Yesterday, after discussing Angelo Codevilla's NeverTrump rant, I acknowledged that Codevilla makes some good points--albeit points that many others have been making. The American republic basically died back in November. It's death became official yesterday. We still have the forms of a republic, but what has finally been revealed for all to see is that the real rulers of America are not the people's representatives but an oligarchy controlled by large corporate interests. In other words, a type of Fascism in the proper sense--the Corporate State.
The problem now for the Rulers--a problem brought on by Donald Trump--is that the subject classes now largely see this reality for what it is. That fact was brought home on January 6 when something very much in the neighborhood of half a million Americans came to the Imperial City on the Potomac to voice their support for Trump--but also their anger at the Oligarchy that devoted four or even five years to hoaxes meant to undermine the people's choice and the policies that the people overwhelmingly supported. And still support.
January 6 was a wake up call to the Oligarchy and the rulers in the Imperial City. They had seen large crowds before. The annual Pro-Life March is a reminder that huge numbers of Americans disagree with the elite vision of America. But January 6 was different, in that it told the Oligarchy that We The People now challenge their claim to legitimate rule.
The reaction was telling: A huge display of military might and open calls for new government agencies to establish a National Security State that would expressly target half the population of the country--the 'deplorables' or, in John Brennan's remarkable words:
“I know, looking forward, that the members of the Biden team who have been nominated or have been appointed are now moving in laser-like fashion, to try to uncover as much as they can about what looks very similar to insurgency movements that we’ve seen overseas, where they germinate in different parts of the country and they gain strength, and it brings together an unholy alliance frequently of religious extremists — so authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, and even libertarians,” Brennan said on MSNBC.
And John Brennan was far from alone. The Left's media outlets are humming with talk of 'insurrection', white supremacists, and other fantasies that are being marshaled in a desperate attempt to gin up popular support. But the installation of the new regime yesterday was a visible sign of the lack of legitimacy. The lack of any popular turnout gave the game away. Yes, this was said to have been a deliberate choice, because Covid. But the reality is obvious. Those nearly half million people who turned out on January 6 couldn't have been kept away. By contrast, nobody showed for the supposedly--and supposedly overwhelmingly--most popular president in US history. The reality couldn't be hidden.
And so I asked yesterday: Can they rule? Going forward?
That has to be the question on any thinking members of the Oligarchy. Trump let a genie out its bottle when he proposed an agenda looking to a future of greatness for America, based on realist policies for America's place in a world that is presenting new challenges. By contrast, what we see in the Biden Inc. regime's Executive Orders--canceling energy initiatives, canceling girls' participation in sports, canceling control of our borders--and of contagious disease bearers, etc.--is an attempt to turn the clock back to a Leftist fantasy world that was never in touch with reality. That fact is increasingly obvious, exposed also by Trump's four years.
Trump's remarkable ability to attract voters from all walks of life and demographic backgrounds is a chilling reminder to the Oligarchy of how tenuous their hold on power may actually be. Turning back the clock in the face of a threatening reality is never a good look. Things are getting off to a rocky start. In Chicago the teachers union for the government schools are threatening a strike vote next week unless the government schools are shut back down. In California an increasingly credible recall movement is moving ahead against the oligarchy's chosen governor. And in Portland and Seattle Antifa is back on the streets--trashing symbols of Oligarchic power. Anyone expecting a smooth next two years should probably rethink that. Oligarchic political theater--as run by McConnell and Pelosi--is wearing thin after Trump's brutal exposure.
All these considerations remind me of two additional items. The first is Rush Limbaugh's monologues from yesterday. Rush is fighting the good fight till the end, and here he expresses in impressionistic fashion the concerns that must be animating the Oligarchy. Here's a highly edited excerpt--edited to show support for my thesis:
They think they got it all back. They think they finally have vanquished all of their opposition. And they haven’t the slightest idea.
