Sunday, October 19, 2008

Power qua Power qua Power

Dear George,

Okay Big Guy, I’m going to thread a couple of needles, so pay attention. You know and I know that there has been but one force that has driven the Big Dick’s administration. No, it’s neither the GWOT, nor hegemony, nor economic domination, nor the doctrine of the unitary executive, even though those have all played their part. The force that drives the Big Dick is the accumulation of naked power. Nothing else matters.

Now, when trying to seize power, a leader never explicitly states that he is seeking power for power’s sake. He needs a rationale for public consumption. According to one writer, the stated reason for spiking our traditional balance of power is that, “America is called by history to create a better world based on universal principles.” (What nobody dares mention is that these universal principles are greed and exploitation.)

In effect, they want to put an end to evil, evil being defined as anything that might thwart our corporate interests, because they are on a holy mission to bring capitalism to the world. This gives rise to the paradox that putting an end to evil creates more evil than is ended.

But then, evil always wears the mask of virtue that whispers sweet platitudes as it destroys. It is the Thanatos singing its Siren’s song that draws the powerful further and further into the darkness until they become convinced that their survival depends solely on their ability to destroy. It is then that they experience the erotic rush that comes from watching others die so virtue may triumph, and why freedom eventually learns to sing Thantos’s song.

Again, the PR gloss on this effort is the claim that capitalism and democracy go together like a parasite and its host. (The truth, of course, is that capitalism can only emerge when protected by an authoritarian regime. Capitalism never would have thrived in America had not state governors been willing to call out their militias and police forces to club and gun down strikers.)

The philosopher Leo Strauss is St. Paul to the powerful, justifying and rationalizing acts polite society would consider criminal. He is a marvelous throwback to a dead philosophic tradition that reduced all phenomena to “the simple right”. This is the abstract reductionism that can justify the most heinous slaughter. It is Hegel’s World Spirit and Kant’s noumenon neatly packaged and marketed in all of its teleological glory. Who else but Hegel could have worshipped Napoleon’s killing machine.

Only if the powerful can convince their minions that they are spreading a “moral universality” will they bomb wedding parties and gun down children.

In order to conquer evil by spreading it, the state needs a powerful, unitary executive, and in the last eight years you have certainly become more and more unitary. This is part of the transition of the United States from a political entity into a corporate entity, in which the merger of business and politics has given us the Corporate State, headed up by a CEO. Thus, power must be consolidated in order to make the state a more efficient operating unit.

It follows that there is nothing like a crises to consolidate power, and there will be crises, whether we have them or not! That is why what we have a MSM for, to bleed and lead us from crisis to crises.

It makes no difference who wins in November. Once a man whiffs power his soul curdles and he begins his journey down the paranoid path of its consolidation until he comes up against another of power’s paradoxes: Power devours itself as it grows until it is so weakened it collapses. And the collapse comes at the moment of what appears its apogee.

Power on, George.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

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