The fall of Afghanistan is a major show of weakness from the Globalist American Empire that will have as strong of an effect domestically as internationally.
Indeed, the intelligentsia class seems to be aware of this as they have begun to refer to Red-State Americans as “American Taliban.” As silly as this comparison may be, it shows they understand on some level the implications of institutional failure at this particular moment in history… It is not the act of withdrawal that is dangerous, but the collapse of order and authority much sooner than anticipated.
Since Trump began his presidential campaign in 2015, the ruling establishment has gradually removed the velvet glove and resorted ever more to the iron fist of overt coercion and hard power. The trouble is our present rulers are scions of what is sometimes called “the new left,” the 20th century movement away from hard power in favor of dominating culture, institutions, and information. This strategy has been so successful for so long, it beggars belief that the establishment wants to reduce the fox strategy it has mastered in favor of a lion approach at which they are unpracticed.
Faced with Trump, all they had to do was play within the letter of their own rules to neutralize him and patiently wait four short years to get him out of office. As it was, the permanent bureaucracy, the courts, the pentagon successfully contained and encysted Trump by sabotaging, disobeying, and getting their own appointed as the president’s personal staff. The GOP leadership successfully co-opted and diverted Trump into squandering his limited political capital on harmless initiatives like tax reforms.
The ruling class had already won easily but they could not help themselves. They had to keep attacking, even if it meant damaging the rules and institutions they relied on to legitimate their power. In retrospect it is clear that they did not understand themselves correctly as a priestly caste built on ceremony and consistency. The rules and processes they began to abandon to increase pressure on Trump were their own best protection. Foolishly, they flung open the gates of their impregnable fortress to give battle on open ground.
Even worse for them, Trump, who was by a nature a New York City centrist in the mold of Giuliani or Bloomberg, was forced to become more like the man they thought he was. Trump was a real-life Jay Gatsby who desperately craved approval and respect from the old money and the power elite. Instead of disarming him with false friendship, they forced him to really rely on his own supporters and by the time of the 2020 election he was drifting towards becoming authentically opposed to the establishment.
In early 2020, the establishment ceased to selectively break their own rules and started to openly wield hard power in the most ostentatious way. They used this direct coercion not to achieve any decisive objective but simply to cow and intimidate the populace with the flimsy pretext of preventing disease. Then came a long summer of astroturfed riots in which entire neighborhoods were burnt to the ground unopposed with the implicit blessing of the state.
The ability of Washington bureaucrats and the corporations joined together to micromanage every aspect of daily life with masks, lockdowns, and controlled chaos was a truly awe-inspiring display of raw strength and even many long-time dissidents were intimidated and demoralized.
The rulers, though, never seemed to understand their power was drawn from a deep well of legitimacy established by 250 years of relative political stability and prosperity, by the Allied victory in WW2, by the defeat of the Soviet Union, by a civic society that followed due process regardless of politics… In reality, they were burning up vast reservoirs of this legitimacy on a great funereal pyre with only vague goals of getting rid of Trump and launching a “Great Reset.” By using all this built-up trust and good will to close down small businesses and force people to wear masks, they were like America in Vietnam clumsily napalming and defoliating endless miles of jungle with great destruction, but no decisive strategic aim.
The trouble with squandering accumulated legitimacy is it takes much more time and effort to earn it than it does to spend it, so competent rulers are slow to burn it up more than they must. When the ruling class holds a gleeful bonfire instead, they have surrendered whatever appearance they had left of holding the Mandate of Heaven.
The disorderly withdrawal from Afghanistan comes at a moment when the old legitimacy is nearly exhausted. Worse, the last 5 years of the elites publicly breaking their own rules have now established multiple disastrous precedents.
From the moment sanctuary cities simply ignored the directives of the US President and from the moment the president’s executive orders were struck down by random federal judges, the power of the federal government itself was severely weakened and a path towards greater local autonomy was opened wide. Somehow, the rulers, never imagined these new precedents could end up benefiting political enemies as they traded temporary benefits for the permanent reduction of their power. At every turn they were willing to damage Trump when it meant damaging the very concept of the presidency and the whole central government along with him.
At the same time, the central bureaucracy has been threatening renewed lockdowns and strict vaccine passports for months now without being able to deliver much more than talk outside of a few of the biggest cities where their control is strongest. If by the normal fall flu season, masks and vaccine passports are not in effect in most places, they will begin to seem weak and full of hot air. In the aftermath of total collapse of order in Afghanistan, it is incumbent on the establishment now to demonstrate they are still firmly in control in the USA. Unfortunately for them, there is now blood in the water and if they cannot fend off the sharks, the sharks will rapidly multiply.
Within days of the Afghan puppet president fleeing the country after his whole army deserted within hours, the governments and courts of conservative states are testing the boundaries as never before using the precedents created by the establishment as their own weapon. For days, the elites have screamed in a fury about the state of Texas deputizing citizens to circumvent the letter of the law. This would not have been such a problem had they not deputized antifas and NGOs to attack citizens without any process or accountability for years now.
This is why even in war, people can agree to some rules…because if you do it, the other guy can do it too. But the present rulers are just that stupid and now they face the price.
The trouble with being a regime that relies on hard power, is you have to be ready and willing to apply hard punishment the moment anyone gets out of line or your authority swiftly ceases to be credible. This is why anyone competent prefers to rule with at least some measure of legitimacy behind them. The Globalist American establishment now finds itself in a tough situation where it must very soon impose tight order by force or else face accelerating decentralization of its empire until it resembles a patchwork Holy Roman Empire with regional elector princes able to do as they wish. It may be in everyone’s interest to retain a polite fiction of a United States even as individual regions mandate face-coverings by secular sharia and have their own borders, citizenship, and passports, but everyone will understand a new reality that can no longer be disguised.
At this moment, the ball is in the court of the rulers as even their anointed puppet struggles to keep up appearances for another day. It’s up to them to explain quickly what makes their puppet here different from the one they had in Afghanistan. It’s up to them to figure out what to do as mass virus welfare programs expire, millions who’ve as of yet been bribed into docility suddenly sent back out into the world. Their move.