Sex, Watergate, Eyes Wide Shut
When just finishing up John O’Connor’s book on Watergate, Postgate, and thinking about how he, like others, doesn’t speculate that Watergate and its different cover-ups were about hiding sexual activities and the CIA’s operations regarding them, it occurred to me that the phrases “sexual perversion” and “sex perverts” have consequences that deter such speculations. “Perversions” and “perverts” imply that the sexual activities involved weren’t normal or common in American society. That is, these phrases imply activities that aren’t common, that don’t occur except among the psychologically defective, and are not thought of and engaged in by the participants as legitimate.
Characterizing sexual activities as perversions is like characterizing groups who participate in such activities as, e.,g., “Satanic cults.” Such characterizations make such activities seem extraordinary rather than ordinary, as beyond the bounds of normal American society. Hence, there is a tendency to dismiss explanations based on such activities as outlandish, as wild conspiracy theories. Therefore, decent commentators tend to overlook or minimize the role sex played in scandals like Watergate, and in the covert ops of the likes of the CIA. (A proper English gentleman, Barker, who translated Aristotle’s Politics, consigned to appendices Aristotle’s references to political events, upheavals and tyrannies, that Aristotle traced to sex, either of the homo- or heterosexual variety. Such explanations were not “proper!” How English! How proper!)
This is the cutting edge of Eyes Wide Shut, which from the outset locates intense, allegedly socially unacceptable sex among elites as obviously acceptable, even praiseworthy behavior. The elites glory in their lasciviousness; it is a mark of and confirms their elite status, their superiority. Pedophilia, e.g., and being proud of it, marks one as truly elite. After all, it is about dominance, which is how elites confirm their superiority.
The story of the real cover-up regarding Watergate is still to be written.