Guest Post: The Grand Narrative: Legitimize The Authoritarian State

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

As the status quo crumbles, the state responds in the only way it knows: expand control and become increasingly authoritarian.

The Grand Narrative of the 21st century is the legitimization of the authoritarian state. The authoritarian state comes in many ideological flavors, but retains the commonalities of central control. It may label the system it controls communist, socialist or capitalist, but these distinctions are semantic: the authoritarian state controls the system, by one means or another.

Regardless of which version of the 9/11 story you believe or disbelieve, the reality is the same: the U.S. is engaged in an Orwellian global war without end, a war that doesn't just justify monitoring every communication on the planet but actively requires monitoring every communication on the the planet.

The Federal Reserve has extended its control of the U.S. economy, transforming it into a wealth-skimming machine for the top 1/10th of 1% with access to the Fed's credit creation. The Fed claims independence from the U.S. government, but this is also merely semantics: the Fed and U.S. Treasury are simply two facets of the authoritarian state.

We see the same narrative playing out around the world. In socialist France, the central state is extending its control over what little of the economy is still quasi-private; in nominally communist China, any weakening of the economy that can't be papered over with bogus statistics is soon followed by nationalist propaganda hyping one red-button issue or another (Senkaku Islands, etc.) to distract the populace from the increasingly fragile "recovery" in China's asset-bubble-dependent economy.

As the status quo crumbles, the state responds in the only way it knows: expand control and become increasingly authoritarian. This is of course a key dynamic in why things are falling apart: increasing central control only further distorts the mechanisms in the economy that seek equilibrium by self-correcting means.

Why is the authoritarian state illegitimate? Among the many reasons, we can start with three: the authoritarian state is the enemy, always and in all places, of individual liberty and free expression/the free press, and the authoritarian state is intrinsically a failed state, for the mechanisms of centralization and authoritarian control are ontologically destabilizing, regardless of the ideological flavor of the system the state controls.

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Fri, 10/25/2013 - 11:16 | 4090120 VD
VD's picture

excellent post.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 11:27 | 4090158 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Hayek approves.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:03 | 4090262 CH1
CH1's picture

More people are waking up... just too slowly for our liking.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:23 | 4090337 somecallmetimmah
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Vladimir Ulyanov reads OfTwoMinds, too.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 13:05 | 4090503 Anusocracy
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Travel mentally back into our hunter-gatherer past. If a tribe was experiencing a severe shortage of food and tribe members were starving to death, it was the alpha-male and other physically strong males that survived at the expense of lower males. Their offspring also survived at the expense of the lower males' offspring.

Travel forward to our time. That has not changed, only now it's done through government. The modern alphas can commandeer whatever they want 'in an emergency', only now it's done with laws backed by the police or military, not by tooth and claw. Who has access to massive long duration bomb shelters? Who is going to get full access (as in Mao's famine) to dwindling food stocks? Rationed medicine?

Anyone who supports government is supporting the behaviors of savages from our distant past. That is the major problem in the world today.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 13:27 | 4090565 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

The trouble I have with this post is that an Authoritarian state has always existed throughout the 20th into the 21st Century. Their reach is getting stronger. The status quo is not failing, it is becoming more extensive and more intrusive.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 14:35 | 4090885 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Just bear in mind that entropy never sleeps.

Sat, 10/26/2013 - 05:45 | 4092611 lewy14
lewy14's picture

Capabilities are expanding to fulfill aspirations.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 13:12 | 4090526 Paveway IV
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Obedience levels are dropping. did a survey that showed 16% of the peons commanded to have to have their own insurance or Obamacare by Jan 1st do not plan on getting any, despite the disobedience fine. That fine is 1% of income, 2% in 2015 and 2.5% thereafter. Plus the eventual placement on various government blacklists until you comply.

You know they're going to keep linking stuff to Obamacare compliance. Want to fly somewhere? Sorry. Work for the government? Nope. Sign your kid up for school? Forget it. Use the internet? Sorry - you're personal responsibility index is too low to get a license. Family of a deceased homeless vet trying to get his final 'reward': burial in a national cemetary and a simple headstone? Beat it - we don't bury traitors here, ma'am. He's on our fed LIST, and I'll prove it once the web site starts working.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 11:29 | 4090167 TrumpXVI
TrumpXVI's picture

Yup. Nice synopsis, CHS.

I like it!

