Believe it or not, there is potential good news out there

What Americans need is some good news, and perhaps studying "complex systems" can supply it in a backhanded way.  In a world given to constant change, no one is ever "correct" for long.

The political right is not perennially correct in its policies and, with extreme certainty, I state for the record that the political left is correct only for microseconds before it is wrong once again.  The left has no need to be correct.  Its power ensures that its policies will be implemented whether or not they are effective, useful, or pleasant.  This is where complex systems come in.

The reason no one can be right for very long is that complex adaptive systems (which may involve human activity) keep changing.  A complex system constantly changes in ways that can be small, large, or catastrophic.

Slow, continuous rain on the side of a mountain causes many small avalanches and occasional large destructive ones.  That is an ordinary complex system.  However, it becomes a complex adaptive system if humans are present.  Thus, if there are villages on the side of said mountain and the villagers try to redirect the floodwaters, then the people, the rain, and the mountain constitute a complex adaptive system.

For a complex adaptive system containing people to work, the people's leaders need to exhibit extreme agility, thoughtfulness, and speed — three attributes we would want to see in any government doing our bidding.  The very notion that fixed solutions based upon ideological considerations can address societal problems should be laughable at this point in our evolution.  For some politicians, however, ideology is perhaps the most complex consideration they can grasp, with constantly moving systems being beyond their ken.

Controlling a complex adaptive system requires extreme flexibility, not an idée fixe.  This observation is especially true when one realizes that not only is the government trying to control events outside itself, but it's also required to control its internal processes at the same time.  That's rather difficult.  Think of it like riding a bicycle.  To get somewhere, you have to become part of the process.  The active balancing of your movements directs the bicycle.  Under such circumstances, it is not advisable to fall asleep or become otherwise distracted from the task at hand.

With these principles in mind, it's easy to see why the left's solutions must always fail.  For example, look at health care.  The left already knows what to implement to save the day: socialized medicine.  As far as I know, though, all countries with socialized health care still have private medical services for well off (or politically powerful) individuals.  That sounds like a two-tier system to me.

When well off people can bypass universal health care, the "universal" system becomes second-rate.  A friend who lives in a country with universal health care was told that an ultrasound scan for his urinary retention problem could be four weeks off.  Because he could, he immediately came to America to get the test, which is available in every urologist's office.

Is this the socialized medicine the left is advocating?  Or is this one of those "for thee, but not for me" proposals?  In other words, the complex adaptive system completely failed to meet the left's idealized demands.

As noted, this essay is about good news, and the good news is that complex systems will fail where adaption does not happen continuously.  Leftist solutions will fail faster than most because they have a long list of solutions that Marxist theory says should work but that don't in the real world.

For four years, President Trump kept upsetting the apple cart because he wanted to solve problems by adapting until perceived problems eased or disappeared.  That is why he is no longer president.  "Orange Man Bad" kept upsetting things as he tried to set them right, causing the self-styled elite's cushy expectations to falter. 

Biden will reign over solutions that will not work.  If we cannot have the satisfaction of having President Trump re-elected, at least we can bask in the schadenfreude of watching leftists stumble about while trying to enrich themselves from an economy that is going to shrink due to their imposed solutions.

It appears that only through serious suffering will the American people finally decide to throw the bums out.  But without the suffering, nothing will change.  That's the best news I can muster at the moment.

Perhaps, after suffering, people will decide that solving problems through constant tinkering, discussion, always with an eye to individual liberty, the free market, and moral principles, beats ideology every time.  Only then will things get better again.

Image: Rube Goldberg's self-operating napkin.  Public domain.

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