The spectacle of our imperial oligarchy thrashing against itself

I’d say this “coup” was fun to watch, but I’m increasingly bored by these never-ending cycles of crisis politics. We have no power over any of it. We're just passive consumers of crisis content.

So I sat down yesterday to try to finish a series I’ve been working on about Palestine and Soviet immigration, but this decaying republic got me glued to my Perky Pat Layout again.

This time it was the spectacle of DC — our oligarchy’s imperial capital and the source of so much death and destruction in the world — getting raided by a bunch of disorganized MAGA activists, who themselves had been whipped up into a frenzy by this very same oligarchy. Yep, the oligarchy thrashing against itself, keeping its serfs busy with culture wars and nativist conspiracies, while it loots and plunders and continues on its mission to eradicate all life on our planet.

Yesterday did offer a bit of schadenfreude — a PG parody version of the real, deadly coups and assaults that America’s been exporting to countries around the world and selling as democracy. And not surprisingly many of America’s active and failed allies in those conflicts — the weaponized immigrants who live here and who receive ample support from our imperial state — were present at the rally and the storming of the gates: spooky Falun Gong and Epoch Times types, US-backed Iranian terrorist-cultists, Cuban and Venezuelan right-wingers, South Vietnamese die hards, and even Georgians…I’m guessing supporters of the color revolutionary Mikheil Saakashvili. Our democracy chickens — deformed and pumped full of hormones and antibiotics — coming home to roost!

It was a clown show, and it ended with one woman getting a bullet pumped into her chest — a surprisingly low body count for this kind of high-stakes melee.

While watching I immediately started wondering how long it would take before the other side, the libs who are about to take power, started blaming this on some foreign power or communism or started spewing some other panicked nativistic garbage. Welp, it didn’t take long. Less than an hour? Thirty minutes? Maybe ten? There was so much of it, it was hard to keep track.

But I give you Ben Rhodes, Barack Obama’s speech writer:

Or take Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia under Obama and the most respected Russia “expert” in liberal and Democratic Party circles:

I’m not sure how McFaul’s insane rantings (which he has since deleted) that compare Trump and MAGA to the Bolsheviks differ from when the MAGA/QAnon crowd yells about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and AOC being communist plants sent to destroy America. Actually, I am sure: there is no real difference. The two sides are a lot closer in their nativistic politics than any of them realize. Or put another way: the respectable liberal opposition to Donald Trump is no less racist and paranoid than he is — it just operates in a different xenophobic market demographic.

I’d say this “coup” was fun to watch, but I’m increasingly bored by these never-ending cycles of online spectacle. Sitting at home and starting at my computer, I know that a few days later this outrage will be supplanted by yet another conflict — a conflict which will once again burn through our tvs, social media platforms, podcasts, and newsletters and be sold to us as yet another most important thing we need to think and worry about. It’ll never end. It’s all so remote, and we have so little power over any of it. So yeah, yesterday’s “coup” attempt might have generated some good memes and laughs. It also fed the machine, further radicalizing both left, the liberals, and the MAGA crowd — making sure the disconnected crisis-entertainment culture wars of our decaying society will go on with more fervor than ever before.

—Yasha Levine

PS: Looks like Facebook and Twitter finally locked Donald Trump’s account yesterday. I don’t support the ability of our tech overlords to decide the nature of “truth” or to put their own arbitrary limits on what they deem to be “acceptable” public debate, but I gotta admit that Facebook and Twitter are engaging in some very clever, cynical PR. For the last four years, liberal opinion makers have shamed, demonized, dragged, and attacked Zuck and Jack for being cowards and for refusing cut Trump’s social media access. But why would Zuck and Jack ban Trump? Trump was very good for social media business, just like he was good for news media business. But they’ve finally done it — waiting until the very last second, when it doesn’t matter anymore. So now they’ll walk away from the Trump presidency and into the glorious Biden Era as heroes of democracy. Viva la Facebook!