The following was originally posted over at Claire's place, as a comment to this post in which she comments on the ridiculous spectacle of the remaining field of Democratic presidential candidates trying without apology to out-Orwell each other in full view of everyone. Included here are 1) my original comment, 2) a response from another commenter, and 3) my follow-up.
It seemed appropriate somehow to warehouse this exchange here as well. (As a housekeeping choice, I've backdated it to the date of the comment, but otherwise it's as it appears there.)
Claire, first and foremost I hope you can find and keep your peace with the great Pandora’s Box that is the Internet. Heaven knows I still struggle as well…with the outrage fatigue, the “need” to know what stank the pernicious piddlewits are pimping today…against all the wonderful things that the same landscape still provides.
Playing with my kids helps–a lot–but the struggle remains. I do pretty well at the goal of living-free-being-the-best-revenge (and thank you once again and always, for your part in encouraging that), but boy, are there days…
Anyway, peace to you, Freedomista.
I hate the fact that these tiresome, committed people are in any way living rent-free in my head, but I have to admit that the current ramp-up of Teh Stoopid does have me worried. It’s not that the depth of the ignorance, idiocy, or the unapologetic chutzpah is on its own shocking, although there are certainly days when I do have to marvel at what now passes for not just socially acceptable but even routine; rather, what I keep finding myself left with is the one overarching question which seems to have absolutely no good possible answer:
Where is all this leading?
Much ink has been spilled already, and rightly so, about the control zealotocracy increasingly demanding the unconditional surrender of every remaining vestige of individual sovereignty and freedom. Any honest assessment of the landscape makes it perfectly clear that it’s on, to these people: by any means necessary; only the result is acceptable; no law, ethics, or morality is any sort of impediment to the cause. The puppet masters set masses of people at each other’s throats–quite successfully–for increasingly trivial differences, and boy do the useful idiots know their narrative…if not so much how to defend or even really articulate it past the most sophomoric talking points. Rational discourse, even the most Pyrrhic forms of individual interposition, are becoming less and less possible by the day. And I’m sure it’s not me; the rate of acceleration of all this “let’s you and him fight” theater is well past tiresome, and into alarming.
Alarming because ultimately there’s got to be a reason for it. The real puppet masters may be evil in the purest sense of that word, but I cannot believe they are stupid. The comically hubristic antics we see each day, across the spectrum, must, at some level, serve a purpose. And with pretty much all the gloves coming off on every topic, by the day, the entirely reasonable question “what purpose is that?”…sits there, nagging.
As the saying goes, anybody who demands you give up the means of resistance, intends for you something he knows you would resist. Indeed. We’re seeing a fat lot of push for getting this thing (disarming the peasantry) done immediately. Why? What do these creeps know that we don’t?
Oh, sure, it could be something simple. Maybe it’s just covering for their sorry corrupt asses by misdirecting elsewhere. Insider knowledge of impending economic or social collapse. A hive-mind sense that their best opportunity for total domination is now, so strike with everything possible. Et cetera.
The thing is, the real puppet masters would seem to be above things like this. It reminds me of a comment I recall Claire making when talking about the increasing demands of the Total Surveillance State–the idea that you don’t go to the trouble to spy on everyone, everywhere, to catch mere criminals.
So what is it, then? Here we are, currently witnessing the most comically slipshod soft coup attempt I’ve ever even heard of, much less seen–this is stuff that would not be believable in fiction–and not only do the masses not seem to care about how embarrassingly bad it is and has been since even before Orange Man was elected, but more of the same is openly promised–and apparently cheered–going forward. The fainting-couch, Kabuki theater flavor of it all is so completely over the top, it would be tempting to think of it as freedom-lover agitprop…but frankly I don’t think any of us could have–would have–gone that far.
So again: what is it?
Eep. Apparently I needed to give vent to that. Like I said above, the struggle continues. 🙂
ANONYMOUS FROM FEB 10
Imagine drones bought from Hobby Lobby dropping firebombs on the roofs of government buildings. Dropping them every week. Dropping them until government falls apart because it can’t defend the bureaucrats who are funding it. Then government stays persistently fallen apart throughout the next phase, in which every militia general tries to set themselves up as a new king. For your own good, of course.
The technological singularity shifting power to the individual is the thing the current politicians are unsuccessfully trying to prevent with their too-little too-late attempts to LARP the Soviet Union.
Only the goofballs are playing the LARP Soviet game, because the competent who in times past would be nobility can actually do the military math about swarm attacks. Even the US Navy did the math correctly, in Millennium Challenge 2002.
What is coming next is a lot more freedom. The whining from the 99% who are not libertarians is going to be epic.
FOLLOW UP COMMENT
Anon 2/10, I hope you’re right. I hardly relish the idea of that sort of conflict, for several reasons (not least of which because I suspect you are right about strongmen stepping into any available gap), but good god, look at the state into which we have “progressed” thus far, at the insistence of these obnoxious people who seem so fully committed to forcing the issue no matter what. It’s not so much that they are making peaceful revolution impossible, as it is that they are increasingly making peaceful existence impossible.
I think that in the end I do share the faith that the peasantry, if it must, will find its ways of rising to the challenge, whether it’s riflemen “behind every blade of grass”, or the flash-mob drone swarm of the deplorables, or some other Hayduke-ian creativity none of us has thought of yet. Or all that, in combination…
It’s the days between here and there, that I’m dreading.
My pipe-dream hope is that someone, somewhere, figures out how to make a peaceful statement that makes the lunacy of the continued wolverine-poking so self-evidently obvious that even the most tone-deaf, chest-thumping wokester agitator can’t miss it, or ignore it. (In this regard, I miss Mike Vanderboegh, who had a real flair for pursuing this goal–this quest for peace via the dire warning.) This really doesn’t seem like it should be all that difficult–from the “live and let live, how fucking hard is that?” angle, through to “you really haven’t thought this through, have you, hipster brainiac?”…and yet here we are.
The only problem with improvising creativity, is that it is inherently reactive. (Maybe that’s where my faith comes from, that in a world gone sideways, free people will ultimately prove more creative than the planners of other people’s business.) We’re still living in a world of strategy, where these improvising, reactive traits haven’t been truly needed yet.
And maybe that’s why the “let’s you and him fight” crowd seems so incapable of grokking the stupidity of bringing their imposed reality to blows–they can only plan, not improvise. The strategy, on paper, may seem solid. Even the tactics–the planned tactics–may seem plausible. But at the point of action, the human tendency for creativity can, and usually does, intervene, and often in unintended ways. (“In any battle the first casualty is the battle plan.”) I dunno, it seems like most folks in Claire’s commentariat would have no problem seeing this result as obvious, but maybe the obnoxious polypragmatoi just…don’t. (After all, this crowd may have tried many different things to achieve their goals, over the nearly forty years I’ve been paying attention, but I can’t say that any of the methods I have seen truly qualify as creative.)
Hey, maybe we can glom on a bit to current trends, here. I’ve been enjoying some of the Babylon Bee’s satire titles lately, including this one, “Democrats Warn That American People May Tamper With Next Election”…in a similar way, maybe we can simply promise to interfere with their revolution. 🙂