Rust on the Iron Pentagon
The presidency is a symbolic office; by forcing Biden into it, an oligarchy that survives by symbol manipulation has made a catastrophic mistake
The Biden administration is proving to be an unmitigated disaster for the American ruling class. Their brazen theft of the election in 2020 was a Pyrrhic victory of the most archetypal variety - they got everything they wanted, and as a direct result, are now losing even what they once had. Tactical success at the cost of strategic defeat.
The problem isn't that Biden himself was a blundering fool even before dementia started to eat his brain, at least not in the sense that President Grampa Simpson is making reliably terrible decisions: we all know that Biden isn't making any decisions. The problem isn't even that Biden's administration is staffed with the talentless cretins, sociopathic social climbers, terminally confused diversity hires, and embarrassing sexual perverts, all of whom are also making terrible decisions: no one believes they're really in charge of anything, either.
It's been obvious for many years now that the American presidency is an essentially symbolic office. Before Trump, it was possible to pretend that wasn't the case - that the President stood astride the world like a Roman emperor, wielding his vast powers with concern for neither Congress nor Constitution, invading countries and violating civil rights through executive orders that carried the crushing weight of imperial decree. Certainly that was the image projected of Bush II, and of Obama.
With Trump, the true nature of American power revealed itself. It was during his presidency that concepts such as the cathedral, the deep state, the oligarchy, started to percolate through the mass consciousness. Power is not held by any one person, but by the Iron Pentagon: the implacable edifice of federal bureaucracies and courts, the oceanic tides of data harnessed by big tech, the mind-shapers of mass media and academia, the vampiric web of Wall Street hedge funds and the Creature From Jekyll Island1, and activist militants of non-governmental organizations. That a brash and vulgar tribune of the plebs had forced his way into the highest office of the land and taken nominal possession of vast and virtually unaccountable powers mattered not a bit: the Iron Pentagon set their wills against him, stymied his every attempt at reform, and prevailed.
If the presidency wields no real power, then why did the oligarchy even care that Trump was in office? The answer is simple: the managerial class maintain their power primarily through symbol manipulation2. They are mesmerists and sorcerers, controlling the populace through spell-binding: arranging carefully curated combinations of truth, omission, and falsehood into narratives that always reinforce the idea that the managerial class are the brightest, best, most talented, and therefore most deserving of power and obedience.
Trump in the Oval Office was a symbolic rejection of the managerial class' rule, and everyone knew it. His serial violation of the sacred pieties of oligarchical culture, and the fact that he had ridden into office on a wave of joy generated precisely by his glib blasphemies, revealed the popular contempt with which Our Values are held by the common American ... and for that matter, the common person in Western countries worldwide, for Trump's rise heralded populist uprisings around the world from Italy to Brazil. His very manner - brusquely confident, even arrogant, yet possessed of the plain-spoken common touch - was quintessentially American in a way that the cosmopolitan globalists of the Iron Pentagon could never be, for their collective identity is an explicit rejection of Americanism. Even the origin of his wealth - real estate, rather than financial speculation - was at odds with the parasitic wealth extraction favoured by the oligarchy.
That could never do. Such a man was a mortal threat to the illusion that the ruling elites presided by popular consent, an illusion maintained not just at the ballot box but in the average person's most basic assumptions about who has merit and who does not. The illusion is a delicate and multi-layered thing, being composed of the illusion of competence, and the illusion that others also perceive that competence. Trump's presence in the White House undermined both.
Thus, the 2020 election theft. But the oligarchy had a problem: despite a large field of candidates, all were despised by the electorate. Villainous masterminds frequently encounter this obstacle in heroic fiction. Intelligent, skilled, and likeable people are generally not the sort who prefer to work as minions for the evil genius; thus, the dark lord, despite being powerful and brilliant in his own right, is forced to rely on incompetents to advance his agenda ... and this often proves his downfall, for the heroes of the story, underdogs though they are, are more than equal to the evil minions.
The oligarchy required candidates who above all would service the oligarchy, who would not stand as a repudiation of the cathedral in any way. Tulsi Gabbard, with her antiwar stance, was right out - the Forever War in the Middle East was too important, and confrontation loomed with Eurasia. Bernie Sanders was also unacceptable - the leeches wanted nothing to do with his economic populism. The only candidates possessed of charisma, intelligence, and principles were unacceptable ... not in spite of those virtues, but precisely because of them. That left the embarrassing manchild Beta O'Rourke, the creepy sociopath Buttigieg, the cackling harpy Kamala, the nagging shrew Warren, and the confused elderly criminal Biden.
The fix was in. As Times magazine put it, the election was fortified, thanks to, in the president-elect's words, the best election fraud organization in history.
