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the true framing of power
and why its full flower will be its undoing
“how can they be such hypocrites? have they no need for consistency? how can you attack him for this when you just did that?”
these are the questions of logic and ethics that pervade the modern political scene. they seem sensible. they seem poignant. they seem like the way to win a moral high ground.
they are not.
as praxis and predictive framework, they are irrelevant.
they are a sideshow. worse, they are such a gross misframing of the underlying processes as to shift the entire debate into precincts from which no meaningful conclusions can be drawn.
this is not about logic nor reason nor justice. those words do not even have meaning where this conversation is taking place. we are not in the realm of of aristotle, aquinas, or kant, this is nietzsche and machiavelli and alinsky.
the only distinctions that matter are what you can and cannot, will and will not do.
the only political classification of import is the simplest of all:
friend and enemy.
this is war without rules, recrimination, or a need to legitimize. power gained and power exercised becomes its own ends and it justifies any means.
try to think about this in any other way and you are chasing your tail.
there are only the commanding heights of power to be controlled and used to advantage. we take care of ours and we punish our foes and if we end with more power than we began then none dare call it treason. it has nothing to do with morality. it’s purely orthogonal to ethics. it’s just power begetting power and making up the story of “why this was a good thing” afterwards.
you cannot abash or shame such people. they are past that possibility. such words lack meaning in their paradigms. they can “feel” that they are right and nothing can move that. it justifies being beastly to others which is, after all, a delicious frisson they have long sought. it’s a feature, not a bug and they are reveling in it and the more they act the monster the more they feel the need to outshine their peers in viciousness and unreason to validate outrages already enjoyed.
it’s the ethos of genghis khan:
and they will crush their enemies. it is their calling. it is their joy.
you cannot expect anything else. this is where we live now.
and the apparatus of “justice” makes for a fine commanding height from which to initiate assault.
there is no situation so no win as being singled out by abusive police. what can one do? one must either endure the humiliations and depredations, cede honor and agency and property and knuckle under to bullying or what? push back? shove a federali and see what happens. many would LIKE you to. please. go ahead. resist. then we can REALLY make it bad for you. now we have goaded you into a crime.
the pretext for our harassment being lame and weak and grossly unfair only serves to render the action more potent: your humiliation is greater, your sense of outrage magnified. our jeering legions call you coward and proclaim your guilt and the just dessert of your comeuppance and bray for the violence we hope you will allow.
and this is how “justice” becomes tyranny and how the FBI becomes the FSB and if you think this is bad now, wait until we get 87,000 new IRS ideologues searching through the finances of all our enemies to deny them status and harry their every act or donation. wait until you see how many warrants we may obtain then and how complete and replete our enemies lists shall become.
it’s ideological war and there is no depth to which it will not stoop. it’s not about fair, it’s about willing and those willing to capture and monopolize the levers of power may act with impunity so long as they retain their grasp.
consider the mar a lago raid. it’s perfect no lose for the attacker. it victimizes and vilifies the accused with public prostration for secret reasons. it’s messy, public, and lacking in context or proportion.
it’s the equivalent of using seal team 6 to hand out jaywalking tickets.
it’s the equivalent of throwing the people’s tribune in the tiber and then acting shocked that the proles are angry.
it’s not designed to actually prove anything criminal. that’s not the point and it’s almost certainly a loser.
it’s a statement, a provocation.
it’s to prove the power you have and demonstrate your will to use it.
“we can get to him, we can get to you too. none of you are safe on his coattails. none of you are safe supporting him. he is enemy and we are strong. you’ll never pry us out of these spots. we own this town.”
it’s a classic flex for a losing team. as a regime’s legitimacy erodes, first it will threaten, then it will attack.
and they do not do it in a manner calculated to hide intent. they do it with triumphal fanfare flouted with rippling pride.
you don’t go pick some plausible pretext and neutral looking system. you pick the worst, most captured and flagrant judge you can find and trump up some real nonsense. this was not an accident, it was an expression of power.
just what is one trying to say by tagging in the former US attorney who went into private practice to get epstein and pals off of child trafficking changes with barely a wrist slap back in 2007 and was then later rewarded with a magistrate judgeship for his service?
we are corrupt, we are everywhere, and we are untouchable.
this is not only the firing of chekov’s gun, but its replacement back upon the wall with some dark glances about it going off again before the play is done.
those who align to our side will never be called to account. and we may attack you with impunity. you cannot be safe.
trump has been ascendant of late. the candidates he’s backed have been winning in droves. he is not a kingmaker they will tolerate and so they need to break him. in the wake of the dismal failure of the jan 6th show trial, they need a second act. they need to show everyone that they can and will get to donald. you are not safe on his coat tails. you’re in the crosshairs and we are NOT afraid to pull the trigger.
stand with orange man and you too are bad.
the goading and gloating is truly soviet in its levels of histrionic hyperbole.
it’s all of a piece as those setting the world on fire endlessly accuse any would be firemen of arson.
friends may insider trade, drive drunk, peddle influence, smoke crack, lose their emails on dodgy servers, and party on epstein island.
but if an enemy is late returning a library book, send in the shock troops.
