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Can the Big Lie Save the Sinking Western Kakistocracy?

Patrice Greanville

Oct 21, 2022


A kakistocracy is a government run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous people. The word was coined as early as the seventeenth century, fittingly in England, although it's safe to say humanity has produced such regimes many times before. But is there any doubt that today's leading "Anglo" cultures—the US and the UK—to name the leading alliance within what professional euphemists call 'the West", are nearly perfect examples of that?

As anyone with a modicum of alertness may have noted, all Western institutions are in steep decline, plummeting to their demise, from the political class to academia, to the complicit whore media, and the shrinking public space. In all established quarters, avoiding reality is an all-consuming task, because the truth about the West's rapidly mounting problems is too discombobulating to admit, and dangerously deligitimating as far as the ruling orders are concerned. Frankly, their pedgree is nothing to brag about. The history of the "collective West" and their ruling elites is literally blood-soaked in non-stop internecine wars and exploitation at the industrial level. Feudalism was bad enough, but it took modernity and misused technology to industrialise the killing and destruction of just about everyhting standing.

So their promise has proven false, Faustian, in fact, and alarmingly short and stingy by history's standards. Hence the evasions must continue. By this time, the West—unique in human history—has a fulltime, self-conscious machine solely dedicated to the manufacturing of false reality. The Big Lie, all the time. Mind you, this is not just generalized ignorance or the false ideology inherent in religion, for example. This is a whole apparatus of massive deception designed to inject false ideas about every important thing in this world right into every person's mind. In the US, the leader in such dubious accomplishment, this happens from cradle to grave. It's inescapable. That's why it's often said with undeniable accuracy that US Americans are the most brainwashed people on earth. Their political stupidity is legendary (now being increasingly matched by their cultural cousins across the Atlantic). Some would say we carry the prison in our own heads, and they would be right. For the ruling class types, what a nifty solution to the threat of real democracy, I might add. And by the way, need I say that deprogramming people is extremely hard?

But here's the rub. No organism can long survive while ignoring its true environment, specially its own inner nature. And, unhappily for the reality evaders, the stench of the rot emanates from no other place than the West's very core, its long worshipped organising principle: predatory capitalism, better known in polite society as "neoliberalism".

Meantime, for reasons we can only celebrate, both Russia and China are gradually moving ever closer and deeper into socialism. (Iran is already a solid example of Islamic socialism). To the chagrin of those who claim that Russia is just capitalist, with the requisite crowd of verminous oligarchs to prove it, I have to say they are not looking closely enough—nor dynamically enough. In what direction is Russia really moving? Russia is and has long been far more "collectivist" in spirit than the US or the West in general. Today, she enjoys a "mixed economy", with a huge socialistic component at its center—its energy and weapons industrial sectors—which provide precious stability and protection. This is liable to continue, and probably expand. China, under Xi, presents a roughly similar picture. The visionary anti-corruption leader has also taken stock of the future, and—as befits a man who never forgot the lessons of Marxism-Leninism—is moving sagely and decisively to purify Chinese society of capitalist viruses—as far as is feasible at this point. The object is to keep the capitalist disease from gaining ascendancy, or blocking the path toward Communism. Yes, it's a long and difficult fight. Complicated by the constantly deforming weight and threats of US imperialism. But the enemy has been properly recognised and measures are being taken. The West, on the other hand—need we spell it?—remains frozen, delusional, sitting atop a virtual lake of complacency and Orwellian values fostered by ludicrous claims of moral, political, and civilisational supremacy.

But, folks, organic truths—following universal laws—care nothing for human conceits or subjective perceptions. So as the narcissist West's tough contradictions pile up day after day, increasing the pressure on the system's containment membranes and reinforcing each other, the tipping points are approaching fast, or may have already been passed. Probably the only thing that keeps this old con job afloat is its momentum and the gianormous fantasy machine it has long relied on. These props may prove insufficient to neutralise the oncoming crisis. With the torrent of problems fully self-inflicted by the Ukraine war, everything has been suddenly aggravated well beyond the mediocre ability of the West's handlers to cope, and disaster now really seems inevitable.

