Most people reading this will claim that they are not surprised that the people behind the seditious plot to overturn the 2016 election will not face charges. To be on the dissident right requires a degree of cynicism about political institutions. Democracy assumes things about humans that the dissident knows are false. Therefore, a system relying on people to act in a way that is against their nature is doomed to fail. That and the people attracted to democratic politics are always the worst society has to offer.
No matter how clear-eyed you are about the nature of man, politicians always have the ability to disappoint even the most cynical. If most people on this side of the great divide are being honest, they are let down by the news that the oleaginous James Comey will escape justice for his crimes. There was that flicker of hope that William Barr would not be another slithering reptile and do the right thing. Again, these people always have the ability to disappoint even the most jaded among us.
The thing is, there has always been a sense that these people operate by a different set of rules than the rest of us. It’s such an overused trope that when you see a James Comey type of character in a movie, they seem one-dimensional. They’re just the stock bureaucratic bad guy everyone knows how to hate. The same is true of the duplicitous villain like Bill Barr. In movies, that’s the guy the hero foolishly trusts, only to learn that he is more villainous than the James Comey character.
That said, the reason that most people have been holding out hope that this seditious plot would be prosecuted is they don’t really believe everyone in the ruling class is a villainous gangster. Again, even the jaded on this side of the divide thought something would come from this caper, even if it was just the release of a documents showing there was a plot. Maybe a few low-level punks like Lisa Page and Peter Strzok would get a show trial and be sent off to Club Fed for a few years.
It is increasingly clear, that nothing will happen. Bill Barr is just the latest flim-flam man to bamboozle Donald Trump into trusting him. It is clear now that his assignment is to cover up the crimes of official Washington. It has been six months since he was authorized to start releasing the classified documents describing the actions of the FBI during this caper. So far, nothing has been released. In fact, Bill Barr is fighting public disclosure of documents a federal judge ordered released months ago.
The path to revolution starts with dissatisfaction. The people are unhappy with their lot and begin to demand changes. At first, they appeal to their rulers, who they assume want to do a good job as rulers. When that fails, they begin to demand their rulers make reforms and address their concerns. At some point, the people realize they cannot appeal to the humanity or the pragmatism of their rulers. Reform will never come, so the last two options are knuckle under or revolt against the system and it rulers.
There seems to be a scale along which people move from pacified to rebellious that is determined by their view of their rulers. At the pacified end, they are happy with how things are going in their personal lives and assume it is in everyone’s interest to make the system work. The rulers benefit from a happy populace, so even if they indifferent to the people, they work to make them happy. The system of rules and the people operating the system are working about as well as possible, so there is peace.
At the other end is where people no longer believe the system is just and that the people ruling over it are beyond appeals to reason and humanity. In fact, the people in charge relish the injustice of the system, maybe taking extra measures to inflict chaos and mayhem on the people. The system is so bad and the condition so intolerable, it is assumed that anything must be better. At this end, the people no longer view their rulers as human men. They are just the face of an evil system.
As Bill Barr slowly and efficiently covers up the seditious plot and other crimes committed by the FBI and DOJ during the Obama years, it is not unreasonable to wonder how far down the scale this moves the political center. Twenty-five years ago, most dissidents would have thought this level of corruption was improbable, if not entirely impossible. The typical normie was still sure the next election would bring reformers, who would chase off the crooks and clean up the system.
It’s hard to gauge these things, because our biases come into play. If you are an accelerationist, for example, the Comey result is good news. You want to think that this moves everyone closer to the “burn baby burn” camp. If you are a Trump-truster, you probably just tune this stuff out, as it contradicts your preferred narrative. Maybe you convince yourself that letting Comey walk is part of some super-secret 4-D chess game Trump and Barr are playing to entrap the deep state in their web.
The likely answer right now is most normal white people are a bit shocked by what is happening, unable to process it. It’s one thing to overindulge in negativity and self-pity, calling the pols a bunch of crooks. That’s just a coping strategy. It is another thing to realize that it really is hopeless and the system is beyond redemption. It’s like that moment when you decide to find a new job or change careers. Nothing changes on the outside, but inside there is a revolution in your thinking and outlook.
That probably explains why the ruling classes in revolutionary times make so many costly blunders. In retrospect, it is baffling, but in the moment the people in charge look out and see nothing but calm. They conclude that things are going well enough that they don’t have to change course. Maybe that’s why Barr is working hard to cover up the crime and corruption. He thinks once the whole thing is dispensed with, it will no longer vex people. Trust in the system will slowly return.
Again, it is hard to gauge these things in the moment. One thing we know is that dissident ranks are growing. Even the Left is admitting it. The popularity of dissident sites, podcasts and video shows are at record highs. More important, the general sense within dissident ranks is that reform is impossible. We not only need a new ruling class, we need a new system. The center of gravity for the opposition to the status quo is moving further down that scale toward rebellion.
That said, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the civic nationalist to operate in anything but a fantasy world. Whatever you may think of Trump, the result of the last three years is proof that elections don’t matter. This shameless refusal by public officials to apply the law to Washington insiders makes a mockery of the rule of law. Throw in the stunning dishonesty of the mass media and the metastasizing surveillance state and it is impossible for even the most gullible to remain a civic nationalist.
Even accounting for all the various biases, a sober minded view of things suggests we are rapidly heading to that place where the people are faced with two choices. It’s either knuckle under and surrender any sense of dignity or revolt against a system that is beyond reform. Maybe like that guy in the cubicle who decided to quit, that’s where everyone is right now. Or, maybe most people are like the other guy, resigned to a life as a cubicle slave. Events suggest we will find out sooner, rather than later.
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