Progressive ideology. Political power shifts. Societal pendulums. Global Warming. Defeating Evil.
What do these things have in common, besides the letter “l”?
All these different issues cannot be discussed rationally without accurately identifying and applying feedback loops.
For instance, in the case of
Global Warming Climate Change, the theory is that the increase in carbon dioxide from human activity is driving the Earth’s temperature spiraling upward. However, the only way this can be true is if factors influencing or controlling the earth’s temperature are, in total, a positive feedback loop. Meaning, the various elements snowball, so the more carbon gets into the atmosphere, the easier it is for carbon to get into the atmosphere in the future.
However, to make this argument, one has to be aware of several negative feedback loops, such as the logarithmic nature of carbon’s impact (the more carbon is in the atmosphere, the smaller effect any given unit of carbon has) and the likelihood that increased carbon in the atmosphere encourages plant growth that has a cooling effect. Meaning, there are certainly elements that tend to resist change, that absorb changes into a cycle that brings temperature back to equilibrium. The fact that the world has had both extreme temperatures during different ages, yet keeps within a relatively small, stable range, indicates that negative feedback loops are more powerful than the positive feedback loops in our global climate system.
Regarding defeating evil, the one thing I remember from the 1st Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever is that evil can never be fully defeated. Individual incarnations of evil can be defeated, but since some measure of evil exists in every single human being, evil will always return.
Setting aside the notion of evil, that’s why it is so difficult for there to be a permanent one-party rule in the United States. One significant negative feedback loop is the election interests of individual politicians. If one party succeeded in complete domination of the political scene, the powerless party would dissolve and the in-power party would split in order for individual politicians to seek power by championing the interests of a minority. Party overreach usually means that it never even gets to that point. The Democrats were hailing their permanent majority just 8 years ago. Now they almost lack the power to stop Constitutional Amendments.
Progressive Ideology assumes a social Positive Feedback Loop, in which human society inevitably progresses toward their assumed and preferred utopia of human enlightenment.
As a fan of science fiction, I have imagined what an Individual Rights Society might look like (call it Conservative, or Libertarian, if you with…neither seem to be fully appropriate terms), but even in my imagination, it is impossible to sustain. Human nature is too obvious: there will always be people who see their advantage in claiming group rights over individual rights, and there will always be people eager to dictate groups rights to the exclusion of individual rights.
But is the reverse true?
Consider this tweet:
I think she’s 100% correct. However, the problem is that even after the precedent is set, it isn’t a precedent the GOP can use in retaliation against the Democrats. This is because there simply is no GOP-leaning senior bureaucrat population. The federal bureaucracy mostly embraces the Progressive mindset. Where it doesn’t, it correctly sees the Democrat Party as more supportive of the unelected bureaucracy’s power.
As a result, where there should be a negative feedback loop that acts as a check on Progressive overreach, I fear that Democrats (and/or Progressives, and/or Leftists…there’s a huge overlap, but not complete) have metastasized in government to the point that they can enforce a positive feedback loop for their preferred policies.
Maybe not. The Deep State’s attack on the US Constitution is out in the open now, and the GOP does have an unprecedented advantageous position to begin dismantling it, just like Walker is doing in Wisconsin.
However, let me clarify what I mean by the Left enforcing a positive feedback loop.
Normally, overreach results in the pendulum swinging back, as individuals exercise their political and social rights to disagree and oppose. But the nature of Leftist ideology is to embrace and empower group rights, not individual rights. They control education, so they can teach you the history and values they want you to have. They control entertainment, so they can craft narratives in which the Progressive ideology always turns out to be correct. They control the news, so they can make it seem like the GOP following Democrat precedents is an outrageous, unprecedented scandal. They control the federal bureaucracy, so they can pick and choose which of the millions of pages of regulations to enforce to punish individuals for opposing their agenda. They can make the process be the punishment so that you can’t even fight back against things like EPA overreach without bankrupting yourself. They control the judiciary (mostly), so they can re-legislate and nullify laws they don’t like (up to and including declaring a Constitutional Amendment to be Unconstitutional). They can allow non-citizens to flood the nation to outnumber citizens and get representation and federal funding based on illegal aliens. They can channel taxpayer money to Progressive organizations like Planned Parenthood, and get money back from Planned Parenthood to fund Democrat politicians. And they can use all these various institutions to move the Overton Window to make it impossible to even talk about alternatives to their vision.
If Hillary Clinton had been elected, there would have been significant erosion of 1A and 2A rights. So we dodged a bullet there.
But even with Donald Trump duly winning the election, even with the GOP controlling Congress, controlling approximately 2/3 of the governorships, controlling a majority of state legislatures, and conservatives about to control the Supreme Court, we find ourselves on the defense from the Deep State attempting to sabotage the Trump Administration.
The battle is in the open now, but despite it being open, I’m not at all certain the GOP can win. Too many people would rather be right about Trump than protect the normal order of Constitutional governance.
If we lose this, we won’t lose our rights immediately. But it will be a slow erosion. Some negative feedback elements do still exist to slow, and sometimes even turn back, the growth of the Leviathan State. But if the Deep State wins, expect to see more and more of the negative feedback loop mechanisms dismantled.
My bottom line: sure, a Trump administration is going to be a shit-show. It will be clumsy. It will make mistakes. But the more conservatives pile on, the easier it will be for the Deep State to win in their battle against the POTUS, and we’ll all be the worse off for it.
The Deep State has declared war on the rightfully-elected President of the United States. By choosing to go to war against the President of the United States, the Deep State has declared war on the US Constitution. You have to choose a side. There’s gotta be away you can defend the Office of the Presidency without defending Trump the man himself. Find it.