Dirty Deeds Done: The People of the Slough
slough (slo͞o, slou) also slew (slo͞o) n.
1. A depression or hollow, usually filled with deep mud or mire.
2. also slue A swamp, marsh, bog, or pond, especially as part of a bayou, inlet, or backwater.
3. A state of deep despair or moral degradation.
2-1. The dead outer skin shed by a reptile or amphibian.
2-2. Medicine A layer or mass of dead tissue separated from surrounding living tissue, as in a wound, sore, or inflammation.
2-3. An outer layer or covering that is shed or removed.
Not Bolshevism, which Stalin liquidated along with all the old Bolsheviks; not Nazism, which perished along with Hitler in his Berlin bunker; not Fascism, which was left hanging upside down, along with Mussolini and his mistress, from a lamp-post—none of these, history will record, was responsible for bringing down the darkness on our civilization, but liberalism. A solvent rather than a precipitate, a sedative rather than a stimulant, a slough rather than a precipice; blurring the edges of truth, the definition of virtue, the shape of beauty; a cracked bell, a mist, a death wish.
– Muggeridge, Malcom. (1985). “Vintage Muggeridge: Religion and Society”
References to Washington DC and, specifically, the Deep State as “The Swamp” predated U.S. Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. But it was during the 2016 election cycle when that particular designation became indelibly branded into the collective psyche of America’s body politic. If The Swamp describes the political establishment, the corporatocracy, globalists, elite bankers, unelected bureaucrats or the Military Industrial Complex – then those who buttress The Swamp should be referred to as The Slough.
To clarify, The Slough consists of people who, at most, support The Swamp, and, at the very least, allow its continual expansion. The People of the Slough, therefore, would consist of useful idiots (i.e. Democrats), the Loony Left, mainstream media and social media propagandists and censors, Marxists, liberals, globalists, elderly hippies, aging boomers, welfare moochers, unicorn chasers, transgendered bathroom rights crusaders, rabid feminists, rainbow dancing socialists, Black Lives Matter racists, Antifa agitators, Never Trumpers, the Millennial snowflake generation, and government drones who subvert the U.S. Constitution for their taxpayer-subsidized paychecks.
Perhaps the main concern regarding the People of the Slough is how they start every debate with the premise of their assumed inherent correctness and moral superiority. Indeed, their arrogance never ceases to amaze.
In a previous essay, this author described the Swamp creatures and The People of the Slough as establishing a new religion founded upon the illusions of narratives. Yes. The Slough People in particular, embrace their faith using words like: save the earth, justice, fairness, equality and peace. They’re proud of their self-perceived good intentions, common sense, nuance and compassion.
Yet their feelings deceive them because they embrace moral relativism; not truth.
The value systems of conservative folks are very different than those of The People of the Slough. This is why words like “liberty” and “equality” hold separate meanings for each. In the example of the former, these concepts are the result of natural law. In the latter, they derive more from Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Will to Power”; an idea for which the German philosopher also claimed was demonstrated in Darwinism as the “Will to Survive”.
Although some academics believe survival instinct cannot be conflated with Darwin’s biologically-based “natural selection”, the comparison remains fascinating nevertheless. From an ideological, or even psychological, perspective – the desire to survive can add entirely new dimensions to the consequences of political power and its inherently fictitious exculpation: “The ends justify the means”.
In other words, when survival is at stake, who has time for the “lesser” conceptions of morality and values?
Could these conceptions perhaps even be spiritual in nature?
The British journalist, and anti-communist, Thomas Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990) plumbed such considerations in his 1979 essay entitled “The Great Liberal Death Wish”. Although there are those who would challenge Muggeridge’s Christian worldview, his perspectives regarding The People of the Slough do have merit:
On a basis of liberal-humanism, there is no creature in the universe greater than man, and the future of the human race rests only with human beings themselves, which leads infallibly to some sort of suicidal situation. It’s to me quite clear that that is so, the evidence is on every hand. The efforts that men make to bring about their own happiness, their own ease of life, their own self-indulgence, will in due course produce the opposite, leading me to the absolutely inescapable conclusion that human beings cannot live and operate in this world without some concept of a being greater than themselves, and of a purpose which transcends their own egotistic or greedy desires.
Once you eliminate the notion of a God, a creator, once you eliminate the notion that the creator has a purpose for us, and that life consists essentially in fulfilling that purpose, then you are bound, as Pascal points out, to induce the megalomania of which we’ve seen so many manifestations in our time – in the crazy dictators, as in the lunacies of people who are rich, or who consider themselves to be important or celebrated in the western world. Alternatively, human beings relapse into mere carnality, into being animals.
… If you envisage men as being only men, you are bound to see human society, not in Christian terms as a family, but as a factory-farm in which the only consideration that matters is the well-being of the livestock and the prosperity or productivity of the enterprise. That’s where you land yourself. And it is in that situation that western man is increasingly finding himself.
– Muggeridge, Malcom. (1979). “The Great Liberal Death Wish”
As opposed to natural law, The People of the Slough are guided by ideology and perhaps, an anima mundi or zeitgeist that doesn’t (necessarily) require supernatural or metaphysical roots; although it’s possible. Regardless, the “spirit” behind the “New Religion” could be as simple as an evolutionary faith of Man becoming “like gods”.