Now, why do you think people weren’t allowed to show up? People are not allowed to show up because of COVID. People aren’t allowed to show up because the threats of the National Guard might open fire on everybody. That’s not why. The reason that they put up all these replacements for people is that I don’t think they were confident a bunch of people would show up for this because I think they know.
I think they know that this is something that’s been arranged rather than legitimately sought and won. And you can see this in their attitudes, in their smiles. You can see it, hear it in the words that they are uttering.
And I sense a similar frame of mind with the people that are up there on the stage at this. They’ve been sweating bullets for four years. And they are now convinced that they have re-secured their complete and total hold on power in Washington. But I think they know that it’s fleeting.
They have not throughout any of this demonstrated that they have a bond with the people that voted for them, like Trump had.
It’s like, we know these people think that they were unfairly frozen out the last four years, and we know at what they did everything they could to vanquish the guy that beat them — and they failed. For four years, they failed to overturn the election results of 2016. But now they’re back, and everything’s normal. Now everything is as it should be.
That day has arrived, and they are uttering words that make it look like the entire population of this country is now breathing a gigantic sigh of relief. They know that’s not the narrative. They’re making it up.
They don’t have a nation filled with support.
They don’t have millions of people that would have shown up at the inauguration today. They don’t have a bond of connection with the people that voted for them. They know this.
As I say, they’re not interested in persuading anybody. It’s beneath them. They want the power to deal with you regardless. Now they think they’ve got it. And what I’m trying to say here is that that power they think they have, I believe it’s tenuous.
And now, just to drive home the point that this country, America, is ruled by an oligarchy--supported by a national security apparatus that, until Trump, was largely hidden from public view--I appeal to a leftist--Glenn Greenwald--and to none other than Barry Obama:
No speculation is needed. Those who wield power are demanding it. The only question is how much opposition they will encounter.
If you identify as a conservative and continue to believe that your prime enemies are ordinary leftists, or you identify as a leftist and believe your prime enemies are Republican citizens, you will fall perfectly into the trap set for you. Namely, you will ignore your real enemies, the ones who actually wield power at your expense: ruling class elites, who really do not care about “right v. left” and most definitely do not care about “Republican v. Democrat” — as evidenced by the fact that they fund both parties — but instead care only about one thing: stability, or preservation of the prevailing neoliberal order.
Unlike so many ordinary citizens addicted to trivial partisan warfare, these ruling class elites know who their real enemies are: anyone who steps outside the limits and rules of the game they have crafted and who seeks to disrupt the system that preserves their prerogatives and status. The one who put this best was probably Barack Obama when he was president, when he observed — correctly — that the perceived warfare between establishment Democratic and Republican elites was mostly theater, and on the question of what they actually believe, they’re both “fighting inside the 40 yard line” together:
A standard Goldman Sachs banker or Silicon Valley executive has far more in common, and is far more comfortable, with Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan than they do with the ordinary American citizen. Except when it means a mildly disruptive presence — like Trump — they barely care whether Democrats or Republicans rule various organs of government, or whether people who call themselves “liberals” or “conservatives” ascend to power. Some left-wing members of Congress, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) have said they oppose a new domestic terrorism law, but Democrats will have no trouble forming a majority by partnering with their neocon GOP allies like Liz Cheney to get it done, as they did earlier this year to stop the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Germany.
Neoliberalism and imperialism do not care about the pseudo-fights between the two parties or the cable TV bickering of the day. They do not like the far left or the far right. They do not like extremism of any kind. They do not support Communism and they do not support neo-Nazism or some fascist revolution. They care only about one thing: disempowering and crushing anyone who dissents from and threatens their hegemony. They care about stopping dissidents. All the weapons they build and institutions they assemble — the FBI, the DOJ, the CIA, the NSA, oligarchical power — exist for that sole and exclusive purpose, to fortify their power by rewarding those who accede to their pieties and crushing those who do not.
We live in interesting times. Hold on.