I recently read something- I don’t remember where- about “kayfabe”, a term that may have originated with carnies but has more recently been associated with professional wrestling. Kayfabe refers to the maintenance of the illusion that professional wrestling is real. Everybody knows it’s not, of course; even from the beginning few spectators did. But that’s not the point. For the show to be enjoyable, everyone needs to be into the illusion that it’s not just a woodenly-acted drama put on by steroid freaks.
It has long been my contention that politics is just like professional wrestling. But it’s not just politics, it’s society as a whole that comforts itself with self-willed illusions. Everybody is expected to go along with things that are pretty obviously not true. Just as in wrestling, there are punishments for breaking kayfabe.
Among the official illusions-
-Blacks are wonderful, charming people, made noble and saintly by the suffering of slavery and discrimination. On the other hand, any bad or negative behavior by black people is also due to suffering under slavery and discrimination.
-Lower class white people are sinister, frightening and suspicious. If they haven’t done something bad, they will soon. Despite having little money and no power, they do tremendous harm to blacks and Hispanics.
-The people running things, Ivy League graduates, Wall Street billionaires, Jews, Puritans, and Quakers, are noble and admirable people who have only the best interests of America and the world at stake. Republicans or people of other white ethnic groups who have the same (very rarely) or less money are on the other hand evil, even behaving exactly the same way in the same industries.
It’s a stupid show for stupid people, it gets very boring trying to follow and obey it, and it makes professional wrestling look intellectual by comparison.