the staggering inequity of it is what gives the pose its poignancy and makes it such a potent goad.
trump is like some sort of divide by zero error in the leftist amygdala and his mere mention seems to drive this group into frenzied need to tear everything and anything associated limb from limbic system. i don’t think i’ve ever seen anything like it.
this attack, like so many others, seems lacking in any sound basis. it’s a distraction and a flex. it’s a means to grandstand and dogwhistle at foghorn volume to a bereft faithful who are increasingly turning on the party. trump is the only unifier they have. they have become the party of “orange man bad” and “we have to save you from the deplorables.”
but these are the deplorables. they are the enemies of reason, of ethics, of community, and of humanity.
and they are not only just talking to themselves and losing ever more of the middle and even left of middle:
but they have pushed this WAY too far and exposed way too much of the size and shape of their infestation of bureaucratic power.
it’s a grand tiger to ride while you are atop it, but make no mistake, it will eat you instantly should you ever need to climb down.
and that day may be coming as the overton window shifts enough to allow for defenestration.
and the funny thing about flexing such unchecked power is that while it may make you feared, it also makes you hated. you lose your stature to speak. you lose your allies and gel them into opposition as the unfairness rankles.
3 or 4 years ago, if you said “disband the FBI” people would have looked at you like a madman manifesto maven. but it’s becoming common parlance. words to this effect are being spoken in congress and issue after issue from russian hoaxes to hunter laptops to entrapment into kidnapping drives them into ever more mouths.
the GOP are gormless and tepid, but even they will fight when cornered and a coalition of the awake seems to be forming around the idea that whole swathes of the federal government need to go away as the recognition dawns that they cannot be fixed and are hopelessly corrupt, weaponized, and partisan.
taking salvo after salvo of fire from these heights finally spurs movement.
there are lines of blatancy in manipulation that act like event horizons. there’s no going back, no unseeing it, no pretending it’s going to be OK. this is the who knows how many-th assault by the same group on the same politician to try to damage him and those near to him over 20 made up pretexts. now they are swarming his residence because of the presidential equivalent of an overdue library book.
this is banana republic stuff, authoritarian enemies list stuff. the hope seems to be that it will glue back together their fractured coalition, but i think it’s going to fail. too many have been too directly tyrannized over the last few years and at the end of the day,
a sitting US president with the lowest approval ratings in history allowing and enabling the departments of justice and enforcement to attack on flimsy pretext the likely frontrunner to unseat him in 2024 is just not a good look.
no one outside the shrillest of echo chambers can be taken in my such. it’s an outlandish violation of american norms and political stability.
and too much writing is on too many walls:
the left is managing to elevate a deeply flawed and unsympathetic character to victim and even martyr status. mistreat even an ogre sufficiently and they become the protagonist of the tale.
no amount of mean tweets can compare to the subversion of the idea of equal before the law and fair and open justice in america and they just keep making the choice starker and starker as they act ever more overtly and without calibration.
the president’s son can sell influence to ukrainian oil companies and chinese private equity firms and kick “10% up to the big guy” and justice is not only deaf and blind, but outright aids and abets in covering it up. it all just goes away. now imagine where a trump child would be if that had been their “laptop from hell.”
these are not organs of justice, they’re praetorian honor guards for the hopelessly corrupt and abusive. there is no even-handedness or impartiality or consistency, just friends and enemies and while this is absolutely how the rules of power work, it is not how the american people do.
this is outside their ethos and while it may take a long time to get them to see it and a longer one still to stir them to action, rubicons have been crossed and “the IRS in beast mode” is not going to ameliorate this trend.
it has become as intolerable to live with as it is inescapable in its obviousness.
this is a mill that will grind fine once the gears are in motion.
and times have really changed. in 1980, this read like an impossible and implausible wishlist for coffee shop heroes and hopeless academics to bat around.
how much looks possible and even needful now?
(interesting they missed the CDC and NIH)
i mean, look, some of these remain “reach goals” or goals that must be sought with incrementalism, but the drive to do it is present in a fashion not seen since long past living memory.
trust in institutions has collapsed because so many have shown their true colors and the ends to which they have been captured.
the naked will to power is a potent organizational principle, but it also carries the seeds of its own undoing because, to quote some somewhat technical political science:
“living under such a system really sucks.”
and for all its ills, social media makes running a system like this FAR more difficult. you get caught over and over and information spreads like wildfire and cannot be sanitized. the harder you squeeze, the more trust you lose when the truth squirts out the sides.
claims about the need for top down imposition of order look ever more fanciful in comparison to the self organizing networks of the internet.
and the truths about the trade offs are coming into sharp focus.
the first step in making the impossible the inevitable is normalizing it as an idea. it’s finding the likeminded, sharing support, sharing strength, and moving the window to a place where we can throw these people out of it.
it is indeed time to build back better.
it is time to build back without their oppressive edifices and thickets of rules.
that which was unspeakable becomes spoken, then heard, then possible, then inevitable.
it cannot be won in one day, but if ever there is to be a day, the ball must start rolling and being blackpilled into “it’s too big, we cannot move it” is a self fulfilling prophesy of defeat.
or did you have something more important to do?