There is a theory which has not yet been accurately formulated or given a name, but which is very widely accepted and is brought forward whenever it is necessary to justify some action which conflicts with the sense of decency of the average human being. It might be called, until some better name is found, the Theory of Catastrophic Gradualism. According to this theory, nothing is ever achieved without bloodshed, lies, tyranny and injustice, but on the other hand no considerable change for the better is to be expected as the result of even the greatest upheaval. History necessarily proceeds by calamities, but each succeeding age will be as bad, or nearly as bad, as the last. One must not protest against purges, deportations, secret police forces and so forth, because these are the price that has to be paid for progress: but on the other hand “human nature” will always see to it that progress is slow or even imperceptible. If you object to dictatorship you are a reactionary, but if you expect dictatorship to produce good results you are a sentimentalist.
…In the name of Socialism the Russian regime has committed almost every crime that can be imagined, but at the same time its evolution is away from Socialism, unless one redefines that word in terms that no Socialist of 1917 would have accepted. To those who admit these facts, only two courses are open. One is simply to repudiate the whole theory of totalitarianism, which few English intellectuals have the courage to do: the other is to fall back on Catastrophic Gradualism. The formula usually employed is “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.” And if one replies, “Yes, but where is the omelette?”, the answer is likely to be: “Oh well, you can’t expect everything to happen all in a moment.”
He prophesied the Obama phenomenon, and Detroit too, I suppose. Crushed eggs as far as the eye can see, and lots of obtrusive narratives about omelettes, but none to be found.
Or, we’re just too dumb to see the yummy, fluffy omelettes in front of us…
Via Hot Air, which adds:
The reason that people don’t “feel” the recovery is because it hasn’t been much of a recovery at all. The supposedly historic streak of private-sector job growth has barely kept pace with population growth for the last five-plus years of the technical recovery. We still have millions of workers sidelined, and job growth hasn’t gotten out of the 200K monthly range. Economic growth, which should have spiked after a sharp recession, has been in the 1.8%-2.2% annual range ever since. Obama takes credit for cutting deficits in half, but neglects to mention that it was his budgets that had to be cut from the $1.5-trillion deficit range, and that the deficit reductions for the next few budget cycles are based on wholly unrealistic expectations of economic growth. Our energy production growth has mainly come from the Bakken extraction in North Dakota and natural gas production from fracking, neither of which this administration supports; they just can’t do much about the former, and the EPA’s still working on the latter.
But, nothing a little speech-making won’t solve. Ever stop to think how much less President Obama would have to say, if His policies worked?
Things the way they are, we have to hear from Him several times a week now. Controlling the narrative is important when you’re selling a bad idea…
Update: A commenter at Gerard’s site demonstrates, perhaps inadvertently, how things have subtly changed…
The focus should be on on dissipating the ignorance, stupidity, greed and viciousness that results in unnecessary injury.
That is to say, why make an omelet if you’re going to have to break valuable shells? Why not figure our how to make a mutually nutritional salad so that all benefit, thrive, and cooperate.
Go build a Panama Canal or a system of reservoirs to prevent wasteful water runoff and to retain dry-season water supply.
So in Orwell’s time it was “Oh well, you can’t expect us to bake you an omelette in a moment.” In the age of Obama — aptly demonstrated not only in the comment, but in the video clip above — it’s more like “you don’t want an omelette, you don’t know what you want, we’ll tell you what you want and what you want is a salad.”
Meanwhile, the eggs are still smashed.