Atlas Wakes Up from American Dream
We all know that the presidential election of 2016 will go down in the record books. This presidential election has so much of the truly unprecedented and unexpected that the average presidential election in America typically lacks. We've seen a politically incorrect, inexperienced reality TV star evolve into a populist demagogue who triumphed over part of the political establishment and who may even potentially bury it for good, while the political establishment on the other side of the aisle had to discredit itself by resorting to unethical tactics in order to quell a radical Millennial socialist insurgency fueled by grassroots teenybopper angst.
While we've come to expect the mainstream media to tilt toward its ingrown liberal bias, the manner in which the full force of the media has gone "all-in" to oppose Donald Trump's campaign has never been seen before. This is a bit shocking when one considers that, only a few years ago, Mr. Trump was a darling of the media. The spectacle we're witnessing begs a question that surely won't be answered--if our mainstream media establishment knew that Donald Trump was such an awful human being, why did they invest so much of their influential capital and energy in making him an icon? Additionally, the role played by the Internet in propelling Trump forward, with the barrage of memes, tweets, and leaks, has never been so significant or decisive. Indeed, it's apparently part of the reason why the mainstream media feels assured in their decision to put their full weight "with her" so as to help even the odds against that "narcissistic bully" assisted by the deplorable alt-right. The scope, centrality, and impact of these numerous conflicts all exhibit so many dialectical Hegelian dimensions that a thorough analysis of such would require its own separate discussion, if anyone (like SWIM) cared to bother.
But in making so much, if not all of this, about Trump himself, as the media has invested so much in doing, we're missing the primary cause, the chief engine of all of this tumult. This is because the establishment is projecting its hopes and expectations--that is, their delusions--into the culture's collective consciousness through its infotainment institutions. They both hope and insist that this Trump phenomenon is a one-off, that when this balloon of craziness is punctured it will quickly deflate and buzz away, carried by the wind into the dustheap of history.
If these vacuous, brainwashed shitlib sheeple possessed the brains and education that they're always talking about, they might cite a phenomenon like Boulangerism in late nineteenth century France. It's a sad day when the opposition is so intellectually inferior and handicapped that one has to make their arguments for them. Truly, populist flare-ups like this one do show a tendency to dissipate and vanish throughout history, almost as if such outbreaks were a product of public hysteria. Often this is chalked up to improving conditions, changed circumstances overall, or an initial overreaction that no longer seems appropriate. This is what the mainstream media and NeverTrumpers are banking on. In the case of the GOP, they need it--if the Deplorables who have seized control of the plantation don't welcome back their old masters with open arms, the old GOPe will have to stick with...her.
There's no reason to expect any of this to happen, though. Economic conditions aren't going to magically improve. If Hillary prevails and if the Democrats take control of Congress, social tensions are going to grow increasingly worse. The public debt will rise as will the size and scope of regulations. ObamaCare will either continue tanking or, more likely, consume trillions more dollars. "Patriots" will be targeted and harassed, amnesty will be granted to illegals, more refugees will be welcome, inner city crime will continue to explode, gun owners will be scapegoated, and progressive rhetoric on race and gender will be on the uptick as we endure another assault by political correctness on what's left. After all, if Trumpism could arise in their country, that only shows how much work they have left to do.
While all of this will provide plenty of ammunition to Kahnservatism, Inc. and the Koch Brothers, the product is not going to find any buyers. In fact, the people on the grassroots will continue clinging to their "guns and religion," their borders, too, and everything else that was a part of the Old Country which they never consented to give away. It seems practically inevitable that an entirely new party framework will emerge if the GOP does not embrace the national populism that its donor and professional caste has fought so hard to suppress.
Vilfredo Pareto's theory of elites in his study of Democracy (The Transformation of Democracy) provides the most applicable and relevant framework I can think of to help analyze this rise of the masses that has taken place on the Right. According to Pareto, the formation of power elites is one of the basic laws of all social organization, including democratic ones. The rhetorical gilding of majority rule, natural rights, equality, people power, serves as a layered & decorative 'beautiful' construct to conceal the true nature of events and lull the masses into contented quiescence. The power elite are the trustees of these ideas, and the maintenance of this ideology in the eyes of the masses is crucial to their own practical legitimacy.
All elites, according to Pareto, govern by "force and fraud," which incidentally corresponds to the two basic types of political leader, which he conceived of as "lions" and "foxes." Pareto adds a lot more development to this concept, including fifty-two psychological residues that are then divided into six sub-classes, but going into all of that would be unnecessary dross for our purposes. The general idea is that if a governing elite could apply force and persuasion in the appropriate proportions and contexts, it could theoretically perpetuate itself. Practically speaking, this never happens, and when a particular type becomes intolerable, it is then forced to yield to a less decadent alternative often propelled by the vehicle of an opposing elite type.
In a democratic framework, the plutocratic elites maintain themselves by a web of patron-client relationships enmeshed with various socio-economic classes and interests. While the system is pluralistic, Pareto contends that everyone can be grouped according to two basic classes, which he calls "speculators" and "rentiers," although arguably this is really just a reflection of man's age-old dichotomous active and passive rubric (Yin and Yang, Prakriti and Purusha, Trump and pussy, you get the gist).
