Romanticizing direct democracy leads to pandemic anarchy.
Scamocracy in America
How a fraudulent ruling class plundered our most precious inheritance.
Over the past fifty years the rules of public and even of private life in America have well-nigh reversed, along with the meaning of common words, e.g. marriage, merit, and equality. Social inequality, even more than economic, has increased as personal safety and freedom have plummeted. People are subject to arbitrary power as never before. No one voted for these changes. Often, as with the negation of the Defense of Marriage Act and of the referendum-approved California constitutional provision to the same effect, these reversals expressly negated law. Just as often, as in the case of our mounting restrictions on freedom of speech, they have happened quite outside any law. Altogether, they have transformed a constitutional republic into an oligarchy at war with itself as well as with the rest of society. The U.S. Constitution and the way of life lived under it are historical relics.
Our ruling class transformed America’s regime by instituting a succession of scams, each of which transferred power and wealth to themselves. These scams’ blending into one another compel us to recognize them, individually and jointly, as the kind of governance that Augustine called “magnum latrocinium,” thievery writ large. Thievery of power even more than of money—colloquially, scamocracy.
Neither Aristotle nor anybody else ever counted scamocracy in their category of regimes because rule by fraud exists naturally only as regimes reach the terminal stages of their corruption.
Power over substance
How did they do it? Consider: Does the ruling class’s shutdown of America, supposedly to save us from Covid-19, have anything in common with its campaign for all manner of racial preferences in the name of racial equality? How about with its campaign against fossil fuels to save us from Global Warming? What does it have in common with establishing the proper relationship between the sexes by promoting divorce and abortion, by presuming men guilty of sexual assault, and by redefining sex? Does it resemble in any way the dumbing down of American education that resulted from the manifold increases in educational spending that promised the opposite? And could any of these ever-so-diverse campaigns possibly be related to the War on Poverty that swelled America’s underclass, or to the post-1945 wars that produced defeat upon defeat but filled corporate boards with retired generals?
What do all these preoccupations that have dominated American life the last half century have in common? All—the long-running race and poverty scam, the education scam, the environmentalist scam, the sex scam, the security scam, and now the pandemic scam—have been ginned up by the same people, America’s bipartisan ruling class. All have been based on propositions touted as scientific truth by the most highly credentialed persons in America—experts certified by the U.S government, enshrined by academia as science’s spokesmen, and fawned upon by the media working in concert to forbid any disagreement on the matter whatsoever. Yet virtually all their propositions have turned out to be false, and indeed have produced effects opposite to those claimed.
Not incidentally, somehow, all these scams ended up putting more power and money into the very same hands—their hands—while diminishing the rest of Americans’ freedoms and prospects. Accident, comrade? No. Taking valuable things under false pretenses for the falsifiers’ benefit is the very definition of fraud, of scam. The scams that have flowed from society’s commanding heights are products of our ruling class’s ever-growing internal solidarity, of confidence in its own superiority and entitlement to rule. They are the other side of its intellectual/moral isolation, and of its co-option of ever-less competent members—hence of its corruption. Whenever you hear someone claiming to speak on behalf of the scamocracy, you may be sure that person is a fraud.
Support for locking down Americans in the name of saving us from the Covid-19 virus instantly became as integral to the Establishment Left, i.e. to the Democratic Party, as belief in abortion, global warming, open borders, and as censorship of whatever they choose to call “hate speech.” The ruling class’s manifold components have integrated the Covid’s health challenge into their identities just as they adopted each other’s demonologies and demands as their own. Readily, naturally, activists for BLM, Feminism, Global Warming, etc. adopted support of all manner of socioeconomic restrictions on the pretend basis of saving lives from Covid as if it were their own cause. And vice versa. BLM, for example, aims to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure,” to dismantle what it calls “cisgender privilege,” calls itself “queer‐affirming,” and commits itself to increasing federal funding for abortion—never mind that abortion kills black babies predominantly. That is no part of black people’s concerns. Rather, it is the practical manifestation of the latter-day Left’s theory of “intersectionality.”
By the same token, every one of the ruling class’s constituencies, the disparity of their foci notwithstanding, has adopted as its own the demand that voting in American elections must henceforth be “from home,” with ballots collected or “harvested” by third parties. That would shift electoral power from those who vote to those who process and count the votes—i.e. to themselves. Hence it would set the entire ruling class free from the voters.
The Covid event has also made the face mask into a physical badge of tribal identity, common to all the ruling class’s sub-constituencies. Wearing the mask is now about publicly distinguishing the virtuous and deploring the deplorables. In a Tweet, North Carolina’s Democrat Governor Roy Cooper “a face covering signifies strength and compassion for others,” adding that “wearing one shows that you actually care about other people’s health.” On the same day, New York’s Andrew Cuomo put it this way: “Wearing a mask is now cool, I believe it’s cool. … Wearing a mask is officially cool.” Anthony Fauci, who in March had told 60 Minutes “there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” in May gave his scientific judgment that masks are “a symbol for people to see that that’s the kind of thing you should be doing.” Rioters also wear masks as signs of social responsibility!
At its core, the ruling class politics of Covid-19 is now no more about public health than environmentalism is about the environment, or Feminism is about doing good to women, or BLM is about saving black lives, or the education establishment is about cognition, or the national security establishment is about public safety. None of these causes are about their purported objective than communism was about equality or the proletariat. Lenin made clear in “What Is To Be Done?” (1902) that the revolution is all about power for “the vanguard of the proletariat.” The Party. Like communism, each of today’s revolutionary movements is based on its own lie, and all are all scams—the purpose of which is to transfer ever more power to the ruling class —specifically to its “vanguard,” the Democratic Party.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.