Praxeology rests on the fundamental axiom that individual human beings act, that is, on the primordial fact that individuals engage in conscious actions toward chosen goals....Furthermore, that a man acts implies that he believes action will make a difference; in other words, that he will prefer the state of affairs resulting from action to that from no action. – Murray N. Rothbard
The aim of the High is to remain where they are. – George Orwell, 1984
The most obvious truths are among those men struggle most desperately to deny.
Like a college fraternity, an elite of whatever variety is an in-group. Those “in” possess privileges, perquisites, and (in the specific case of governments) powers that those “out” do not. He who values those things will compare the requirements for admission and the barriers to entry to his own assets, motivation, and endurance, and decide on that basis whether to “pledge.” Similarly, each of those “in,” should they feel their status threatened by developments, will assess the magnitude of the threat and the difficulties of active resistance, and decide on that basis whether to fight – and how.
Recent revelations, nicely aggregated and summarized here, make it seem incontrovertible that the political elite, a.k.a. “the Establishment,” has been waging a quiet campaign to defeat the Trump Administration before it can get fully into motion.
Scoffers will scoff. They’ll slow-clap and bray “Yeah, yeah, another evil conspiracy.” And because conspiracy and allegations thereof have been systematically ridiculed for so long, they’ll succeed in deflecting some of the attention the timeline in that article would otherwise get. But in point of fact, a conscious, all-pervading conspiracy is not required for the events in the cited article to have their full sinister import.
The individual members of the Beltway Elite, being uniformly motivated by the same considerations and to approximately the same degree, are all too likely to act uniformly in defense of their “in” status.” Given recent events, we may take it as written that that’s exactly what they’ve been doing.
Members of the progressive Hive likewise act on their own instincts and have their own code of communication. They feel free, but they are also predictable. Liberals laugh at conspiracy theories that assume that because there is a pattern there must be some central control; but the fact that there is no central control doesn’t mean that there is no pattern. – Joseph Sobran, “The Hive”
Several categories of actors have participated in the dogpile on the Trump Insurgency and its nominees. The federal officeholders are the most easily understood, as they have careers to preserve. Civil Service employees, though protected by law from dismissal for even the most grievous wrongdoing, will feel a similar impetus toward defense against the interloper and his lieutenants. Slightly less obvious is the central motivation of the media, which has become an open handmaiden of Big Government since the New Deal. Bluntly stated, the more government there is, the more things it involves itself in, and the more “access” reporters can acquire, the more there will be to report. Thus, they will feel much the same survival pressure to collaborate with those resisting the new regime as those more plainly affected – and they will do so whether or not their cooperation is requested.
“Leaks” are the key. In the view of a reporter with “access,” a leak is merely possible material for his next story. While the reporter’s political preferences should not be entirely discounted, it is nevertheless to his practical advantage to use those leaks:
- That will entice the interest of many readers;
- That will enhance his reputation for investigating allegations of wrongdoing;
- That will further ingratiate him with those who’ve granted him “access.”
It is plausible that the highest echelons of the Beltway Elite consciously set out on the path Joel Pollak has delineated. Such persons have great pride. They feel a terrible resentment of those who would undo their handiwork. They’re surely capable of using indirect implication to communicate their preferences to underlings. Some conscious collaboration among lower-level leakers is possible, but once the word has been whispered, it’s hardly required. The motivations that impel their disclosures are much the same as those of the strata above them. The matter passes thence to the media, of which the Left’s conquest is no longer in doubt.
"When we see a lot of framed timbers, different portions of which we know have been gotten out at different times and places, and by different workmen...and when we see those timbers joined together, and see that they exactly make the frame of a house or a mill, all the tenons and mortises exactly fitting, and all the lengths and proportions of the different pieces exactly adapted to their respective places, and not a piece too many or too few...in such a case we find it impossible not to believe that...all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked upon a common plan or draft, drawn up before the first blow was struck."— Abraham Lincoln, deducing from objective evidence the blueprint of a political plot to save the institution of slavery. [From Garet Garrett's essay "The Revolution Was"]
Lincoln’s deductions notwithstanding, sometimes the cause-and-effect pattern we think we see is backwards from what has really occurred. While the bees in a hive don’t possess awareness of what drives their actions, human beings are more completely equipped. Sometimes our “bees” act originally on personal motivations, but later on become aware how their efforts interlock and synergize with the efforts of those around them. The questions that arise then are two:
- “Do we want to keep doing this?”
- “How will we get away with it, now that the pattern is so visible?”
From the evidence, I’d say the media megaphones, the minions of the Deep State, and the more visible members of the political elite, to the extent that each participant has realized what the others are doing and how it interlocks with his own efforts, have answered those questions:
- “By doubling down and never letting up.”
Will Trump and his lieutenants impose penalties upon any of those involved? Perhaps. Indeed, to judge from Rex Tillerson’s purge of the State Department’s 7th floor cabal, the process might already be in motion. However, the federal government is vast. Cleaning house will not be a quick purge. The media, of course, are beyond direct correction; all the new Administration can do is limit their access, thus compelling them to work for what they seek.
We shall see.