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But what is interesting is that Patek Philippe thinks the readers of The Economist are a good fit for this campaign. Are they insane? Perhaps not. On the one hand The Economist is an intelligent magazine that does promote free market, free thinking, "liberal" values in a mostly non-partisan way; but if you imagine a magazine's ads as the unconscious fantasies, the dreams, of the readers, then the wish fulfillment they depict is not riches or bitches but a return to the old feudal order.
What you are seeing is the slow acceptance among an important demo, Aspirational 14%, of rigid class divides. They may have some lingering disapproval about income inequality, hedge funds and genetic engineering, but it is tired of fighting a losing battle and you know what? all men aren't created equal, science keeps saying so and we pay our athletes accordingly, why not everybody else? Aspirational 14% doesn't want a monarchy, but they sure as hell don't want democracy, not the American kind, not anymore. I know, I know, you're rolling your eyes, you don't care what the readers of The Economist think or want, but the trouble is that as compared to the readers of Wired, Time, or The Atlantic, The Economist readers are more likely the ones who are shaping the new world order.
That is exactly correct : the socialist utopia of a "democracy" understood as that mytho-fabulous sociopolitical space where marked differences in culture and wealthi are somehow translated into idempotence of activityii is just about dead in the water.
It's dead, forget about it, the "republic of laws not men" died the horrible thermic death of bureaucracy, the electoral system ate the last apathy pellet it can possibly fit in its otherwise impressive gullet, the possibility even of collective action is long, long gone.iii There's nothing left there, and while men past their prime and women already barren may well spend their remaining days chasing the illusion of continuity with the past through whatever means available to them, you're not quite old enough yourself.
You're not quite old enough yourself, and so you face the choice that people just like you have been facing forever, in all times and places where life's been worth living, which is to say not in the modern US since at least 1915. That choice is, what the fuck do you actually want ?
Obviously, you being the agent is quite out of the question. You don't even have a name, not your own name at any rate, to approach this from the easiest angle possible. You're not an agent, you're an object, and while that distinction doesn't need to be made quite as acutely as this, nevertheless it's never going to go away.
In practical terms, your choice is whether you wish to live in a monarchy, which is to say, a group that has invested its sovereignityiv, with the attendant risk that the person you pick to serve may very well not be worth it (and the major disadvantage that you fundamentally and in principle can't know this) or if you'd rather try and reimplement the same utopia once more (but like the gamblers say - this time for keeps!v).
This is not a choice that can be avoided, nor is it a choice that is in any sense meaningful, as neither prong actually works in practice. You won't be as luckyvi as to be accepted into servitude by a good monarch - Cincinnatus the Dictator is busy with his field and you don't have any senatorial togas he might recognise (meanwhile Alcibiade the Demagogue eagerly awaits, and you can't even distinguish the two until much after the fact). You won't be able to build the working socialist democracy on this five hundredth pass any more than youvii were able to do it the four hundred ninety-nine times beforeviii, and if you try to make it unsocialist it'll just reduce to badly implemented monarchy (and Alcibiade the Demagogue eagerly awaits).
There's absolutely no way to choose, and nothing within your grasp to be chosen, and you don't even exist which means you can't be responsible - or, properly, that you'll always "be able" to blame the ill eventual effects on something else. Which situation is paradoxically the best you could ever encounter, because for once in your life and never again, here's freedom.
So. What do you want ?———
- Id est, wealth as ownership of the means of production and culture as the ownership of the means of abstraction. [↩]
- Id est, the proposition that my saying "take off your skirt and sing a song" somehow magically'd yield the same practical results as random-redditor's saying the same. How precisely would something like that ever work was never seriously considered, which is the chief benefit of utopia in the first place. [↩]
- If this last bit doesn't wash so easily, consider some points.
Firstly, that the "deadliest strike in the history of the US" not only happened a century ago to the day (how is this possible, given the population inflation ?), but scored a bodycount roughly equal to the count of agents of the government dead in 2012. Let that sink in for a minute, will you. And just in case it floats rather than sinks, consider also that it is more likely for the average law enforcement mouthbreather the USG employs to be killed in his very dangerous line of work than it is for the average breaker of USG laws-and-regulations to go to prison. Such are the blessings of attempting war on abstractions, such are the bruises of the end of delusion.
Secondly, consider not the fact that a seven trillion dollar investment over a decade, plus the work of hundreds of thousands scattered in the forsaken jungles of the Middle East resulted in complete and unadulterated defeat and a scurrying, shameful retreat from Baghdad, a final strong point in a hostile sea, muchly reminescent of the victory in Vietnam, but the fact that all this was done without a general mobilisation. You recall, Vietnam had the draft. Do you recall ? This time around they paid some people to do it, and those people aren't your people. Ah, the draft wasn't needed this time around, you figure ? If it wasn't needed why and how come was the war lost ? Ah, it wasn't lost, you figure ? This is an excellent line of thinking, one that promises to serve you well in the future : if you don't scream it's probably not going to be rape. Might as well relax and enjoy it.
Thirdly and most importantly, Woodstock was a million kids. Occupy Wall Street was five hundred. That's all, really, that's the end of the story : law enforcement workers are suffering a Ludlow Massacre each year and they're not even striking ; society can't even jokingly be stirred to collective action by the spectrum of complete military defeat with all its attendant benefits - and no, I wasn't even slightly kidding about the rape, vae victis and your sisters ; but not even the fucktarded kids, the late teens and early twentysomethings. Not even they can do something together anymore. And no, talking isn't doing. A vast unending torrent of clicks never fed any poor kids in Africa any rice - sorry. You can have the clicks back when you yourself need the rice later, however. [↩]
- The only way such a thing can be done at all, which is to say into a person. [↩]
- There's a very amusing older Romanian article entitled Moment de visare. You see, a small grassroots group tried to start a political movement in Romania half a decade ago on the premise that each citizen should be granted 20k euros. Just like that, by virtue of breathing, even if it were through the mouth.
The (very rudimentary) ideology at its root being that the people currently being poor - ie, most everyone - are poor not through fundamental faults of their own, generally known as being fucking stupid, but through lack of opportunity. And so, the narrative went, if opportunity were disbursed to everyone equally and at the same time, clearly that'd be the solution. The whole affair completely neglected to account for the simple fact that not two decades prior, the Romanian Revolution actually did that thing, exactly, to the letter (each Romanian got basically a free house out of the deal, so it is to the letter), resulting of course in the most drastic inequality imaginable. Zipf wasn't kidding, you know ?
In any case, to compound the lulz, the proponents ended their statement of their case with the imprecation that "should anyone fail to properly use this, they would then deserve to be poor!". Then, you see. As if now they don't, but nevertheless then they will. Such is the depth of the infantile mind. [↩]
- Sure, some will. They'll be a minority. You're not special, even if you "think" you are. That's not thinking, that's your genes using you for their goals. [↩]
- Yes, exactly you. Not "someone like you", not your forefathers. You, yourself, as you are, exactly. You. To imagine yourself a person distinct from the other indistinct persons lost in the anonymity of history's ossuaries beggars belief. [↩]
- Speaking of which, ever wondered the which nth Latin it was ? 87, turns out. [↩]