1: The First Anomaly is the contradiction between political form (democracy) and political reality (oligarchy or technocracy); a democracy cannot be a technocracy. Thus, the government is de facto illegitimate.
2: The Second Anomaly is the contradiction between the paradigm of peace and progress on the one hand, and the reality of growing political instability, rising crime, personal insecurity and the fact of permanent warfare on the other.
3: The Third Anomaly is the contradiction between the promise of effective technocratic management of the economy – steady growth, full employment and prosperity – with the reality of repeated crashes, recessions, unemployment, rising debt and falling living standards.
Agree regarding the first three contradictions.
4: The Fourth Anomaly was not only Trump’s defeat of the Cathedral but the exposure of the mainstream media as an unofficial branch of the government and the subsequent, ongoing, declining power and influence of the press and their propaganda.
To quote Scott Adams, we’re seeing a different movie. The evidence however suggests Trump is merely a speed bump for the Cathedral and not a defeat by any stretch…In winning in 2016, he defeated the cathedral, but the cathedral itself is stronger than ever. I don’t see Trump as being a catalyst for change, but rather he is the human embodiment of the contradiction between the anger and or frustration against the status quo, juxtaposed with the imperviousness of the status quo.
Obama failed according to the first principle of politics: gain and maintain power. He failed to secure his legacy (with Clinton) and under his watch, the Republicans took more seats in the House and Senate, along with securing more Governorships. For progressives and Democrats this is a big fail.
Obama got Obamacare through (which Trump so far has been unable to replace). He got DOMA repealed. Obviously, he was not totally ineffectual. Trump so far has not been able to pass legislation, although he has two years. The ‘great man’ theory doesn’t work in an age of politics, unless leaders are put in situations (such as a consequence of external factors such as national crisis or war) where they can rise to the occasion and become ‘great’. Greatness does not arise ex-nihilo.
Imperial Energy says we’re in a crisis, but disaffection with the status quo does not a crisis make. But that leads to the Second Anomaly: if the political climate is so negative, why is society otherwise so stable. There is also a subjective element to this in that if one’s ideology is predicated on eschatology, one is more inclined to look for signs of ‘end times’, which leads to confirmation bias. As I showed in in an earlier post, sentiment regarding free trade hasn’t changed much in decades, so the disaffection of the far-right is not always representative of the entire nation.
Regarding crisis, this also also goes back to the ‘shared narrative’ of society in crisis. As mentioned in the post The Culture War Is Inescapable, Seth Abramson, a left-wing writer, also says we’re in a ‘fundamental crisis’. Being that these narrative are shared, they cross political lines.
This goes back centuries. Marx said “All great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice…the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce,” which is similar to Hegel’s historical materialism. Marx, like Hegel, interpreted history as a struggle of competing forces (in the case of Marx, it’s a war of class; in the case of Hegel, a war of ideas), in an endless struggle for emancipation. The clash of two competing values leads to a new outcome that rewrites history.
In the NRx context, like Hegel, the struggle is one of ideology and beliefs, not exclusively economics, although the two are related, and themes of economics are found in ‘accelerationist’ writings.