Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Apocalypse soon: Notes on Biden, Peter Thiel, René Girard and QAnon

Someone posted some disturbing poll numbers to Marcy Wheeler's Twitter feed. I want to draw your attention to the way one person reacted to these numbers.

In other words, Biden is doing worse than Clinton did in the battlegrounds -- the only elections that matter. Sure, we can argue over polling methodologies all day long. I freely admit that there are polls out there which tell a different story.

Numbers are not what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is this reaction:
Yup, Democrats blew it again by choosing the weakest candidate picked by the elites to do their bidding, corporations won either way, this is the beginning of the fall of Rome.
What did I tell you? WHAT DID I TELL YOU?

What I told you was this: If Biden loses, progressives will insist that mysterious "elites" engineered his victories in the primaries. Progs will never admit that the people who voted for Biden were African Americans.

Don't mis-read me: I am not saying that I dislike Biden. Far from it. And I'm not saying that I think black people voted the wrong way; I'll always be grateful to them for saving us from Bernie goddamned Sanders. For most of my life, I have voted for the same candidates that the majority of black voters preferred.

What I'm saying is this: When progressives wallow in this amorphous, intellectually-lazy talk of "elites," they are engaging in the worst sort of conspira-crap. They should show some actual evidence. If they have none, they should at least toss in a few qualifying phrases -- words like "maybe" or "I suspect." Otherwise, progs are no better than QAnon cultists.

Again: Biden -- like Hillary before him -- won the primaries because he had solid support from black voters. You can't blame a cabal of invisible, nameless, imaginary "elites."

Peter Thiel, Peter Debbins and QAnon. Let me give you a quick rundown of what I've been researching lately. Despite my reputation as a Prophet of Doom, and despite the disturbing poll numbers reprinted above, I've spent the past day or two re-assessing my prediction that Joe Biden will lose.

(Yeah, I know. Maddening, ain't I? You know what Walt Whitman said about contradicting oneself...)

Although I'm still betting that Trump will prevail, my certainty began to wobble when Joe got an endorsement from the notorious neo-Nazi Richard Spencer. It's not a gimmick. Many American fascists really do seem to be over Trump.

The most noteworthy apostate is Peter Thiel, the billionaire libertarian-turned-feudalist who favors the so-called "Dark Enlightenment," a vile new form of fascism which we should discuss in a future post. Even though Thiel has made no secret of his hatred for democracy, the NSA has formed a tight partnership with his company Palantir. If that alliance doesn't keep you awake at nights, you must take a whole lotta Xanax.

Thiel became annoyed with Trump when Trump voided the Iran treaty, which Thiel favored. (Worth noting: Richard Spencer's "Go Joe" tweet was followed by a meesage decrying the idea of war with Iran.)

And that brings us to -- of all people -- Peter Debbins, the accused Russian spy who wormed his way into our national security infrastructure. A couple of posts down, I discussed my seemingly-absurd theory that Debbins might be Q. For about a day, that idea set my mind ablaze; I just couldn't stop thinking about it. Alas, there isn't enough evidence -- yet -- to support this idea. I thus remain unpersuaded by my own theory.

And yet...and yet...

Debbins advocates the use of social media to control the masses, which, you must admit, is a very Q-ish position. This lecture might as well be titled "How to use the internet to become a James Bond supervillain." He recommends Steve Bannon's favorite book, The Fourth Turning -- an ominous work which predicts that an upcoming political calamity will remake (or end) the country.

Debbins also name-drops the French philosopher/historian/anthorpologist/theologian René Girard. As it happens, Girard and Peter Thiel were close friends for a quarter century.

Early on in this lecture, Debbins lets slip that he discovered Girard "six years ago." If I've reconstructed the man's career timeline correctly, Debbins glommed onto Girard during his days in Fort Meade, home of the NSA.

Peter Thiel's Palantir has an extraordinarily close relationship to NSA. It's not at all unlikely that Thiel met Debbins: They travel in the same circles and have similar views. Thiel has an academic side and may have been invited to speak at the Institute of World Politics, which was Debbins' intellectual home. Frankly, Debbins seems like the kind of guy whom Thiel (who is gay) would find attractive. Bottom line: I suspect, but cannot prove, that Thiel is the one who told Debbins: "You really ought to read René Girard."

And that's why I've been giving myself a crash course in Girardism.

Girard himself was a charming, thought-provoking individual. I wish I could have attended his lectures, although he would have been annoyed by my obstinate refusal to buy into his theory of mimesis. In his own writings, Peter Thiel implies that one can use Girard's theories to engineer the kind of cataclysm discussed in The Fourth Turning.

