A pivot toward social democracy might form a bridge to a post-Trump world, a rhetorical rally point to organize short-term resistance to fascism, but it is unlikely to offer any long term solution to the weaknesses eroding liberal democracy.
Before throwing our weight behind one bold plan or another, it would be wise to revisit first principles. In politics, that starts by winding back to the most fundamental questions of all. What is power? And how does it work?
If you want to ruin the power of businesses to innovate and succeed, just insulate them from competition and protect them from failure. Likewise, if you want to see public institutions adapt some of the habits and characteristics of the best private entities, expose them to forces that weed out poor performance and open up massive new channels for decision-making and experimentation.
Whatever succeeds, history tells us it will not be merely a continuation of what came before.
Maybe this is good. Maybe it’s bad. But “looking up to the Tower” is definitely not how people solve public policy problems in a healthy democracy.
Government was forged in war, and war remains its most irreplaceable function.
With government under pressure from Idiocrats and straining against its own inherent limitations, private companies are taking on more and more of the functions we once thought belonged entirely in the public realm.
The biggest threat to the integrity of our elections isn’t the machines, but the users.
What’s Next after democracy may already be ascendant.