Analyzing failure in politics. Zman blog today.
"Failure analysis is one of those things that most people do every day, but they don’t think about it that way. Much of what passes for a work in a modern corporation is exception handling, which is just solving the problems that occur when the normal business processes fail in some way. No one calls customer service to tell them that they are happy with the product and have no complaints. Those departments and the people in them exist to figure out what went wrong and remedy it.
At a higher level, smart people making big salaries spend their days trying to understand why complex systems produce unacceptable results. There are people who spend every day studying plane crashes, looking for the cause of the failure. Pretty much every quality control program is just failure analysis. The idea is to measure success against some ambitious standard and then look for the causes as to why the standard is not currently being met.
The one area of life where failure analysis is seldom used is politics. When the goals are not met, and they are never met, no one asks “How come this policy did not work as we expected?” Conservatives, for example, never think about why their side loses almost every fight with the Left. The ones they win are the ones the Left does not care about all that much, like moving commas around the tax code. In some cases, like emptying the jails, the conservative victory was really an own goal."
Strangely, there is very little failure analysis in the graveyard of right-wing resistance to Progressive aggression. For close to seventy years now, all efforts to stop the Left’s march though society have failed, and no one bothers to think about it. Instead, it is just more calls to keep doing the same things over and over. Today, for example, so-called conservatives keep bellowing about the constitution, while they sit at home obeying lock down orders.
If there is going to be an alternative to the liberal democratic order, it must start with first accepting that all past efforts failed. That’s a difficult emotional hurdle for most, because it means questioning important assumptions. It is much easier to keep repeating the same chants than to honestly question your own beliefs, but if the trajectory of American politics is going to change, it must begin with accepting that the past is a graveyard of errors.