I know what you’re thinking: maybe it’s time Ghislaine Maxwell had an “accident,” or “offed herself” under the ostensibly torturous weight of her undoubted guilt. And look, you’re probably right: it sure would be unpleasant to deal with awkward dinner party conversation at the next foundation event surrounding new allegations around the Clintons, or other friends of friends.
But hear me out: isn’t the present the perfect time to test the full extent of your total lack of accountability? By just letting this thing play out, instead of making the requisite preparations for an “untimely” demise, perhaps you will discover that literally no revelation about your moral depravity has any consequences for your lives whatsoever.
As Wolfgang Streeck has pointed out, no one is surprised that “a tiny minority in today’s capitalist societies is becoming unimaginably rich,” and in any event widespread knowledge of that fact has produced “little to no political effect.” What is new about the present moment is that you have become so rich that you “may rightly consider [your] fate and that of [your] families to have become independent from the fates of the societies from which [you] extract [your] wealth. As a result, [you] can afford no longer to care about them.”
You’ve already dispensed with “ruling”—and who needs the trouble! But aren’t you also sick of the backstage manipulation needed to “maintain optimal conditions for the further accumulation and future conservation of [your] wealth”? What a hassle! Your army of lawyers and lobbyists can keep things going just fine. Why bother with high profile interventions?
So roll the dice! Let Ghislaine implicate every billionaire and half of Hollywood in crimes that ordinary people cannot even conceptualize, let alone condemn. Let her draw the FBI a map of every toddler burial site and single-handedly turn QAnon into a new Order of the Eastern Star. Most likely, you won’t be affected in the slightest.
Yes, there will be incredulity and outrage, protests and demands. But what’s wrong with a little more screaming into the void, followed by a little more political exhaustion? The left is still at a nadir of its political power, and the professional classes are locked in paranoid anxiety. There’s no denying that you’ve grown flabby and decadent in your old age, but what does it matter if there are no worthy challengers?
So let the old lady live, if only to test the true extent of your magnificent freedom. Frankly, I’m curious to see just how far it goes.
Anselm McGovern is Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Culture & Cuisine at Walden University Online. He is the author of We Could All Probably Be Better at Oral Sex Than We Are Now: Haiku for Life (Forthcoming).