August 13, 2021

Central authorities continue unraveling: navigating a weak fragmented society

In an earlier post I showed how the weakness and instability of the elite position in the US today can be seen by comparing the attempted COVID-related coercion to the attempts of the 9/11-related measures by the Bush admin in the 2000s.

There was utter uniformity in the responses back then — not a single airport manager said, "Yeah, we're not gonna bother with that fake security theater shit, you can keep your shoes on and have your family and friends with you at the gate". And everyone followed those rules on the commoners' side as well.

Moreover, there was a high degree of conformity in the set of beliefs people had — did Saddam have WMD, did he pose a big threat to Americans, did he have anything to do with 9/11, etc. — and the types of responses they thought we ought to take — bomb to send a message, occupy with troops, etc.

Twenty years later, all of that former cohesion has gone out the window. The leaders and commoners of some of the most populous states defied the COVID hysteria consensus last year, and much of the others have joined them this year.

Shutdowns only continue where Democrats monopolize the sector, as in public education (while still, of course, drawing an income and benefits from the taxpayers). Masks lasted less than a year (and no, the fearmongering about the Delta variant has not caused normies to put them back on, nor have flyover state governors re-imposed a mask mandate). A small share of the "vaccine hesitant" actually gave in and got the jab, and there are no teams of NGO flunkies or the Army roaming around door-to-door giving the jab against the wishes of the hesitant. Vaccine passports are not happening, and will only be rolled out, if at all, in super-libtard cities like New York and San Francisco.

Aside from the failures on the material policy side, they haven't even managed to win the psychological war. A large share of the population thinks the whole thing is overblown, and will never think / feel / act as though it were a grave threat personally or collectively. People have less faith in "the experts" than ever, and as a result the capacity of institutions to use fearmongering to manipulate has evaporated. Psyops thrown together by the flunkies at the intel agencies have never been more impotent and embarrassing.

It is entirely irrelevant that some minority of the population has wholeheartedly adopted the suite of beliefs, feelings, and behaviors that the experts have urged everyone to adopt. They are mindless midwit bootlickers, so it requires nothing from the authorities to make them get with the plan. Pushing an open door is no test of your strength — try pushing a door that is being steadfastly pushed from the other side, then the spectators will see how strong you really are.

Worse than merely being weak, our authorities are devoted to proving it over and over again, lest any doubt remain. They don't understand a simple law of transitivity — that if you fail at something easy, you will fail at something hard, so don't bother and find something better to do. And yet, having failed at getting everyone to wear masks indefinitely, they take on the even harder project of getting everyone vaccinated — and then having failed at that, they take on the still harder project of implementing vaccine passports nationwide.

And rather than these repeated failures representing bad luck or incompetence, they came from a far more unsettling source — defiance from those who they were presuming to coerce. They got their bluff called, and they couldn't do jackshit about it. Now everybody knows that the authorities have little to no power in coercing either the elites or the commoners into their harebrained scheme du jour.

Now they have revealed that they rely entirely on their targets already forming a diehard super-fandom for the Establishment — otherwise compliance will be spotty at best, since the elites and their institutions have torched their credibility for good-faith and benefit-of-the-doubt trust from the general public, or from their fellow elites for that matter (e.g. the governors of Florida and Texas).

In short, we live in the polar opposite of the authoritarian / totalitarian dystopia that both the left and right still believe is a looming menace. A state with strong authority is a dystopia to libertarians, and that's what 99% of the elites still are, and have been since the libertarian revolution of the late 1970s and the Reagan era that cemented it in the '80s.

But while that may have been a relevant stance from which to oppose the 9/11-related coercion under Bush, it is irrelevant and out-of-touch today, when national and international cohesion among the elites has collapsed. We have no strong state to fear, since it has never been weaker, as proven by the failures above on both the material and ideological levels. And make no mistake, that is where they have invested all of their efforts over the past year and a half — it's not some minor throwaway project that they fucked up on, but their drop-everything-else majorest of major priorities.

The trend for the near-to-medium term is societal disintegration from the top down. Imperial stagnation and now fragmenting outside our national borders has already begun. There will be no national authority, but there could be authority at the state level. Still, it will be more of a city-state, where authority applies more in the core city and not so much elsewhere. But some city-states will go one way, and others another way.

Even within a city, there will be smaller fiefdoms that go one way or another, with weak authority from the city government (let alone the state or national govs trying to enforce local outcomes). The Walmart fiefdom will allow you in without a vaccine passport (their greeters don't want to get killed in an angry stampede of Walmart shoppers), while the Whole Foods fiefdom will put more obstacles in the way (knowing their shoppers are more eager to comply). The restaurants in some neighborhoods will flout the city regulations about COVID, while others will try to enforce them.

