The Banality of Corruption

 

Hannah Arendt famously coined “the banality of evil” to describe how Germans became inured to injustice and atrocities by gradual then forceful suppression of natural human impulses and reactions.  In the US we are working on establishing the “banality of corruption.”

Federal law enforcement no longer pretends to be honorable, professional, and patriotic.  Political enemies are targeted.  Political allies are protected. Social media is pressured to censor and lie. Outrageous misuses of the judiciary are done openly.  The border is unprotected but we still obediently take off our shoes in security kabuki before boarding a plane.

Congress locks up over trivialities while larger issues are ignored.  Our diplomats and spooks work on DEI guidelines (the word “father” must now be avoided in memos and letters because it may be offensive to the otherly “gendered”) but are too ashamed of Amerika to fight for American interests.  Universities steal from their students and their families to issue increasingly worthless degrees at outrageous prices.  Fact-checkers issue disinformation. Clerics surrender to ideologues who openly hate religion.  Criminals run free, especially if they are illegal aliens.

And no one seems to think there is anything we can do about it.  The world watches while the Biden crime family runs free while their political rival Donald Trump is wrongfully punished in court.  We may be worse than a third-world banana republic because at least those regimes don’t pretend to be principled stewards of a great political heritage.

The Gramscians have won.  Every institution is now severed from and/or openly hostile to our cultural and moral heritage.  As that same thing was only beginning in Weimar, the Soviet puppet faction (the original Antifa) became arrogant and violently crushed competing leftists much the same way that campus nutballs have driven out conventional liberal professors and ideas.  The problem with that strategy is that it made a violent anti-communist group the only viable alternative for a lot of people.

If we do despair of ever fixing and changing sick institutions and a sick society and if elections no longer matter, and if we really are inured to the prevalence of corruption, injustice, and incompetence, I suspect that America will not become a climate-friendly, antiracist nirvana with free healthcare and abundant housing but something quite different.

Helplessness is a precarious mental state.

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    It’s going to get lonely, inside the razor wire perimeter.

    • #1
  2. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Percival (View Comment):

    It’s going to get lonely, inside the razor wire perimeter.

    I suspect that after arrest, you will have lots of company. On the upside, friendships forged in gulags, concentration camps and campus re-education centers can be lasting.

    • #2
  3. Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Old Bathos:

    Federal law enforcement no longer pretends to be honorable, professional, and patriotic.  Political enemies are targeted.  Political allies are protected. Social media is pressured to censor and lie. Outrageous misuses of the judiciary are done openly.  The border is unprotected but we still obediently take off our shoes in security kabuki before boarding a plane.

    Congress locks up over trivialities while larger issues are ignored.  Our diplomats and spooks work on DEI guidelines (the word “father” must now be avoided in memos and letters because it may be offensive to the otherly “gendered”) but are too ashamed of Amerika to fight for American interests.  Universities steal from their students and their families to issue increasingly worthless degrees at outrageous prices.  Fact-checkers issue disinformation. Clerics surrender to ideologues who openly hate religion.  Criminals run free, especially if they are illegal aliens.

    Perhaps a minor point but you left out that professional organizations have turned their licensing from competence to skin color and sexual schemas.

    • #3
  4. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Globalitarian Lower Order Misa… (View Comment):

    Old Bathos:

    Federal law enforcement no longer pretends to be honorable, professional, and patriotic. Political enemies are targeted. Political allies are protected. Social media is pressured to censor and lie. Outrageous misuses of the judiciary are done openly. The border is unprotected but we still obediently take off our shoes in security kabuki before boarding a plane.

    Congress locks up over trivialities while larger issues are ignored. Our diplomats and spooks work on DEI guidelines (the word “father” must now be avoided in memos and letters because it may be offensive to the otherly “gendered”) but are too ashamed of Amerika to fight for American interests. Universities steal from their students and their families to issue increasingly worthless degrees at outrageous prices. Fact-checkers issue disinformation. Clerics surrender to ideologues who openly hate religion. Criminals run free, especially if they are illegal aliens.

    Perhaps a minor point but you left out that professional organizations have turned their licensing from competence to skin color and sexual schemas.

    The weird symbiosis between corruption and incompetence would make for a separate post.  For example, what could be more racist than gutting the quality of inner-city schools so that black kids do not own fundamental skills but become entirely dependent on a racial spoils system for what those skills would have otherwise provided (and much more) and forever dependent on white liberal politicians?  In broader terms, it is not an accident that the Biden administration is staffed by morons.  Idiots will be more loyal to the narrative instead of a system that rewards competence.

    • #4
  5. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    It’s going to get lonely, inside the razor wire perimeter.