Pareto's "speculators," who aren't always speculators in the economic sense, are the soul-mates of fox-like politicians and are accordingly most adept at winning concessions from them. Included in this category are all entrepreneurs, financial traders, politically connected union operatives, corporate managers; essentially those well-entrenched economic concerns working in pursuit or in protection of advantage or social insurance of some sort and all rent seekers who are likewise rich in combination instincts. In essence, this comprises everyone whose income is variable and includes a ceiling that is partially reliant upon political connections. Pareto's paradigm wasn't around for the creation of welfare state dependents who are essentially paid to vote for their entitlements, but surely they would be included in his "speculator" class as well. Arrayed against the active speculators are the passive "rentiers," which includes all of those on fixed or near-fixed incomes: those living on pure savings, pensioners, and other securities; owners of real estate who do not engage in speculation; workers and clerks in your 'traditional' industries; politically unconnected small business owners or proprietors, and so forth.
Without the ‘downtrodden’ rentiers, the economy would grind to a halt. It is they who supply the savings and the tax revenues to support the social engineering, trade policies, and political schemes of the 'speculators.' And yet, as dull, unimaginative types, replete with instincts of group-persistence, rentiers lack the manipulative and rhetorical skills to win concessions from the political elite. The ‘pork barrel’ remains more or less closed to them, as the politically connected manipulate the state to exact tribute from everyone else. Pareto explains how the public authorities act as mere ratifying bodies for the exploitative policies of the activist groups. He also remarked upon the frequent willingness of the victims to cooperate in their own ‘spoliation’ (his word for ‘exploitation’). Short of vulpine shrewdness, they allowed their vision to be ‘clouded by sentiments’ favourable to the speculating class. In Pareto's framework, this purpose was served in almost its entirety in the past few decades by the Republican Party, albeit the union workers and "blue dogs" who still vote Democrat could arguably be the rentiers of the left.
In many ways, the revolt underlying Trump's rise is the revolt of the rentiers, or completely unrepresented, those who "have no voice" as Trump puts it, as they have finally realized that much of the economic growth associated with the globalized free trade and nanny state era has come exclusively at their expense with no attendant benefit to them. The "deplorables" are simply those whose manufacturing jobs were razed so that the powerful corporate interests associated with our infotainment sector could access additional markets and so that their increased wealth could go even further with cheaper Chinese retail products provided by Wal-Mart. Open borders provides the market for globalization's winners' cheap Hispanic domestic "help," who can go to school with and live in the same neighborhoods as the losers. After those unemployed deplorables incur the debt load necessary to receive retraining, they have to face steep competition from the young and all of the minorities who benefit from affirmative action-based hiring preferences, not to mention those additional foreigners who enter the country and work force in increasing numbers annually, all of whom were educated and trained with subsidies extracted from the awful deplorables themselves. Any middle-class folks voting against Trump and for this "Brazil future" are clearly exhibiting a form of false consciousness.
The gig is up as far as the "foxes" of Kahnservatism, Inc., are concerned, and reversion to the leadership of "lions" like Trump is only natural. The purpose of neoconservatives and Beltway Republicans, which was to "soothe" and divert the aspirations of the taxpaying rentiers, has been found out, and can no longer be effectuated. The #NeverTrumpers who think that they are going to return and resume business as usual are crazily deluded. In reality, they are going to occupy the place vacated by The American Conservative and the paleo-conservative commentators, who have been vindicated: that of ostracized exiles disconnected from the masses.
And therein lies the rub--2016 is the Year of Trump, yes, but only incidentally. 2016 is really the year when Atlas managed to open one eye, seeing all that he carried and all who kept him enchained, realized self-awareness, and finally started to resist and rattle, registering all of the reverberations and recriminations we're witnessing amid all of the elite's fighting against Trumpism today. This is only the very first manifestation of this pivotal, groundbreaking conflict. In actuality, its importance ranges even above that of electing the first Afro-American President. The "first" witnessed in 2008 could more properly be seen as a sort of last step in the culmination of a decades long, extensive progressive project. What we're seeing in 2016 is the actual dawn of something powerful, as it's the year when racial, class, and political consciousness started to emerge in a sizable chunk of white middle-class America, with close to a majority of white Americans embracing a candidate despite the media labelling him as a "white nationalist." Indeed, it's the year when the Buchananite nationalist political platform, one that couldn't get anywhere in the year 2000, crossed the threshold and resonated with a giant swath of the populace.
The greatest weakness found in Trump's campaign and his movement is that of lacking movement infrastructure that can convert or separate a part of the elite. At the end of the day, Trump is just one guy, and he can now see that the GOP's party infrastructure has been arrayed against him the entire time. Whether he wins or loses the election, Trump or his followers will have to attend to building that structure. If Trump wins and his administration relies on the current occupants of the Beltway, he will achieve nothing or see his intentions reversed and turned against him, which was the fate of the Reagan Revolution (he already has a VP appropriate for this purpose should anyone decide to "take a shot" at him while he's in office). If he loses the election, hopefully he will work on a Trump media project with Bannon and Ailes to fight the entrenched globalist liberal oligarchy and for #MAGA. Either way, we're only seeing the beginning.
Atlas Awakens in America
Blog entry posted by Man Against Time, Oct 14, 2016.
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