Wednesday 24 January 2024

Real World versus Clown World is fatally-misleading - unless complemented by acknowledgement of mass corruption

One reason that the "Clown World" nomenclature (to describe "Them") has grown and grown over the couple of decades (I first came upon this distinctively American  usage of "clown" on Glenn Reynolds's Instapundit blog in the early 2000s) - is that it reinforces a comforting but utterly false idea that the root of The Problem is the Evil Clowns who rule "us". 

From this error, the argument concludes that the bulk of ordinary people are essentially OK - well-motivated and with a basically solid grasp of Reality. 

And the implicit (untrue) conclusion is that therefore some variant of "populism" (whereby the Masses expel or take-over-from the ruling-elite of Clowns) is the best cure and strategy for what ails The West*. 

But, of course, this is a gross underestimation of the severity, pervasiveness, and depth of evil in The West. 

Yes the Clowns are more evil than the masses; but this is merely a lesser of evils. The Western masses are overwhelmingly deeply evil in their basic assumptions concerning reality. 

They (we) are materialist (that is anti-spiritual and un-spiritual, throughout all our mainstream public discourses, across all our societal functions) by habit and in practice. We are obsessed by the triviality and lies of the official and media worlds; and compulsively engage-with these futile "battles".   

Most dismayingly; there is throughout The West a steadfast and stubborn refusal of individuals to take personal responsibility for their own ultimate convictions

Whether or not someone regards himself as for- or against- the globalist totalitarian agenda; he almost-always claims that his perspective and motivations are externally-imposed-upon him as a matter of objective necessity, rather than his own and ultimate moral decision.  

Thus he proudly and aggressively asserts his own and self-enforced value-enslavement! 

The spectacle is a chaos of atomistic individuals, blown hither and yon by the swirling winds of corrupted and evil-serving public institutions - all expending their best spiritual resources in justifying their passive crazes, evasions and compulsions as principled conformity to eternal realities! 

At one level Clown World is just a neat rhetorical term for Them; but at another level it is a species of pandering to the supposed but largely-absent virtues of those excluded from power. 

So, yes! our leadership and managerial-intellectual class are literal (and evil) Clowns. But these ECs rule-over a mass of self-deluded, self-blinded, liars and moral-cowards (that's us). 

From such an arrogantly-servile mass, no good can be expected; and even some (massively unlikely!) "triumph of the masses" would instantly reveal the short-termist, selfish hedonism of a spiritually-self-enslaved people. 

*Amazingly! - I can see online a large-scale recapitulation of the 2016 delusional-nonsense, that apparently regards a possible re-election of Trump (Really? After the 2020 "election"?) as if it were a genuine basis for optimism. Almost as if DT had not already been a President for four years and already comprehensively failed to stop, let alone reverse, the suicidal social trends -- instead presiding-over the unprecedented catastrophe of lockdown/ social distancing/ the peck. These are "the facts" and it takes a seriously distorted attitude to expect something different and better second time round: such behaviour is Stockholm Syndrome, not legitimate optimism! 


Francis Berger said...

Yes, just yesterday I was thinking about how most people don't sense how bad things really are, and I suspect the bulk of that unawareness stems from their own perspectives, beliefs, views, and assumptions rather than from the purely external lies imposed by the elite.

I used the term Clown World in a post the other day, but I generally dislike the term. It lacks seriousness and gravity; it is also an inaccurate kind of distancing because the bulk of the masses are also, sadly, corrupt, complicit, and cowardly clowns. That is bad enough in and of itself, but the lack of repentance is the deeper issue there. Another sign of unseriousness is the heartfelt belief that dissidents are somehow "winning" the information war through tweets, memes, sarcastic posts about evil clowns, etc., because it forces the Clowns to face their own consciences and, subsequently, back off. Really?

We are far too spiritually attached to the System, and appear to live by surviving on its endless machinations, which we misinterpret within ourselves. We mistake our external, mostly-preprogrammed reactions to their mostly pre-programmed external stimulus as movement of the spirit...or something along those lines.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Frank - Indeed. It is another test of these times. We must, as Christians, be hope-full, because hope is trust in God and located beyond death; but it is the *psychological*-need so many people have to be optimistic about our life in this-world, that is such a snare.

