The Establishment Is Getting Crushed

AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

If you look at the elections going on in the West, you may notice a pattern.

It's not liberals or conservatives winning so much as parties out of power beating those who are clearly members of the ruling Establishment. 


Now, it's true that, for the most part, the left or center-left has been holding power in most places, so it looks like conservatives are ascendant, but things aren't quite so cut-and-dried--most notably in the United Kingdom, where the nominally conservative party is about to get trounced. 

What seems to be going on is a universal dissatisfaction with how the ruling elite have been running things, and with good reason. Whether it is conservatives, liberals, or "moderates," the ruling elite has been committed to policies that have eroded the power of individuals and vastly increased the power of the state. 

Moreover, Western governments have made abundantly clear that their commitment has been to a form of transnationalism that has grown increasingly unpopular. As borders have opened up throughout the West, citizens have grown restless as crime has skyrocketed, economic growth has slowed, and national cultures have been diluted. 

Trump's election in 2016 was the first and most obvious example of a trend that is now cresting, and his loss in 2020 by a razor-thin and disputed margin was driven at least partially by the chaos caused by pandemic policies and the riots of 2020. As we can see from the polls showing people's retrospective regret for electing Biden, people liked Trump's policies prior to 2020 and long for a return to the status quo ante 2020. 


The political upheaval in Europe is an expression of the same discontent with the internationalist elites, as well as the massive political shifts in El Salvador and Argentina. 

What is driving all this is a populist revolt against an elite that has been sacrificing ordinary citizens in favor of transnationalism--a bureaucratic order that ignores the needs and desires of citizens in favor of a bland, technocratic universalism that substitutes statist welfare policies for citizen-driven choice. 

Rule by "experts," in other words. 

I am sympathetic to concerns about populism, which can take very ugly turns. But, to be honest, whatever concerns one has with populism should apply moreso to the tactics used by the transnationalists. 

After all, transnationalists use left-wing rioters as enforcers with regularity. Almost all the political violence we see comes from the Left these days, and it is tolerated or even encouraged by the Establishment that stokes fears of an emergent fascism that never seems to emerge. 


If you are worried that populism will put pitchforks into the hands of peasants marching on the streets to tar and feather the leaders of a country, perhaps you should worry more about the communists on the streets demanding that government get bigger and borders be opened more. 

Generally speaking, things are better when people are not angrily rejecting the political system--the root of populism--but then again sometimes the political system needs to be rebooted with new leadership with a strong mandate of the people. When people feel disenfranchised they will rise up. 

If the elite doesn't want that, perhaps they should be responsive to the will of the people. Populism is reactive--it only arises when people are angry--especially in America, where most people like to focus on friends, family, their local communities, and their careers. Usually, only geeks get wrapped up in politics. 

Lots of people are deeply invested in politics these days because things aren't working in the West. Our cultures are under attack, our education system is teaching hatred for our countries, our cities are being flooded by migrants who are making life worse, and our economies are under strain due to bad government policies. 


The populist revolt is the least bad option. It may not be ideal, but it is necessary. The technocrats in charge are failing us, and they must be swept away. 

Too bad Milei is tied up in Argentina. We could use his chainsaw here. 

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