It will make life more annoying at first, having to understand where you can and cannot go, given your preferences. But we'll get used to it. Even if one place switches sides, we'll react no more annoyed than if they had adopted a new type of background music ("I remember when this place used to be cool..."). It will be a total joke of a society compared to a decade or so ago, but that won't make the trends reverse, and we'll learn to adapt to a shittier way of life.

These days, the dystopia is libertarian. We don't have to plan for a way around an authoritarian society — we have to plan how to prevent or punish crimes on our own, since the police will be another institution to collapse in power (already under way, with soaring crime rates in the past year or so). We have to preserve culture ourselves, since the libraries, schools, and museums are busy emptying or outright destroying what they were entrusted with. And we'll have to figure out which specific places or fiefdoms will be favorable to us and those close to us, since uniformity is gone. Perhaps none will be favorable, and more will have to be done in-house, as it were.

The seemingly related trends of the 2010s will actually be of minimal help here, since those were all still very much in the rugged individualist framework of the Reagan revolution. How to eat right, lift right, fix a flat tire, prepare meals in a crockpot, and so on and so forth. That was all self-improvement and self-reliance, and as such it relied on a relatively stable set of institutions at the societal level.

Rugged individualism in an environment of collapsed authorities means the law of the jungle, and a quick death. With no large-scale institutions, the major task now is to build best-we-can-do replacements. And that takes social networks for recommendations and warnings, whether neighborhoods, communities, families, etc.

Paradoxically, and similar to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, indulging the self is only possible in a cohesive society, although such egotism wears away at the communal foundation that supports it. Self-improvement and actualization was for the Boomers who grew up during the full flower of the New Deal, which they progressively eroded during the Reagan era. Now that the institutions barely exist anymore, the post-Boomer generations cannot indulge in the self-improvement framework. I don't mean that (only) in a normative sense — just descriptively and mechanistically speaking, they are incapable of doing so even if they wanted to.

It's time to get better connected, or go under. Find out which fiefdoms are most favorable to you, now that central authority has collapsed.


  1. Finance is the only Democrat sector that hasn't gone psycho over COVID, to reiterate a point I made throughout the Trump era.

    They -- the media, the banks themselves, the DNC, the social media flunkies, etc. -- are not even suggesting, let alone trying to implement, a plan of de-financializing the unvaxxed, or the unmasked back during the mask mandate period, or those who do not present a vaxx passport when interacting with the bank, and so on.

    They'll censor you off of social media platforms, they'll prevent your accurate views from reaching cable news, they'll spread propaganda through entertainment, and they'll use their control of schools to coerce children and perhaps college students.

    That covers most sectors in the Democrat coalition -- except for finance. The banks are not threatening to strip you of insurance, close you off from savings / checking accounts, increase your credit card interest rate, prevent you from getting a car or home loan, or whatever else, based on your COVID-related thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

    And bizarrely, the military on the Republican side has been fairly pro-COVID hysteria, including now trying to coerce all their employees into getting vaxxed. Overall the military is getting very woke, as they struggle to hold together their fragmenting empire, and the various ethnic groups making it up no longer see a point to lining up behind the Pentagon for "co-opted elite" status.

    Manufacturing, agriculture, energy, labor-intensive small biz -- not psycho on lockdowns, masks, vaxx, or vaxx passports.

    Potential realignment for after the Biden usurper inter-regnum at the tail-end of the Reagan era.

    Just switch the senior members of each party's coalition, with finance leading a coalition that includes manufacturing, agriculture, and energy; and the military leading a coalition that includes media, entertainment, and info-tech.

    Main dividing line being the COVID hysteria and how to get out of it, or whether to stay mired and even plunge further into the abyss. In material fundamentals, though, whether they're part of the productive or unproductive part of the economy. The military of a collapsing empire is not just basic national defense, it's bloated fake crap. And finance could fund real activity hypothetically, if they didn't have to invest in (i.e. continuously bail-out) their coalition members who were inherently unprofitable (esp Silicon Valley), but had members who were real (ag, mfg, nrg).

    So far the only finance firm to go aggressively woke against the general public is Paypal (teaming with the ADL to not only censor but de-financialize anyone who didn't vote Biden). However, they're a Silicon Valley online-only bank, so they fall under the Silicon Valley umbrella, not the general finance sector umbrella.

    Who knows whether this realignment will happen, but interesting to notice this continued pattern of which Democrat sectors are most psycho, and which among the Republicans is odd-man-out in being bitterly pro-woke against its own citizens.

  2. The collapse became inevitable when California declared itself a sanctuary state, and the federal government didn’t send in the army. It proved that the government was either unwilling or unable to carry out the prime function of government, even when being openly defied against the wishes of the majority of the population.

