Will Chamberlain, a millennial I think, late-30s-early 40s, a “modern” not-classical conservative, “Human Events” editor and DC-area attorney, recently Tweeted
“Trump is not the guy for 2024: he’ll be 78, he underperformed in 2020, we have better options”.
(I’m 6 months older than Trump, and believe it not, a more experienced about the comings and goings of the “other 70%” who largely voted for Donald Trump.
Trust me: 75-81 million votes is not “under-performed”?
I think Chamberlain is actually speaking to the absence of Trump’s “presidentialness” as defining his under-performance, but I’ll leave you to you own conclusions about that. But it is characteristic of his entire generation, maybe even two, who, while very, very educated, still seem to know little about how things work out here in the real world. This is why I tend to place a lot of stock in the observations of people who have actually grabbed life’s bulls by the horns versus merely having read about it in a book.
I quit both the corporate world and Law in 1989 just as Big Business in America was abandoning Adam Smith, deciding his ideas about free markets “under-performed” compared to what modern business models believed could be accomplished, such as making oodles of billions more dollars simply by reconfiguring the Front Office management model… without producing one more board-foot of lumber, one more tennis shoe, one more gallon of paint, or creating one single new job and thus, never really creating one new dollar in the production of any product or goods. Every new front office tech job created in this way, and with it, a whole new bureaucratic strata, would be paid for with the loss of armies of production workers at the front lines but enhancing the corporate balance.
There’s much that can be said “for” this notion if one keeps the underlying ethos of Adam Smith in it as well, but stripped bare naked, it is as cold a process system as can be devised, since all the “isms, e.g. communism, are process systems.
In the mid-80s, myself only just turning that same very vulnerable age of 40, and in textile manufacture, I was even a strong proponent of “giving” the Third World our labor-intensive production businesses. I was right on one account, but also horribly wrong, because I didn’t know American business schools were redrawing corporate organization with this very notion in mind, only leaving out Adam Smith and the free markets ethos, (including all that common sensicial and ethical business stuff you used to be able to find in the Alexander Hamilton Institute’s 24/26-volume set) in the dust.
I had a 1950s set of Modern Business but only thumbed through it until I returned from the USSR in 1991-1992, where I got to watch the Hammer & Sickle come down, and where so many structural questions about business management were asked of me that could only be found inside that set of books. There was even a single volume solely about Business Ethics. Go figure.
(You can still find these sets available for under $100, and if you want to know “how things worked” in the 1919-1970 era of American business you’d do well have to create the shelf-space. Wish I had my set back but I gave it to a Soviet Central Committee member from Gorkiy, and the only honest Russian I ever knew in all those years.)
The great tragedy of that historic period of new economic hope in the old Soviet Empire was that the American business model they had come to love through their various means of gathering information about how ordinary people in America could become successful without taking mafia on as partners…no longer existed as a model among American entrepreneurs. It had been scuttled by our business schools in the 1980’s favoring a sleeker front-office, tech-centered management structure, which, at the time no one really imagined would serve as the nexus of the “new world order” we are confronting today. Process management vs People Management.
Now, a generation later and fully matured, what we had known as “ordinary working Americans” we are told can better serve their country as secure cozy dependents-of-the-state, not unlike how Democrats envisioned blacks in the 1960s; a monthly check, medical care, child care, a facsimile of schooling and ghetto housing. This would become Barack Obama’s management model when he came to power in 2009, putting millions out of work (and on state-relief) in the small business sector, due to Obamacare. (Trump rescued many of those.)
We’ve been swimming upstream ever since, which I don’t think Will Chamberlain is able to process.
This management scam of the 1990s revealed itself in the new markets of the defunct USSR and small manufacturing class in southeast Asia who were then trying to compete with the regional power of the Chinese. There were American entrepreneurs spurred on by Bill Clinton-Ron Brown, which I encountered in the Balkans, who business model was little more than the Ukrainian oligarchs, attempting to find brilliant idea guys who only needed a cash injection to build businesses of their own, but instead of helping them build their dream fleecing them of their intellectual property.
I was in the middle of this, first in the Far East, then in the Russias. Vetting worthy ideas in both regions, I tried to hook them up with American investors. But dealing with inventors and idea-guys from the old Communist world was nothing compared to the investors who paid my airfare. I fired far more of my American clientele than I did of the Balkan businessmen who were just looking for some easy money.
What they they wanted were American partners not knowing America had passed that type of “rising tide lifts all boats” theology old timey capitalism had been jettisoned.
This is why I measure people first by generation, then, second, education, then third, their comfort level outside their class or rank.
* * * *
It seems we are seeing our world being redefined according to the world views of the self-appointed front office, the Process people, and as Donald Trump proved in 2015-16, the world is full of Process Republicans, even Process Conservatives, such as Will Chamberlain, and a covey of sore losers at National Review, and of course, John Bolton, Trump National Security adviser, who tried to profit from his president for not seeing things his way.
When it comes to having a better understanding of what is good for America-as-founded, as opposed to what is good for America-Reprocessed, I feel much better in the company of the Harold and Maude on their double-wide, shown above.