Many are dismayed that the American military and intelligence complex has gone woke.
“White supremacy” brainwashing at West Point, “white rage” handwringing by the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “cisgender millennial” CIA agents with anxiety disorders, and a “rainbow bullets” recruiting ad from the United States Marine Corps.
What happened to good old freedom and democracy? When did the American ideology switch from Uncle Sam to Drag Queen Story Hours?
There’s no need for dismay. Nothing has really changed. In the end, all ideology is interoperable. Apple pie, “Over There,” Rolling Thunder, shock and awe—there is no difference between these statist slogans and the seventy-two genders on Facebook. Ideology is ideology is ideology. The state will co-opt whatever will convince the greatest number of people to keep paying taxes and, when necessary, to die to protect the statists in their “undisclosed locations.”
There is no particularly American ideology, after all. The state takes whatever is available and twists it into a justification for its ongoing existence. Rainbow flags are not a replacement for the red, white, and blue. For the state, all emblems are, fundamentally, the same. All ideology can be switched out for all other ideology. Ideology is interoperable.
Austrians know perfectly well that the state is parasitic on the economy. The same logic applies in all other areas of human existence. The state appropriates everything it touches. The state renders the various aspects of a society in ways that maximize the state’s power. Even that which is not ideology—family, religion, human dignity, bare life—the state takes up and regulates as though it had standing in even the most intimate areas of human existence.
The officially atheistic Chinese Communist Party, for example, arrogates to itself the right to appoint Catholic bishops and to approve (or deny) the transmigration of the soul of the Dalai Lama. This is not at all strange. The state ideologizes all things. It takes whatever exists under its sway and builds a bureaucratic Faraday cage around it. No outside force can affect what the state has taken over. The state uses all things for statism, even metempsychosis and apostolic succession.
The Chinese Communist Party persecutes religious believers, but it will go to war to prevent outside states from attenuating its Buddhist and Christian prerogatives. Ideology is its own justification. Power knows no contradictions, only threats and subjugation.
States not always had this power, although they have always had this tendency. In the distant past, culture was prior to the state. A thousand years ago, only a mad tyrant would have dreamed of imposing “gay marriage” by fiat. And even then, nobody would have heeded him.
In the United States, too, cultural norms and civilizational expectations (including respect for hard work and private property, civic responsibility, and delayed gratification) lay outside the reach of the state. Personal freedom was the norm. Thomas Jefferson would have burned his vax pass with glee.
It was the rise of the nation-state and the “iron cage” of absolutist bureaucracy that turned human beings into subjects of pure ideology. In today’s America, ideology rules. Entrepreneurs serve Leviathan: Google’s contracts with the federal government are the Panopticon multiplied by Plato’s Republic. Entertainers are co-opted, too: Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga tweet traffic information for the Los Angeles Police Department.
Newspapers offer themselves like prostitutes to politicians: a “journalist” named Franklin Foer sent a draft of his “news story” to Fusion GPS so the Clinton team could edit it for him before publication. The state has captured a myriad of other “journalists,” too.
Ancient civilizations now belong to the statists as well. The Supreme Court recently expanded the government’s control over Native American tribes. There is nothing, after all, outside the state. Ideology and the state go together. They are, in fact, the same thing.
When I was young, I learned that George Washington could not tell a lie. Now I am old, and I am learning that Anthony Fauci cannot tell a lie, either. Tearing down Washington’s statues is how the American state survives today. Yesterday’s heroes are tomorrow’s scapegoats. There is a Black Lives Matter Plaza in the nation’s capital, where once paraded the Ku Klux Klan. All ideologies the state will ingest. In-Q-Tel, Mockingbird.
I fully expect that by the end of my life there will be a military guard standing watch outside the Tomb of the Unknown Stonewall Rioter. The head of the Department of Drag Queen Affairs will lay an absolutely fabulous wreath there. The state feeds on all cultural movements, without exception.
Even the pro-life movement, I’m very sorry to say, has been taken over by the state to a large degree. Roe vs. Wade was how the state captured the emerging zeitgeist and made itself the center of questions about children in the womb (thereby turning even gestation into part of the statist oeuvre).
Dobbs vs. Jackson was how the state wrested back control of a debate that was threatening to go beyond the bounds of statist oversight. Nothing substantial changes post-Dobbs. As before, Americans are going to be fighting about abortion as a political problem. We will now be “voting” about whether the taking of innocent life is legal.
So it shall be forever. Statists condemn to the gallows. Statists wave their hands in magnanimous pardon. Prisoners seek clemency from governors. Everyone knows who runs the show.
Christ alone did not flatter Pilate. Pilate, flummoxed, washed his hands of the matter. ‘He who will not beg for my mercy is no concern of mine.’ All else is ideology. The state has taken everything and made it its own.
Even Antifa reflects the state’s power back to itself. “Anarchists” with black flags and pink hair firebomb federal court buildings and take over police precincts. What better reminder could there be of who is really in control of things? Like pilgrims around the Kaaba, Antifa circle the source and focus of their existence.
The state feeds on Antifa, in truth. It makes even so-called revolutionaries instruments of its survival. “Defund the police” campaigns look more than a little silly in the shadow of a base system spanning the globe and a military fomenting and funding wars on an ongoing, planetary basis.
This is what the state does and is. Rainbow flag, black flag, Old Glory—the state is draped in all symbols, it wears all badges, it owns all measures of resistance. This is what they mean by “Be all that you can be.”
In ten years, I wager half the current Antifa crop will be working for the CIA. That’s where the real anti-civilizational work gets done. Why piddle with Molotov cocktails when you can drone-strike Yemeni peasants?
Hippies became yuppies. Rome became Christian. Ramzan Kadyrov is Putin’s Hessian now. Many stranger things have happened. And will in the future. Because all ideology is interoperable. The state takes all of human life and makes it into raw material for endless statist expansion.