Corporate media must be stoked. After an interminable hiatus, they’ve finally returned to their post as Gatekeeper of Information, the authenticated authoritative source, slow-dripping ballot counts to the unwashed masses. This isn’t like COVID-19, where people can do their own research and run with their own facts. Nope, election results must come through official channels, and MSM is the exclusive intermediary. Who’s gonna challenge their authority? This guy?
Four years ago, I made fun of Silicon Valley people for threatening to secede the Union. Good luck with that, I said. But maybe I was wrong.
Maybe they did secede. Not just Silicon Valley, but the entire technocratic elite. And not only did they secede, they managed to transcend this world and escape into an alternate reality.
That’s not just a figure of speech. Nations and borders are a relic of the past, back when society relied on manufacturing and agriculture. In a knowledge-based economy, physical infrastructure doesn’t matter. Corporations are headquartered in tax havens like Ireland and Bermuda; employees work remotely from wherever they please. With no industrial facilities to protect, borders are irrelevant. In fact, they’re racist.
The media accuses QAnon adherents of participating in an elaborate live-action roleplay, or LARP. But who are the real LARPers? The ruling class is immersed in a storyline where evil Russians want to destroy the world through disinformation, and only the enlightened philosopher kings can save democracy. As a bonus, noose-wielding Nazis lurk behind every corner waiting to terrorize women and minorities. It’s kind of like playing Wolfenstein 3D after smoking a big bowl of crack, which is apparently now legal in Oregon.
At this point, both Biden and Trump supporters are convinced that their team has won. In other third world countries, a disputed election might lead to a coup. But maybe we can have it both ways.
The late and great David Graeber once said of politics:
If you managed to convince everyone on earth that you can breathe under water, it won’t make any difference: if you try it, you will still drown. On the other hand, if you could convince everyone in the entire world that you were King of France, then you would actually be the King of France. (In fact, it would probably work just to convince a substantial portion of the French civil service and military.)
This is the essence of politics. Politics is that dimension of social life in which things really do become true if enough people believe them. The problem is that in order to play the game effectively, one can never acknowledge its essence.
Here’s what happens: Trump and Biden both win. Neither concede. Their supporters retreat to their respective filter bubbles and continue down the rabbit hole. Big Tech supports Team Biden, so social media platforms will unite to purge political dissent. Any skepticism towards Biden’s legitimacy will be condemned as “election denialism” and hate speech. Problematic publishers like the New York Post will be permanently banned.
Trump supporters will seek refuge on Telegram or 4chan and see President Trump as their one true leader in the battle against satanic pedophiles. Media outlets will continue covering Trump’s every word, because it’s good for ratings and Biden is a corpse. Heck, they’ll hold off on reporting election results until 2024, just so they have an excuse to keep covering Trump. Meatspace will still exist, but only as a peripheral tourist destination, a quaint backdrop for TikTok videos and Instagram selfies. National infrastructure will be reclaimed by the earth, shelter-in-place will extend to forever, and nature will heal.