Severian picks up on a theme suggested by the Z Man:

Ernst Fränkel, a lawyer in pre-Hitler Germany, called the Nazi regime a “dual state.” There were actually two sets of laws operating simultaneously, he said: The normative, which is your standard black-letter law, and the prerogative, which is the law of the Party apparatus. The second, of course, always outranks the first. It was possible to get real, objective justice in the 3rd Reich — the legendarily efficient German civil service carried on after the Nazi seizure of power just as it did before (this is one of the key supports in the “they all condoned the Holocaust” school of historiography — if principled bureaucrats didn’t resign after Hitler took power, then there were no principled bureaucrats). But if your “justice” crossed any of the Party’s political or cultural imperatives, you’d find yourself on the business end of a visit from the men in the leather trench coats.

The major difference between Berlin 1938 and Washington 2018 is that the District of Columbia has fewer speakers of German.

But if we’re in the same U-boat, what do we do about it?

What happens when the majority of us wake up to the fact that we’re ruled by midgets? As Hobbes said, “The power of the mighty hath no foundation but in the opinion and belief of the people.” What happens when the “opinion and belief” of the people is that we’re really ruled by a few dreadlocked blue-haired nose-ringers and their black-robed peg boys? A king whose knights refuse to ride to battle on his behalf is just a weirdo in fancy clothes. There’s even less majesty to a GS-7 down at the courthouse.

It’s really not going to end well … and Our Betters are doing everything they can to hasten the end.

Of course. They expect to be the only survivors.


  1. Fred Z »

    7 June 2018 · 9:19 pm

    How is this different from the collapse of any other civilization or from the death of any animal at the hands of its parasites?

    Wealth and fatty, bloody flesh attract parasites and always have, and always will, forever and ever amen.

    Me, I’m hoping for some civilizational white blood cells. They’ll probably be crazy like John Brown and cause a civilizational high fever, but …

  2. CGHill »

    7 June 2018 · 9:25 pm

    Never mess with a stream of enraged white cells.

  3. Roger O Green »

    8 June 2018 · 8:58 am

    I watched the first segment of last night’s The Daily Show. Scott Pruitt’s behavior is not only graft-worthy but petty. http://www.cc.com/episodes/6q5or1/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-extended—june-7–2018—regina-king-season-23-ep-23112

  4. McGehee »

    8 June 2018 · 1:27 pm

    I watched the first segment of last night’s The Daily Show.

    The most trusted name in news.

  5. CGHill »

    8 June 2018 · 5:57 pm

    We don’t grumble much about Pruitt here, mostly because now he’s there. (I suspect his tenure will be cut short, though; his value to the agency, if any, will be overwhelmed by consistently bad optics.)

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