Three weeks ago, we learned that Judge Ketanji Brown-Jackson was confirmed to the US Supreme Court. Just like that, the SCOTUS has been further reduced in stature to an affirmative action hire giveaway program, rather like a DMV office that has the power to override laws. Anyone who’s been paying attention to trends in late-stage Weimerica shouldn’t be surprised by this, however. It has become a truism in modern America that our institutions – across the board – no longer function as they should, and that many of them barely function at all. While this can be partially attributed to collapse phase secular rot, people need to understand that there’s more to it than mere inattentiveness and incompetence.
Judge Brown-Jackson is a symptom of this. Judging from her past behaviour on the bench, she does not strike one as an overwhelmingly competent jurist. However, in the eyes of woke progressivism this is a feature, not a bug. Certainly, it’s more important for those on the Left that she be a black woman who checks several of their diversity categories. The fact that she is very lenient towards paedophiles who prey on small children obviously isn’t a problem for them, either. And then there’s the odd coincidence that she was the judge who oversaw the case of the shooter in the Comet Ping Pong pizzagate shooting… All in all, she’s where she’s at today not only because of her demographic profile, but also her political reliability.
But for the Left, that’s a positive institutional paradigm.
A lot of folks in the normie Right see the degradation of American institutions – both inside and outside of government – and presume that the end game for the Left is simple destruction. They suppose that progressives are merely cultural arsonists who want to burn it all down in the name of socialism and the establishment of Marx’s final “stateless utopia.” But that’s not the case at all. After all, if there’s no state, then how are the progressive’s going to rule over you and me like they want to do? Understand that seeking to interpret modern progressivism as a phenomenon through the lens of traditional Marxist dogma is not really relevant and has not been for many decades. Far from a classless utopia, Leftists want a definite (though unnatural) hierarchy – just one of which they’re at the top.
That’s where the well-known “long march through the institutions” (coined by German radical Rudi Dutschke) comes into play. Since the 1960s, the Left sought – successfully – to gain control of academia, which then allowed them to train their own and send them out into wider society to take positions in other institutional settings so as to take control of them (a process detailed in this video). So the purpose is not to destroy, but to coopt, though this does mean that these institutions have to be broken down before they can be rebuilt in the Left’s own image.
For the average person, the purpose of public institutions is that they are supposed to serve the public, or at least a substantial portion of the public who would reasonably be interacting with the areas of interest of these organisations. That this doesn’t happen is taken by many normies to be evidence of “incompetence.” Now it is, but it’s not the type of incompetence that occurs accidentally (i.e. real incompetence). Rather, it’s that the purposes and goals of these institutions are no longer what they originally were, so they therefore no longer are doing what people reasonably expect them to do. Instead, nearly every major institution in America exhibits the evidences of Robert Conquest’s third law of politics,
“The simplest way to explain the behaviour of a bureaucratic organisation is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.”
This is the result of these institutions being cordycepted by the Left and removed from their original missions. Hence, these now only “serve” a small, ideological clique of woke progressives and their clients. Everyone else who thinks that an institution should be available to all and who think it should simply fulfill its original purposes is likely a “racist” or a “transphobe” or whatever. This leads to the irony of actually competent people who remain in these institutions being considered as dangerous reactionaries of some kind; their competence marks them out for ideological purging in many cases.
So the Left’s goal with our institutions was not to dynamite them, but to break them down to rebuild them in their own mold. Indeed, this was the purpose for the hedonism of various soviet regimes after WWI, and what was attempted in Weimar Germany. Old social and political norms were to be derogated and destroyed so that non-communist power over them could be broken and replaced. This is exactly what we see going on today in the USA. The purpose of the defund the police movement is not to actually eliminate the police as an institution, but the concept of policing as the average person typically thinks of it (i.e. maintaining law and order). They want to keep the police themselves around as an enforcement tool against people who don’t get on board with the woke progressive program. In the same way, the massive push for the transgender agenda is an effort to give the traditional family and parental authority the bum’s rush so that these can be replaced with (communist) state authority in an increasingly atomised social system.
Apply this thinking to just about everything you see going on that doesn’t make any sense to you as a normal person and you’ll find that this explains a lot.