Not surprising, therefore, to watch the West's power centers under siege. And this time the cavalry won't come. There are no statesmen of FDR caliber to save capitalism from itself, and in any case, in FDR times capitalism still had some structural breathing room. Today, with the digital revolution, that space is gone, and the most lethal contradiction of capitalism, its terminal illness, the overproduction crisis, is here to stay.  This aspect, with its threat, nay, certainty, of mass unemployment unless capitalist social relations are completely overhauled (thereby negating capitalism!) to acommodate the new technological reality, is by far the most cataclysmic aspect of these developments. In fact, the system's stability has rarely been threatened by widespread corruption only by systemic problems. The Great Depression with its armies of the unemployed, is a good case in point. The poor were not so much shaken into combativeness by the pervasive corruption and brutal inequality they saw all around—feudalism had taught them to expect this as a God-ordained reality—but by the prospect of lacking even a meager livelihood. In a system where—at the end of the day—people only subsist if their labour is useful to someone to make a profit with, we sit on a collective razor's edge.

The ruling billionaires—whimsical, petulantly childish, and poorly-educated—unidimensional characters like most businessmen, along with their legions of cowardly, sycophantic advisers and political front men, have no solutions. How could they? For one thing, this mob is still trying to balance a pyramid on its apex. Flash Alert: This is not in the pyramid's nature. They constantly seek cures to capitalist symptoms using the capitalist playbook. Ever heard of "pollution rights"? Yea, in the age of neo-environmentalism, when everyone is at least somewhat conscious that we need to treat nature with far more care, if not filial love, there's a thriving pollution rights market. Obviously, this is the behaviour of the functionally insane, or terminally corrupt: both of which have been fully normalised into the current status quo. So you can bet your last dinar that they'll be there trying that kind of idiotic game until the whole edifice crumbles on their heads. Problem is, we'll get hit, too, and probably pretty bad, unless we do something. After all, no ruling class—no matter how rotten and depraved— ever left the stage of history of its own volition.

Today's ruling class is certainly no different, and judging from its psychopathic willingness to consume all life on this planet in successive nuclear fireballs just to assure its victory, way worse than anything that came before. But why do we submit to that? With plenty of talent in every conceivable direction, we are still the overwhelming majority. Isn't it time to put forward a completely new program for humankind? The only problem with that, and it remains a huge one, is that throughout the kakistocratic West, especially in the Anglo lands, there is no real left worthy of the name. Only a pseudo left, a synthetic left, plus the usual complement of treacherous liberals and socdems of various stripes.  All of which leaves the masses virtually leaderless, in the hands of anarchists and other spontaneists and opportunists the regime, though certifiably rotten, can still manage to outlast. As for the far more enthusiastic legions on the Right, they too, offer no real exit from this swamp. Many misguidedly believe that the solution is hyperindividualism, that is, more and "better" or "purer" capitalism, which is simply delusional, and downright ahistorical. Others, following an old meme of the Right, think the colossal mess we face was produced by the influence abroad or in our midst of nefarious aliens. Wholesale escapism by denouncing "the other", while tempting to many, is a fools' recipe, the stuff of putrid demagoguery. Disaster is assured, not to mention another round of unspeakable crimes. And still no real solution.

So we are at a most interesting juncture. A promising, far healthier world is rising in the East and the Global South. The "West" is hellbent on blocking it. Is humanity capable of learning how to fight while on the march? And how do we neutralise the Big Lie machine keeping the global kakistocracy afloat? The answers to these questions will determine the fate of the planet. If we fail, the world may end as a result of something truly grotesque and vastly inglorious, done in by the evil spell of imperialist propaganda. Does it get any more absurd than that? —P. Greanville

This article was originally published on Greanville Post.

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