Thursday, August 9, 2012

Apres moi, l'deluge

"It’s all too common for the political class of a troubled nation to lose track of the fact that, after all, its power depends on the willingness of a great many people outside the political class to do what they’re told. In Paris in 1789, in St. Petersburg in 1917, and in a great many other places and times, the people who thought that they held the levers of power and repression discovered to their shock that the only power they actually had was the power to issue orders, and those who were supposed to carry those orders out could, when matters came to a head, decide that their own interests lay elsewhere. In today’s America, equally, it’s not the crisply dressed executives, politicians, and bureaucrats who currently hold power who would be in a position to enforce that power in a crisis; it’s the hundreds of thousands of soldiers, police officers and Homeland Security personnel, who are by and large poorly paid, poorly treated, and poorly equipped, and who have not necessarily been given convincing reasons to support the interests of a political class that most of them privately despise, against the interests of the classes to which they themselves belong."

How did America arrive at this impasse? Very easily, as easy as just taking "a holiday from history" (in De Gaulle's immortal words). America was a commonwealth, not a nation (as Rosenstock Huessy points out), and if the "common good" is undermined (or in our case, inverted to represent the lowest caste of degenerates, whether holding PhDs and political power, or basking in self-victimization and violent crime), the commonwealth goes up in smoke. Then (as they say in Oklahoma) "where are you going to be at?" I think the answer will appear rather sooner than later, although it could take a "long descent" and a bitter road, as history repeats itself as tragedy, then farce.


  1. {Even in the modern nation-state, which does not suffer from a lack of centralized power, the influence of the ruling class depends at least as much on old-style patronage [e.g., keeping control by "buying off" the poor] as on the direct use of force. As the 16th century classical liberal Étienne de la Boétie pointed out, no government can wield enough force to subdue an unwilling populace; thus even the absolutist monarchy of Renaissance France rested in the end on patronage.}--Roderick T. Long (1964-). "Can We Escape the Ruling Class?"

  2. {Now may my bones inside me drink mostly wine,
    and when they are dead let Deucalion's flood cover them.} [Anthologia Graeca 11.19]