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It’s not Hypocrisy, You’re Just Powerless
A quick Public Service Announcement for Class B
I saw your post on the interweb the other day about that nasty thing Team A did, even though they always completely lose their collective mind with moralistic outrage if Team B (which I understand is your team) even thoughtcrimes about doing something similar. In fact Team A seems to blatantly do things all the time that no one on Team B could ever get away with doing without being universally condemned as the absolute worst sort of immoral criminal/being openly threatened with mob violence/losing their livelihood/having their assets frozen/being rounded up by the state and shipped to a black site somewhere for some extended TLC.
Maybe the latest thing was breaking some very important public health rules, or pillaging and burning down government buildings for fun, or mean tweets, or polluting the planet with a private jet, or using allegedly neutral public institutions against political opponents, or just engaging in a little tax-dodging or corruption while doing, like, a ton of blow in a hotel room with some capital city hookers – I forget the specifics. In fact I forget what country you’re even living in now days.
But I did see that slick video you posted on how just pointing out “imagine if someone on Team B did this!” is all it takes to blow the lid off this glaring hypocrisy, thus totally destroying Team A with facts and logic. I’ve noticed you posting a lot of things like this, which is nice, since they are very witty and produce a pleasant buzz of smug superiority, even though this feeling never lasts very long.
However, I suddenly realized that you may not be in on the joke, so to speak, so I figured I’d write this short PSA to help explain what “hypocrisy” in politics actually is, just in case you didn’t know and had been fooled into seriously trying to benefit Team B with your comparative memes.
You see, it’s possible you are under the misapprehension that you are not supposed to notice what you described as the “double-standard” in acceptable behavior between Team A and Team B. And that you think if you point out this double-standard, you are foiling the other team’s plot and holding them accountable. This might be because, in your mind, you are still in high school debate club, where if you finger your opponent for having violated the evenly-applied rules a neutral arbiter of acceptable behavior will recognize this unfairness and penalize them with demerits.
Except in reality you are not holding Team A accountable, and in fact are notably never able to hold them accountable for anything at all. Even though Team A gets to hold you accountable for everything and anything whenever they want. This is because unfortunately there is no neutral arbiter listening to your whining. In fact, currently the only arbiter is Team A, because Team A has consolidated all the power to decide the rules, and to enforce or not enforce those rules as they see fit.
As some dead American white male once said, “The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” And if you remember there once being a more equal, neutral standard for both teams in the past, that probably wasn’t because either team was nicer back then, or was more constrained by some higher power within or above the system – there was just a more equal balance of power between them, and therefore they could both hold each other accountable by punishing the other if it strayed too far from “the rules” written down on a scrap of paper somewhere.
Today, however, Team A is not operating on remotely the same level as Team B. And your biggest misunderstanding may be that you think Team A doesn’t want Team B to recognize this fact and point it out for the whole world to see. Yes there is a separate-and-not-equal standard for Team A, and this is no accident. Yes there are two different tiers of acceptable behavior; two tiers of justice; two tiers of citizen.
In fact, there is no “Team A” or “Team B,” only Class A and Class B.
And Class A really wants everyone, especially Class B, to understand this, because they think Class B seriously needs to get the message and accept its place in the order of things. Class B is on the bottom, where it belongs. Class A is on top, and a more lenient standard is a privilege reserved for them, by virtue of their natural moral/educational/economic/aesthetic superiority and consequent rightful dominance. If Class B does not enjoy this discipline, they should strive to clean up their dirty, stupid, wicked ways and someday become part of Class A.
Friend, you are not in high school debate club anymore. You are a peasant in feudal Japan, and every day the Samurai get to denigrate, abuse, and rough up your kind as much as they want. But if you ever talk back to a samurai, let alone try to do a little roughing up of your own, you will be beheaded on the spot. And far from being punished for this, the samurai who does it will be praised for doing his duty, since uppity peasants are dangerous and immoral and need to be dealt with at once, before they threaten the established social hierarchy. That samurai is just protecting
democracy the Shogunate. Pointing out the hierarchy of the social order as a peasant will be met only with a nod of approval: “yes, that is how it is, it’s good that now you finally understand.”
“Hypocrisy,” I hope you now see, is simply a display of power, so the more blatant it is the better. Hypocrisy is a concrete demonstration of living without having to fear consequences. And Class A loves it when Class B notices this and whines about it, because complaining about hypocrisy is just another way of saying “Class A is higher status than me,” and “I am the loser.” That’s the joke.
Much like the Great Khan, Class A has decided the greatest happiness in life is to crush its class enemies, see them driven before it, and hear the lamentations of their pundits.
Fundamentally, Class A believes the purpose of power is to reward its friends and punish its enemies. Which is what it does. That way it can keep its enemies down at the same time as it attracts more friends by offering great perks for class membership. And as a controversial Arab thought-leader once said: everyone prefers a strong horse to a weak horse.
If you, Class B serf, do not enjoy this arrangement, your lamentations about hypocrisy will not change it, no matter how loud and shrill. Only taking back control of the levers of power and then using that power to strike the fear of accountability into the hearts of your ruling class will ever be able to do that.