Look back in anger.
This year has been strange in many ways, but one bit of weirdness that has gone unnoticed is the paucity of predictions for the coming year. For as long as anyone reading this has been alive, this time of year has featured both year in review content and predictions content. This year both have been limited. Maybe the awfulness of 2020 is keeping people from thinking much about it. The wild unpredictability we have seen has probably made forecasters squeamish about predicting anything.
Y’know, now that ZMan brings it up I’ve noticed the same myself, although I didn’t really think too much about it. He sizes up a few his own predictions from last year:
The Light of Lagos was pretty much a dud last year. The omens got some of the Democrat primary right, but not enough to claim a victory. Biden did struggle and Warren flamed out early. Buttigieg did better in Iowa than most expected, but Sanders was the story until the party rigged the system to install Biden. No one predicted Biden would win the nomination and no one ever imagined that buffoon as president, so the omens can be forgiven for missing that one.
The impeachment fiasco played out as predicted, but that was easy money, so no victory lap there either. The real shocker is in how the whole thing was thrown down the memory hole so quickly. No one talks about it. It’s like how someone gets crazy drunk at a party and makes a fool of himself. The next day there is some ribbing from friends, but then it is forgotten. The Democrats danced around with a lampshade on their heads and after it was over, everyone forgot about it.
Now, the big hit was the Barr stuff. It is amazing how so many people thought something would happen with that charade for so long. When Trump brought Barr in it seemed like something would happen, but it quickly became clear that it was just another coverup. Barr was brought in to make sure the truth of the FBI corruption never saw the light of day. You have to wonder if Trump was too stupid to see what was happening or that he signed off on it, despite his tweets.
Of course, the big miss was the Covid panic and how it has been used to turn much of America into a penal colony. No one predicted it, because such a thing seemed implausible just a year ago. It really is shocking to think about how much has changed in just 12 months. This time last year people were planning vacations, walking around with no curfew, having people over to their homes. If someone had predicted this, they would have been dismissed as a crazy person.
Yup. Those loony “conspiracy theories” don’t look quite so loony when they’ve become mundane reality, just how we all live now, do they? All in all, the situation brings to mind Hemingway’s famous response when asked how he went bankrupt: Gradually, then all at once.
That’s the way these things usually go, although it may feel otherwise sometimes. The subtext here, like it or not, is our slow national devolution into tyranny. As with Carl Sandburg’s fog, tyranny creeps in on little cat feet, quiet and little-noticed. At the end-stage of its establishment, its confusticated victims are left wondering what the hell hit ’em. The difference is that tyranny never just “sits…on silent haunches, and then moves on.” It lingers, constantly expanding: strangling, draining, devouring all within its grasp.
The only rights tyranny acknowledges are exclusively its own, and without limit. All claims made by its subjects asserting rights of their own are of no interest or import, spurious impositions unworthy of serious discussion. Tyranny will be moved not a whit by appeals to reason, justice, or mercy. It doesn’t repent, relent, reconsider, or admit error. Nor does it ever just go away on its own, peaceably, which would amount to a tacit admission of error. To be rid of it, tyranny must be driven off by force, which takes quite a bit of doing. It’s an arduous process, by no means quick, convenient, or painless. But it’s the only option.
Should the effort to overthrow tyranny and restore liberty prove successful, it will by no means be irreversible; the very idea that victory even could be permanent must be vigorously shunned. Such complacency is extremely dangerous, and is the surest way to hasten tyranny’s return. Against tyranny, vigilance must be rigorously maintained; disregard is precursor to defeat.