    I suspect that after arrest, you will have lots of company. On the upside, friendships forged in gulags, concentration camps and campus re-education centers can be lasting.

    Did someone just propose a Ricochet meet up? 

    • #5
  6. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Globalitarian Lower Order Misa… (View Comment):

    Old Bathos:

    Federal law enforcement no longer pretends to be honorable, professional, and patriotic. Political enemies are targeted. Political allies are protected. Social media is pressured to censor and lie. Outrageous misuses of the judiciary are done openly. The border is unprotected but we still obediently take off our shoes in security kabuki before boarding a plane.

    Congress locks up over trivialities while larger issues are ignored. Our diplomats and spooks work on DEI guidelines (the word “father” must now be avoided in memos and letters because it may be offensive to the otherly “gendered”) but are too ashamed of Amerika to fight for American interests. Universities steal from their students and their families to issue increasingly worthless degrees at outrageous prices. Fact-checkers issue disinformation. Clerics surrender to ideologues who openly hate religion. Criminals run free, especially if they are illegal aliens.

    Perhaps a minor point but you left out that professional organizations have turned their licensing from competence to skin color and sexual schemas.

    The weird symbiosis between corruption and incompetence would make for a separate post. For example, what could be more racist than gutting the quality of inner-city schools so that black kids do not own fundamental skills but become entirely dependent on a racial spoils system for what those skills would have otherwise provided (and much more) and forever dependent on white liberal politicians? In broader terms, it is not an accident that the Biden administration is staffed by morons. Idiots will be more loyal to the narrative instead of a system that rewards competence.

    Black liberal politicians seem to have more than their representative share of those positions.  Just look at Alvin Bragg, Letitia James, Fani Willis…  NYC mayor, Chicago mayor…  DC mayor…

    • #6
  7. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    The big question, I think, is How did this happen?

    The answer, I believe, is because the economic incentives have pulled things that way.

    Which means that even if you take a knife to a number of these corrupt institutions, the disease will still fester.

    (I forget the famous quote about a well-worded question suggesting it’s own answer…)

    So the only solution I see (after taking a knife to said corrupt institutions) is to replace those incentives with their opposites.  A trivial example: Make it was easier to fire a government employee than to hire one; over time it will automatically thin the herd.

    And that’s very much what the Founding Fathers did when they set up the country.  They installed all sorts mechanisms to keep the power of government constrained by the people.  And they did a really good job.  Because most of these corrupt entities are operating outside of the Constitution.

    • #7
  8. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    I will not go to the camps.

    • #8
  9. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Barfly (View Comment):

    I will not go to the camps.

    Well, you’d find a better class of people there…

    • #9
  10. Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    In broader terms, it is not an accident that the Biden administration is staffed by morons.  Idiots will be more loyal to the narrative instead of a system that rewards competence.

    This explains a lot.  I just thought that appearing a dolt was advantageous to putting out an indecipherable message, to hide what you’re really doing.

    • #10
  11. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    It’s going to get lonely, inside the razor wire perimeter.

    I suspect that after arrest, you will have lots of company. On the upside, friendships forged in gulags, concentration camps and campus re-education centers can be lasting.

    Survival is the key. Unfortunately survival is pretty rare in these situations.

    • #11
  12. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Old Bathos: Hannah Arendt famously coined “the banality of evil” to describe how Germans became inured to injustice and atrocities by gradual then forceful suppression of natural human impulses and reactions. 

    My understanding is that she coined that phrase to describe the boring uninteresting bureaucrat Adolf Eichmann.

    Your point still stands, of course.

    • #12
  13. Nefarious Hip Hop Bine Moderator
    Nefarious Hip Hop Bine
    @EKentGolding

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    It’s going to get lonely, inside the razor wire perimeter.

    I suspect that after arrest, you will have lots of company. On the upside, friendships forged in gulags, concentration camps and campus re-education centers can be lasting.

    Did someone just propose a Ricochet meet up?

    @randyweivoda

    • #13
  14. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Hannah Arendt famously coined “the banality of evil” to describe how Germans became inured to injustice and atrocities by gradual then forceful suppression of natural human impulses and reactions.

    My understanding is that she coined that phrase to describe the boring uninteresting bureaucrat Adolf Eichmann.

    Your point still stands, of course.

    I never thought that phrase explained anything, or even described anything other than Eichmann. 

    • #14
  15. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Percival (View Comment):

    It’s going to get lonely, inside the razor wire perimeter.

    Nah …you guys will all be there too.   It’ll be like a meet-up … only permanent and without cocktails.   I just hope we aren’t too sedated to say hi.

