The Left’s Eternal Attack

 

When the USSR collapsed 30 years ago, it never occurred to anybody that the next major assault on constitutional democracy and western culture would be led by the world’s richest people.  Communism was ever the plaything of unhappy middle-class intellectuals. The concern for the workers was usually eyewash and the appearance of compassion was an artifact of the hatred for the status quo, itself the presumed root of all injustice.

But who would have guessed that after the stunning political triumph accompanied by decades of unimagined wealth creation, many if not most of the most favored beneficiaries of that victory would turn against their own cultural and legal heritage that has bestowed so much good on so many?  Not just a few spoiled heiresses and party boys seeking action and meaning by joining The Revolution but the movers and shakers are themselves lining up against the existing order.  Not just to make more money in the time-honored tradition of corruption, money, and power but a concerted effort to undo the entire culture and political order.

At present, I am re-reading Witness by Whittaker Chambers.  He described in detail his life in the American Communist Party and his fellow Communists.  He said that becoming a Communist in those days was invariably a reaction to the horror of modern warfare and/or economic crisis.  Communism combined the appearance of scientific rigor with a kind of moral purity and certainty that seemed like the only salvation for a broken world.

The horrors of WWI and the Great Depression that induced Chambers to embrace communism really have no contemporary corollaries. America’s recent wars may seem somewhat ill-conceived but casualties were nowhere near the same scale as with past wars.  The looming shadow of nuclear war with the Soviets that had shaped a generation has passed. The “population bomb” was a dud, even “peak oil” was a bust.  And our political and economic system has continuously yielded undeniable progress (and “inclusion”) at every level.

There is neither a decent current global crisis with which to indict Our Creator for permitting it or for causing a broken world, nor is there a new coherent secular theology comparable to the tomes of Marx and Engels.

Yet the same perverse appetite for crisis and a substitute near-religion to solve that crisis is still with us. Climate change has filled that void for many but the contrast between apocalyptic rhetoric and actual data is increasingly stark.  Greta is no longer novel and still quite boring.   I think some freezing Germans and Britons this winter will begin to put an end to the appeal of this new religion.

And Americans cannot have become such a silly people that the “plight” of the trans will become our main concern.  The alleged claims of injustice suffered by the alphabet people are quickly losing juice.

Of more concern perhaps, is the bizarrely framed national reaction to George Floyd’s death.  It was remarkable not just for the distorting power of media and skill of race hustlers but the size of the appetite for crisis and for dramatic visions of injustice, a need to invent a dragon of racism that only some personally cleansing political contrivance can slay.  (What is that mindset? Does it have a name?)  What is the shelf-life of the moral buzz from wokeness, a lame substitute for Communist zeal? How much damage can it do before it too flames out?

Whatever the source of that shape-shifting appetite for mutating and killing our cultural heritage, it appears to be increasingly endemic among the rich.  The annual gathering of the Davoisie (a wonderful term somebody coined for the global jet-setting policymaking elite) would be harmless or even beneficial if it were merely the rich male equivalent of bored wealthy housewives looking for a committee or community cause to join.

But that persistent enemy is still issuing the whispered invitation to indict and then purport save the world with procrustean, anti-human schemes masquerading as shining visions. That enemy now finds itself in possession of wealth, power, technologies, and political influence that not even Hitler or Stalin could provide.  The power to buy elections and governments, to rework and pervert education at all levels, to control all communications, and restructure the world now in the hands of a few like-minded men increasingly hostile to the premises of democracy and western moral order is something quite new.  Who saw that coming?  Does anybody ever see it coming?

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  1. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    Old Bathos: …appetite for crisis…

    After you used this phrase a couple times I realized that these are the people who are, at a personal level,  Drama Queens.

    We all know those who have the worst personal, health, etc. problems in order to feel significant.

    What you’ve laid out is the same thing except on a much larger scale.

    I detest drama.  Normal people don’t do drama, except involuntarily.

