Today's Elites

Monday, March 11, 2013

The American Achilles Heel: Mobocracy or The Sorry Illusion of Democracy

How would one, if one were of such a persuasion, compel the neophyte democrat in the brave new world of America to willingly bow down and submit to his superiors just like any good subject to the throne? Well suppose we get up some sort of debonair crooners with the "bad boy" taint about them and have them constantly chased by a mob of screaming teenage boppers. Yes, just the thing. Whom the gods would destroy and all that...

Now this all must be done with the transparent and everlasting appeal to "popularity." That is the gold standard to be wielded with an ever so light of a touch. Let them believe and become enthralled by the illusion of freedom of choice. The gossamer web that binds them without so much as a shrug. "Everybody is doing the locomotion." That's entertainment...

There once was a stage here in the wilderness of our own making upon these American shores where we sold our chartered rights from our betters for the proverbial mess of pottage. And there once was a time when our leading lights, men of letters among them, pondered aloud over how best to break the chains of illusion that manacled our ambulatory American victims headlong toward their own destruction.

Once upon a midnight dreary, Poe wrote that Cooper was the leader of the "quietists" here, in this here American frontier. Now, granted that Cooper did warn against what he named as the "oligarchy" manipulating the crude American rubes. The problem wasn't that there was some fundamental argument between Poe and Cooper...they shared the same enemies. The problem was all about tactics about what was to be done to somehow prick the conscience. How to hold up the mirror to the public in a way that would prevent rank and ruthless characters such as Aaron Burr from manipulating the untutored "cowboys" to forgo their very birthright. Thus was born, for instance, the Bank of Manhattan right under the very nose of that most remarkable patriotic (though island-born) genius (and quondam Burr co-adjudicator) Alexander Hamilton. Aaron Burr, Iagolike, playing upon the naive good faith mentality of Franklin's lightning rod promotion of doing the good, managed to set up a water company in New York that through a loophole in the law that Burr created became the touchstone for all that is deservedly hated today as "Wall Street."

So Cooper edified and forewarned of the brutish methods with a tale of the treachery of the false flag Serenissima Republic of Venice, The Bravo. Poe concentrated for his part on exposing how the ruthless use the antics of the mob to disorder and disease the body politic in his many and varied peculiar tales. Today, unless the reader is "in on" the targets of these very same tales such as Andrew Jackson and Aaron Burr's protege Martin Van Buren (the bane of John Quincy Adams) they fall upon deaf ears as some Gothic and "macabre" relics of popular entertainment's forgotten lore.

Well, dear readers, that is my tale for this good night...And so to sleep.

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