The Stakeholder State

I suppose I have a professional obligation to the historians of the future to have some thoughts on impeachment.  These are they.  As with lots of stuff here, it’s more disconnected thoughts than an essay, so make of them what you will.

In a way, I’m glad the Dems were dumb enough to impeach the President.  For one thing, it reemphasizes a life lesson that, like all truly useful life lessons, is lethally easy to forget.  I’m not a gambling man, but you can bet the farm and the kids’ college fund on the phrase “surely they’d never be dumb enough to ____.”  The very fact that you find yourself thinking “they’d never be dumb enough to ____” is a guarantee that they are, right now, at this very instant, ____.

More importantly, though, this is the logical endpoint of “democracy,” and now everyone gets to see it firsthand.  In theory, democracy works by channeling competing vices.  If men were angels, no government would be necessary, James Madison said, but since they’re not the best we can do is incentivize bad people to do good things in pursuit of their own selfish interest.  It’s a nice thought, but it can only work (if, indeed, it can work) in a culture like Madison’s, in which public men are concerned about their dignity, honor, and posthumous reputation.

Obviously none of those hold in Current Year America, since they were all invented by the Pale Penis People, and even if they weren’t, they can’t matter to atheists anyway — one only defends one’s dignity and honor if one believes he’ll be called to account for them, and who’s going to do the accounting?  There is no God, and as for the bar of History, what could that possibly matter to a cultural marxist?  To them, as to their Puritan forbears, “history” is really soteriology.  The past is nothing but a catalog of freely chosen error.  For the fanatic, “history” begins anew each dawn, because why study endless iterations of Error when you already have the Truth?

You could offer Pelosi and Schiff places on Mt. Rushmore if they called off “impeachment,” and they’d just stare at you googly-eyed…. well, ok, I realize that Schiff’s always googly-eyed, and Nancy’s facial muscles haven’t been able to move since 1986, but y’all get the point.  To the fanatic, who is in possession of the full, complete, and eternal Truth, the only thing that matters in this world is power.  It’s as true for Pelosi as it was for Oliver Cromwell.

So why not “impeach” the President?  If you’re sure you’re going to lose the next election anyway — and as blackpilled as I am, I’m pretty sure a concussed orangutan could beat any one of those goofballs — why not try to shoot the moon?  It’s not like you’re going to face any personal consequences, because not one of the so-called “opposition” has threatened to impeach anyone from the “other side.”  Which, since that’s the first thing any honest opposition would do, means that Schiff and Pelosi will walk away scot free, ready willing and able to do it again (they’ve already all but announced that if this fails, they’ll impeach Trump again if he wins in November).  They’re all, Democrats and Republicans alike, playing Washington Bingo, which is the Glass Bead Game for retards — nobody really knows what it is or why anyone bothers, but it keeps them occupied in nice cushy offices, with weekends in the Hamptons.

Democracy always devolves into ochlocracy, as some Dead White Male said, but since the last Dead White Male died centuries before Twitter, he didn’t realize that ochlocracy was just a pit stop on the way to kakistocracy.

“Democracy” only works — if, in fact, it does work, which is a very fucking open question — in a stakeholder society.  When Madison and the boys pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to each other, they meant all of that literally — Washington could well have died a pauper, Alexander Hamilton ordered his cannon to fire on his own house, and so on.  They had skin in the game, which is why they were so public-spirited — if they screwed up, they personally would have to live with the consequences.  These days, of course, getting “elected” — or even selected to run for “election” — is a free pass to Easy Street.  The rules apply only to the plebs, and only so long — and, insh’allah, the day is soon coming — as we have to pretend to let them “vote” on stuff.

So, sure — why not “impeach” him?  “Convict” him, too, for all I care — I’ve already seen all three rings of the circus; I don’t need to see them again, every six months, for the next four years.  It’s not a question of if we descend into open police-state thuggery and / or civil war; it’s a question of when.  And since everything I wrote above continues to apply, the Democrats’ next step is obvious.  “Impeachment” didn’t work?  Time to go to the gun.  Bernie Sanders’s goons are already talking about putting us in gulags.  Warren’s and Biden’s people have better opsec, but you know they don’t disagree with the sentiment.  And since they’re convinced that nothing bad will ever come to their neighborhood — and they have every reason to believe this — why not give Antifa some real weapons and a nudge?

 

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8 thoughts on “The Stakeholder State

  1. Pickle Rick

    It’s these moments that I understand the mobs in Paris in 1789, or Petrograd in 1917.
    However, Americans do it differently. Neither 1775 nor 1861 happened when the people were starving and had their backs to the wall. We go ham on each other based off the belief that our enemies have something even worse in store. We’re preemptive revolutionaries, not reactive ones like the Europeans.

