Power & Market

The Cathedral Is in Decay

One of Robert Greene’s forty-eight laws of power in his book that goes by that same name is to “create compelling spectacles” as a means of creating the aura of power. One can imagine what this sort of thing looks like. Perhaps we think of movies in which an antagonist commits an act of great terror that helps create an aura of power surrounding his image. 

Unfortunately we don’t actually have to resort to movies in order to witness a deliberative attempt at creating a spectacle in order to construct an image of power. One only has to look at what’s currently going on in DC, as military personnel remain stationed there a week and a half after the inauguration. It’s a military occupation, something that our post–Civil War military typically only does in foreign cities. 

The inauguration came and went, and with no incident. No right-wing riots or acts of terror that we were supposed to beware of. And yet, the rhetoric and actions, regarding these now labeled “domestic terrorists” persists. 

Former CIA director John Brennan has declared who the Biden administration should go after, adding “even libertarians” to the list. An alert for ‘heightened threat’ of a domestic terror attack has recently been issued by the DHS, and persons warned of in this alert include people who are angry about the 2020 election and with the government’s covid-19 restrictions, and those opposed to immigration. And now observe as calls for redditors to be labeled as domestic terrorists will also soon commence. 

All of this is power flex by the deep state and the Left. And what makes this sort of flex seem more legitimate in the eyes of common folks is the manufactured military occupation of Washington, DC. In other words, if the troops are needed, then this problem of right-wing extremism must be a serious issue indeed.

Attempts have been made at pointing out the hypocrisy of these actions: the BLM and Antifa riots of the summer and beyond produced exponentially more damage than the Capitol Hill riot did. The Left for four years claimed Trump was an illegitimate president who stole the 2016 election with help from the Russians. The irony of John Brennan labeling political dissidents terrorists after the CIA armed actual terrorists under his watch. 

All of those points of hypocrisy are factual. However, despite the truth behind the claim of leftist hypocrisy, pointing it all out seems to be falling on deaf ears. And this is no accident. The Left owns popular culture, the corporate press, higher academia, and the deep state, with those last three forming what’s called the Cathedral by writer Curtis Yarvin. Being in possession of all of these entities has allowed the Left to create what seems to be a stranglehold on society. 

But is the hold actually as strong as what it appears? 

Don’t get me wrong, the outlook looks fairly bleak at the moment. Nonconformity being labeled as terrorism is something we only used to read about or watch in movies. People getting deplatformed for questioning the election results or covid-19 restrictions is evident of a heavy-handed State seeking retribution. And unfortunately, things could get even worse; this might just be the start of what we can expect to persist. 

However, consider all that’s going on and think about the people or entities you know that are most in control of themselves and their actions. Do they act in the way the Cathedral is currently acting? Do they become unhinged and feel the need to suppress dissident thought, erase the past, and manipulate language as a way of ridding themselves of their “enemies”?

These are not the actions of people in control of themselves. And they’re certainly not the actions of people who possess a stranglehold upon society. Because the truth is that their grip is slipping, therefore they’re gripping harder, increasing their firmness so as to not lose control altogether. This firmer grip is creating short-term ramifications for those of us on the other end, but the long term ones will be saved for those who are trying so desperately to maintain their hold. 

The hold, though, will not last. 

In the meantime, don’t become demoralized, for that’s what they way want. Demoralization will only help them regain their grip. Instead, look to the cracks in the Cathedral’s foundation. Donald Trump, although no libertarian hero, was a crack, an outsider who was not supposed to attain the highest office. A bunch of reddit users weren’t supposed to outmanipulate Cathedral profiteers—hedge funders deeply tied in with the regulatory state. Look to these as signs of hope, as glimmers of light shining through the dark and seemingly impenetrable walls of the Cathedral. 

Because ingrained within the need for constructing an illusion of power is the projection of an imminent foundational collapse.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. 

Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Become a Member
Mises Institute