The QAnon project is classic Girard.

Although not himself an anti-Semite, Girard was fascinated by the scapegoating of European Jews. He also focused on the witch trials of the 16th and 17th centuries, and he specifically mentioned the accusations of child molestation and cannibalism. As this humble blog noted in a recent post, QAnon offers an updated version of the accusations previously lodged against witches and Jews. Read Girard's The Scapegoat and think of QAnon: You'll see what I mean.

Girard was also obsessed with the idea of apocalypse.

My current working hypothesis -- which could change at any moment -- is that the QAnon cult was engineered by someone inspired by both Girard and The Fourth Turning. The plan is to use Girard's "scapegoating" theory to bring about a calamity -- a crisis which will allow for the restructuring or the elimination of the United States. The result could be a new feudalism -- the preferred outcome for Dark Enlightenment thinkers.

If my "Theory of QAnon" is correct, then the winner of the 2020 election does not matter. The important thing is to keep the country in a state of ever-increasing tension until the Crisis comes. In neo-fascist circles, this "strategy of tension" is called accelerationism.

Cute fact: Peter Thiel has been accused of experimenting with bizarre methods of life-extension. (Really bizarre.) Q accuses powerful Jews "elites" of using a quasi-mythical substance called adrenochrome to extend life.

Projection is a form of scapegoating.


fred said...

I think Trump is going the 12th Amendment route which will only occur if some states refuse to ratify the vote count. There has to be some pretext for this, some large scale "evidence" of voter fraud. Greg Palast says we are are going to see the 2000 Dade County hijacking repeated only on a much larger scale. Trump has posted his lie about mail-in ballot fraud, an excuse for sending armed militia groups into Democrat strongholds to challenge the legitimacy of votes. Trump and his backers are going to hype his BS narrative against any reasoned criticism, the media and Democrats be damned. Republican violence cannot be ruled out. All he has to do is taint enough votes to declare them unsafe to count. The Republican Governors and Congress members will do the rest. Trump thrives on chaos so this strategy will appeal to him.

Anonymous said...

So you don't believe in "elites," eh? So you don't believe in FEC data either? And you think "megadonors" either don't exist or have only a small effect on legislation and policies? WWSS?*

*("What Would Sheldon Say?")

Joseph Cannon said...

Anon, Biden was selected by the PEOPLE. Primarily black people. If you try to shoehorn the "elite" concept into that process, you will have to mount an argument based on appeals to emotion or diversionary tactics or some other affront to logic. You won't be citing actual evidence. You won't be talking about votes.

In QAnon-speak, the term "elites" translates to "important Democrats" -- for now. Soon, the cultists will drop the petticoat and show what's underneath. And that's when it will be obvious to all that "elites" is just another euphemism for "Jews."

It's classic scapegoating. More than ever, I am convinced that the powers behind QAnon have read Girard, who made scapegoating the centerpiece of his philosophy. The Q folk have stripped away Girard's Christianity and used his theories as a means to destroy liberal democracy.

The more I read Girard, the more convinced I become that he failed to understand the relationship between scapegoating and projection. QAnon is an OUTRAGEOUS exercise in projection.

Much of what Q says about Democratic "elites" more properly applies to the "Dark Enlightenment" schemers who created Q. For example, Alt Rightist politician Mike Saari deserves the "pedophile" label; Bill Clinton does not. Yet Q will never attack someone like Saari.

I'm not saying that Peter Thiel has munched on long pig -- though, given the right circumstances, curiosity might tempt him to have a nibble. But it's an undeniable fact that the "adrenochrome" fantasy fits him better than it fits the Clintons. Thiel, not Hillary Clinton, is a true elitist. He's open about it. The Moldbug/Land/Thiel worldview is nothing BUT elitism.

Joseph Cannon said...

Addendum to the above: I spoke too soon! QAnon's anti-Semitism becomes more open every day, and it got one Republican convention speaker in trouble.


Anonymous said...

Various scholars, foundations, think tanks, etc. are constantly releasing their statistical studies to show that blacks, females, latinx, LGBTQIA's, the disabled, native americans, pacific islanders, etc. are under-represented in virtually every "the good life" category, in the USA, while straight/white/males are grossly over-represented in proportion to the increasingly diverse population. But when anyone points out the often enormous proportional over-representation of Jews in high finance and major-media ownership the charge of antisemitism is leveled by them and their spokespersons immediately, in a powerful and effective drive to "cancel" both the statistical facts and the speaker.

You appear to support this double standard, Joe. Is it because of the inescapable legacy of centuries of pogroms and the 1940s Holocaust that this double standard must never end? Perhaps so.