A response to RW, below, that has above-the-fold applicability.
RW asks, “Who’s buying into any of this drama-rama?”
The folks who have the most at stake in an actual Revolution.
Caesarism isn’t for “the masses” — they get bread and circuses (=iCrap). This is the strategy behind the EBT cards — as should be obvious to everyone by now, EBT cards are just anti-riot payoffs. We provide the ghettopotami with a pretty luxurious lifestyle* in exchange for not burning the inner cities down; urban policing is largely a matter of keeping ghetto dysfunction contained within the ghetto. This applies to any ghetto you like, including the white ones up the holler and wherever Eminem grew up. It’s the reason movements like “Black Power” and the KKK never get anywhere — there’s just no point to the revolution they preach, as the risk is very real, but the payoff is….? They don’t want their “freedom,” and wouldn’t take it if it were offered on a silver platter.
But — and this is important, before you send me the angry caps-lock comments, please read it carefully — most people wouldn’t. That’s why “bread and circuses” work. Think about what a Revolution actually entails, even if you aren’t even fighting in the rebel army:
- disruption of basic services, like food, water, electricity
- vast fear and uncertainty
- no money, and no jobs
&c. And the payoff for all this is….? Most folks won’t do it. And most folks wouldn’t take it, even absent the bullet points on that list, because what would you do with it? Your new nation is likely to be smaller, poorer, shabbier, and colder than the old one…. and plus that, now you actually have to pay attention to stuff, participate in elections, maybe serve on a workers’ council or do a hitch in the militia. It’s just not worth it to the Tumblr-and-Twitter crowd, to say nothing of the honest-to-god proletariat. If Caesar is doing his job right, it will never be worth it….and if he’s doing his job wrong, he’s got a whole bunch of much bigger problems. So: you don’t need the whole caesarism dog-n-pony show to keep the masses docile. And the proof is: the masses don’t vote. They might punch whatever ticket the shop steward asks them to, but their hearts aren’t in it. Most of “the masses” couldn’t name a single branch of government, let alone any of the occupants, and certainly not what any of them actually do.
Similarly, revolution isn’t worth it to the upper classes, or even — crucially — the upper-middle classes. They have way more to lose in the Revolution but, more importantly, they always have the possibility of moving up under the old regime. The Managerial Elite always needs some new blood, and everyone knows how to get there — go to the right schools, meet the right people, mouth the right opinions, vote for the right party. They already lead pretty cushy lives, with a shot at real opulence; they won’t risk it. They know how the game is really played — at least, they think they do — and since they think they’re in on the con, caesarism isn’t for them either. They’d be happy to dispense with it, of course, but playing along costs them nothing, and they get a little thrill from putting one over on the rubes.
It’s the downwardly-mobile middle class who have the most skin in the revolution game, and they’ve been the instigators of every revolution in modern times. Pick any one you like — you’ll find that the leadership always comes from middle-class guys who are absolutely blocked from going up, and in real danger of going down. This was the case in the English Civil War (artisans and tradesmen), the French Revolution (the Parisian petite bourgeoisie), the revolutions of 1848 (displaced artisans and disgruntled intellectuals), the Russian Revolution (ditto), the Nazi revolution (shopkeepers and ex-NCOs), any “postcolonial” insurgency (the sons of shopkeepers, educated past their hat size in Paris or Moscow)…. Something has to be done to keep these people from realizing that they’re going to be proletarianized anyway, so might as well roll the dice.
Those are the folks who need the sham of representative government. They have to feel like they have a real chance of effecting change but — alas!! — keep coming up juuuuust short of the requisite number of votes.
An analogy: Think of what would happen to your company if all the senior management went on strike for some reason. Most of us probably can’t even name our division manager, our regional sales coordinator, our assistant vice president in charge of whatever. Life for us in the cube farm would go on pretty much as before, but for the assistant associate regional VP of whatever, it’d be devastating — he’d never work in the industry again. Which is why senior management never goes on strike.
Then think of what happens if the rank-and-file go on strike. A brief disruption, but then management just fires all the phone monkeys, burger-flippers, wrench-turners, etc. and hires new ones. No great loss… heck, maybe even a net benefit, as the new guys won’t be nearly so uppity after seeing what happened to the last bunch.
Now, imagine what happens if middle management goes on strike. I know, I know, we all like to joke about how useless anyone with a title on his business card is, but really think about it for a sec. Those are the project leaders, the office coordinators, the accounting supervisors… they can’t easily be replaced from outside, and you can’t just promote some phone monkeys either. The company won’t collapse if the Head of IT quits, and it won’t suffer more than a quarter’s hit if all the tech support drones walk, but if all the team leads go…..
Caesarism, then, is only designed to work on a very small number of people — the lower professional classes, junior army officers and senior NCOs, media types, “intellectuals,” and so on. You know, the very same people who are now the loudest Trump / Sanders supporters. The goal is to convince them that the status quo is worth preserving, because the possibility of meaningful change is just over the horizon. The minute they see that it isn’t, though, they start thinking about worst-case scenarios… and they’re the folks with the skills, brains, and drive to actually get a Revolution done.**
*Yes it is, by the standards of 99.99% of human history and 99.7% of the world right now. Have you seen how illegals live? And yet they keep coming, as it’s still better than life in their shitholes-of-origin.
** I didn’t want to derail the post by putting it in the main body, but you can see what a Revolutionary looks like by studying the commies. Remember, one of the main goals of all communist regimes was to export the Revolution, so they had detailed instructions on how to recruit and train professional revolutionaries (called “cadres”). The best background for a productive cadre was, of course, a disaffected lower-middle-class or upper-working-class “intellectual” who felt stifled — who felt he had no real opportunities for personal and professional advancement, and who felt that nobody appreciated his gifts. And if that sounds like a pitch-perfect description of an SJW, well, that’s — as the Marxists say — “no accident.” Here’s how it’s done, by someone who had it done to him.