America on the brink of a Second Revolution … "What's distinctive about the Tea Party is its anarchist streak – its antagonism toward any authority, its belligerent self-expression, and its lack of any coherent program or alternative to the policies it condemns," warns Jacob Weisberg in Newsweek. But why not three cheers for the Tea Party Express? – MarketWatch
Dominant Social Theme: A lot is going on. Hard to make sense of it all.
Free-Market Analysis: We would like to think that the Daily Bell offers a comprehensible roadmap to tumultuous times. Over the past years (a decade in fact) the modest braintrust of the Daily Bell has preached that the Internet is sparking a second Renaissance or Reformation, just as the Gutenberg press did originally. We've stuck with this perspective while the mainstream press (and a good part of the alternative media) has pro-offered one suggestion after another to explain modern sociopolitical turbulence. Additional dominant social theme: "There's really no connection between events. It's all kind of random and everyone needs to just calm down."
But even if people calm down, we don't think the sociopolitical dynamic in play is going to vanish. What is interesting to us is that in covering what's going on we've become convinced that modern Western history is the result of a clash between technology (and knowledge) and the lack thereof.
There is something else. We are not scholars, but we have often observed that great ancient and modern cultures usually arise out of fragmented regional states that are proximate to one another and have the same languages. Thus, if one is oppressed in one physical region, one can move with one's family to another nearby place without much inconvenience. This means governments have incentives not to be too overbearing or cruel but to actually compete with one another to provide livable environments.
Within this context, government-to-government treaties and understandings ought to be looked upon with considerable suspicion. Anything that organizes governments at a bureaucratic level is probably going to have a negative effect on the larger polity. Thus, these days, when we read about conferences between hundreds of nations and the treaties that come from them, we likely should not be too impressed but should worry that these understandings eventually will be used as instruments of repression.
It is no coincidence, in our view that the rise of the United Nations and various forums that allow for "understandings" between nations have paralleled what can be seen reasonably as a rise in various repressive mechanisms of the state. The war on terror, in fact, providing Western governments with yet another rationale to seek these multi-party agreements, is probably not to be celebrated.
We have then, in fact, two free-market methodologies at work historically. One of them has to do with the fragmentation inherent in city-states and the resultant freedom that gives rise to great, civilized cultures. The second free-market methodology has to do with communication. One can go back in time and point out (with the benefit of hindsight) how the invention of the alphabet, Nabataean script, parchment, pen-and-ink, etc. influenced the creation of great Persian and Western cultures.
In fact, there is probably an interplay between communication revolutions and geopolitical fragmentation. They are both important, though either one may generate increased freedom and societal dissemination of knowledge. It is, in fact, KNOWLEDGE, that we are talking about here. In consolidated societies and in societies where communication technology has stagnated, the elite inevitably seizes the opportunity to control information and to then mold society in directions that make those societies more authoritarian.
Surely someday, some young scholar shall come along and write a history of the world from this perspective – using geographical fragmentation and communication technology as the primary drivers of sociopolitical and civil greatness. Again, while we have mentioned these two drivers, the underlying mechanism is actually the free-flowing movement of KNOWLEDGE. Like blood itself, knowledge courses through the veins of a revivified, vital society.
This is happening today. Despite increased sociopolitical centralization of nation-states, the impact of the Internet has been so strong that it has overwhelmed elite ambitions to build centralized international organizations. It is knowledge itself about the realities of the human condition, economic and otherwise, that is overwhelming what we like to call the dominant social themes the elite attempts to inculcate to control society.
Seen from this perspective, the mainstream media's attempts at defining what is going on in this day and age, is bound to be insufficient. The mainstream media, under the control of the power elite, denies the advancement of knowledge and treats its eruption as a series of serial events, none of them necessarily connected. The austerity riots in Europe, the ascendency of the American Tea Party and even the sudden popularity of Austrian economics are seen as entirely separate events.
The article with which we began this analysis ends gloomily with predictions of "anarchy" and "austerity." But we prefer not to see it that way. We do not necessarily think this is a very gloomy time. We see plenty of signs that knowledge is spreading as it did during the Renaissance or even the Industrial Revolution. We see plenty of signs that the hold the current Anglo-American elite has over society is fading – that its wars are not necessarily ending in victory, that its promotions (global warming) are foundering and that even its hold over economic matters (via central banking) is slipping. We see renewed freedom and a retreat of authoritarian thinking.
Yes, we shall be accused by some as being over-optimistic. But we did not begin with such a perspective many years ago. We came to it as a result of our own research and analysis, supported by the Internet itself and the resources that were revealed. What is going on from our point of view is not a series of separate serial events but a coherent process. One can argue about the speed of the process, or even whether the elite is going to be able to short-circuit it, but not to recognize it is a mistake in our opinion.
Understand that knowledge – truth telling – is increasingly available to people throughout the world and much that seems disparate and arbitrary becomes a good deal more comprehensible. Discern the pattern and decision making becomes clearer as well, whether it has to do with investments, family matters or personal and career choices. What is occurring today is a very quiet revolution in the fundamental fabric of human existence. It is quiet because the mainstream media – and even most of the alternative press – will not report on it. But in our view it is occurring nonetheless.
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