The Restoration, or Viva la Upcoming Glorioso Revolucion!
Supposedly it was Mark Twain who said: “History doesn’t repeat but it often rhymes.” I think of the English Restoration of 1660: after the Cromwell’s revolt of the middle class against the establishment, the old order returned with Charles II installed on the throne. But the Restoration eventually failed to the Glorious (and mostly peaceful) Revolution, with William of Orange assuming power and implementing many of the Cromwell’s undertakings.
I’m not comparing Biden to Charles II or Trump to Cromwell, that’s not the point at all. But there’s certain rhyming with our time. Peasants revolt has been suppressed and they’ve been labeled as extremists (which some indeed were, but most not so). The “old order” of Big Government of the two major parties (yes, they’re both big government parties), Big Finance and Big Tech is back in the saddle (there used to be Big Oil, but they’ve been tarred and feathered). Eisenhower’s prophesy of the government-military-industrial complex lives on, albeit in a different incarnation. Yet only a week into the Restoration some cracks are appearing. The Big Tech flexed its muscle, but instead of welcoming shutdowns of “deplorables” many people – and importantly, governments – said “Wow, Nelly, we don’t want that! We value freedom of speech!” The Europeans are about to cut the Big Tech’s power down to size, while in the US individuals are finding other ways to connect. The Big Finance came under attack from a bunch of unruly Robin Hood’ers, and are now screaming for the Big Government to protect them. They don’t want to lose their monopoly on manipulating markets (some of us remember their so-called “honest price discovery” during dot-bomb and financial crisis). Yet for the government to move against Robin-Hood’ers will just expose more hypocrisy of the establishment.
Speaking of the establishment, what about our two major parties? Our founders, George Washington and John Adams, both warned us that having only two parties is a poison to democracy. They were right. After one hundred-and-fifty years, this duopoly is coming to an end. There are more Independents in this country than either Republicans or Democrats, but only four nominally independent congressmen and senators. I don’t know exactly how it will happen, but it will. My guess is that it will start with a breakup of one of the major parties and that would drag the other one down as well.
So yes, I think our time rhymes with the Restoration. And just like the one in the 17th century, I think it will end in a peaceful Glorious Revolution. Viva la Glorioso Revolucion!