  2. Maus

    The Glass Bead Game was my first introduction to Herman Hesse. It was earth shattering to my early-twenties mind. I feverishly devoured his entire ouvre over the next few years. Some of the eastern mysticism stuff was a bit too woo woo for my taste, but Hesse definitely captured the angst of an intelligent young man caught in difficult times. Narcissus und Goldman was perhaps my favorite and the most personally relevant to my own life. But The Glass Bead Game was masterful. Certain people like to talk about Trump or his opponents playing 4-D chess. Compared to a Magister Ludi, 4-D chess players are pikers. I question whether our current kakistocrats can manage even checkers or a rousing hand of Go Fish. Still, the sun shines on the stupid as well as the bright; and it’s no consolation that you cannot eat or drink logic and reason. While we may not have truly experienced a peak of civilization, we are surely headed into a trough.

      1. Severian Post author

        Hesse, like the Romantic Poets, seems to be one of those authors you have to encounter at just the right time in your life. I loved the Romantics when I was a teenager; reading them now, I can appreciate their skill, but the sentiments seem twee and forced. Similarly Hesse — like y’all I loved him in my 20s (though I never did get around to reading The Glass Bead Game, but I loved Narcissus and Goldmund. too). Tried re-reading Demian (I think it was) a few years back and it came off as just too…. German. The bad kind of German, I mean — all Sturm und Drang, like the Romantics after a spell in officer candidate school.

        1. MBlanc46

          I might be able to get through Siddhartha again, because it’s short. But such affinity as I once had with that sort of wooly thinking and feeling has long since evaporated.

  3. WOPR

    And since they’re convinced that nothing bad will ever come to their neighborhood — and they have every reason to believe this — why not give Antifa some real weapons and a nudge?

    The can’t be so stupid to….well yes they can.

    To paraphrase an army saying, “When the troops aren’t grumbling, you have problems.” Within my limited sphere of normie right people that I know, none are taking the impeachment fiasco as serious. I mean that as they don’t see it as legitimate and it isn’t even worth the time to follow it. To me, that is a sign they no longer believe even in the process. It’s like the husband who doesn’t say something to the wife when she locks her keys in the car for the 20th time. The pressure is building beneath the surface.

    Hypothetically speaking, repeat hypothetically, let’s say some small reactionary group of the evil patriarchy provided lead poisoning to a member of the forces of the eternal now. What are the odds that a serious percentage of the right wing fascist website commenters would simply state that they had it coming?

  4. MBlanc46

    Dignity, honor, reputation. Those sure aren’t the sort of words that one hears much these days. Perhaps they still throw them around in the military, but in civil life they’re dead letters.I want to speak up for the atheists—or nonbelievers, as I prefer to style myself. We are quite as capable of acknowledging those ideals as believers. We just answer to a different judge. I’ll try to explicate with an anecdote. About fifty years ago I was sitting in the philosophy common room at a local university where I was a grad student. I was nattering with a fellow student, a guy named George, who wore a goatee, which, common as they are now, was then a rarity and seen as a bit of an affectation, like a bow tie. George was doing mathematical logic, so he wasn’t much into traditional philosophy, but for some reason, now long forgotten, we were discussing the traditional distinction between duties to oneself and duties to others. One of us, I forget which one, said “All duties are duties to oneself” and the other immediately assented.* It was a bit of a revelation, a putting into a concise phrase what had been an inchoate idea. Executive summary: You are the only entity to which you have to answer. And not after the Reaper comes for you, but every morning when you look at yourself in the mirror. You’re the one who has to decide what sort of person you want to be. If you don’t mind being a liar and a cheat, no power on Earth can force you to mind being a liar and a cheat. They might well be able to force you to say that you don’t want to be a liar and a cheat, but they can’t make you not want to be a liar and a cheat, if that’s what you want. And if you do mind being a liar and a cheat, then you’d jolly well better not lie or cheat, because even if you get away with lying and cheating, you see a liar and a cheat in the mirror every morning. A good many of us nonbelievers do care about what sort of life we make of the one shot we’re given, even if there’s no posthumous reputation in it. We’re jealous of our dignity and seek the approbation of the best of our contemporaries.

    As far as what you say about democracy and having some skin in the game, absolutement d’accord.

    *With that, we we’re off the plane of ethics into meta-ethics, which in the modern world is the only sort of ethical thought with any kind of payoff.

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