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On Hypocracy


In 1789 , in Philadelphia, the aged icon, Ben Franklin , made an ominous prediction.

It’s not quoted too often, understandably.

He said that the – newly drafted – Constitution would assure a modicum of good government , until such time that the corruption of the people brought about its end, producing the only government really suiting it: despotism.

My thought(s): are we there yet?
In 1986, I published a book (Political Economy and Laissez-Faire) in which I showed that the key idylls of western capitalism – laissez-faire, free trade, etc., – were no more than topically relevant ploys to secure the contextual interests of the emergent (wannabe) rulers.

In fact, political economists played a key role in assuring the victory of the manufacturing middle classes, the emergent rulers of the new world: a role they still play, in our time, in dead earnest.

Since then, in later works (such as Breaking With the Enlightenment) I showed that the high-toned sloganeering of the Modernist Revolutions (French, and American : with the litany of liberte, egalite, et. al) was also deceptive , serving only to endow the industrial-commercial elites, with the power that lay, at the time, with the landed aristocracy: against whom they were pitted, in keen struggle.

The liberte idyll was deployed to break the ideological fetters of the ancien regime (such as Canon Law: the Just Price, the Laws against Usury, etc.) that inhibited untrammeled (i.e. , ruthless ) capital accumulation.

The egalite idea was used to establish/justify their own claims to power alongside/against the ruling nobility.

But both notions also served a dual purpose, being double-edged instruments.

These ideas were offered, disingenuously, to the laboring classes and the peasantry: enticing them to believe that they too were to be beneficiaries of such ‘freedoms’ – so they could serve, willingly, as cannon-fodder in the ensuing political struggles.

As they did, unfortunately.
Of course, it was all pure eyewash.

As it was with the US Constitution , preaching that ‘all men are created equal’, which really meant white men (and only men ).

The (Con)founding Fathers might well turn in their graves to see how a later epoch would try to extend this to Other men, and women ( no part of their plan).

And today, where rights – when available at all – are become privileges, we see how easily all such liberties can be suspended , willy-nilly , as/when it suits the same orders.

No mystery, that: unless you live in Shangri-La – that much is simply the nature of the propaganda of power.

To untangle fact from fantasy requires insight into the mechanics of societal domination.

Official ‘social science’ is not designed to teach that.
All this leads to an obvious conclusion, and one that I have made repeatedly, in all my Works.

That all the grandiloquent ‘declarations’ of these revolutions, were tendentious – being context-driven dissimulations only.

One believes it at one’s peril.

And there is real pathos in this.

The oppressed fell for the bait – and labored prodigiously, like the English working class, to invest the manufacturing ‘middle classes’ with political power in the 1820s and 1830’s ; only to have the latter , cannily, deny them the very franchise they had fought for in, 1832, with the Reform Act.

Current mythology has it that it is western capitalism that ‘gave us’ democracy, as a free gift out of its political largesse.


It was the noble English working-class – the Chartist movement – that put universal democracy on the agenda: the US ‘democracy’ – Republic, rather – of 1789, was a sham one, intended only for propertied white, Christian, men.

Toward the last decades of the 19th century, and later, when the new century opened, it was the socialist movement , and the Russian Revolution, that forced hasty concessions from western elites in that direction (by dint of their example: and in fear of similar political movements sprouting at home).

Strikingly, and by way of illustration, women got the vote in the US (1920) , only after Soviet Russia had granted it first, in 1918.

And now, with the collapse of socialism and the USSR, things are reverting back to original form, with white supremacy and rank misogyny right back on the cards.

How the Wheel turns!
In fact, it is the sudden collapse of the USSR that helped the West return, in indecent haste, to its erstwhile roots.

Far from shutting down NATO, e.g., they expanded it : to serve as the master tool of western power, with the clear objective of creating and policing client-state regimes all over the world.

Not to mention grabbing any and all resources they can (Libya, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, et.al) get away with.

And they’ve gotten away with it, and much else, for centuries.

