the kind of rising living standards that we have enjoyed in the past?
It’s clear that many such advantages exist and some are even becoming more prominent and useful. In the energy sector, homegrown shale gas and shale oil plus large new discoveries in the western hemisphere suggest that 21st century America will enjoy secure access to an abundant and varied mix of fuel from nearby and friendly neighbors. Blessed by a favorable climate and rich soil, our agricultural productivity will continue to astound. Our geographical location, which gives us access to both of the world’s greatest ocean trading basins while protecting us against invasion by other great powers, remains a tremendous advantage. The language we speak continues to develop as the global lingua franca, giving every American citizen and American business a significant boost.

Sure, I love me some technology. I took an undergraduate engineering degree, and have veered into software. Yes, it’s shiny. But can buzzing little doo-dads and social networks really forge some brave new liberal world? Put me in the doubtful column.

The crisis of our day is a moral one. The surfeit of laws to which Mead alludes has rendered a generation of spoiled brats who demand of the Nanny State, which gives with the one hand and slaps with the other. One of the lies of Progress is that we must always move ‘forward’, though the slope be negative, and reject traditional mores, which have (in the words of Postmodernists) been disproven.

What we must do to recover is reject the Postmodern idiocy, the Progressive falsehoods (global warming, abortion, welfare states, &c), and return to a traditional focus on morality and liberty. The technology, always orthogonal to human nature, will take care of itself. Trust me.

via Insty


One Response to “Mead Seeks Technical Solutions To Existential Problems”

  1. Anonymous
    February 7th, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    Well, you’ve got to feel a bit for Prof. Mead. He’s coming to a lot of the right conclusions but if he actually states them too baldly he’ll be drummed out of the liberal enclaves of Bard, Foreign Affairs Magazine, and a number of other venues including, probably, his friends and family. As it is he is treading very close to the liberal/progressive line of heresy and other offenses that carry the penalty of excommunication. Hence, he takes refuge in these cute little techno explanation and the charming “blue vs red social model” meme that he’s sort of made up. It’s a gentle way of saying half the truth that he can plainly see without committing life sepaku by saying the whole truth.  You see this most often on his page if you endeavor to state the whole truth of his half truth. Those comments don’t seem to show up.

    Bottom line is that he’s a man who has gone about as far as he can. It’s not bad and it is cause for some hope that even bonded libprogs can see the truth, but it is also cause for despair in that they lack the courage of their observations to say the whole truth. Mead will always disappoint in this. He’ll always scurry around looking for a safe exit.