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 11:59 | 4090247 CH1
CH1's picture

Stop obeying and the insanity crumbles.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:59 | 4090483 somecallmetimmah
somecallmetimmah's picture

'Start obeying'.  Got it.  No wait, stop obeyi?....  What are we supposed to do again?

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 13:24 | 4090561 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

I think he meant we have to start stop not dis-obeying.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 13:53 | 4090702 Imminent Crucible
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Compliance is the first rule of the sheep pen. On the other hand, the gate is always standing open.

Inevitably, lots of frightened sheep will bleat "You're nuts! You can't escape sheepdom. There's property taxes, gasoline taxes, capital gains taxes...." on and on.

The gate stands open. There is no law that requires you to own real property. I don't object much to gasoline taxes because those roads, I didn't build that--but there's always bicycles and hoofing it.

Capital gains? You probably won't have to worry about those.  Really, it's not as hard as it looks.  All MSM media is propaganda designed to make you feel like you must submit; to Edward Bernays, to Wall Street, to His Lordship Obama the HalfHonky.  If you have minor children, all the more so. I understand that.  Mine are grown.

The sheep pen gate stands open.  It's just very, very scary taking responsibility for yourself.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 11:59 | 4090252 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

The state derives its power from the consent of the governed. However, when the a majority of the governed derive their sustenance from the state, it becomes easy for the state to manufacture whatever consent it wishes.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:50 | 4090441 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

I appreciate your posts enough to finally look up Alaric the Balth - your psued is as cool as your thoughtful posts.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 19:18 | 4091214 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

Thank you NFP!

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 11:32 | 4090173 mr1963
mr1963's picture

Blah, blah, blah, he's preaching to the choir

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 11:59 | 4090251 CH1
CH1's picture

It was decent preaching.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:36 | 4090386 Deo vindice
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Sometimes the choir needs reassuring.

Sometimes the choir needs convincing

Sometimes the choir needs converting.

Sometimes you need to preach to the choir.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 13:56 | 4090711 Imminent Crucible
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...and then there's the fact that the choir are the only ones who will listen to your preaching.  Ever tried preaching voluntary poverty to a Wall Street banker?

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:12 | 4090294 SubjectivObject
SubjectivObject's picture

The repetitive message of the status quo outside ZeroHedge must drive you absolutley freaking nuts.  Poor dear.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 13:00 | 4090486 somecallmetimmah
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Get back in line, turd-factory.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 11:33 | 4090181 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

"Old George Orwell got it backward. Big Brother isn't watching. He's singing and dancing. He's pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother's holding your attention every moment you're awake. He's making sure you're always distracted. He's making sure you're fully absorbed... and this being fed, it's worse than being watched. With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what's in your mind. With everyone's imagination atrophied, no one will ever be a threat to the world." - Chuck Palahniuk

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 11:42 | 4090198 Acet
Acet's picture

Pan et circusen


Bread and circus: it never changes.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:27 | 4090356 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

Jesus, do I have correct spelling and grammar around here in Latin, too?

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:52 | 4090451 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture


Fri, 10/25/2013 - 13:02 | 4090495 somecallmetimmah
somecallmetimmah's picture

"Sieze" Mars.  It's easy to remember: 'e' before 'i', except before 'z', unless followed by another 'e'.

No wait.  You were right.

Sat, 10/26/2013 - 11:49 | 4093206 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

Heh. Good one.

Anyways it's "Panem et circenses" morons.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 13:31 | 4090592 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

I think "" is catchier than "bread and circuses" 

Circuses are soo 20th century

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 11:49 | 4090192 Ghordius
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don't know. yet I'm a bit bored by this "my country is going in this direction, this must mean the whole world is going there, too" narrative

take China. I remember when it was fully Communist. now it's nominally Communist. a huge improvement in economic liberties for over one point three frigging billion persons. they are even allowed trade and hold gold, dammit, something that it was forbidden to the American public from 1933 to 1974

Grand Narrative? I'd say Narrow Narrative

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:02 | 4090260 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  Grand Narrative? I'd say Narrow Narrative

Agree (somewhat).    The Chinese were only Commies because that was the only way to flush the foreigners from their country.    When that was finished, they reverted back to the natural human economic system of facsism.

The US is simply transitioning to the same system.   The semi-autistic Libertarians think it's a recent transition, but it started a few minutes after the country was founded.   

