A common plot for a heroic tale is one where a people are under threat from a supernatural monster or maybe a person possessed by great evil. The king is either unable or unwilling to defend the people from the threat, so a great hero emerges to do that which the king is supposed to do. The hero then goes off to face the threat, defeats it thus saving the people and writing his name in the book of heroes. Probably the oldest existing version of this is the Old English epic poem Beowulf.
Now, more sophisticated versions of this plot will bring the king into the story line by exploring the reasons he cannot or will not defend his people. Maybe the king is playing a double game, where he hopes to summon the hero, who he sees as the greater threat, in order to get him killed by the monster. Alternatively, the king is weak or incompetent, thus he represents failed leadership. His character in the story is a reminder of the risk of to a people tolerating bad leaders.
Now, with that in mind, fast forward to the current age and consider what is happening in American public life. For starters, we have an economic system that cannot be described as anything but predatory. The issue has become so acute, even The Wall Street Journal has had to take note. The reason for the collapse of the America middle class is well known. The active efforts to suppress wages, while maintaining a usurious financial system, is draining the life out of the middle-class.
Again, the reasons for this are fairly well understood and, more important, we know who is behind the policies causing it. People have been writing about the financialization of the economy since the 1970’s. Way back when Wall Street convinced Congress they should auction off the manufacturing base, analysts on the Right and Left identified the prime mover behind this phenomenon. The monster that is savaging the people is well known, yet the king does nothing to defend his people.
Concomitant with the financial collapse of the middle-class has been the spiritual and cultural collapse. Probably the most symbolic aspect of this is the opioid crisis, which has put its icy hand on every shoulder of society. It’s not just an urban thing like prior drug epidemics or a class thing like crime. Look at the number of high profile people who ended up in a rehab facility after getting hooked on pain killers. Every week, the nation’s obituaries are full of stories about opioid related deaths.
Again, this is not some great mystery. On the one hand, you have people like the Sackler family who basically got a license to kill. They used it to flood the nation with legal drugs and induced doctors to hand them out like candy. Similarly, the flood of fentanyl from Mexico is well understood. We know who is doing this to the American people, yet the people in charge barely acknowledge it. The monster that is savaging the people is well known, yet the king does nothing to defend his people.
We have spent three years being lectured by our betters about those clever Russians and their Facebook ads, threatening our democracy. It was a giant hoax, of course, and we know why the hoaxers perpetuated it. They were covering up a seditious plot to subvert the 2016 election. The fact that it was a hoax does not mean there are no threats to the political order. We know, for example, that the tech giants are deliberately trying to subvert the democratic processes.
Again, this is not some mysterious thing that is just coming to light. It has been happening for a long time now. Here we have Silicon Valley trying to bully British media outlets to not interview Farage. Here we have a former Google exec explaining how his former employer interferes in elections. What’s happening with these tech oligopolies is not some great puzzle that has just coming to light. The monster that is savaging the people is well known, yet the king does nothing to defend his people.
The pattern is unmistakable. Time after time the people come under threat from a well understood enemy of bourgeois order and time after time the people in charge do nothing about it. Only the most naive think the Epstein affair or the massive corruption in the FBI will be addressed. At this point, everyone knows the plot. The flow of stories will slow to a trickle and then the whole thing will be forgotten. In time, Epstein’s plotters will be partying with the FBI plotters at Lois Lerner’s Vineyard mansion.
The people are under threat by a variety of monsters. It’s not just Grendel, but Grendel’s mother and the whole extended family. The people in charge, whether out of fear, avarice or degeneracy do nothing about these threats. People thought the Orange Knight was the hero, who could slay the monsters and bring peace to the people, but thus far he has remained under his desk, posting insults on Twitter. In fact, the king sees the hero as a greater threat than the monsters that savage his people.
If our version of this tale is to be recounted in future generations, the plot will have to take a different turn. Ours will have to be the version where the people, seeing the king undermine and plot against the hero, finally realize that the real monster vexing them is the one who rules over them. Every society is under threat from monsters, often ones they created or allowed to develop in their ranks. The people who survive are those who figure it out and either find a hero to slay the monster or do the job themselves.
For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!