    • #15
  16. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Hannah Arendt famously coined “the banality of evil” to describe how Germans became inured to injustice and atrocities by gradual then forceful suppression of natural human impulses and reactions.

    My understanding is that she coined that phrase to describe the boring uninteresting bureaucrat Adolf Eichmann.

    Your point still stands, of course.

    I never thought that phrase explained anything, or even described anything other than Eichmann.

    I think it is a great explanation of the fact that evil is not exotic or unusual.  She understood human nature… 

    • #16
  17. Michael Minnott Member
    Michael Minnott
    @MichaelMinnott

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    The big question, I think, is How did this happen?

    The answer, I believe, is because the economic incentives have pulled things that way.

    Which means that even if you take a knife to a number of these corrupt institutions, the disease will still fester.

    (I forget the famous quote about a well-worded question suggesting it’s own answer…)

    So the only solution I see (after taking a knife to said corrupt institutions) is to replace those incentives with their opposites. A trivial example: Make it was easier to fire a government employee than to hire one; over time it will automatically thin the herd.

    And that’s very much what the Founding Fathers did when they set up the country. They installed all sorts mechanisms to keep the power of government constrained by the people. And they did a really good job. Because most of these corrupt entities are operating outside of the Constitution.

    What happened, IMHO, is that America has experienced a leftist revolution of the plutocrats.  Conservatives like to complain about the “Long March” through our institutions, but that did not actually happen.  It was silver-spoon socialists in America’s plutocratic class who elevated cultural-Marxists into and up through our institutions.  This is an example of real “Political Correctness”, where people are advanced due mostly, or entirely to espousing the correct political opinions.  The purpose was to create the veneer of a supposed grass-roots authenticity.  The fact that these people, once elevated, have crashed and burned (Vice.com, Disney, Bud Lite, etc.) is because there never was any such organic support.  There never was a revolution from the bottom and there was no “Long March”.  It was always a revolution from the top.

    • #17
  18. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Michael Minnott (View Comment):
    What happened, IMHO, is that America has experienced a leftist revolution of the plutocrats.

    You might be right. Certainly one of the keys to our situation is the sudden concentration of wealth in the “tech” companies. I’m not sure that’s all of it – the rise of tech-money-powered leftists is one phenomenon. There was a companion fall in the universities, naturally followed by journalism and government. Maybe the latter couldn’t have happened without tech’s money and information control.

    • #18
  19. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Michael Minnott (View Comment):
    What happened, IMHO, is that America has experienced a leftist revolution of the plutocrats.

    You mean like George Soros and the DAs, or the Pritzger family and the transgender movement?

    Sure there’s some of that.  But I think the original post is more about government agencies.

    • #19
  20. Michael Minnott Member
    Michael Minnott
    @MichaelMinnott

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    Michael Minnott (View Comment):
    What happened, IMHO, is that America has experienced a leftist revolution of the plutocrats.

    You mean like George Soros and the DAs, or the Pritzger family and the transgender movement?

    Sure there’s some of that. But I think the original post is more about government agencies.

    Unfortunately, this is also why the government agencies have been corrupted.  You have two forces at work:

    1) Donors and lobbyists representing our plutocratic class, and with very deep pockets, who tell the politicians which people to put in positions of influence within the alphabet-soup of government agencies.

    2) The implicit (if not explicit) understanding by people in the aforementioned agencies that their post-government employment by our plutocratic class requires spouting the right platitudes (see General Milley’s infamous comments about “white rage”).

    • #20
  21. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    Old Bathos: Helplessness is a precarious mental state.

    The crisis of our time. At least things aren’t totally out of our control.

    • #21
  22. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD
    @DonTillman

    Michael Minnott (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    Michael Minnott (View Comment):
    What happened, IMHO, is that America has experienced a leftist revolution of the plutocrats.

    You mean like George Soros and the DAs, or the Pritzger family and the transgender movement?

    Sure there’s some of that. But I think the original post is more about government agencies.

    Unfortunately, this is also why the government agencies have been corrupted. You have two forces at work:

    1) Donors and lobbyists representing our plutocratic class, and with very deep pockets, who tell the politicians which people to put in positions of influence within the alphabet-soup of government agencies.

    2) The implicit (if not explicit) understanding by people in the aforementioned agencies that their post-government employment by our plutocratic class requires spouting the right platitudes (see General Milley’s infamous comments about “white rage”).

    “Plutocrat” implies specific people, right?  I don’t think that’s enough to explain the breadth and depth of corruption.

    For what we’re seeing you need a “corruption economy” where everybody involved is benefitting financially.