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:30 | 4090365 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

I want freedom. Is that confusing?

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:41 | 4090397 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re: I want freedom. Is that confusing?

Yes.   Especially if the "Conservative" (CINO) or Liberal or "Libertarian" (LINO) or "Progressive" you are discussing "freedom" with doesn't have a brain configuration that comprehends YOUR concept of freedom.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 13:13 | 4090530 somecallmetimmah
somecallmetimmah's picture

Hey, who farted?

Sat, 10/26/2013 - 11:51 | 4093209 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

I don't remember saying anything about Conservative, Liberal or any other label you wish to assassinate.

F-r-e-e-d-o-m. It's good. Try learning about it.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:06 | 4090273 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

If there's a rule that could be truly universal, it's this: Things change.

If there is one trait that is the most important for survival: Adaptation

The rest I find are just mildly amusing distractions of the ignorant clinging on to the ethos of their guilds and traditions. I was one of those annoying brits on Compuserve in the early days of the internet making comments to Americans about their police state, MIC, and blind faith in the fascists that ran things in big finance. Commie limey faggot was the usual reply. These days, many Americans are much more astute and lucid about their own leaders. Things change.

Sat, 10/26/2013 - 04:06 | 4092543 Magically Delicious
Magically Delicious's picture

I was probably one of them back in the early-aughts.  My apologies.  We've all learned a lot...

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:56 | 4090471 highly debtful
highly debtful's picture

It is indeed dangerous to look at things exclusively through western eyes. I honestly thought I would never live to see the day that I would fundamentally question our own moral and societal standards, i.e. the standards of the US and the EU, yet here I am, starting to think that perhaps other nations would be better at guiding the world through the 21st century. I am slowly getting this eery "untergang des Abendlandes"-feeling.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 14:45 | 4090913 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Tell ya' what. Name a country that gives allodial land deeds and allows gun ownership, and I'll buy a one-way ticket.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 16:21 | 4091272 highly debtful
highly debtful's picture


Sat, 10/26/2013 - 04:14 | 4092548 Magically Delicious
Magically Delicious's picture

Would you prefer states with government-sanctioned gun ownership, or states where gun ownership is more of a defensive necessity?  It seems that the latter predominates outside of North America and Scandinavia.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:13 | 4090296 socalbeach
socalbeach's picture

<- Arabs / Muslims carried out 9-11

<- Arabs / Muslims were framed


"Regardless of which version of the 9/11 story you believe or disbelieve..."

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:20 | 4090326 SubjectivObject
SubjectivObject's picture

<-Arab muslims carried out 9-11 and were framed.

<-Arab muslims were framed into carrying out 9-11

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 13:33 | 4090599 Trampy
Trampy's picture

Cheney and Rumsfeld led a stealth coup on 9/11/01 supported by Mossad and rogue elements of our own goverment.

NSA spying on entire world had already been put in place to identify and then assasinate or incarcerate any potential whistleblowers.

Senator Paul Wellstone and many others of lesser rank, like Barry Jennings, were blatantly murdered to silence them permanently. 

The "19 Muslims armed with boxcutters" myth is of the "you can't make this stuff up" variety to prove just how stupid people are; many of the 19 are known to be alive and unmolested, so they can't even be called patsies.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 13:59 | 4090721 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Where was Cheney on 9/11? Where was Bush? Who was giving orders from the White House on 9/11? It wasn't Bush who Cheney had go to Omaha.

What company benefited the most from post 9/11 military actions? Cheney's 'prior' employer.

...add more shit and simmer.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 14:02 | 4090736 somecallmetimmah
somecallmetimmah's picture

I know. It's like how JFK wasn't asassinated by a text-book communist loon straight out of the progressive playbook, was he?  He was, in fact, assassinated by the collective hostility of sick American culture.

Extreme right-wing, racist, republican, conservative culture.  The republican party assassinated JFK.

Case closed.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 15:08 | 4090920 Overfed
Overfed's picture

I junked you for the Red Team/Blue team bullshit. JFK was assassinated for, among other things, his talk of eliminating the Fed and his opposition to moar war.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 15:47 | 4091159 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture

As did I.

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 12:32 | 4090373 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

< Semi-psychotic religious fanatics manipulated by sociopaths carried out 9-11.

< Semi-psychotic religious fanatics talking to their imaginary-friend carried out 9-11.


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