Further to my earlier-today post[1]: the business about individual (“quantum”) versus generalized (“classical”) analysis is exemplified by Rules for Radicals. All politics is local is sort of the Exclusionary Principle of individual-oriented politics. Whether or not they’ve ever read the book, today’s Left has shown itself adept at using the principles to advance their cause.

The good news is, like all such theories it’s a tool. The characteristic of a tool is that it will do its job for whoever holds its handle, depending only on how well the holder knows the tool and task, and how much the wielder has practiced its use. The Right is starting to grasp bottom-up tactics, and having at least some preliminary success.

Why did it take so long?

Well, for one thing, it goes against the grain. The Right has always preferred top-down explanations, even in its earlier incarnations. Today’s Right (at least the part of it I inhabit and advocate for) has adopted the “level playing field” concept, which would be sneered at as fuzzy-headed liberalism by the monarchists and noble dorks who were the original inhabitants of the “right side of the aisle”, but even those guys were interested more in describing how the system worked and how to maintain it than they were in its anecdotal effects. It was, and still is, primarily the Left that concentrated on the effect of the system on individuals, and advocated changes in the system to ameliorate the bad effects.

Now the Left’s notions have, for the most part, become The System, and (surprise surprise) the system still has bad effects on some individuals — arguably worse effects than the original one did. It’s now the Right’s turn to accumulate anecdotes and sad stories, and to grab short-term issues and blow them up into forceful attacks. Keep up the skeer!

In the short term that’s likely (virtually certain) to be a bad thing. It’s going to turn into duels with sob-stories at ten paces, and the level of rancor is going up, up, up. We can only hope that, in the long term, the result is both describing The System and looking out for the individual pieces of it. If the Right spent too much time in the past looking at the problem from the top down, the Left has now invested ‘way too much blut und eisen on fragments and failed to address anything like a coherent whole.

Footnote[1]: I’m no longer going to link back to previous posts or comments, even when I mention them. I’ve noticed that they inflate my hit-count and comment-count, and feel that that effect ends up giving me a misleading impression when I fire up the Dashboard.