    • #1
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Holy Toledo what a fantastic essay.  

    Brilliant.  Thanks!

    • #2
  3. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    We can state with conviction, therefore, that a Man’s support for absolute government is in direct proportion to the contempt He feels for His country.

     

    Tocqueville

    • #3
  4. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Old Bathos: Who saw that coming?  Does anybody ever see it coming?

    A few almost always do.  They are never believed until it is almost too late.

    • #4
  5. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Old Bathos: When the USSR collapsed thirty years ago it never occurred to anybody that the next major assault on constitutional democracy and western culture would be led by the world’s richest people.  Communism was ever the plaything of unhappy middle-class intellectuals.

    But apparently those constituting the Davos Elite had already been at it for some forty years pretty much in secret. The common folks though (the “anybody” above) only learned about this new threat later. 

    • #5
  6. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Perhaps a better historical precedent to the current Woke Left is Fascism rather than Communism.  There were indeed quite a few wealthy people who favored Italian Fascism and German Naziism in their respective countries.

    • #6
  7. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Perhaps a better historical precedent to the current Woke Left is Fascism rather than Communism. There were indeed quite a few wealthy people who favored Italian Fascism and German Naziism in their respective countries.

    Hmm. Maybe it has just been continuous since Wilson with some recognition that it would be a difficult slog in America.

    • #7
  8. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Who saw that coming? Does anybody ever see it coming?

    A few almost always do. They are never believed until it is almost too late.

    IIRC, Pat Buchanan was the first I heard speak about the domestic anti-American culture war, around 1980? maybe, but the chattering class regarded his warnings as the rantings of a kook. Rather prescient, though he did not perhaps foresee how far this could go.

    • #8
  9. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Who saw that coming? Does anybody ever see it coming?

    A few almost always do. They are never believed until it is almost too late.

    IIRC, Pat Buchanan was the first I heard speak about the domestic anti-American culture war, around 1980? maybe, but the chattering class regarded his warnings as the rantings of a kook. Rather prescient, though he did not perhaps foresee how far this could go.

    In fairness a lot of what Pat Buchanan said was some what kooky.  Also their are people who are kooky that stumble on the truth from time to time, but in general the early prophets are often discounted.  Nobody believed Cassandra.   

    • #9
  10. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Perhaps a better historical precedent to the current Woke Left is Fascism rather than Communism. There were indeed quite a few wealthy people who favored Italian Fascism and German Naziism in their respective countries.

    Unless a Man has talents to make something of Himself, Freedom is an irksome burden. Of what avail is Freedom to choose if the self be ineffectual? We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, ‘to be free from freedom.’

    Hoffer

    • #10
  11. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Who saw that coming? Does anybody ever see it coming?

    A few almost always do. They are never believed until it is almost too late.

    IIRC, Pat Buchanan was the first I heard speak about the domestic anti-American culture war, around 1980? maybe, but the chattering class regarded his warnings as the rantings of a kook. Rather prescient, though he did not perhaps foresee how far this could go.

    In fairness a lot of what Pat Buchanan said was some what kooky. Also their are people who are kooky that stumble on the truth from time to time, but in general the early prophets are often discounted. Nobody believed Cassandra.

    My brother worked for Buchanan for a while and managed his newsletter.  Pat was doing the equivalent of clickbait before the internet was a thing.  His speeches written for Agnew anticipated the Trumpian contempt for RINO reticence and decorum.  He enjoyed pushing buttons.

    • #11
  12. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Who saw that coming? Does anybody ever see it coming?

    A few almost always do. They are never believed until it is almost too late.

    IIRC, Pat Buchanan was the first I heard speak about the domestic anti-American culture war, around 1980? maybe, but the chattering class regarded his warnings as the rantings of a kook. Rather prescient, though he did not perhaps foresee how far this could go.

    In fairness a lot of what Pat Buchanan said was some what kooky. Also their are people who are kooky that stumble on the truth from time to time, but in general the early prophets are often discounted. Nobody believed Cassandra.

