Here Thar Be Monsters!
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Populism And The Jabberwock
We know you stop by from time to time, so here's sending you good vibes, Bubba Willie. Hope it passes fast.
And now for something completely different:
One of our long-running themes here on the Far Side is that Systems cannot be reformed from the inside. They must be completely disassembled and replaced. Just like Sir Ralph Richardson's Supreme Being warns us in the brilliant Time Bandits, "Do be careful! Don't lose any of that stuff. That's concentrated evil. One drop of that could turn you all into hermit crabs."
As is always the case, the people rise up in revolt, send in their champion, who then gets consumed by the dragon while folks back home relax, figuring they got it all worked out. Little do they suspect that the proverbial Jabberwock has completely consumed their champion and is now more powerful than ever.
Yes, we've all been trained that we can nominate a "representative" to fight our wars for us, and thus, having sent our hero off to battle, we can return to the hearth and clank our mugs of grog in toast of our cleverness.
Meanwhile, the Jabberwock picks its teeth after such a fine meal of human offering with the rib bones of our hopes and dreams. Because the forces of Good are complacent and don't understand the nature of the beast they fight, the forces of Evil prevail.
In the now traditional 100 days of a new president, we have seen Donald Trump swing virtually 180 degrees from his campaign rhetoric. This has got to be one of the fastest and most complete reversals on the books. From continuing the "refugee" imports, to health care "reform" to standing down from empire building to prosecuting the Clintons, not one single promise remains standing.
NAFTA, TTIP and the Paris Accords are now negotiable. PizzaGate has virtually disappeared off the RADAR. North Korea has now been added to military adventurism. Obamacare reform is now a distant memory. The border wall is a political poker chip. And the nepotistic sycophants' chorus of "Go Daddy Go!" are the only voices heard in the halls of power.
Trump was pushed by the System to both absorb and deflect the voices of reform, and to drive "reasonable" people into the Hillary camp. It is safe to say the Establishment had no idea how deep the reformist movement was and were shocked their darling candidate lost, but it has hardly slowed their progress. The System simply regrouped, applied the necessary pressure to block circulation in the appropriate places, and quickly absorbed the new reality into its own corruption.
Trump supporters are not without blame. Having first bought the fairy tale that a billionaire New York real estate elitist could EVER be a champion of the little folk, they promptly went back to sleep after the inauguration thinking they had done their job to stop the onslaught of centuries of corruption and deception.
This effect is a combination of a lifetime of indoctrination, and a personal failure to recognize it and overcome it.
Overseas we see the same effect. Theresa May, selected champion of the Brexit effort, has sold out to the Dark Side, calling snap elections to give the System another shot at reversing the movement, which it will.
In France, Marine Le Pen has moved relentlessly towards the Statist position in order to curry favor from the System. If elected, she too will wait for low tide before subsuming the Populist Wave into the System.
The problem that no one seems to get, even after glorious revolutions like America, France and both Russian versions, is that there is an underlying assumption that is Evil itself - the heart of the System. As in Time Bandits, a single piece of Evil keeps getting left behind to continue the domination of Humanity.
The crumb of Evil that is the System is the stubborn assumption that we need a System of any kind. Despite thousands of years of history and uncountable millions of lives lost, we still refuse to realize that it is the concentration of power that is the problem - government itself.
We are trained from birth to think that anarchy is chaos and that civilization would collapse without "leaders" and "laws". Do we really need stone tablets to tell us that stealing, lying and killing are wrong? These things are built into our very cells. All the law can do is make us accept things we would not normally accept, and back it up with the threat of death and/or incarceration to ensure our compliance.
The basis for government is religion. The belief that any one person or group can have a hotline to God and get special messages that the rest of us somehow miss means that we are primed to accept domination by someone else. These "leaders" use special effects and wizardry to make us think they have been granted god-like powers, but they are just toys that any of us could make and deploy.
But we choose to cower and tell ourselves that God has ordained these "leaders" and "authorities" to lord over us poor, degenerate sinners. We accept the premise that we are immoral and flawed creatures that need to be herded, or all Hell will break loose. We refuse to see that all Hell IS the System that we allow over us.
Until and unless we can final conquer the Evil that is of our own making, we are doomed to repeat the same error again and again. We will never cast off the yoke of servitude until we realize both that we are servants and who the Master really is.
We humans continue to think that by hiring our own Masters, we will end slavery. The nonsensical and unreasonable logic is pounded into our minds from birth. It is our fear and our laziness that perpetuates our misery.
We cannot modify the System to be benign. The System is designed to redirect whatever force we throw at it back at us twenty-fold. The more powerful our fight against it becomes, the more we will be subjugated by it. It is the Third Law of Motion - every action begets equal and opposite reaction - that is dominating us. Simply put, it is the denial of Nature that is defeating us.
The proper question is not how we can modify the System to work for us, but why we keep leaving bits of Evil behind when we try to reform it.
All the Putins and Trumps and Mays and Le Pens will never fix the problem, they will always become a part of it. The only viable solution to our slavery is the utter destruction of centralized power and all its tentacles.
Short of that, the best we can hope for is fur-lined shackles.