  3. So if we take the framework that the Democrats are the party of finance and the Republican party are the party of the military, your proposed realignment where all the other members of each political coalition switch parties, means that tech companies and Hollywood in California, news media in New York, the intel agencies in Northern Virginia and Maryland, and college towns all around the United States will defect over to the Republican Party. Meanwhile the coal industry in West Virginia and Wyoming, manufacturing in the Midwest, agriculture in the Plains states, and oil in Texas and Louisiana all would defect to the Democratic Party.

  4. I didn't say all sectors change parties, only that at least one of them does. In the last realignment with Reagan in 1980, the military switched from the Democrats to the Republicans -- and along with that, the Deep South switched party loyalties. Their elites have been more likely to come from a military background rather than industrial, financial, academic, or religious.

    Southern Baptists have no elites because they are not a single church, with a hierarchy, just an anarchic grouping of individual churches that meet once a year, but exercise no authority over others. No hierarchy = no officials, no elites.

    Very poorly understood aspect of religion in the Deep South -- that they're just like the Northern Baptists and Puritans (congregationalists of one kind or another, not a real institution with structure and hierarchy and elites), but they owned slaves.

    Just like their rounding of low-back vowels -- peas in a pod with their bitter enemies in the Northeast. And similar to Manchester vs. York rivalry -- both speakers of Norf accents, yet they behave as though they were polar opposites.

    Anyway, in the next realignment the Democrats will have to pick up one of the currently GOP sectors. Manufacturing is impossible -- it's been Republican forever, including their predecessors the Whigs and Federalists.

    Ag and energy are also impossible.

  5. My prediction is that the military will defect back to the Democrats, and that the dividing line between the two parties will change from "labor-intensive vs. non-labor-intensive activity" as it is now, to "profitable vs. non-profitable".

    The matter of profitability and productivity is really coming to the fore, as our empire disintegrates, and the economy along with it.

    Increasingly more of our society's sectors are being propped up by non-profit funding. In a de-industrialized economy, there are no more riches to go around, so it's getting nastier to steal dollars from your political enemies in order to fund your own party's sectors.

    The military is never a profitable institution -- otherwise the finance sector would always be eager to lend them the money to conduct their business, and pay back the loans with interest.

    But that's never how it works, aside from the odd case where an army discovers loads of silver that they can bring back. Generally, though, the military is about wasting money in order to add territory and control over other societies.

    For an imperial army during its expanding stage of life, they can exact tribute from the conquered societies, but that only lasts so long, and never happens if an army is not imperial.

    Ours is imperial, but it's now during the collapsing stage of its lifespan, so we will be less and less able to exact tribute from others in our sphere of influence. We already bankroll so many conquered nation's militaries, by occupying them and using our own army instead of allowing them to have their own (Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea).

    The military is the single biggest waste, from a "profit and loss / return on investment" point of view. That's why they almost never belong to the same party with finance -- and when they do, it's a sign of national unity, like the New Deal Democrats, which included finance and the military.

    As the military's influence continues to collapse, and less and less funding will come from overseas tribute, and as de-industrialization at home means there is less and less domestic wealth to share and not worry about domestic funding -- they will be very tempted to join the party of non-profit funding, and ditch the party of "profit logic uber alles" neoliberalism.

    The intel / nerd side of the military already defected to Democrats under Obama. Now even the supposed jock / muscle side is going to dump Trump, because the GOP is still wedded to the neoliberal paradigm that it pioneered with their last trailblazer, Reagan.

    The brass and grunts alike are increasingly agitating for handouts, profitability and productivity be damned, because they're a special class of people. Well, that means they'll have to be the next sector that the Democrats claim for non-profit funding.

  6. Wouldn't the military sector just leave the American political scene entirely, since it is located in the Deep South and won't be part of America when its empire falls apart and America balkanizes? Similar to the finance and media sectors which are located in New York and thus won't be part of America when its empire falls apart and America balkanizes.

  7. The American Southwest (i.e. Texas, California, Arizona, etc) has a whole bunch of military bases as well, so the military sector would just be based out of there if Dixie leaves America. Same goes with the finance sector - agnostic said in a different comment section that San Francisco has a strong finance sector so that would be where the finance sector ends up if New York secedes from the United States.

    Not sure about media - while the huge cable news media companies are all based out of New York, cable and network TV in general is dying and being replaced by digital media which are published primarily through Big Tech companies based out of California. Then for print media you have regional news media companies like Hearst Communications in San Francisco and Tribune Publishing Company in Chicago which could form the basis of print media in America after New York and Washington DC leave.

  8. While in future Dixieland, Atlanta would probably be where Dixie finance and news media are based out off.


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