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The Trump Verdict Is Actually Existing ‘Post-Liberalism’

State of the Union: We don’t live in a system where public opinion matters anymore. Understanding that reality will be a start.
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This isn’t another lament on the Trump verdict or the state of political persecution in the republic; for that you can read Dan McCarthy in these pages, or none other than the former federal prosecutor Elie Honig in the pages of New Yorker. The most obviously correct opinion on the verdict is that no one really knows where this will end. We are once again in the middle of the forces of history, over which we have no control. Political vengeance has a spiraling momentum of its own. 

What does matter is the recognition that we don’t live in a system where public opinion matters much either way. Consider mass migration, or the death penalty, or law and order. The ruling class in the Anglosphere is totally detached from the commons on all these issues, and yet they claim to defend “democracy” as they persecute the presumptive candidate of a rival political party. 


Recent research on a simple topic further demonstrates that. In a paper published in Policy Exchange in the UK, it was shown that the majority of Brits are opposed to racial quotas in jobs and academia. The paper states:

50% of people agree that businesses have become too concerned with taking political positions on contested issues. Only 14% disagree. 75% of people believe that companies should prioritise hiring on merit, regardless of race or gender, rather than hiring to create a diverse team. 61% of people would rather work for a company that is “passionately committed to delivering excellent customer service” while only 28% of people would choose a company that would “always prioritise creating a diverse and inclusive space for everyone.”

If one thinks this finding cannot be replicated in the U.S., here is another recent paper from the American Manhattan Institute: “On average (across several versions of an affirmative action question), seven in 10 Americans said that they opposed race-based admissions in higher education.”

The question to ask is this: Why does no right-wing party in either country make it a law to make any and all form of racial quotas illegal? It’s an easy political win; around 70 percent of people in both the UK and the U.S. support this policy. The answer is that it doesn’t matter what the people want here, just as it doesn’t matter on immigration or crime. Social revolution remains a top-down phenomenon, and will continue to be, unless the elite is replaced by a counter-elite. The silent majority, unfortunately, doesn’t matter much. 

To think that there’s a semblance of democracy in the Anglosphere would be similar to believing that the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea is democratic, or that the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere was actually built to foster economic prosperity. The reality is that we live under an ideological edifice. It has all the trappings of a system that existed in some workable form once, but now just continues the rituals as the real power operates beyond the reach of democratic reforms. 


This is not a conspiracy theory. On the contrary, there’s a simple logic to it. Any democratic system ultimately requires and demands accountability and punitive correction. Without either, democracy cannot exist. Liberalism is at its core a system without any serious punishment, where debate is more important than retribution. Liberal democracy is thus paradoxical. 

These are not original observations. Rumors of a dead meritocratic consensus are abound in essentially most right-wing circles in the Euro-Atlantic. We are, in some measure, living in a neo-feudal era. Economic power is increasingly concentrated in a few great houses (or perhaps companies). The youth do not have the opportunity to marry or have family early, much less to buy property (and to protect it). Free speech and institutional neutrality are functionally dead or dying in most elite circles. Court-scribery and dogma is replacing journalism, science, law, and truth. 

Some lament it. Some argue that it is a positive development towards their own goals for a post-democratic future. Some argue that it was structurally inevitable, as liberal democracy itself was a short experiment dependent on the very specific socio-economic, technological, and demographic reality that existed for around 200 years, and that it was bound to change with the alteration of any and all of those variables—it never was supposed to be the end state of human affairs. 

Tempora mutantur. Evidence such as above, from both sides of the Atlantic, only provide more case studies to corroborate the central thesis. Polls such as those cited above do nothing but demonstrate the impotence of the concept of public opinion.

Either way, a reckoning with reality is always the first step towards an eventual reaction.