There seems to be a general belief that 2016 was a particularly bad year. Part of that is the twin political events of Brexit and Trump, and part of it seems to be that a number of particularly beloved celebrities died.

But unless you were in a few specific places, like parts of Syria, and certainly if you were in most of the developed world, your odds of having something bad happen to you were about the same as they had been in 2015.

Certainly Brexit and Trump are both, potentially, earthquakes, though their severity remains to be seen, and I regard both as consequences of decisions that were made over a period of decades.

What made them seem so severe, I think, is that they were, to the liberal classes, surprises. In both cases, polls indicated they wouldn’t happen; and it was conventional wisdom among certain groups that both events were absurd.  Trump, in particular, was treated as a grotesque joke when he announced his candidacy, and right up to the last moment, almost literally, icons such as 538 and the New York Times insisted he was almost certain not to win.

When he did, an entire world view went away.

Because they thought it had been impossible for Trump to win. He was a joke, according to that world view, and those who held it have seized, in particular, on “Russia did it!” It was a deus-ex-machina, because their world model simply cannot accept that it happened.

And, in both cases (Brexit and Trump), there is a great deal of shaming and othering of those who voted the “wrong” way. They are castigated as stupid and immoral, people who are too dumb to vote in their self interests, to understand how the world works, motivated almost entirely by racism.

Bad people.

So many liberals in America and Britain now believe they live in countries where half the voting population are evil, stupid racists and that those people are now in charge.

Oh, and the big, bad Russians are also responsible.

While some are willing to admit that perhaps, just perhaps, the policies that even they voted for and/or supported (under Blair, Clinton, Obama, and the EU) might have something to do with all of this, the metaphysics of most essentially boils down to the notion that bad people (Russia, racists) combined with stupid people, are destroying our world.

Because they can see little responsibility for themselves (either in past policy or in the specifics of the campaigns (Clinton’s was notably incompetent)), they have eviscerated their sense of their own power, and thus their ability to create change.

Responsibility and power are exactly equal to each other. You have exactly as much power as you have responsibility, any mismatch is a denial of reality, and if society abets you in denying that reality, as it often does, by giving you more credit or less blame than you deserve, it does not change either your responsibility or power.

It is also true that an accurate perception of blame enables correct action. When Clinton and her team completely fumbled their campaign, not removing them from all positions of power indicates a willingness to tolerate failure again and again. Indeed, after Clinton, the presumptive front-runner, was defeated by Obama in 2008, perhaps the realization should have dawned on us/her that she and hers were incompetent and that she should not be the presumptive candidate. She started with a vast advantage and lost it.

Meanwhile, in the eight years Obama has led the Democratic party, vast losses have occurred in State Houses and Congress.

As for policies which have lead to vast numbers of Britons and Americans being willing to vote for Brexit and Trump; well, I have written on those subjects more than enough.

Liberals and centrists, as a group, deny responsibility, and thus deny agency. They refuse to put the locus of responsibility in those areas over which they have control. Instead, they blame forces over which they have no control (Russia) or over which they have less control (the current racism that is ex-nihilo, completely unrelated to the policies they have championed for decades).

It is not the crisis, as such, that predicts the future, it is the response. I was able to accurately predict the shape of America and Europe’s economy because I saw the response to the crisis in ’09. The day the outlines of Obama’s stimulus were announced (he’d already fumbled the bailouts, by bailing out the rich rather than ordinary people), I wrote that American jobs and wages would not recover for 20 years. Eight years later, that’s still looking accurate. (The unemployment rate is not what matters here, the jobs/population ratio is.)

So, seeing the liberal response to 2016’s political crises, it is clear that, at least so far, liberals have not learned the necessary lessons. Thus, trends will continue in the wrong direction. Locating the problems as beyond their control, liberals have self-emasculated.

There is still time for that to change, and perhaps it will. So far, however…well…

Happy 2017.

The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.