0. The House Is Not the Wood It Is Made of
The least foolish person in the Kingdom is the Fool. He is able to mock traditions and even the King. Picture the scene, the aristocrats are there, the King is there, food is being served, and the Court Jester is poking fun at all the traditions. What’s missing from this description? —who the Fool is. What’s not missing? The Fool’s costume.
The cast of Hamilton that decided to make a statement against Pence and Trump, and they were of course within their rights to do so. You can already put that part of the discussion out of your mind. What’s important to keep in mind, though, is who they are. They are Fools. The Fool is a position of power—we grant whoever occupies this position the ability to mock our traditions. It’s a safe outlet for discord. The Fool doesn’t mock the King when he’s out of costume. The Fool as a person has no power, the power is in the position he occupies. When this individual dies or retires, the next person occupies the same position. Power isn’t transferred because it never resided in an individual in the first place. (The same can be said of the king.)
We already grant playwrights and actors the ability to openly mock and question politicians and institutions. We don’t care who the playwrights and actors are. That’s why you can have plays that run for decades with different people. That’s why stories are recrafted, built upon, retold. “In costume,” that is, while acting, the agents of the story are granted many powers over us: they suspend our disbelief; they say things we agree with but don’t cheer; they say things we disagree with but don’t argue. Our respect for story goes extremely deep.
Unfortunately, special snowflake narcissists can’t understand this. Matt Damon thinks Matt Damon is important, not Jason Bourne. He shares his political opinions like they have some extra value that mine or yours do not, and the media promotes this myth (they’re running their own stage show called “the news”). Why would I care what Matt Damon thinks? I’d trust a homeless person over Matt Damon. If you don’t, maybe instead of dropping a few cents into a cup you should stop and have a conversation.
We allow Matt Damon to attack some of the most powerful institutions in the world through the character Jason Borne. Matt Damon has no special powers. In most measures he’s an ordinary human being. He has the qualification to be President, sure, but that just means he’s natural-born and over 35. When Matt Damon takes off his Jason Borne costume he should only have as much power as the rest of us. He should not confuse his celebrity with power. Jason Borne has the power, not Matt Damon.
Narcissism unfolds into elitism. Other aspects of it, maybe to discuss another time, are the “experts” dragged out all the time, but that issue is more philosophical. In any case, yes, this is elitism, when narcissists don’t think they’re putting on powerful costumes but think they already have the power. It’s probably too easy to imagine why actors fall for their own propaganda, but why do you fall for it?
2. Stop Falling for Celebrity
There’s no simpler command I can give you than to stop falling for celebrity. Celebrities that agree with you are no more correct than those that disagree with you. Fame isn’t even always accidental, I don’t believe just any actor could pull off a good Jason Borne but this does not transfer the powers we grant Jason Borne to Matt Damon.
President-elect Trump put out a tweet mocking safe spaces in response to the Hamilton episode. Watch as the wheels turn to now argue fifteen different ways that Trump is wrong: that’s not what we mean by “safe spaces,” the theater isn’t a “safe space,” etc. All getting you to discuss the wrong thing, all getting you to miss the trick they’re pulling on you: they’re transferring the power of theater to the power of actors. This part of the argument is now a given: “Of course they have that power, but is it right to use it this way?” That’s the sleight of hand. The actors already have the power by their position in a staged story so why do they need a separate moment to take off their costumes (literally or metaphorically) and opine on something? Who is granting them this power over us?
Well, maybe you are, but certainly they don’t have it on their own. Other people only have the power they seize by force—at the blunt of a fist, edge of a sword, or end of a gun—or the power given to them by yielding. The cast of Hamilton may or may not want Pence to yield, but by discussing whether or not safe spaces exist and if so is the theater such a space, you’ve already lost and acknowledged that the cast of Hamilton has this power, you’ve already yielded it.
3. Unfocused Protest is the Last Power
The political left has created an elite monster. The rank and file are only allowed their opinions if a “representative” (of, say, BLM) speaks, or a celebrity speaks, or a reporter retweets them, or etc. They have yielded all their powers to establishment figures. Originally, the establishment had power by virtue of the position, but if any establishment figure is given arbitrary power of speech then it necessarily means it’s because people have yielded their own to them. When these establishment figures patronizingly agree with the rank and file, pressure is released, but reality is a funny thing, and when the establishment’s powers show cracks, all that remains is violence.
Blacks in the US need BLM because they gave their power to the Democrats, who didn’t use it the way blacks needed. And women in the US need to get out on the streets and protest with unsavory characters like antifa (they can’t be fascist because they said so?) because they gave their power to Hillary Clinton, who lost. Hillary Clinton can say she stands for all women, but that’s not something someone can actually do unless enough women agree. So when Clinton lost, women lost, but this is not the fault of anyone but the women why willingly handed over their power.
This election should have taught everyone a valuable lesson: those who do not yield their power retain it for use when it was needed. Celebrity against Trump, media against Trump, popular politicians against Trump, and Trump won the election. We reserve the right to elect him again in 2020, if he runs. The elites that have all the power their special snowflake followers have yielded to them will not be able to stop it. If you want that power back, you have to take it back from the cast of Hamilton, the actors in movies, and that most terrible staged reality TV show called the news.