Today’s the big day for “Brexit” – the referendum on the UK’s exit from the European Union.
We’ll come back to that.
25 years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed (for a while). The media was confused and befuddled; most of them had bet on the wrong team during the Cold War.
Now, whenever a huge, all-encompassing, not to mention totalitarian, system completely collapses, there will be a certain amount of chaos, as people, not to mention nations, economies and political systems, try to find their feet after a generation or two under a completely different system. Turning from “Totalitarian Gangster State” to “Social Democracy” – forget “Free Market” for now – isn’t something nations and societies can do with easy grace, any more than Tom Brokaw can do an Olympic Gymnastics routine.
But our mainstream media apparently didn’t know or believe that. In 1994 – barely two years after the collapse of the Iron Curtain – Poland was in a recession. Tom Brokaw, on the NBC Evening News, echoing the sentiments of many MSM chin-strokers, gravely intoned “It appears that Poland’s experiment with free markets has failed”.
Two whole years after the Wall fell.
It was wishful thinking from a mainstream media that missed having a constant crisis to cover (not to mention an “enemy” with whom they were so sympathetic). Poland went on to become one of Europe’s economic success stories. Eastern Europe has had ups and downs – but other than a few crypto-authoritarian splinter states (shut up about Belarus), none of them are pining for a return to Communism. Quite the opposite.
Statue of Ronald Reagan in Warsaw, Poland – one of many monuments to the greatest leader of the second half of the 20th century that dot the lands he played a pivotal role in freeing.
Anyway, point being this:
- American mainstream media and the establishment whose PR firm they largely are forecast gloom and doom with the breakup of the USSR, since it was uncertain, and they had little faith in freedom or the market.
- Eastern Europe largely, imperfectly, and with inevitable struggle, succeeded.
- Mainstream media ignored the success.
Thus endeth the history lesson.
Today the American mainstream media is predicting various degrees of disaster should the UK pull out of the big, arthritic bureaucratic pseudo-state that is the EU.
Maybe they’re right.
But their record in betting against freedom, autonomy and the market isn’t all that good, unless by “good” you mean “consistent”.