Pleasure-Dome Police State

“We should expect tyranny to result from democracy, the most savage subjection from an excess of liberty”.

-Plato, Republic, Book VIII, 564 a

This December, as many Americans attended to their rituals of shopping, spectator sports and celebrity voyeurism, the 2012 fiscal year’s National Defense Authorization Act was passed by the U.S. Congress. It has now been signed into law by President Obama. This legislation has attracted some controversy, if characteristically muted, thanks to one of its provisions in particular. The U.S. military will be granted the power to detain citizens on the soil of the Land of the Free for indefinite periods of time. All that’s needed to do away with due process is the suspicion of involvement with “terrorism,” an activity elastically defined[1].

Well-meaning commentators have expressed some shock at the passage of an act that enables martial law and interminable vacations to Guantanamo. America was founded on the concept of inalienable rights! Critics and opponents of the liberal order, however, are in no way surprised at this development, for it was decades in the making. With the NDAA, our policy elites have appropriated a mask of legality to manage the chaos they themselves engineered. The rights once upheld as inalienable were ultimately a fanciful construct, a fiction employed in the service of enlightened government.

As Western democracy evolves and extends its power across the world, its ascendance must be secured and made absolute. Serious resistance abroad and at home will surely be crushed. With hearty approval of the new act, Senator Lindsey Graham remarked that America had now assumed its place as a segment of a much larger battlefield for freedom. Old fairy tales of civic virtue have outlived their usefulness in an age of globalism; the new narrative of universal terror assures us liberty and equality forever. A CIA officer-turned-security consultant explains the need for ubiquitous surveillance and government intrusion into all spheres of life:

If we watch – in the United States, in Germany, Sweden, the U.K. – things are constantly at a low boil and we always need to be on our guard…This can take place just about anywhere.

Terror and tyranny are inevitable byproducts of democracy, the one legitimate form of rule permitted by Washington to the tribes of humanity. Our struggle for the rights of man must by necessity incur some casualties, but such bloodshed waters the tree of liberty. Tabulated (or not) as collateral damage, Pashtun villagers are ripped apart by Hellfire missiles launched by drones so that one day girls from that very community may go to an NGO-run school and learn about voting and contraception. Yet when a Pakistani who has taken U.S. citizenship attempts to blow up Times Square in revenge, no one in America’s political and media establishment seems the least bit curious as to his motives. The entire affair is written off as business as usual in the Open Society–after all, it could have taken place anywhere. This regime is the culmination of liberalism’s logic; it is what U.S. forces patrolling the Hindu Kush and all other corners of the earth defend. We fight them over there to invite them over here, for peace and unity in our world must first be enforced through universal war.

Disney ObeyViolence and dysfunction shall be distributed over every country and clime; Danes and Minnesotans will experience the horror of Somalia’s strife in a most personal and painful manner. To question this sublime experiment or (even worse) to oppose it would be an unpardonable sin against democracy, the creed of our greatness. And what is the secret of democracy, this gospel to liberate and empower all mankind? It is the political expression of our modern faith, self-worship. Just below the rationalistic assertion of rights and equality is the abyss of desire, the wish to ultimately recognize no authority higher than one’s own will made divine. Faith, ethnos and culture must be annihilated by egalitarianism and market forces, thereby giving rise to the New Man. From spiritual disorder springs social anarchy. In the contemporary West, a nation is no longer itself, but a mass of atoms, sovereign in their frenzied quest for profit and pleasure, mere demographic material for the plutocrats’ global Babylon. As surely as the laws of nature, chaos will then necessitate further manipulation and control from above.

It is illustrative that as Congress passed the NDAA to facilitate military incarceration of U.S. citizens, A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas was playing in movie theaters across America[2]. Having built their model society on the primacy of base desire, our master class is also subject to its compulsions. An electronic carnival of cultural sewage is supplied to the proletariat while the elites treat themselves to global conquest, highbrow orgies and financial bailouts. Repressive measures like the Patriot Act and NDAA can be employed to protect the oligarchy should events ever deviate from script. “Rights” serve as a convenient vehicle for the will to power; they are not immutable and can be fabricated or disposed of as circumstances permit. Herein we discover the bankruptcy of humanism: reason works as an eloquent prostitute for passions that would enslave us all. The Pleasure Dome is a police state.

When the democratic principle is exalted beyond the suitable level of local institutions, it flattens all qualitative distinctions between individuals and peoples, leaving destruction, mediocrity and token tasteless amusements in its wake. As the modern West pursues the ideals of liberty and equality to their final outcomes, it draws ever nearer to a nightmarish despotism and dissolution. Immanent universal brotherhood can only be diagnosed as the fever-dream of a diseased imagination, which in its turn is seduced by a malicious deceiving spirit. In Fedor Dostoevsky’s The Possessed, the revolutionary theoretician Shigalev cursorily explains the dialectic of liberation:

Setting out from limitless freedom, I bring about an unlimited despotism.

Tyranny is not democracy’s tragic demise, but the logical consummation of its progress. Only by returning to an organic conception of man and the state, with humility and a record of lessons learned, can we gather strength for renewal and reaction. Life in this fallen world is struggle–toward Transcendence and eternity. Accordingly, politics must be conducted in fidelity to the moral law, whose Author is supra-natural. All power derives from God, and to Him shall it be consecrated.


[1] As a recent Homeland Security video made clear, anyone might be the enemy, most especially men whose ancestors hailed from Europe.

[2] For those fortunate enough not to know of the Harold and Kumar films, suffice it to say that they center around the respective sons of Indian and Chinese immigrants who consume fast food and go on adventures trying to “get high” and “get laid.” Truly, it’s yet another heart-warming way the American Dream has been brought to the silver screen.