Tuesday, November 24, 2020

I've Got The Feeling That Something Ain't Right

The Trump years have taught me that a lot of powerful people (in various power tracks) don't much believe in the fundamental importance of the consent of the governed. Democracy, I guess you could say. Sure we point at the authoritarian right, but many in the self-appointed Center see pesky voters as an impediment to what they imagine is good governance. They gaze at the militarized racism of the right and a mild redistributionist "social justice warrior" left and declare them to be just the same. Both just different flavors of "populism," you see, which we know is very bad indeed.

The core belief of this authoritarian centrism is concern for minority rights. Not the rights of marginalized minorities, but of the elite and powerful. The establishment of a false meritocracy is how they justify it, with legacy admissions to the most elite institutions and widespread basic nepotism the most obvious manifestations of this basic lie.

Though the whiteness of that supposed meritocratic elite might be of secondary concern - they aren't quite the gauche racists that are the MAGAs - it is an inevitable outcome, given the hereditary power structures in our country. An unwillingness to let new people into the ruling elite excludes racial and other minorities from that power structure, even if racial exclusion isn't the primary purpose.

The authoritarian center finds much more common ground with the MAGAs. The joke is they hate socialists more than they hate fascists, but really it's more that they are friendly fascists who tolerate the racists, who ultimately don't threaten them as long as they pipe down a bit, and despise the socialists who do.

We do get the entertainment of the provisional members of the club, who mostly will never get the engraved membership card, screeching about the evils of the twitter mob coming to cancel them, not understanding that if they were ever truly going to be members of the club then the twitter mob couldn't touch them. Nobody has managed to cancel Henry Kissinger, after all.

Words like "fascists" are inflammatory, and inspire pedantic rebuttals, so feel free to substitute your own. I usually find such debates to be deliberate distractions.

No conclusion here, just some idle thoughts for a Tuesday, with the death of David Dinkins reminding us that the very racist Giuliani managed to maintain respectability for so long, as we are faced with the inevitable rehabilitation and promotion of many of the members of the Trump administration (but not Trump, never actually a club member).