Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Mob Assault on Capitol Hill Is Simply Another Entry in the Catalog of American Decline

I would like to be blogging more, but frankly, I'm overwhelmed with just tying to sort through the news to get at least some semblance of the truth. 

Also, my older sister's son has died ---- I just got the news yesterday, of all days ---- so my regular news and blogging routine is a bit messed up right now. 

I should have more posts throughout the day, but either way, don't miss this piece from Michael Lind, at the Tablet, "The Five Crises of the American Regime":

In the past eight months, two Capitol Hills have fallen. Two shocking events symbolize the abdication of authority by America’s ruling class, an abdication that has led to what can be described, not without exaggeration, as the slow-motion disintegration of the United States of America in its present form.

The first occurred on June 8, 2020, when the Seattle police evacuated their East Precinct building in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood. Left-wing rioters stormed the police headquarters and looted it. For 24 days, Seattle’s government allowed would-be revolutionaries to create an anarchist commune, acting out the fantasy of “abolishing the police” embraced by much of the American left as well as liberals who should have known better. This anarchist commune, created in the midst of nationwide protests against the death on May 25 of a Black Minnesotan, George Floyd, in police custody, was the scene of the fatal shootings of two Black men before the police finally shut it down on July 1.

On Jan. 6, 2021, America’s elite abandoned another Capitol Hill to rioters. After President Donald Trump stirred them up in an incendiary address in which he claimed that Joe Biden had stolen the presidency from him, a mob of right-wing radicals broke into the United States Capitol, where the certification of the results of last November’s election results was taking place. Like the leaders of Seattle in June, America’s congressional leaders abandoned their posts and fled. In the ensuing chaos, the Trumpist rioters, mostly men wearing MAGA hats or more exotic outfits, posed for selfies in the well of the House chamber or in the legislative offices they broke into. A police officer killed a female rioter. Three others died as a result of “medical emergencies.” As in Seattle’s Capitol Hill, so in America’s: The forces of legitimate authority and coercive order for a period were nowhere to be seen.

What is the meaning of these dystopian scenes? Many Democrats claim that Republicans are destroying the republic. Many Republicans claim the reverse. They are both correct.

The leaders of both parties have weaponized anarchic mobs against their rivals—the Democrats, by tacitly encouraging and bailing out foundation-funded NGO staffers with secret identities and superhero-style antifa outfits during the tolerated riots of summer 2020, and now the squalid, defeated demagogue Donald Trump, unleashing his own costumed followers on the U.S. Capitol itself. As a rule, comparisons between the United States and Weimar Germany or late republican Rome are misleading, but when rival elite political factions tolerate or encourage mob violence in the streets, the comparisons might be forgiven.

A building can rot from within for a long time, before an earthquake or a fire reveals the depth of its structural decay. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the economic disaster that the subsequent lockdowns have produced, no doubt have influenced the timing of the present crisis of the American regime. But the real cause of the crisis itself, I would argue, is the confluence of five crises: A political crisis, an identity crisis, a social crisis, a demographic crisis, and an economic crisis.

Keep reading.