Thank you Mark!

Yes, the election faith question is clearly delineated along the lines you described. I often can't help but wonder whether Trump has been a controlled opposition figure this whole time, although accusations of controlled opposition have become fraught and ubiquitous. Perhaps he was just easily manipulated into acting in ways that fed into setting him up as the perfect boogeyman. But after years of Trump declaring that he would challenge the election results if he lost (starting in 2016), the public was already primed to believe that any future challenge he made to the elections would be considered in bad faith. As a result, any actual vote rigging that might occur against Trump in 2020 would automatically not be considered as a possible factual occurrence in the minds of Trump's opponents, irrespective of evidence.

Of course, the other level of irony here is that Trump's opponents were emotionally manipulated into being so traumatized at the idea that Trump could actually win a nationwide election (again, seemingly aided by Trump, whether intentionally or not), they would also be primed to believe the exact mirror opposite of what Trump claimed (i.e. if Trump won an election, it must be rigged somehow), leading to the credulity of the Russiagate narrative around the 2016 election, while subsequently believing it impossible that the 2020 election could be rigged in the other direction. So we are left with a situation in which both the red and blue tribes are convinced that if their side didn't win, it must be a result of vote-rigging, and if their side didn't win, it's impossible that vote-rigging occurred. In each case, true believers on either side are completely blind to their bias. For myself, I have been suspicious of the integrity of American elections since the Bush Gore debacle of 2020 was covered over by the Supreme Court itself, followed by the introduction of electronic voting machines in 2002, the completely ignored evidence of rigging in Ohio in 2004, and the evidence of vote-rigging efforts against Sanders in both the 2016 and 2020 primaries. The only antidote to this is for citizens on all sides of any election to insist on high transparency and scrutiny of the entire electoral process for all elections, and to demand accountability from the press on this in all instances. I can dream.

One of the clearest examples I saw of this phenomenon of denying election legitimacy if the "wrong" party or candidate is elected was the Hamas victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections. It was clear that Israel would not tolerate a vote result in which the Palestinians elected the "wrong" party, and took military action to reduce the Gaza Strip to a perpetual stage, while arresting leading Hamas members in the West Bank, nullifying their ability to govern, among other actions. Who determines what is "wrong"? As always, the oligarchical military/intelligence establishment.

Yeah, it's likely Fauci really is a psychopath - I was attempting to be generous in the article, since I've been so hard on our tireless public servant in the past. Or maybe I was throwing a concession out there for potential readers who have a hard time imagining that our beloved, trusted leaders might as well be characters out of Game of Thrones. At any rate, it's clear to me that some of these leaders are true psychopaths, and some of them are caught up in a series of self-serving rationalizations powered by an instrumentalist ethos. The upshot is that an instrumentalist ethos will transform one's actions into that of a psychopath even if one would not be a psychopath otherwise.

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Thank you so much for this article. It expresses so well the things that my sarcastic little snippets cannot. For example, I've written about the psychological, personal reasons why people still insist on wearing masks, but your focus on the instrumentalist nature of our government institutions really gets at the heart of the matter.

The election faith issue is a strange one. Back in 2016, we were told by mainstream media that the election wasn't legitimate, because either (1) it was stolen either by some clickbait farmers in St. Petersburg whose $50K spent on stupid Facebook ads somehow overpowered Hillary's $1.5B campaign; or (2) it was stolen by that criminal mastermind Putin, whose elite hacking abilities are unrivaled. Yet somehow, in 2020, the election was totally legitimate, and for some reason, the clickbait farmers and that dastardly Putin didn't even try to influence it.

The best explanation I can come up with is that we are only allowed to express lack of faith in elections if the wrong people get elected.

But who determines what is "wrong"? The same question needs to be asked about Covid mandates and censorship. Who determines what is wrongthink?

One idea I've come across is that bureaucracies and institutions are like living organisms. They have a life of their own and a drive to thrive and grow and increase their power. The people working for those institutions, for the most part, are like cells in a body and are not really running the show. Perhaps only the people at the tops of these organizations really know what's going on and have some influence over the direction of these organizations.

You raised the question of whether people like Fauci are psychopaths. It's hard to tell at this distance. Like the people who run companies in Silicon Valley (where I worked for nearly four decades), he seems to believe that he has god-like powers to change the world for the better. He spent his entire career promoting drugs (including vaccines) in the belief that he can cure all diseases. The obvious failure of these efforts seems obvious to us, yet he persists. Whether or not he's actually a psychopath, his actions sure make it look like he's one.

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Jan 17Liked by Relendra

Well said, thank you. I think those who are willing to look, have been. How should we approach the true believers? I often feel I should apologize beforehand for disillusioning others (like telling a kid Santa isn’t real)… not that they’d believe without their own due diligence — again, if they’re willing to look. After reading this, I came across this article, fits right into the conversation: https://www.madinamerica.com/2023/01/acknowledge-psychiatry-religion/

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Wow Relendra, you've done it again! Absolutely brilliant. Everyone needs to read this. Yes the truth will set you free, even if it breaks your heart first. Thank you for sharing your gifts for the sake of truth.

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