The outrage at the next theft was immediate and continued unabated for months, but the oligarchy didn't care what the poors had to say on the matter.
So they replaced Trump, a symbol of the average American's frustration with and contempt for the oligarchy, with Biden as their new symbol.
And what does Biden symbolize?
Naked corruption. Oblivious incompetence. Clueless hypocrisy. Doddering senility.
Worse, having been in Washington for several decades, representing the on-shore tax haven that serves as a byword for corporate malfeasance, Biden symbolizes the establishment.
The managerial class that maintains its power by clever linguistic manipulation chose as its symbolic champion a man who slurs out "Truindenashendubbabapresser!" at the top of his ailing lungs in front of a baffled world.
Symbolic the presidency may be, but there are very real consequences to what a president symbolizes.
Bush II was perceived by the world as a reckless cowboy, as likely to shoot you as to do a shot with you, and his cabinet - Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the like - were seen as dangerous gangsters. No one liked them, but no one particularly wanted to fuck with them, either. Symbolically, this was a pissed off America, a posse riding off in search of cattle-rustling horse thieves. A new sheriff was in town, you'd best get out of the way, and the world got.
Obama was Mr. Hope and Change. Awarded a Nobel Peace Prize the year he assumed office for no other reason than that he stood for a new, post-racial America that was at long last transcending the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and urban crime, Obama was seen as a smooth, charismatic figure motivated by humanitarian compassion ... but who also wasn't above making jokes about predator drones guarding his daughter's honour. In Obama the world saw a man you could talk to, but not a man you wanted to cross. He symbolized an America that would rule with a firm but fair hand.
By putting Biden in office, the oligarchy projects the image that they are past their sell-by date: decadent, decaying, lacking in morals, principles, or talent, no longer sure what year it is or even who his wife is. Even at the height of his personal power (such as it ever was), Biden was always a joke, a glad-handing, insincere, tongue-tied, petty crook who couldn't even run his pissant little scams right. At least the Bush II mafia were men to be feared.
The reaction on the world stage was immediate and severe.
No sooner had Biden been sworn in than the cringe wannabe rock star Blinken met with the Chinese in Alaska. The Chinese did the diplomatic equivalent of slapping their dick on the table and telling Blinken to suck it: America, they said, is no longer in a position to deal with China from a position of strength.
They'd never have dared pull that with Trump; the madman might nuke them out of pique.
Afghanistan's potemkin puppet government collapsed more or less immediately, faster even than America could pull out. What Afghan soldier looked at Biden, and saw an inspiring war leader who would have their back against the iron age barbarism of the Taliban? Safer by far to just switch sides and hand over those billions of dollars of American military hardware.
Then of course there's Russia, who made their move on Ukraine just over a year after Biden assumed office. Since then, the American economy has been slowly collapsing under the weight of the sanctions it imposed on Russia, which by all appearances has shrugged them off; the economies of Western Europe have been crumbling even more rapidly for the same reasons. Diplomatically, countries around the world - China's former enemy India, the usually carefully neutral Thailand - have been aligning themselves with Russia and China, regarding America's threats as so much bluster. Old man yells at clouds.
At home, the American regime has hemorrhaged legitimacy. Rejection of the 2020 election results is essentially universal amongst Republicans, a majority amongst independents, and is doubted by a growing fraction of Democrats. The approval rating of the Biden administration follows a similar partisan breakdown, and for being barely over a year in is moreover one of the lowest, if not the lowest, in history ... and that's despite the cathedral having deployed its full powers of persuasion to insist, to demand, that the election be seen as legitimate, and that Biden be seen as a sagacious and beloved ruler.
Most of the Biden administration's initiatives have collapsed, ranging from vaccine mandates to the disinformation governance board. To a degree that's been thanks to the courts, but it's also thanks to resistance at the state level by Red State governors who know full well that the regime is not perceived as legitimate, that opposing its ham-handed attempts at tyranny will be broadly popular, and that the regime itself lacks the will to enforce its demands.
When Trump was elected, America was deafened by howls of outrage; his inauguration was marred by riots; and the histrionic sputtering only increased in volume as his administration continued.
Biden's inauguration was marked by a stony silence. Since then, the most notable characteristic has been derisive mockery: stadiums full of sports fans chanting Let's Go Brandon.
Totalitarianism can only survive so long as it is feared. When it becomes the butt of scornful jokes, its days are numbered.
It is very difficult to be scared of a foolish old man, and by making him their symbol, the Iron Pentagon has painted itself with an indelible coat of rust.
That's the neither federal nor reserve-holding Federal Reserve, for those who aren't aware of this history of that particular criminal enterprise.