Elite political opinion is influential because it is believed to be. When the belief disappears, so does the influence.
In ’37 Stalin made a hash
Of party loyalists and army brass.
Decimation: One in ten are shot.
What’s the word when one in ten are not?
Crime committed on a large enough scale ceases to be criminal. It becomes business as usual, or Realpolitik, or statesmanship.
Historically killing deprived its victims only of life; the modern refinement is to deprive them first of agency.
Most of the enlistees in a struggle against oppression regard it merely as a struggle for spoils; the rest are insane.
Democracies are apt to take office for power, semblance for substance.
In politics: We need X, therefore we must do Y. With equal logic, and more truth: We need to do Y, therefore X must become necessary.
Good governance is when the populace makes most of its own misery.
Caligula wished that the people of Rome had but one neck: in modern terms, he had a passion for equality.
We elect such hideous candidates, and we are all such lovely people.
Aristocracies die with the disappearance of their duties, not their privileges.