If only the libertarian left showed this much zeal for overthrowing the government all the time. Maybe we need to elect “fascist” presidents more often.
By William Gills
Center for a Stateless Society
One of the more annoying things about our norms of discourse is that we tend to collapse our talk of the future into singular predictions rather than arrays of different possibilities each with different probabilities. It’s easier to pretend like we each have one singular future that we’re betting on. We more or less commit to that single possibility and others assume we’re fully committed to that future. Such simplification makes casual discussion more tractable. But it creates distorted incentives. Some try to focus on some kind of median among the possibilities, some vague central cluster. Yet this in turn suppresses the variance and the dangers on the edge. So then you get a second tendency of people who focus on the extreme possibilities, usually highlighting just one concerning outer possibility. The more the centrists cling to their median prediction, the more the extremists double down on emphasizing the things not being considered.
Most of the time the median approach “wins.” But every once in a while their simplified and normalized picture runs aground on a variable unconsidered, an edge-case glossed over, or an assumed context exceeded.
Our political technocrats, with their studious centrism, were just astoundingly wrong about the election of a fascist over the world’s most powerful country. Not just wrong about the final electoral college vote count, but wrong every step of the way. And now the entire world is rapidly reconfiguring itself at an accelerating pace. Many normal folks are clinging on, trying to update our well-worn models of reality with a few studious changes of variables. We don’t have time to trace the ways the changes propagate, so we’re left with quick cartoonish claims. Frantic attempts to fence in unruly anomaly in our reality and dust ourselves off. We want some kind of clear predictive map, with a touch of the familiar, some kind of bounds on the possible, even if it looks dire. Like a “Bush Administration on steroids” or a “Berlusconi with nukes”.