Allan Maisie writes a rare non-annoying bit, if not in a particularly sparkling way.
Loyal 5FF readers can supply their own examples — that darn nuclear war (and accompanying nuclear winter) that never happened, etc.
Canadians will recall that the Liberals were declared extinct after Ignatieff, and we all laughed knowingly at the silly old “natural ruling party”.
And I can never find it, but oldies like me will recall the semi-famous bit — chapter one of some early neo-con tome? — about the panel of experts explaining in great detail why the Soviet Union was here to stay, in a highly-touted report released… the week the Berlin Wall fell.
Third, it’s natural to assume that what is happening today will continue to happen, and, of course, a lot of the time it does, and you can always find reasons that it should. A core Labour or Democrat vote has vanished and won’t return; alternatively, in different circumstances, this appears evidently true of the Conservative or Republican vote. You can observe this tendency in any sporting contest. If a boxer or tennis player gets on top, commentators frequently speak as if he has already won the match. In fact, we all know that things often turn round, and we have all seen a boxer behind on points knock his opponent out, or a tennis player who has lost the first two sets come back to win the match in the fifth. Nevertheless the habit of assuming that what’s happening now will continue to happen is deep-rooted, even when Reason tells us to get a grip. So in a prolonged spell of severe winter weather, it’s hard to believe that it will be spring someday. And yet we also know that change is a rule of life.
Far more nuanced and concrete is this recent post at Samizdata:
– I’ve read minutes of meetings of tiny lefty groups in Victorian London where other members patiently explained to Karl Marx that his theories had flaws. Since then, the world has been force-fed a huge slice of socialism. You might have thought it died in the 90’s – or at least transmogrified into watermelonish (green on the outside, red on the inside) environmentalism, but Sanders and Corbyn want to put us back on the straight stuff.
– In late 1991, before the first gulf war faded and the recession kicked in, I recall a UK article explaining why the Democratic presidential hopefuls were being called (by their unhappy US media friends) “the seven dwarfs”. It listed the failings of each in turn; 5th on the list came Clinton, whose dwarfishness was because of sleaze and even more because “The Democrats know that more sleaze is coming on the Clintons.” (‘Clintons’, plural, even then, IIRC.) Well, that was true, but across-the-pond had 8 years of Clintons and just missed having a second helping.