That which is hidden in politics is not simply hidden by way of some formal or ideological overlay (at least, not always). Often, there is a gravital center into which observable phenomena falls. One could consider this the form of a structure or situation. It is mindless, even if it appears to have a will. Those who act as its agents are not at the top, as much as they appear to be. They are themselves dupes in a self-perpetuating myth that is constantly telling them and us anew. This is what separates occult politics from conspiracy theory, or rather, why occult politics goes beyond conspiracy theory: it recognizes mechanisms of control only as results, much like the babble of the talking cure is only the result of the subconscious. Conspiracy, deep state, the military industrial complex-these are all convenient masks to a set of drives determined through an ontological register which is so hidden as to be synonymous with the very nature of the hidden itself. But is this surprising? Can it even be said that we know and understand ourselves, much less events?
Lao Tzu and Machiavelli represent opposite poles of the same phenomenon. Machiavelli understands the true nature of force and aggression, hidden within the voluntary transactions and the convenient social gestures which comprise political activity. Lao Tzu, on the other hand, recognizes that order can take care of itself, often with the sovereign making only those minor adjustments meant to maintain harmony. Lao Tzu's sovereign works from the bottom up; Machiavelli's from the top down. Machiavellian politics is personal but works best if the personal is masked by the social. Lao Tzu's politics are impersonal, but are most efficient when masked by the personal. There are many Machiavelli's in the world, some of whom are discoverable, some of whom are more cunning and harder to find. The Lao Tzu's are harder to discover, since their place in the chain of cause and effect is not determined through the progression that extends from the individual to the community-rather, the Lao Tzu's of this world have absorbed both as passive features of an internalized process and objectify both. One needs only the right information to discover the intentions of a Machiavelli. One, however, must become a Lao Tzu if one wishes to discover the intentions of a Lao Tzu.