Well folks, buckle up! It’s going to be one hell of a ride these next four (8?) years. I for one am stocking the pantry with popcorn to munch on while watching the spectacle.
On November 9th, 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte seized control of the French government in a bloodless coup. The French revolutionaries had established a new calendar, and November 9th of that year was the 18th day of the month of Brumaire. The French revolution and Napoleon’s rise now appear to have been manufactured and managed by hidden powers acting behind the scenes. Many of us here believe the same can be said about this election, and Trump’s rise to power, which took place on September 8, 2016 “just happens” to correspond to the 18th of Brumaire according to the revolutionary calendar. (Note all the spook markers on these dates, too: November 9 is written 11/9 or 9/11 if you live outside the US; November 8 is 11/8; Brumaire [meaning fog] was the second month of the revolutionary calendar, so it is 18/2, with the digits summing to 11.)
Karl Marx, also an agent of hidden powers acting as controlled opposition, famously wrote “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon,” which was an analysis of the rise to power of Napoleon’s nephew, Louis-Napoleon, who also seized power in a bloodless coup in 1851.
Marx said that the intention of the essay was to “demonstrate how the class struggle in France created circumstances and relationships that made it possible for a grotesque mediocrity to play a hero’s part.” All I see now in the mainstream media are countless attempts to explain what circumstances and relationships made Trump’s victory possible. (Example from NYT: “Why Trump Won: Working-Class Whites.”)
As with Marx, this is all misdirection: the outcome was manufactured. Not by anonymous circumstances and relationships, but by hidden powers acting behind the scenes. If it wasn’t accomplished by hacked voting machines, it was rigged by a concerted publicity and propaganda campaign that those very same mainstream media outlets helped engineer (while maintaining plausible deniability).
There are two well-known quotations from Marx’s otherwise unreadable essay:
“People make their own history, but they make it not however they want, not under self-selected circumstances, but out of the actual given and transmitted situation. The traditions of all the dead generations burden, like a nightmare, the minds of the living.”
As ever, Marx sought to divert us into nameless, faceless classes and disembodied forces from the past acting on the future. But as usual there is also a nugget of truth here: people do not make their own history however they want, and the situation we find ourselves in was indeed selected and transmitted. Yet the nightmares that burden us cannot be blamed on the dead, or class relations, or disembodied social forces.
The second well-known remark from the essay is that history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Now the question is: what happens the third time around?