Elections

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Larry David isn't afraid to lay bare how much of politics is about appeasing the masses.

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Curb Your Enthusiasm is back for its eleventh season of Larry David, playing a semi-fictionalized version of himself, interrogating why we must remain shackled by society's arbitrary social rules.

David turns his attention to local politics this season. His antipathy toward other people comes through particularly splendidly in the seventh episode: Canvassing for a mayoral candidate, he resorts to absurd claims such as that the candidate will ban children under 10 from restaurants. Sucker voters eat it up.

Where other shows are afraid to acknowledge politics for what it is, Curb lays bare just how much it's about appeasing the masses by any means necessary. David's dip into politics is just to curry favor with those who can help repeal a pesky fence ordinance. Peeved about having to stand in line to vote, he finds someone waiting to vote for the opposing candidate and proposes that they might as well both leave, since their votes will cancel each other out. David's preferred candidate, in a made-for-TV twist, loses by one vote, and the pitchfork-wielding mob of his supporters turns on David.

In politics, as in everything else, David is self-interested and on the hunt for shortcuts. Then again, so are the rest of us; we're just a bit better at hiding it.

NEXT: Brickbat: Hot Wheels

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  1. "Democracy is a poor system; the only thing that can be said for it is that it’s eight times as good as any other method. Its worst fault is that its leaders reflect their constituents— low level, but what can you expect?” - Heinlein.

    "...interrogating why we must remain shackled by society's arbitrary social rules."

    Those rules are not necessarily arbitrary, but tested forms that basic civility rests on, and removing them will cause more trouble.

    1. Pure democracy is terrible. Especially at a centralized federal set. Republics and federalism is actually more democratic as it allows one to move to preferred forms of governance.

      1. The free marketplace is probably the best form of democracy. Just think: all people making hundreds of free decisions and exchanges every day, that other people can respond to, or not. Personal preference and popularity matter, but cannot defy material reality.

        1. The free marketplace is probably the best form of democracy.

          Except for all the shit contained outside a market but inside a democracy, not to mention all the shit outside a democracy.

          Outside democracy, I don't see what prevents a free market from quickly turning into a brutal technocracy. Especially a technocracy run by Science! (to which, admittedly, democracy is more like a 95% effective vaccine than an actual cure).

  2. He should just call out the actual politicians by their real names but he would risk alienating his progressive audience. He helped create a show about nothing and has followed that up with similar.

    1. It wasn't about nothing, it was about itself.

  3. The purpose of politics in the US, as well as most democracies, is to get the masses to put the rulers into a position to rule and keep them there. Issues are consciously divided up between parties as to keep the balance as close to 50/50 as possible. Rules keep the outsiders out and the insiders in. And people don't even know it. The ultimate insider ran as an outsider in 2016 and won, and his cultists still view him as an outsider.

    Incumbents stay in as long as they want, unless their personal pecadillos (or peckers) bring too much embarassment on the system, then they are replaced. Newcomers to the rulership are all hand picked. Dynasties are common, proteges are groomed, and the citizens themselves are NOT in charge.

    1. The ultimate insider ran as an outsider in 2016 and won, and his cultists still view him as an outsider.

      Refuting binary left/right tribalism with... binary in/out tribalism. What a transcendentally brilliant thinker you are.

  4. "Where other shows are afraid to acknowledge politics for what it is, Curb lays bare just how much it's about appeasing the masses by any means necessary."

    And by appeasing, they mean first frightening and then "saving". AKA the first and eternal political strategy.

  5. Episode 10 stars Col. Alexander Vindman, whom several characters, including LD, refer to as the greatest whistle blower of all time.

  6. "Larry David isn't afraid to lay bare how much of politics is about appeasing the masses"

    So democracy?

  7. Yes, when you ignore strict constitutional limits in a democracy, you end up with mob rule, progressivism, and fascism. What’s your point?

  8. Yeah, how dare those masses get all uppity and everything. It's not like they're real people or anything; they're just targets for the blue ice from the Gulfstream IVs on the way to Davos. Everybody knows the country should be run for the benefit of the elites that Reason approves of.

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