The Man Who Knew Too Much
Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy, well-connected financier who provided underage girls for the entertainment of many rich and powerful men in Washington and beyond, has died in prison of an alleged suicide. Everything about this story is so absurdly over the top in its exposure of the ugliest elements of the power elite that it seems fitting he should die this way, apparently taking many secrets about many important men to his grave.
I have nothing more to say about the details of this story, because I believe our public discussion has already reached and surpassed the breaking point of seediness and titillating vulgarity, and that no one with an ounce of dignity ought to wish to have anything to do with such details. As Aristotle notes, in seeking to delimit what the Divine Intellect contemplates, “surely there are some things it is better not to think than to think.” So too with the human intellect that aspires to some approximation of the divine activity.
I will only say, by way of summary comment, this: The allegations in this case have always struck me as totally plausible and unsurprising, so much so that my only quibble is with the implication that Epstein’s dirty deeds constitute a rare and special case. I have absolutely no doubt that this sort of sleazy corruption runs throughout the Washington establishment, and is one of the chief mechanisms whereby the establishment absorbs and tames new members. Money and sex — greed and lust — are hardly new developments in the catalogue of human weaknesses. Neither is the susceptibility to loss of moral restraint among those who gain power. Neither is the use of the threat of embarrassing exposure as a means of controlling men’s decisions, votes, etc.