Alien Anthropology

Spinning Democracy: Capitol Insurrection

The defensive response to the rioters was relatively restrained and this is actually a good thing for democracy.

Context: China, Russia, Iran Spin Capitol Insurrection

A note on geopolitical spin: very much like quantum entangled pairs, it exists in a superposition of states – measurement along a particular axis produces the reality. Most instances of perceived weakness can as easily infer strength – it just depends upon which axes of measurement (and narrative) you use.

The point? While US democracy can expect to undergo years of relentless geopolitical trolling over this catastrophic event, the fact that there was such a (relatively) small quotient of violence indicates something quite profound and enduringly valuable about the essence of this political system: when under extreme duress, it does not resort to mass oppression or extravagant violence. I doubt very much whether any authoritarian or totalitarian state would or indeed could be as lenient in their response. Sure, there may be many reasons (and persons culpable) for the riot and insurrection which will provide historians, psychologists and anthropologists with decades worth of wistful introspection, but – the fact that democracy under threat defaults to something other than extreme violence and mass repression is actually an indication of its intrinsic value, endemic goodness and irreducible humanitarian essence.

If anything, the various angles of critical measurement being made on US democracy by its critics are expected and in some regards they are not entirely unjustifiable. What is important to stress here, though, is that the relatively restrained response by Capitol police and security represents a strength of democracy, not a weakness and for all this family of political system’s many failings and shortcomings, this is actually a good thing.

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