    My brother worked for Buchanan for a while and managed his newsletter. Pat was doing the equivalent of clickbait before the internet was a thing. His speeches written for Agnew anticipated the Trumpian contempt for RINO reticence and decorum. He enjoyed pushing buttons.

    I just remember some of his theories about World War 2, which were pretty fanciful to say the least.  I do agree that he was a proto-Trumpian figure.  It was often difficult to figure out what was core believe and what was trolling with Pat.

    • #12
  13. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Perhaps a better historical precedent to the current Woke Left is Fascism rather than Communism. There were indeed quite a few wealthy people who favored Italian Fascism and German Naziism in their respective countries.

    Unless a Man has talents to make something of Himself, Freedom is an irksome burden. Of what avail is Freedom to choose if the self be ineffectual? We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, ‘to be free from freedom.’

    Hoffer

    People who push for freedom don’t see it as a singular form that must fit all. People can live in group harmony but must it be mandated for all?

    • #13
  14. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Old Bathos: When the USSR collapsed 30 years ago, it never occurred to anybody that the next major assault on constitutional democracy and western culture would be led by the world’s richest people.  Communism was ever the plaything of unhappy middle-class intellectuals. The concern for the workers was usually eyewash and the appearance of compassion was an artifact of the hatred for the status quo, itself the presumed root of all injustice.

    The rich backing world domination are kidding themselves if they think they’ll still be in control once the takeover is complete.  Socialists always use other people’s money, and the rich don’t realize they can easily become “other people” . . .

    • #14
  15. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Really excellent essay. 

    I would not have approached it like Pat Buchanan would, but he was, in effect, right about “free trade”. Like I say, now everybody bitches and whines about socialism and populism. Duh. 

    • #15
  16. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Old Bathos: The horrors of WWI and the Great Depression that induced Chambers to embrace communism really have no contemporary corollaries.

    I really wish I had heard that before now.

    • #16
  17. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Old Bathos: Of more concern perhaps, is the bizarrely framed national reaction to George Floyd’s death.  It was remarkable not just for the distorting power of media and skill of race hustlers but the size of the appetite for crisis and for dramatic visions of injustice, a need to invent a dragon of racism that only some personally cleansing political contrivance can slay.  (What is that mindset? Does it have a name?)  What is the shelf-life of the moral buzz from wokeness, a lame substitute for Communist zeal? How much damage can it do before it too flames out?

    I’m pretty sure George Soros type organizations were tactically and strategically ready to pounce on something like this. They made it bigger because they were organized and ready.

    Old Bathos: Climate change has filled that void for many but the contrast between apocalyptic rhetoric and actual data is increasingly stark.

    So many problems flow from this.

    Old Bathos: But that persistent enemy is still issuing the whispered invitation to indict and then purport save the world with procrustean, anti-human schemes masquerading as shining visions. That enemy now finds itself in possession of wealth, power, technologies, and political influence that not even Hitler or Stalin could provide.  The power to buy elections and governments, to rework and pervert education at all levels, to control all communications, and restructure the world now in the hands of a few like-minded men increasingly hostile to the premises of democracy and western moral order is something quite new.  Who saw that coming?  Does anybody ever see it coming?

    Well said.

    • #17
  18. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Who saw that coming? Does anybody ever see it coming?

    A few almost always do. They are never believed until it is almost too late.

    IIRC, Pat Buchanan was the first I heard speak about the domestic anti-American culture war, around 1980? maybe, but the chattering class regarded his warnings as the rantings of a kook. Rather prescient, though he did not perhaps foresee how far this could go.

    In fairness a lot of what Pat Buchanan said was some what kooky. Also their are people who are kooky that stumble on the truth from time to time, but in general the early prophets are often discounted. Nobody believed Cassandra.

