Lament of the Chicken Littles

There are lot of people who are very sure that protests in Madison are proof of a disordered society. They’re quick to wail and cry that the sky is falling, and that these protests are the end of Polite and Civilized Society as Understood by Polite and Civilized People.

They sky’s not falling; society’s doing just fine.

For all these tens of thousands of protesters at the Capitol building, it’s not been disorder, but a Hayekian spontaneous order. People are able to organize quickly, develop plans and arrangements, without any central planner. There’s no violence in any of this, either — Wisconsin’s residents are a peaceful people.

For a few tired reactionaries, watching a cherished, stultifying control slip away, this must be disturbing. To them, those who protest seem insincere, unreasonable, out of line, etc.

There’s irony in this – just two years ago, this is how the Tea Party seemed to the left. Now this is how these protesters seem to the right.

People are rational: there wouldn’t as many protests in society if long-term incumbents, career bureaucrats, and defenders of the status quo had done the jobs they keep insisting they’ve done.

They haven’t, and that’s one solid reason there are protests. Rather than admit how poorly they’ve done, town squires in places like Whitewater cry out: “Please behave, you inappropriate, rude, impertinent, unreasonable ruffians!”

Look around, and one sees an old order of self-important officials, and a lapdog press, passing away. That order’s fading– those who are part of it represent a faction in permanent decline. America returns to her past, one of robust expression and vigorous debate.

People are very sharp, and don’t need to rely on a few ‘people of influence’ to guide them.

On the way to political obscurity, though, these stodgy few will sound less like confident Americans, and more like a particularly nervous children’s character.

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