Eric Hoffer famously said that what starts out in America as a mass movement ends up as a racket, a cult, or a corporation. As we saw with Covid, it can often be all of these things at the same time. When Hoffer made this observation, mass media was still in the analog age, so things moved slower. A movement would linger for while in the corporate stage before devolving into a racket. In the digital age, these things can happen simultaneously and instantaneously.
The reason for this is America is not an actual country, like France or Sweden, but an open outdoor bazaar held together by a merchant class. As Coolidge supposedly said, the business of America is business. That means everything is treated as a business, even things that should never be a business. It is the worship of the marketplace where everyone assumes the right answer will magically arise from the transactions that occur in the marketplace. The invisible hand is our god.
The trouble is, there are things that are true that people would like to think are not true, so those market results will be at odds with reality. There are things in every society that should never be exposed to market forces. They are too important to let the fickle mobs in the marketplace decide. In theory, this is supposed to be a bedrock assumption of the American form of government. There are things like natural rights that are beyond the reach of the political process.
The corrosive effect of marketism on the political process is clear in the political industrial complex that has consumed the political system. Billions are made every election cycle in politics. What should be a straightforward process whereby the parties and candidates make their case to the voters, is instead run by a massive political industry of consultants, advisers, technicians and the media. All of these people are in the process to make money from politics.
Here is a useful example in a legacy site called the American Spectator. The post is an argument in favor of something called rank choice voting. This a system that requires voters to list their preferred candidates in order of preference. The first choices are then counted up and you get the normal total. In some systems, if no candidate gets fifty percent of the vote, then the second choices are tallied up and added to the candidates total. In other systems, this is automatic.
There are two rather obvious problems with this system. One is it adds a layer of complexity to the voting system. A central tenet of all democratic systems, even those that limit the role of voting, is that voting is clear and open. In the rank choice voting systems, you can get a minority candidate winning the election, despite most people voting for some other option. Put another way, it is not clear to the users of the system how their inputs will affect the outputs of the system.
Therein lies the other problem. This added complexity becomes a bonanza for the army of grifters in the political system. Now that the social media consultant racket has run its course, they get to jump on the ranked choice voting scam. You can be sure that all of the pinheads with “social media influencer’ in their bio are now thinking about removing the Ukraine flag so they can make room for the letters RCV. This “innovation” is quickly becoming both a racket and a business.
The proof of this assertion is the man behind that post. According to his bio, Eric Wilson is a digital-first political strategist based in Washington, DC. He was a Technology and Democracy Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, located at the Harvard Kennedy School. In other words, his post at The American Spectator is simply advertising for his services. Ranked choice voting, according to Eric Wilson, is good for the people, because it is profitable for him.
It cannot be emphasized enough just how terrible ranked choice voting is for a country that is quickly losing trust in its systems. With normal voting it takes some jurisdictions weeks to count the vote. The Alaska election he holds up as a great example took weeks to sort out after the election. Imagine that in a big corrupt state like California or New York. It will take years to resolve an election. There are still court cases going on over the 2020 presidential election.
Of course, this can only add to the sense that voting is rigged. Every innovation, like mail in voting, early voting, ballot harvesting and drop box voting has come with an observable increase in shenanigans. The states at the center of the 2020 election scandal were states that suddenly embraced innovated voting methods. Imagine a state like Pennsylvania suddenly switching to ranked choice voting a week before the election and you have the beginnings of armed revolt.
Of course, the promise of chaos is exactly why the consultant class want yet another way to muddy the waters on election day. Chaos is good for business. The fact that it is bad for the health of society is besides the point. Those racks of donuts are not going to buy themselves, so that means Eric Wilson needs steady work. If that work is bad for the people, well, too bad for them. They should have figured out a way to grift on the collapse of their country like Eric Wilson.
This is the problem with marketism. When everything must be exposed to the marketplace, everything quickly becomes a racket. When the governance of your country becomes a racket, you no longer have a country. That is why the people at the top of the racket so fiercely oppose anything that looks like community. It offers an alternative morality to that of marketism. If people begin to put something ahead of making a quick buck, the market could collapse.
That is where things are headed. Politics is a massive racket run by conmen, grifters and sociopaths who care only about a quick buck. The system staggers on because of the cultural inertia behind it, but eventually, it must succumb. There are also ideologues that take advantage of this to push their agenda. We see that with the neocons and their efforts to blow up the world. With no one in power interested in the wellbeing of the system, the system will eventually collapse.
If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!
Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.
The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.
Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb. Just email them directly to book at email@example.com.