Streetwise Professor

September 5, 2022

Progressive Production of Preference Falsification in Philadelphia

Filed under: History,Military,Politics — cpirrong @ 12:30 pm

I don’t have much to add to all that has been said about Gibbering Joe’s jeremiad against traditional Americans who want to make the country great. The projection. The vicious partisanship in a speech billed as non-political. The excommunication of vast swathes of Americans from polite political society. The bizarre, lurid backdrop. (NB. Claims that you are fighting for the soul of the nation take on a very different meaning when presented in Satanic lighting.) The Marines standing praetorian like behind the would-be emperor. (Thereby emphasizing his threat from earlier in the week to unleash the US military against those who dare challenge his regime.)

The location was particularly disturbing, and sickly ironic. Independence Hall is where the members of the Continental Congress promulgated a Declaration predicated on a belief in natural rights–including the right to resist and replace despotic government:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

You may or may not believe that the current US government has engaged in a “long train of abuses and usurpations” sufficient to justify the people exercising their right “to alter or abolish it,” but if you don’t, make that case on the merits, rather than relying on invocations of F-15s and Marines to assert that might makes right. Independence Hall is also Constitution Hall, of course, and it is also ironic that Biden’s first bill of particulars against MAGA supporters is that they do not recognize a right not explicitly in the Constitution (that to abortion), but that he also declaims repeatedly and viciously and ridiculously against one that is (the right to bear arms). Or that he repeatedly resorts to anti-Constitutional measures (e.g., college loan forgiveness via executive ukase) to advance his agenda.

In other words, Biden adamantly advanced a totalist progressive agenda on the site of the creation of documents (the Declaration and the Constitution) that progressives loathe. (Cf., Woodrow Wilson et al.)

Biden anathematized people who, to the extent they have a common foundational political belief, it is grounded in the Founding on the site of the Founding. He claimed the mantle of the Founders while asserting that the only acceptable political beliefs are progressive (i.e., anti-Founder) ones.

The speech was a shocking one. Arguably the most shocking every delivered by an American president: even many (or course not all) leftists/progressives were disturbed. So why did he give it?

Well, for one thing because he believes it. Or, at least, the forces for whom he is the front man, the skin suit, believe it. (Hey! Obama! We see your lips move!)

That’s neither a necessary nor sufficient condition though: unlike Humpty Dumpty, politicians don’t always say what they mean and mean what they say.

The obvious (though denied) political nature of the speech provides the explanation. Of course it is red meat thrown to his faction/party to energize them for the coming midterms. But I don’t think that’s the main objective here, or the main audience.

Instead, I view his speech as an attempt to induce preference falsification in the mushy middle. People who might otherwise be sympathetic to the anti-progressive cause, but who don’t want to be seen as revolutionaries and knuckle draggers, who don’t want to be ostracized by the anointed who dominate the commanding heights of politics, media, and education. People who are afraid that taking an anti-progressive stand will result in cancelation, social death–or worse (e.g., the tender mercies of the IRS or federal “law enforcement”).

That is, the speech was not intended to persuade anyone: it was intended to intimidate those are not already progressive into acquiescing and submitting.

To work in protecting a regime, preference falsification only requires that people do not oppose it publicly, not that they support it openly. The more people who go along, and remain silent, the more other people will infer that the regime actually has broad support.

To me, therefore, the seemingly over the top nature of Biden’s speech–including the crimson atmospherics and the violent rhetoric–is no accident, comrades. It was a tried and true method widely employed by authoritarian figures and regimes to cow the meek into avoiding outright opposition that if it becomes known, creates a feedback loop that causes the regime to crash.

And I guess that is something of a silver lining peering through the red light. Confident regimes do not resort to such measures. Insecure ones do.

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  1. Just realized…somebody had the same associations before:
    But V meant V…there.

    Comment by Mike — September 5, 2022 @ 2:00 pm

  2. Why don’t you ever comment on the actual right wing violence? The coverage seems one sided.

    Comment by R — September 5, 2022 @ 11:44 pm

  3. @R. Because I focus on reality, not hobgoblins of your imagination. Go to MSNBC for your fix. I’m not in competition with them.

    Comment by cpirrong — September 6, 2022 @ 5:22 pm

  4. I guess Vlad works on the same wavelength.
    Two peas in a pod.

    Comment by philip — September 8, 2022 @ 2:52 pm

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