Americans have historically swung between anger at big business and anger at Washington. This year their rage has targeted business and government with equal fury. Public frustration over Wall Street failures that led to the financial crisis was typified by the uproar over bonus payments to American International Group Inc. executives. Those feelings haven't dissipated, political strategists say. At the same time, Americans are equally upset at what they call overreaching by Congress and federal bureaucrats, with protesters taking to the streets to decry "socialism" and a "government takeover" of the economy. Policy makers face a quandary. With voters simultaneously recoiling at laissez-faire policies and a big-government approach neither party in Washington seems capable of corralling an angry public. "I think this is a very populist moment," said Vin Weber, a former Minnesota congressman and now a top Republican strategist. "People held onto their distrust of big business and Wall Street, but what has happened is their distrust of big government has come back as well." Last year when Barack Obama won the presidency and Democrats swept to big congressional majorities, commentators heralded the dawn of a "new New Deal." Time magazine put Mr. Obama on its cover sporting a cigarette-holder in a pose reminiscent of Franklin Roosevelt. Democrats sought support for an ambitious agenda that included a stimulus package, an overhaul of the health-care system and a bill to address climate change. – WSJ
Dominant Social Theme: What's goin' on?
Free-Market Analysis: Well, it is all going remarkably as we anticipated. After the Bush years of war and paranoia, America has a peacemaker as President. Barack Obama has even been given a peace prize to ensure that Americans and the rest of the world get the message that US is no longer an international threat. We expect Obama to do much rhetorically to cool the military environment in Afghanistan. He may announce a radical retooling of America's military efforts worldwide. It will mean little of course if the troops don't come home. We somehow doubt they will. America has bases everywhere. It is an empire, indeed, the muscle of the Anglo-American axis. Emperors rarely reverse empires.
But he is a great speechmaker, and he will endeavor to sound very pacifistic, we think. In the meantime, much of America is not buying. The old switcheroo is not working. The article in Murdoch's Wall Street Journal above, is basically built around the idea that when Americans get tired of one kind of leadership, they opt for another. If Americans get sick of Republican authoritarianism, they can always try on Democratic socialism-lite. And if neither of these work, there is always "populism" to fall back on. That's when new leaders surge to the fore promising "a chicken in every pot" while pledging to "throw the rascals out."
Only, it's not working this time. There is a fourth option, led by Congressman Ron Paul, the Internet and numerous financially and politically literate bloggers. This option is the Jeffersonian option and it is giving the monetary elite fits. The Jeffersonian option includes radically smaller government, an end to overseas military adventurism, and monetary and fiscal policies that feature honesty money, gold and silver.
The leverage that the monetary elite has over the West depends first of all on central banking and fiat money and then on the police and military support that it can buy with those funds. The funds also go to shape society in a certain way, purchasing public involvement in virtually every nook and cranny of private dealings. Republicanism, Democratic alternatives and Populism (the movement) do not threaten this arrangement. Small government Jeffersonian democratic/republicanism certainly does.
Many Democrats and many Republicans are partial to the kind of small government orientation that made America great. It was the absence of government interference before the War Between the States that provided the engine for American industrial growth. Much of that is gone now, and it is not the fault of the "rascals in government." Not at all. It is the fault of the government mechanism itself. It is the fault of mercantilism. It is the fault of an unholy alliance between global corporations and the political and military mechanisms of the West buttressed by invasive fiscal and monetary policy.
Citizens of the West are just finding this out now, thanks to the Internet. Like the Gutenberg printing press 500 years ago, the Internet is making it impossible for many of the dominant social themes that the monetary elite cultivates to flourish. Everything – from the UN itself to global warming, to mass vaccination programs — is under attack. The three-legged stool the elite relies upon is tottering now. There is no religious/spiritual element to speak of, the political/military aspect is increasingly dysfunctional and the communication's leg is shattered.
It is true that the elite can rely for a while on brute force to move forward with an obvious globalist agenda. But the EU is in trouble, Chavez is spearheading opposition in the Americas and the United States itself is in an uproar that will only continue. Right now the "conservative" movement in the United States is trying desperately to co-opt the growing US libertarian Jeffersonianism. But it is an idea whose time has come. It will sweep the world once more as it has done so many times before.
Would the elite like to put the Internet back in its bottle. "You betcha" as Sarah Palin would say. But it won't fit. And the West is not China. Firewalls can only be added by stealth, by private state-run intelligence attacks and the like on the state's own citizens. And that is far too slow and cumbersome for what is occurring. And for what will continue and gather force. A peaceful revolution of ideas that is shaking the foundation of the governing and monetary elites.
The Wall Street Journal can run as many articles as it likes puzzling about the phenomenon of those who seem anti-statist but are not falling this time around for the puerile rhetoric of populism. We anticipate within the next two to three years that we will see a spate of articles comparing the Internet to the Gutenberg press – not in terms of its technology but in terms of its RESULT. Of course by then we may have some sort of gold and silver private monetary standard. Or at least a verifiable audit of the Fed and other central banks. Times are changing. We are not surprised, even if the Wall Street Journal is.