Ron Tomlinson said...

For myself I don't create memes or deploy them strategically I just find (some of them) very funny. If wholesome enough I show them to family or friends. I think perhaps this is now the primary way of laughing at evil. Apparently it may be sufficient to check it somewhat, if only by helping us to keep our peckers up. Which is good!

(And counterintuitive to those who don't appreciate the spiritual nature of the conflict.)

I agree, there are clowns everywhere, including literally if you go by hair, although I think that may be on the way out? And they are evil-blind. I think partly because they are trying to maintain denial of God's existence deep inside.

It's astonishing to me these days how academics whose popular works I used to read somehow manage to moralise so heavily while maintaining total complicity with clown world.

I want to say, 'Don't you realise that if everybody thought like you then evil would rapidly destroy the progress you've written about? Together with the conditions that make progress even possible?'

The latter seems to be their business. For them real evil doesn't exist. If they talk about evil they refer to 'evils', i.e. material conditions rather than motivations.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ron - Yes, I don't mean to knock humour - which has its own justification.

But I sense behind the expansion of Clown World rhetoric, from-which the humour partly derives, exactly what Frank says: "most people don't sense how bad things really are".

That doesn't mean we always need to be harping on that subject! But I am convinced that there is a truly gross underestimate of the breadth and depth of corruption in The West: the extent to which our everyday purposes and evaluations are in-service-to a deeply destructive evil.

Evan Pangburn said...

I've had my apprehensions about the term, although I have to admit a bit of hypocrisy as I've used the term myself several times.

My first reaction was that people were consoling themselves that they can "sit back and enjoy the show" because sometimes what the clowns do is so ridiculous. As the phrase associated with the term demonstrates: "I thought I was living in a tragedy, but then I realized it was a comedy".

It's as if when you chuckle a bit when some goofy SJW type or politician says something absurd, it makes the abuse and mutilation of children not so bad.

cecil1 said...

I've always thought the 'clown world' description was very inaccurate and really deceptive in its tone.

Clowns have a silly bumbling aren't they stupid vibe, as in entertainment in the circus. NO one REALLY needs to take them serious. That's the clown.

But these people aren't incompetent, they're manipulative and highly adept at escaping accountability, which allows them to look like clowns and advance their destructive goals. Clowns don't give the vibe of malevolence behind the elites activity, not its hostility.
What the clown appearance does indicate is the duplicity between what the clown looks like in their costume and who they acutally are.

I was wondering though: do you think then that Christians should not engage with the world, ignore it complelely (until its at your front door).

How does one avoid clown world without knowing what its up to?? I've always thought the monastic mentality to the world is a sellout.

I know people who don't give damn what the government or anyone else does in any way as long as they can do their thing and get their paycheck. And I mean anything. IF the government lockdown everyone and stole everything they would shrug--and say well, what can I do. I wish I was joking.

Isn't that what enables tyranny??

I never did like clowns at the circus, as I think a sizable portion of kids, for that exact unease with the dissonance.

a_probst said...


I'm going to assume that the expression "keeping one's pecker up" has a different meaning from the one it has here in the USA.

Ron Tomlinson said...


Apologies! I did of course mean in the sense of holding one's head up like a woodpecker.

The penny has finally dropped as to why the clown rhetoric is so powerful:

(1) many of our leaders act clownishly
(2) we laugh at clowns (or used to)
(3) evil hates being laughed at

It took me a while! And reminds me of the Dr Who adventure 'The Mind of Evil' co-starring Roger Delgado as The Master. During the show it is revealed that what the Master fears most is simply the Doctor laughing at him.

Nathan Wright said...

My understanding of "clown world" most definitely referred to the mass of people -- if it were not so, then we could not be ruled by such people. Actually the clowns are the primary designation, since the rulers are blackmailed reprobates, and their masters are demons and their slaves.