    My brother worked for Buchanan for a while and managed his newsletter. Pat was doing the equivalent of clickbait before the internet was a thing. His speeches written for Agnew anticipated the Trumpian contempt for RINO reticence and decorum. He enjoyed pushing buttons.

    Did Buchanan write the phrase describing the talking heads in the press as the “nattering nabobs of negativism” ?  That was awesome.

    • #18
  19. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Who saw that coming? Does anybody ever see it coming?

    A few almost always do. They are never believed until it is almost too late.

    IIRC, Pat Buchanan was the first I heard speak about the domestic anti-American culture war, around 1980? maybe, but the chattering class regarded his warnings as the rantings of a kook. Rather prescient, though he did not perhaps foresee how far this could go.

    In fairness a lot of what Pat Buchanan said was some what kooky. Also their are people who are kooky that stumble on the truth from time to time, but in general the early prophets are often discounted. Nobody believed Cassandra.

    My brother worked for Buchanan for a while and managed his newsletter. Pat was doing the equivalent of clickbait before the internet was a thing. His speeches written for Agnew anticipated the Trumpian contempt for RINO reticence and decorum. He enjoyed pushing buttons.

    Did Buchanan write the phrase describing the talking heads in the press as the “nattering nabobs of negativism” ? That was awesome.

    Yes.

    • #19
  20. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Who saw that coming? Does anybody ever see it coming?

    A few almost always do. They are never believed until it is almost too late.

    IIRC, Pat Buchanan was the first I heard speak about the domestic anti-American culture war, around 1980? maybe, but the chattering class regarded his warnings as the rantings of a kook. Rather prescient, though he did not perhaps foresee how far this could go.

    In fairness a lot of what Pat Buchanan said was some what kooky. Also their are people who are kooky that stumble on the truth from time to time, but in general the early prophets are often discounted. Nobody believed Cassandra.

    My brother worked for Buchanan for a while and managed his newsletter. Pat was doing the equivalent of clickbait before the internet was a thing. His speeches written for Agnew anticipated the Trumpian contempt for RINO reticence and decorum. He enjoyed pushing buttons.

    Did Buchanan write the phrase describing the talking heads in the press as the “nattering nabobs of negativism” ? That was awesome.

    For some reason I want to associate it with Spiro Agnew but he may have gotten it from Buchanan.

    • #20
  21. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Who saw that coming? Does anybody ever see it coming?

    A few almost always do. They are never believed until it is almost too late.

    IIRC, Pat Buchanan was the first I heard speak about the domestic anti-American culture war, around 1980? maybe, but the chattering class regarded his warnings as the rantings of a kook. Rather prescient, though he did not perhaps foresee how far this could go.

    In fairness a lot of what Pat Buchanan said was some what kooky. Also their are people who are kooky that stumble on the truth from time to time, but in general the early prophets are often discounted. Nobody believed Cassandra.

    My brother worked for Buchanan for a while and managed his newsletter. Pat was doing the equivalent of clickbait before the internet was a thing. His speeches written for Agnew anticipated the Trumpian contempt for RINO reticence and decorum. He enjoyed pushing buttons.

    I just remember some of his theories about World War 2, which were pretty fanciful to say the least. I do agree that he was a proto-Trumpian figure. It was often difficult to figure out what was core believe and what was trolling with Pat.

    I used to think this about Buchanan’s take on WWII.  I’ve come to believe that he was right.  Sadly, the main outcome of that war was victory for the Soviets and Mao.  We then got stuck defending much of the world from this Communist menace, because we had destroyed the Great Powers that would have kept the Soviets and the ChiComs in check.

    It is impossible to be sure about alternative history, of course.  I find the noninterventionist argument to be quite persuasive now.  I did not think so when VDH’s book came out a couple of years ago, so this is a recent change in my view.

    • #21
  22. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Who saw that coming? Does anybody ever see it coming?

    A few almost always do. They are never believed until it is almost too late.