As long-time readers of my blog(s) will know, there is a demographic-structural explanation for this that dovetails with the more deliberate efforts at institutional subversion, and indeed drives those efforts. This explanation is what Peter Turchin calls “elite overproduction.”
Turchin’s thesis essentially posits that as a society becomes more prosperous and sophisticated, the relative proportion of “elites” (i.e. the wealthy, educated, power-wielding upper classes) expand their numbers and begin to form a relatively greater proportion of total population versus the commons (though even in extrema we’re usually talking about just a few percentage points). The problem is that as the elite strata expand, you begin to run out of constructive things for your elites to do. And since elite members have an outsized ability to garner resources to themselves, they begin to do so in a destructive manner that usually involves intraelite competition, factionalism, and sometimes even civil war (you know, idle hands are the devil’s playthings and all that). This obviously contributes heavily to that society’s transition into its secular collapse phase.
Now, because we’re a secular and sissified society, we don’t really have a warrior aristocracy or clerical elite. What we have, instead, is an ever-expanding caste of over-educated midwits who serve as bureaucratic clients of the progressive cabalists. Expanding this caste has been the point to the “everybody should go to college” mantra, and keeping their clients satisfied is what drives the current effort to forgive the $1.3 trillion of student loan debt. After all, why shouldn’t a bunch of low status, taxpaying truck drivers and electricians pay it off instead of the elite and their clients?
Nevertheless, this elite overproduction has allowed the progressive Left to place its creatures in positions of power all across our institutions and to then use those institutions to create more make-work positions (such as DIE initiatives and their institutional infrastructure) that further their ideological goals. This represents an unhealthy intensification of elite density that leads to instability, rather than the type of healthy extensification that takes place when excess elites are able to fill roles that represent the growth and expansion of the nation as a whole (as tends to occur in the growth phase of a secular cycle).
Elite overproduction can be dealt with using more local decentralisation and the expansion of the nation into new areas (whether geographic, economic, or technological) to handle to mass of elites. If that doesn’t happen, it tends to lead to incompetence (whether genuine or politically contrived), while competent but politically and socially unreliable people are left out (which creates more stress on the system). The end result is that our institutions are being packed full of people who have no redeeming intellectual or social value, who only get their positions because they check some boxes or are tools for promoting an ideological program.
Hence, you get banks that “debank” their own customers, signaling to half the country that they’re not safe places to keep their money. You get corporations geared toward children that slander parents trying to protect their children from groomers even to the point of bringing down the wrath of De Santis upon themselves. You get affirmative action SCOTUS justices who profess to not be able to define what a “woman” is. It’s not that Brown-Jackson herself is dumb (maybe), but that she is forced by the necessities of the ideological system to which she is beholden to pretend to be. In doing so, she encompasses that which most of our institutional output now is. When institutions don’t require actual ability or competence, then they won’t select for those things. Our institutions, and those who run them, will continue to become more ridiculous, but like Caligula’s horse in the Senate, you will be required to pay homage them.
Unfortunately, this presages a continued decay in what little remaining respect and credibility that our institutions have with the vast bulk of our population, which is obviously socially unhealthy. Concomitant with that will be the need for increasing interventions against woke institutions such as we’re seeing Florida make versus Disney right now. “Get woke, go broke” doesn’t really serve as much of a deterrent when the target’s goals don’t involve profitability, but rather political conformity. So except for those relatively rare cases where an institution is both public facing and not strictly necessary for the public to utilise, the threat really doesn’t do that much (what are you gonna do, boycott the DMV the next time you need to re-up your driver’s license?).
The only option aside from dynamiting and starting over is to utilise available power to break institutions from the Left’s stranglehold, or at least punish them as an example to others if they won’t be. Right now, Elon Musk is in the process of doing the former with Twitter and the state of Florida is doing the latter with Disney. Whether either or both end up working in the long run remains to be seen since the Left, for all its real and contrived incompetencies, still wields a tremendous amount of power via its institutional controls. However, the more culture war brushfires the Right starts, the more stress it puts on the Left’s increasingly ossified institutional systems. Perhaps these can be strained to the point of breaking, which is certainly a worthy goal for us to pursue.