This is from a Facebook debate over the Epstein case. This is my rebuttal to a view within parts of the radical left that dismisses the importance of Epstein and feels that interest in this case leads to conspiratorial thinking and “red/brown” politics. I disagree.
Hot take, the Epstein scandal is the most important scandal of the 21st century and is likely to go down as the Dreyfuss affair of this era. The left, far from ignoring it or hoping it will go away, as the corporate media does, should be focusing on this with laser like intensity.
The l’affaire Dreyfuss was a political scandal which rocked the French Third Republic, and the entire Francophone world, from 1894-1906. A French army officer, of Jewish Alsatian background, was framed and accused of giving military secrets to Germany, and was sentenced to years at hard labor at the French penal colony of Devil’s Island, off the coast of French Guyana. Dreyfuss’ treatment led to outrage and an energetic defense from liberals, and, somewhat grudgingly at first, the French left. The l’affaire Dreyfuss energized the left and contributed to its revival after a long period of being in the doldrums after the crushing of the Paris Commune in 1871. This included a revival of the socialist movement. The case exposed the corruption , bigotry and anti-semitism of what had been a revered pillar of the French establishment and of the ruling class in general. It lead to the secularization of the French educational system and an examination of anti-semitsm and nationalism. It created fault lines in French society which lasted up until the Second World War.
There are people on Leftbook who dismiss the importance of l’affaire Dreyfuss on the basis that it didn’t lead to a workers revolution. That may be true but socialists of that era, including Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Kautsky, and Jean Jaures wrote about this, sometimes fairly extensively. Here’s Lenin’s take on the effect of l’affaire Dreyfuss on public consciousness;
“Sometimes “incidents” occur in politics when the nature of a certain order of things is revealed, as it were, suddenly, and with extraordinary power and clarity in connection with some relatively minor happening.”
Those who doubt that the Epstein scandal has the same historical significance as the Dreyfuss affair should keep in mind that the Epstein scandal , that is a massive pedophile ring, involves or strongly implicates a current US president, a former US president who served two terms, a former presidential candidate, the founder and leader of the world’s largest software company, the president of CNN, prominent scientists including the head of an MIT artificial intelligence research institute and a pioneering cosmologist, as well as the entire South Florida legal and law enforcement systems, several billionaires, the intelligence agencies of at least two countries, as well as members of the British royal family. These are not murky conspiracy theories but are well documented connections whose evidence is publicly available. This is in addition to at least a thousand other prominent and politically powerful people listed in Epstein’s “black book”. To say this is not historically significant is absurd.
A Florida deputy sheriff who investigated the Epstein case and claims to have incriminating evidence is now living in political asylum in Russia and recently has survived two serious attempts against his life. A Florida state representative investigating Epstein was threatened and told to back off. Trump’s Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta , while serving as US attorney in Florida, was also told to back off investigating Epstein, on the grounds of “national security”, implying an intelligence agency had connections with Epstein. By now its beyond the shadow of a doubt that Epstein was murdered to protect some very powerful people. And some people on the left are hoping the Epstein scandal will just “go away”? I feel this is counter productive thinking.
Concern and investigation of the Epstein case is not “conspiracy theorizing”, implies sympathy for fascism (I think the term “red/brown” is used way too much) or is any way anti-Marxist. The ruling classes routinely meets , and plans, in venues not available to the vast majority of the world’s people. This includes the Davos forum, the Council on Foreign Relations, the infamous Trilateral Commission, etc. There’s nothing overtly sinister about this, this is simply the way the ruling class operates, What The Ruling Class Does When It Rules, to cite the name of a book by the Marxist theorist Goren Therborn.
There is strong evidence that Epstein was the center of a very extensive and deeper node of this. A few years ago there was a lot of talk when former UK prime minister David Cameron was revealed to have fucked a pig as part of a college frat initiation, “swinegate”. This is common practice within the British ruling class, people do outrageous acts in secret, which are then used to foster both control in later life and bonds of solidarity (there’s an interesting Dark Mirror episode, which seems to have been made before “swinegate”, satirizing this). There is evidence that the Epstein milieu, which attracted the elite like moths to a flame , operated similarly. US politics specifically grooms people with personality disorders. Pedophilia, which appears to occur on a massive scale, is used to both control and create bonds of solidarity. There’s nothing anti-materialist about pointing this out. Again, this is part of what the ruling class does when it rules.
I think it seems likely that the Epstein scandal will effect public consciousness similar to, possibly even much greater than, the Dreyfuss affair of the previous century. It may turn out to be a major fault line of the 21st century. For better or worse everyone loves a sex scandal. The Starr Report during the Clinton administration was overwhelmingly the biggest hit of the early internet and is still being widely downloaded and circulated. In the Epstein case this interest can have a very positive effect. It reveals the utter degeneracy of the ruling class.
Finally, last but far from least, I believe blithe dismissal of the Epstein case betrays a callous attitude towards the Epstein circle’s many victims and a degree of unconscious sexism. Ruling classes’ sexual predation on the lower classes has been a traditional part of class control. There are many stories from the days of US slavery. There’s no reason to to think that this still isn’t going on. Sexual victimization can have devastating consequences. Prisons and homeless shelters are packed with its veterans. Why should the left ignore this? There are people saying they’re glad Epstein is dead. I’m not. Its beyond the shadow of a doubt that Epstein was killed to protect many very powerful people. Are we okay with protecting them? Is there no interest in some justice or satisfaction for Epstein’s many victims? As Leon Trotsky said in another context, learn to think!
Whitney Webb of Mint Press has written a three part series on Epstein. I feel her work is well written, meticulously researched and well documented. People criticize her without having read a single paragraph she’s written. There is nothing whatsoever to suggest that Mint Press is “LaRouchite”, “red/brown” or untrustworthy. Whoever else she has written for should not discredit her research. I’ve had my work appear in some odd places, without my knowledge. If someone has written a well sourced journalistic expose, and the only venues which will publish it are RT or Global Research, I see nothing wrong with this. Its the lack of interest on the left which can make the Epstein case property of the right. That is when we enter “red/brown” territory and that is dangerous. Critics should read Webb, than come back if you have a thoughtful critique, don’t dismiss her offhand.
Many people on the left are overly concerned about being thought of as crackpots, conspiracy theorists or fascists and avoid confronting actual material conditions. Didn’t Marx teach us to “ruthlessly criticize all existing conditions”? Why give a pedophile involving not just upper level members of the global ruling class, but implicating the systemic workings of global capitalism, a free pass?