New institutions.


William Brafford

William Brafford grew up in North Carolina, home of the world's best barbecue, indie rock, and regional soft drinks. He just barely sustains a personal blog and "tweets" every now and then under the name @williamrandolph.

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14 Responses

  1. Avatar Freddie says:

    Predictions are hard, especially about the future, William. Go with caution after those who think they see the future.Report

    • Oh, I have no idea what’s going to happen. I’m glad that people are making interesting guesses, though. After the series of bubbles and the financial mess, it’s hard not to worry about the system shaking itself apart, but I think we can patch up our problems for a while yet.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      Exactly right, Freddie – but I enjoyed Reihan’s piece in the way I enjoy science fiction. And for its optimism if not for its accuracy (though, as you say, who knows?)Report

  2. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    I like where they are going to. Especially Reihan. Even if it is not where it goes I think it’s where we ought to go.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      I agree with William that we see much of what Reihan predicts already (depending where we live). What I am unclear about is whether there are particular national policy changes that Reihan wants to effect such that these alternatives become more pervasive, and perhaps a bit less voluntary than they are now for economic reasons. Or if just as pertains to these predictions, he views national economic policy as entirely neutral to the process.Report

      • This is why I think Chris Hayes’s piece is so important. There must be places where Reihan’s wild innovation is driven by libertarian ideology, but in the places where I’ve lived, the food co-ops, the bike centers, the crop mobs, etc., come from the left, and often have had a socialist-anarchist streak. And they go hand-in-hand with an attempt to make government more democratic. As Hayes says: “All these new institutions are inspired by a desire to democratize old, big oligarchic hierarchies and devolve power downward and outward. That’s our best hope in the decade to come. For at the end of the day, it’s the job of citizens to save élites from themselves.” I hope Chris presses Reihan on this point in their future conversations.Report

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Reihan’s piece is a libertarian wet dream. The economic infrastructure collapses, but it’s all good, because the whole country lives well on new-wave technology that apparently doesn’t require a manufacturing base. Fortunately Reihan is nicer than Rand, so we all do well, not just a Galtish few.Report

  4. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    So let me see if I understand this…. the elites of our country’s meritocracy start disastrously expensive wars, carry them out with methods that bring international shame and scorn upon us, spend way more than they promised, botch the most expensive disaster recovery operation in U.S. history, go from giant surpluses to giant deficits, AND wreck the world economy…. and the real problem is a lack of trust?

    At some point, lack of trust is the only sane option.Report

    • Jason, “the real problem is a lack of trust” isn’t a fair summary of either piece, or of my description of them. Chris Hayes opens his piece with: “In the past decade, nearly every pillar institution in American society … has revealed itself to be corrupt, incompetent or both.” They’re both clear that people don’t trust élites because élites (planners, captains of industry, Wall Street titans, Presidents) have failed to one degree or another.Report

  5. Avatar North says:

    “Private homes will increasingly give way to cohousing communities, in which singles and nuclear families will build makeshift kinship networks in shared kitchens and common areas and on neighborhood-watch duty.”

    I think it’s oddly blinkered for him to imagine such sweeping economic changes while maintaining that the traditional social arrangements will endure.Report