Coups d’état for Dummies

Coups d’état for Dummies

I will stand in this breach. I will defend this nation. And I will allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of our democracy.

Joe Biden

The holiday season is over…now comes the long slog through winter…

First, we would like to thank Dear Readers for sticking with us. We’re trying something new — just straight talk. No advertising. No big promises. If we get through the coming bomb cyclone — the financial/political one — with our wits and wealth intact, we will consider it a success.

In the days ahead, we will also give you a fuller explanation for our move…and hit the refresh button on many of the core ideas we’ve developed over the last two decades. They may seem a little exotic, or even frightening, to new readers. But here at the re-born Diary, we hide nothing.

One of our almost treasonous notions, for example, is our take on modern American democracy…and the role of the US’s mainstream media in destroying it.

Last week was the anniversary of the 6 Jan 2021 ‘insurgency’ at the US Capitol. The press was in full-throated alarm mode. Just google ‘American democracy in peril’, and you will get millions of suggestions.

Johns Hopkins and Harvard have convened panels of scholars to explore the idea. Joe Biden, along with almost every Democrat-leaning polemicist, politician, and DC hanger-on, has warned about it. Dozens, maybe hundreds, of books have endorsed the idea. Writes one of the most popular writers on Substack, Heather Richardson Cox:

On January 6, 2021, insurrectionists determined to overturn an election and undermine our democracy carried that flag [the Confederate flag] into the seat of our government.


Up north, the Canadians are worried. Today, MSNBC carries this story from Toronto’s Globe & Mail: ‘American Democracy Could Collapse’. It goes on to say that a ‘right wing’ dictator could take over in 2030.

[A ‘left wing’ dictator, apparently, is out of the question.]

The danger is imminent! The Atlantic, that paragon of Elite Establishment Wisdom opines: ‘America is running out of time’.

One year after Donald Trump led his supporters in an attempted coup against the United States, the nation is still very much in the throes of that attack.

The coup that wasn’t

But we all saw it on TV. What kind of coup d’état was this? The mob invasion of the Capitol appeared to be just the opposite of a real coup. It was more like a takeover organised by the Three Stooges. The invaders had not a single weapon. Not a single preparation had been made — no plan…no supplies…no press conferences…no tanks, aeroplanes, TV stations…nothing had been made ready.

Even such a low IQ crowd could have searched for it on the internet: ‘How to engineer a successful coup d’état in 10 simple steps.’ Look it up for yourself; it’s right there. Apparently, no one did. Instead, the leaderless mob entered the Capitol building, milled around, took selfies, then…as clueless and lost as tourists without a guide, it left.

Nobody appeared on TV announcing a state of emergency and a new government. Beltway traffic was not interrupted. No columns of olive drab troop carriers crossed the 14th Street Bridge.

Caesar crossed the Rubicon with an army of loyal, hardened troops at his back….after crisscrossing all of Gaul, on foot or horseback, and defeating, outsmarting, and humbling dozens of barbarian tribes. He was strong, bright, and remarkably resourceful. No one doubted that he meant business.

And Mr Trump? On 6 Jan 2020, he was already firmly ensconced on the banks of the Potomac, hamburger and Diet Coke in hand. As Commander and Chief of the whole of US forces, he could have gone along with the media’s ‘terrorist attack’ claptrap, called out the army to restore order…suspended the transfer of power…and given his troops, as did the president of Kazakhstan, the command to ‘shoot to kill’ anyone who objected. Surely there was at least one silly colonel, passed over for promotion, who was dumb enough to follow his orders!

But no. No coup. No undermining of democracy. No nothing…except a great media hubbub, broken glass, mock anxiety, and one unarmed and now dead woman, shot point-blank by a trigger-happy Capitol guard.

How to Survive Australia’s Biggest Recession in 90 Years. Download your free report and learn more.   

Et tu, media?

Why then does the mainstream media persist in portraying the Capitol invasion as something it wasn’t? That is our question for today…and tomorrow. It’s a question about consensual democracy itself…and how it pitches headfirst into something a whole lot less ‘consensual’…and how it connects to the economic collapse we see coming.

First, we need to elaborate on an idea that we take for granted…one that most people take for absurd. That is, we don’t think the right to vote is such hot stuff. Few people will say so. But given the opportunity, even in a hotly contested election such as in 2016, 43% of eligible voters didn’t bother.

We don’t want to use the government to force others to do what we want. We’d appreciate it if they would return the favour. But many people think that a ‘democracy’ is controlled by ‘the people’, and getting a majority of these yahoos together gives you the right to tell everyone what to do.

The great Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto showed that whatever you call your government — a monarchy, a theocracy, a democracy…it just doesn’t matter. The government is never actually controlled by ‘the people’. They are too busy just trying to earn a living. Instead, there is always a small group of insiders and movers and shakers — a rich, powerful elite he called ‘the foxes’ — who take charge.

In the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Cuba, and other totalitarian countries, they were the Party insiders. In pre-revolutionary France, they were the aristocracy. In strong-man dictatorships, they are the cronies, enablers, and fixers. And in the US today, the elite includes Wall Street, universities, the Fed, both political parties, the bureaucracy, lobbyists, think tanks, no-profits, the military/industrial/pharmacological/medical/welfare surveillance complex…and notably, the press.

Not coincidentally, these are by and large the people who own the US’s public companies…and whose wealth has increased by about US$30 trillion over the last 12 years — thanks to policies controlled by the elite themselves.

What makes a consensual democracy tolerable is not the democracy part; it’s the consensual nature of it. People respect each other’s opinions and their rights to do with themselves and their property as they please. When that consensus is lost, the result is misery — a civil war…oppression…resistance…a breakdown of law and order…or other disagreeable trends.

Follow the money

Of particular interest to us is the monetary flimflam. One of our Diary dicta: when the money goes, everything goes. And as the elite tightens up its control, it inevitably strangles business and investment. And it must also bribe the discontented mobs with stimmies and giveaways. This leaves it in need of finance, which it typically gets by distributing ‘printing press’ money…leading to further discontent and economic discombobulation.

But wait. What is the media’s role?

As we will see tomorrow, the press is meant to question authority. It is supposed to represent the public in its desire to get to the bottom of things. Does this war really make sense? Should we spend the public’s money on this? Why do you think this will make voters better off?

But instead of asking the tough questions, the mainstream media became a shill for the government and the leading propagandist for the whole elite agenda. Now it just passes along the party line…no matter how at odds with the reality people see before their own eyes.

Mr Trump was never clever enough to be a real Caesar. And the press despised him for it. Even when he spoke the truth, rarely, and if only by accident, the press excoriated him. So what were the flyover voters supposed to think? Could they depend on the elite to count the votes fairly…or the press to report the results honestly?

And when the real Caesar appears, won’t the public rejoice?

We don’t know. But the toady media, after a little tidying up, will make damned sure to croak his praises.

Stay tuned.


Dan Denning Signature

Bill Bonner,
For The Daily Reckoning Australia

PS: Our publication The Daily Reckoning is a fantastic place to start your investment journey. We talk about the big trends driving the most innovative stocks on the ASX. Learn all about it here.