In The Republic, Plato laid down the facts about the political cycle. The political cycle begins with the introduction of an aristocracy by a class of educated philosopher-kings, then degrades into timocracy, then degrades into oligarchy, then degrades into democracy, which finally degrades into tyranny. It is at the junction between democracy and tyranny that we find ourselves in Clown World.
By 2020, the enlightened aristocracy is long gone. The timocracy ended with the World Wars. Oligarchy reigned for some decades, perhaps up until the 1990s, and since then we’ve been firmly in democracy. With the intensification of Clown World after the Global Financial Crisis, we’re arguably now in a state of tyranny.
Tyranny is when the rulers work to enrich themselves instead of working to enhance the common good. This state is characterised by an absence of reason among the ruling class. Not being reasonable, the rulers make decisions based on crude lusts and impulses. Usually these relate to gratifying their egos in some way, often at the expense of others.
When the ruling class gratifies their egos at the expense of the common man, the common man comes to feel as if he lives in a Clown World. He can’t find a job that pays enough to buy a house and raise a family, but political discussions in the mainstream media ignore such issues, focusing instead of trivialities. It all seems so callously absurd.
Callous absurdity is the hallmark of tyrannies throughout history, and that’s exactly what Clown World is – a kind of tyranny.
As Plato anticipated in his famous Analogy of the Cave, people who figure out that it’s Clown World are treated with violent contempt by those who think that it’s Normal World. Anyone who has a problem with the current order of things is marginalised. Although the numbers of the marginalised are growing, the Normies are still in control.
The general rule of Clown World politics is that everything is either the opposite of how it should be or a grossly corrupted form of it. Politics may have always been corrupt, but only in Clown World has it reached such a shameless, venal and shallow intensity.
In Clown World, we’re led by the worst of us. The American Presidential Election of 2020 will be contested by two very old men, both of who are very much past it. The challenger, Joe Biden, was the Vice President during the Barack Obama era, and so helped to oversee the destruction of Libya. This unprovoked war led to the murder of Muammar Gaddafi, the deaths of 100,000 Libyans and the reintroduction of slave markets to the Libyan capital – and Biden is painted as the good guy in this election.
In Clown World, politicians no longer have to know what they’re talking about. Obama constantly read from a teleprompter, relying on it so much that if it broke down he didn’t know what to say. Clown World politicians in general are barely better informed than the population they’re ruling over – and are frequently worse informed. They are no longer orators, performing feats of wit and memory. Instead they speak in soundbites aimed at the lizard brain.
Because Clown World politicians don’t work towards the greater good, they have no philosophical grounding, and therefore no principles. As such, they are whores who will jump into bed with whoever’s paying. This has led to some exceptionally strange alliances.
One such strange alliance is the one between fundamentalist religious Muslims and left-wing social justice warriors. The social justice warriors are strong supporters of homosexual rights, but the Muslims are strong supporters of homosexuals being thrown off rooftops. They appear to have allied on the basis of having a common grudge against middle-class white men.
Another strange alliance is between Antifa and the corporate elite. Antifa’s great enemies are the Nazis that supposedly lurk around every corner, and their strongest ideological point of difference relates to immigration. Antifa believe that the working class is international and should not be restricted by borders – but the corporate elite have exactly the same opinion. They love to be able to import cheap labour without restriction.
Yet another strange alliance is between feminists and the so-called transphobic. In Clown World, it’s possible to have your cock and balls chopped off and then play for a woman’s sports team. Many right-wingers are disgusted by trans culture, and in getting accused of transphobia they find themselves on the same side as the devotedly left-wing feminists, who want to keep trans people out of women’s spaces.
Perhaps the weirdest of all is the alliance between the fundamentalist religious who want to ban cannabis and the criminal gangs who currently supply the black market with it in the places where it is illegal. Fundamentalist Abrahamists, in particular, are against cannabis because it is a spiritual sacrament, and here they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the criminal gangs who need it to be illegal to profit from it.
It can be observed, as Plato did so many centuries ago, that democracy leads to widespread bickering and resentment. Eventually this gets so bad that people come to support a tyrant in the hope that unlimited power will make it possible to clean away all the filth. Clown World is at the stage where people might support a charismatic dictator, should one arise. Our political situation is a tinderbox.
Unfortunately there’s no easy solution. A revolution of philosopher-kings seems unlikely owing to the fact that there’s no widespread agreement as to who the philosopher-kings would be. Although Plato described the philosopher-king as being motivated primarily by the love of wisdom, people don’t agree on what constitutes wisdom.
In Clown World, life has become so deeply politicised that every philosophical or scientific question is now divided by political camps. If a person identifies with the left, it can be confidently predicted that they agree with the climate change science but deny the human biodiversity science. If a person identifies with the right, the exact opposite is true. So every question of philosophical wisdom or the nature of reality is corrupted by political influence.
The only solution to the political problems of Clown World might be waiting for it all to collapse.
Politics is now total war, permeating every level of society. No-one can escape the new social justice Inquisition, which scours everyone’s mind for any sign of wrongthinking. Everyone must maintain a state of high alertness and watch over their every word, lest they inadvertently give their political enemies a boost. This anxiety can’t last forever – and it won’t – but it will last as long as Clown World does.
This article is an excerpt from Clown World Chronicles, a book about the insanity of life in the post-Industrial West. This is being compiled by Vince McLeod for an expected release in the middle of 2020.
If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2019 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 and the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 are also available.