Thursday, June 30, 2005

Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein: "I want unions to revive as much as anyone, but let's not overstate the case. The last great flowering came out of the Great Depression. It was a mixture of favorable legislation, anti-capitalist sentiment, and worker desperation. The reason unions are dying today -- and Republicans are getting elected -- is that the economic situation is simply not bad enough to provoke a serious outcry for tougher corporate regulations and a more worker oriented regime. That's a good thing. At the same time, the Democratic party isn't good enough to create these issues on its own. That's a bad thing.

"If we continue down this path, there's a fair chance we'll slam right into a severe recession, if not a depression of sorts. A housing crash, a terrorist attack on oil supplies, a trade war with China that makes them decide dollars aren't such a good investment after all...our room for error isn't high. But the better outcome would be a strong Democratic party that regains power, loosens the constraints on union organizing, institutes tougher corporate oversight and better fiscal management, and brings us back from the brink. "

An important, but usually implicit, theme, of The Coming Perfect Storm, is that a narrative line in which the pundit looks to a looming disaster as a reason for hope is . . . what? ironical? perverse?

When evangelical Christians go out and buy novels, which foresee a Last Days in which their "faith" is vindicated in a series of "Biblical" catastrophes culminating in the literal end of world, we secularists may mutter or laugh out loud.

But, liberal Democrats, in the age of Bush, are in a similar position, fearing the worst from Bush policies, and hoping that Bush and his ilk might be swept away by the consequences of their own incompetence.

Ezra, above, drops the irony, and simply expresses hope for change, a change, which liberal Democrats are apparently powerless to actually bring about. More difficult to face is the possibility that Bush is successful, and the fascist state is here to stay; America is a lobster in a heating pot, which will never get out alive.

Better to hope for catastrophe and the cleansing power of the perfect political storm.

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