    • #22
  23. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Its always darkest before dawn. I hope we’re in the predawn of a new enlightenment. Pierre Poilievre in Canada, Trump 2.0 in the States, unapologetic crusaders in Italy, and South America. The counter-revolution is taking root internationally. In unexpectedly in some traditionally very socialist societies.

    I am not surprised by the banality of the corruption that has been growing in the west, but in how brazen it has been. I think the media is largely to blame here. Decades of the media’s double standards have given the right ‘battered wife’ syndrome, they cower from the media’s slightest twitch. But has left the socialists believing that they can conduct themselves as impulsively and stupidly as they wish without consequence or examination.

    You can see this on full display in the petulant testimony of Fani Willis. Or how about NYC DA Litita James? How does a career civic politician, who never made more than $200 k per year (in NYC no less) find her self an estimated net worth of $15 million? If these limousine communists ever retire, they should get an investment advice show on CNBC… Look out Jim Cramer! They just need a clown show sound board and to ditch the NPR sex tone of voice.  

    • #23
  24. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Old Bathos: Federal law enforcement no longer pretends to be honorable, professional, and patriotic.  Political enemies are targeted.  Political allies are protected.

    And not one person suggests this may not be the case. A few years ago, at least one or two people would pop up to say, “There’s a few rotten apples, but most agents are honorable men.” No one says this any more. 

    • #24
  25. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Federal law enforcement no longer pretends to be honorable, professional, and patriotic. Political enemies are targeted. Political allies are protected.

    And not one person suggests this may not be the case. A few years ago, at least one or two people would pop up to say, “There’s a few rotten apples, but most agents are honorable men.” No one says this any more.

    I saved this comment that someone made on YouTube a while back:

     

    It’s always worth remembering that the actual saying is “one bad apple spoils the barrel”. It’s supposed to be a metaphor about how if you don’t remove corrupt individuals, they’ll quickly corrupt everyone around them! And yet somehow it’s become a cliche used to downplay concerns about systematic corruption.

    When you find “a few bad apples”, it’s a warning sign that the rest of the apples are rotting too.

    • #25
  26. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    Michael Minnott (View Comment):
    What happened, IMHO, is that America has experienced a leftist revolution of the plutocrats.

    You mean like George Soros and the DAs, or the Pritzger family and the transgender movement?

    Sure there’s some of that. But I think the original post is more about government agencies.

    Those people are just the minions.   Our Deep State (Department of State/CIA/Military Intelligence) is the most powerful regime change and intelligence gathering force that has ever existed and it has taken over the US government and declared war on patriots. 

    • #26
  27. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    Michael Minnott (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    Michael Minnott (View Comment):
    What happened, IMHO, is that America has experienced a leftist revolution of the plutocrats.

    You mean like George Soros and the DAs, or the Pritzger family and the transgender movement?

    Sure there’s some of that. But I think the original post is more about government agencies.

    Unfortunately, this is also why the government agencies have been corrupted. You have two forces at work:

    1) Donors and lobbyists representing our plutocratic class, and with very deep pockets, who tell the politicians which people to put in positions of influence within the alphabet-soup of government agencies.

    2) The implicit (if not explicit) understanding by people in the aforementioned agencies that their post-government employment by our plutocratic class requires spouting the right platitudes (see General Milley’s infamous comments about “white rage”).

    “Plutocrat” implies specific people, right? I don’t think that’s enough to explain the breadth and depth of corruption.

    For what we’re seeing you need a “corruption economy” where everybody involved is benefitting financially.

    Congressional constituent services are a type of corruption that is encouraged by many different types of people at many different levels of wealth and income.   

    • #27
  28. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Congressional constituent services are a type of corruption that is encouraged by many different types of people at many different levels of wealth and income.   

    It is the opposite.

    • #28
  29. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Nefarious Hip Hop Bine (View Comment):

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    It’s going to get lonely, inside the razor wire perimeter.

    I suspect that after arrest, you will have lots of company. On the upside, friendships forged in gulags, concentration camps and campus re-education centers can be lasting.

    Did someone just propose a Ricochet meet up?

    @ randyweivoda

    He needs to get started early and reserve a cell block.  They’re gonna fill up quickly . . .

    • #29
  30. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Stad (View Comment):

    Nefarious Hip Hop Bine (View Comment):

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    It’s going to get lonely, inside the razor wire perimeter.

    I suspect that after arrest, you will have lots of company. On the upside, friendships forged in gulags, concentration camps and campus re-education centers can be lasting.

    Did someone just propose a Ricochet meet up?

    @ randyweivoda

    He needs to get started early and reserve a cell block. They’re gonna fill up quickly . . .

    Laundry duty is gonna be lit!

    • #30
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