As a friend writes, “Our system is very opaque.” Various thinkers have tried to diagram or schematise the relationships among different branches of western liberal democratic regimes. A popular concept in some circles, and the prototype for many such efforts, is
Ever stop to consider that most of the world problems are caused by university graduates and not the village idiots? Scary thought.
Systemic analyses are valuable, and capture an important element of the political dynamic. The more conspiratorial lens - highlighting the role of organizations like the WEF in a contemporary context, for example - also has a lot of evidence backing it. In my view, both are necessary to understand what's going on.
It's interesting that you point to the incredible power of the zombie robot state. Hardcore conspiracy theorists also have a tendency to frame their antagonists as almost omnipotent - every event becoming a 4D chess move, with every possible response already anticipated and built into the plan. If reality is closer to the median of the conspiracist and systemicist views (which, interestingly, map closely to the Great Man and Historical Forces theories of history), there's perhaps more room for hope. Conspiracies being directed by zombies that are themselves in possession of no more agency than the common NPC somehow become less scary. I'm probably not articulating this well, as it's an idea that's still half formed.
Well, it is simple, really. Everyone wants to keep their jobs because everyone needs their job, and the structure of modern society means that most of the workforce has no truly valuable and portable skill. A plumber can work anywhere plumbing exists, which is everywhere, but few people, relatively speaking, are plumbers. An office worker is so easily replaced that if you have no independent fortune, and you wouldn't because otherwise you wouldn't be an office worker, you cannot risk much.
I myself was always getting fired for being a somewhat incorrigible gal within the world of office indentured servitude, but I interviewed beautifully because I spoke well, and I wrote well, and I was useful to bosses because of that, and there was no shortage of bosses who valued that.
Now everyone speaks in upvoice vocal fry, including the bosses, and no one writes well so no one notices, and it's a good thing I'm now retired because otherwise I'd be unemployable.
There are so few good doctors that any moron internist will be hired by a hospital system, so all are easily replaced. There are so many analysts that anyone identifying unfortunate trends counter to the desired outcome is easily replaced.
I'm glad you keep demonstrating why conspiracy theories of world domination are far less likely than the overwhelming incompetence and stupidity we really have.
I think we cannot ever have a top down structure. it brings out the worst in everyone and everything it touches. This is how six sigma can get implemented into a company by the ceo and everyone at the bottom knows how effing stupid and destructive it is but the higher you slide up the ladder the more the job depends on beintlg part of the consensus until the VPs all think its the bees knees...
burn the system to the ground. also all civilians need to have access to actually money and any kind they like. the politicians should hwve all their assets digitised on the block chain so we cslan question them.
I'm testing an AI, and asked it to give me a more realistic header image for your post, and here is what it came up with - yeah, I'm scared too: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/989739585158389760/996096246089535619/WisePathBooks_vampire_zombie_squid_swimming_in_a_dark_ocean_hyp_b22e6e2c-a1e8-4838-abd5-8c1ffe705e85.png
I think you might want to add "sunk cost" denial to this list.
Most people don't understand that concept...and certainly not bureaucracy
Yes all very accurate. Please allow me to boil it down in my simplistic voice.
I noticed that Covid created, from top down, little authorizations from the usual minions everywhere in society.
I refused to wear a mask, I had the police called on me dozens of times, I was threatened with physical violence, and verbally abused constantly .
It was always the grocery store stocker, the pharmacy clerk, the hospital admitting staff, the lowest ranking nurse, the gas station attendant, the secretary of an office , and on and on. Anyone who never had any authority in general was now a gatekeeper or moral judge accusing me of selfishness for helping spread this invisible menace that guaranteed death or at least the threat of gasping for breath on a ventilator.
It was a clown world.
Political economy is my favorite thing in the world and you do brilliant political economy. Thank you for all that you do. I guess I would just add though -- yes this is "a coup for the middle bureaucratic ranks..." but the paradox here is that the shots are killing and maiming these same middle level bureaucrats. That's what makes this situation so profoundly weird and difficult to describe. It's the bureaucratic fascism that Hannah Arendt warned us about -- but the bureaucrats are directing their toxic policies at themselves. I tried to write about it here, but the situation is so weird that to even describe it plainly is heretical and may lead to excommunication from polite society:
You have inadvertently discovered the Administrative State, a noxious, impenetrable, unelected, unresponsive organism.
It is “Liberal Democracy“ at its diseased apotheosis. And it must be fought until it is dismantled.
I would add one more dynamic: Speed to Change. The goal is to get new policies and practices so far along so quickly that it is nearly impossible and always painful to reverse course. We saw it with vaccination. Get the shots or lose your job and societal privileges. We’re seeing it with the switch from fossil fuels. Cancel pipelines and destroy the oil producers so there can be no turning back from inefficient and inadequate renewables. Consumers will just have to get used to soaring prices and blackouts. Like Mao’s Cultural Revolution. All the world’s automakers are putting the vast majority of R&D investment now in electric vehicles. But we are less than 2 years removed from $2 a gallon gasoline under Trump. What happens to all that investment in EVs few can afford if Trump returns and Ron DeSantis follows that up with an additional 8 years of oil promotion? Is the die to EVs already cast? Is the path to a fossil fuel-less future assured? I think not. This could blow up very badly on the greens. And not a moment too soon.
Great diagnosis! Now, what's the cure? I see elements in the stupidity of the bureaucracy - present them with an out of context problem, and they just don't see it until it is parked in front of Parliament honking or spraying liquid manure all over their building.
So maybe a ferment of diverse disruptive actions at all scales is important. An alternative society of regime skeptics might be part of that. We need to recognize and support each other, and find ways around the chokepoints the squid controls.
Brilliant continued analysis of modern State power dynamics. Curious to hear your thoughts on “The Network State: How to Start A New Country” by Balaji Srinivasan - a possible life raft for dissidents.
Wow. Very well thought through and complete.
Makes a lot of sense.
This is the type of analysis that I come here for :)
Eugyppius is on fire again. I like it!
> It is very hard to sell many people at once on complicated ideas, and so there is inevitably an emphasis on simplicity and an absence of strategy.
This is an essential point, one with applications to other areas (such as the spread of management fads). Sophisticated ideas tend to degenerate into crude ideas as they spread and reach larger numbers of people. This natural tendency is further amplified by the ongoing decline in technical competence that we are seeing in most areas of society, which further reduces western society's cognitive carrying capacity and ability to coordinate behavior.