In a way , they are, easily, without any risk of hyperbole, and verifiably, the most daringly successful pirates in human history (geniuses, also, at instituting , and glorifying, the canons of ‘international law’ : for Others).

Full spectrum domination, that’s the Anglo-Norman norm today: as it was, a century ago.

That is what we are living through now, with all dissenting nations on their hit-list.

Where do memes like liberte, egalite , and democracy , fit in that Great Game?


Those terms are but tools of legitimation only.

One needs to beware of such limpid chicanery.

As has been well said, if appearance and reality coincided, there’d be no need for science.

The regime we really live under , in these times, is what I have , elsewhere, designated (semi-seriously) as Hypocracy.
It is obvious that, left to its own devices, (the governors of ) ‘western civ.’ will, with absolute certainty, destroy us all.

First, it created the very operational system of economy that has brought the ecological world to near-collapse.

Then – just to ensure the job is well done – it ushered in the nuclear age.

And now – in case we survive the first two depredations – it is also busy trying its best to turn us all into Transhuman zombies.

Think of it all as highly methodical madness: an insanity that is the direct consequence of having lost, over generations, our real anthropic moorings within the stabilising loci of community, kindred, and the co-operative, convivial, ties that bind.

Those who , within the frame of an antiquated materialist philosophy, blame it all on ‘Capitalism’ , have missed the operative causal agency, here , altogether.

It is really Asocial Individualism (AI) – which founds the Amoral Society – that produces the wild , runaway, recklessness we see abounding today.

Iceland is Capitalist, but lacks the distortions of AI, and remains – if, within capitalist bounds – ‘responsible’, and accountable, to community norms: not so, the UK and the US.

It’s a vital difference.

In that sense, the more important precipitants of societal conduct are cultural factors, rather than economic ones.

The latter is, itself, ‘embedded’ in culture.

It is in that singular trait (i.e., AI) that Western Civ is utterly unique: this tenet has not really taken real root anyplace else, despite the fact that adoption of western socio-economic norms moves us all , inevitably, toward that fateful template – which , then, is prelude to catastrophe.
At any rate, we live now in the mature version of this long gestating , institutional, modus.

I call it Hypocracy ( i.e. a system that preaches one philosophy, and practices another).

Rule by a canny combination of cannon, and chicanery , alone (with no regard to traditional means of ‘legitimation’)


Perhaps, Political science just gained a new designation?

If nothing else, possibly Ben Franklin would have felt vindicated.
So , that’s how we arrived at this terrible pass in history.

If we are to find an exit from this highway to hell, it is not by following existing European paradigms, but by breaking with them.

Nature (as far as we can gather from the apparent means of social contentment) did not design us to be insatiable producers and consumers of things.

Our collective salvation lies in rediscovery of our real anthropic essence: which is embedded in the quiescent , co-operative, communal, affective, relationships of care and consideration, not in idylls and practices that glorify the solitary, gratuitously heroic, individual (or ‘national’) ego, engaged in the futile ‘devil take the hindmost’ one-upmanship of a winner-take all race.

That latter is not a human race, at all : but a race to the bottom – of human extinction.

By that latter phrase, I mean something other than is ordinarily understood: that we are destroying, in this dubious struggle, not our species, nor even the planet: but the precious life-blood of our humanity.

Even Hobbes might have been appalled to see his putative ‘state of nature’ – i.e. , the laws of the jungle -reproduced : in society.

So, ask yourself: do you really want your life, and that of your kin and progeny, to be ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short’ (and devoid of empathy, sympathy , and conviviality)?

What will it take to grasp this: yet another mass shooting?

We’ve had 146 already this year: and it’s only April.

Can there a more telling index of the utter failure of our – gratuitously vaunted – ‘ way of life’?

Or is it , actually, rather, an unmistakable ‘way of death’?

Worth mulling?

[© R.Kanth 2023]


Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (A Novel), A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse), and Farewell to Modernism (Political Economy Tract).

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