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Elite Fail: How Could This Happen? One Weird Chart That Explains The Great Recession

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It's Not Just the GOP Where the Paradigms are Shifting

by Christopher Chantrill
September 22, 2015 at 12:00 am


EVERYTHING is going wrong at once. On the economy, the Federal Reserve’s economic models have been overpredicting economic growth ever since the Great Recession. On climate, the IPCC’s climate models have been overpredicting global warming ever since the beginning of the Pause. On national borders, the international ruling class has suddenly rediscovered them as half the Middle East heads for Europe.

And in the GOP rank outsiders lead in the presidential race to the consternation of the party establishment.

Who could have seen this coming?

Well, Thomas S. Kuhn, for one. In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions he argued that science doesn’t proceed in the orderly fashion that we imagine.

Most, of the time it does. Kuhn called this “normal science.” La Wik:

Kuhn explained normal science as slowly accumulating detail in accord with established broad theory, without questioning or challenging the underlying assumptions of that theory.

“Normal science” works pretty well, with scientists beavering away solving problems under the current underlying theoretical assumptions, until the current assumptions, the current “paradigm” doesn’t work any more. Then all bets are off.

Kuhn was too modest. Not just science, but all human activity is a kind of “normal science,” with everyone trusting that current memes and beliefs are true, until “anomalies” in the current paradigm reach a crisis and it is not possible to go on in the old way any more.

You can tell there is a developing crisis in climate science because of the “normal scientists” that call for siccing RICO on the embarrassing and hateful deniers, as the delicious Gang of 20 is proposing.

We are seeing the same thing with the European border crisis. For decades the European ruling class has confidently practiced the “normal science” of open borders and anathematized anyone that disagreed. But the rulers never thought that President Obama, their favorite Nobel son, would break the Middle East and persuade millions of Middle Easterners that they are outa there. So all of a sudden, in just a week, borders are back. The paradigm has changed.

Here at home, Republicans and conservatives have been agonizing for years over the anomalies in the “normal politics” of our Beltway ruling class. But the Beltway RINOs have always managed to beat down the rebels and the troublemakers. Why not? For them, “normal politics” is working just fine. But the Trump-Carson-Fiorina phenomenon shows that the “anomalies” in the current “normal politics” are becoming unbearable for a big chunk of the conservative and Republican base. “Normal politics” just isn’t working for us.

Now, Thomas Kuhn’s theory argues that the “anomalies” in the current “normal science” tend to accumulate, creating more and more tension in the normal science community until there is a “crisis.” The crisis merely means that the authority of the reigning “normal science” has broken down and that people are forced to begin to look at alternative explanations for the way the world works. Pleasant and satisfying autos-da-fe of heretics and deniers fail to head off the crisis. And so scientists have to consider new paradigms that explain the world better, and the slog along the road to a new “normal science” begins.

Kevin D. Williamson reminds us of the necessary political slog in his latest Sunday Special on NRO: “The Question No Candidate Will Answer.” Kevin wanted presidential debate honcho Jake Tapper to ask the GOP candidates real questions, like what they were going to do about Social Security, Medicare, etc.

But this is the equivalent of asking the Founding Fathers in 1776 to get beyond all the cheap rhetoric about “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” and get down to specifics: How soon things would get back to normal after we had summarily kicked the Brits out by Christmas? The real answer would have been too horrible to contemplate: seven years of war, eight years of political futility only solved by the new paradigm of the Constitution, adding up to fifteen years of economic misery only ended by Alexander Hamilton and his new paradigm of the funded National Debt and windfall profits for the holders of state debt and paper previously “not worth a Continental.”

You can see what I am getting at. It is exciting that the old “normal politics” is breaking down. But this is just the beginning. Rank and file gentry liberals don’t even realize there is a problem yet, for all is quiet on the NPR front. Let’s go with Bernie for another $18 trillion in new spending, with one more Big Push for the good old liberal “normal science.”

We are in for a long war of the paradigms that will make the Gramscian march through the institutions look like child’s play.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust

Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy

Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006

China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing

Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity

US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

presented by Christopher Chantrill

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