From Jesse's Café Américain:
While there are always a certain small portion of the population who have the sorts of destructive bent as described here, normally society acts to restrain them and their more vile impulses.
However, from time to time, the small percentage can gain enough power through ruthlessness and deception to foster an atmosphere that not only tolerates their excesses, but actually holds them up as an example for the young as well.
I think some of this is the winner's curse. A society that enjoys a long period of prosperity begins to think of itself as exceptional. They become so enchanted with who they think they are, that they just simply forget their own past, and begin to believe in myths and illusions. And human memory and education being what they are, they fall victim to the frauds and deceptions that have plagued them in the past.
Conversely, a society that has been through a series of terrible ordeals can often become simply desperate, almost bestial. They make take a similar path but much more cynically. It is not that they are deluded, they simply do not care.
When the power of greed in business finds a suitable match in the lust for power in the political arena, that partnership can seem almost unstoppable for quite some time. It becomes increasingly difficult to effect reform from within because so many of the more effective elements of society become corrupted and cynical to the point of apathy.
In a word, the governance of society becomes an organized hypocrisy engaged in systematic destruction, of not only others but also of society itself, especially as the others either resist more effectively or collapse from sheer exhaustion.
As I have mentioned before, in discussing this with some older fellows who have a bit of a broader personal perspective, and in reading deeply in history and its cycles, it seems as though the West entered into such a cycle, in the 1980's. It is merely reaching its full flower today.
The consequences on society as a whole, if history is any guide, will be profound, even moreso than we have seen so far....MORE