    IIRC, Pat Buchanan was the first I heard speak about the domestic anti-American culture war, around 1980? maybe, but the chattering class regarded his warnings as the rantings of a kook. Rather prescient, though he did not perhaps foresee how far this could go.

    In fairness a lot of what Pat Buchanan said was some what kooky. Also their are people who are kooky that stumble on the truth from time to time, but in general the early prophets are often discounted. Nobody believed Cassandra.

    My brother worked for Buchanan for a while and managed his newsletter. Pat was doing the equivalent of clickbait before the internet was a thing. His speeches written for Agnew anticipated the Trumpian contempt for RINO reticence and decorum. He enjoyed pushing buttons.

    Did Buchanan write the phrase describing the talking heads in the press as the “nattering nabobs of negativism” ? That was awesome.

    For some reason I want to associate it with Spiro Agnew but he may have gotten it from Buchanan.

    Buchanan was Agnew’s Peter Robinson.

    • #22
  23. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    This is a great post, OB.

    Having said that, I’ll proceed to challenge your main thesis.  :) 

    Old Bathos: When the USSR collapsed 30 years ago, it never occurred to anybody that the next major assault on constitutional democracy and western culture would be led by the world’s richest people. 

    Actually, I would think that any Populist would have thought this.  Maybe Ross Perot thought this, rich as he was himself.  I was of voting age at the time, but didn’t pay that much attention to the details of Perot’s agenda.  I do recall that he was opposed to the free trade system and opposed to illegal immigration.  As a youthful libertarian-type, this did not appeal to me at the time.

    To review what seems to be happening:  We have a fairly large group of very wealthy people.  This isn’t new, and was one of the things that led to the various socialist movements, but in the 19th and early 20th Century, the wealthy held “bourgeois” values.  Many were dismissive of the masses, though there were others who were notable philanthropists.

    Now we’ve had a sexual revolution, and the wealthy seem to be very decadent.  They seem to be anti-faith and anti-family.

    Historically, it seems similar to some periods of Roman history.

    After challenging your thesis, I’m coming around to agreeing with you, OB.  I’d say that we should have seen this coming, but I don’t think that I can claim that we did.  A few people did, and most of us didn’t listen to them, myself included.

    A follow-up question is this:  If we didn’t see this coming, and should have, what ideas or ideologies did we believe that caused us to miss this problem?

    • #23
  24. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    This is a great post, OB.

    Having said that, I’ll proceed to challenge your main thesis. :)

    Old Bathos: When the USSR collapsed 30 years ago, it never occurred to anybody that the next major assault on constitutional democracy and western culture would be led by the world’s richest people.

    Actually, I would think that any Populist would have thought this. Maybe Ross Perot thought this, rich as he was himself. I was of voting age at the time, but didn’t pay that much attention to the details of Perot’s agenda. I do recall that he was opposed to the free trade system and opposed to illegal immigration. As a youthful libertarian-type, this did not appeal to me at the time.

    To review what seems to be happening: We have a fairly large group of very wealthy people. This isn’t new, and was one of the things that led to the various socialist movements, but in the 19th and early 20th Century, the wealthy held “bourgeois” values. Many were dismissive of the masses, though there were others who were notable philanthropists.

    Now we’ve had a sexual revolution, and the wealthy seem to be very decadent. They seem to be anti-faith and anti-family.

    Historically, it seems similar to some periods of Roman history.

    After challenging your thesis, I’m coming around to agreeing with you, OB. I’d say that we should have seen this coming, but I don’t think that I can claim that we did. A few people did, and most of us didn’t listen to them, myself included.

    A follow-up question is this: If we didn’t see this coming, and should have, what ideas or ideologies did we believe that caused us to miss this problem?

    @arizonapatriot I like to take my own case since I was there at the beginning as we fought against Communism after WWII. In the period before the collapse of the Soviet Union I was very busy trying to improve my family’s economic condition, getting my children through college with no debt, things like that. Not much attention to details of foreign policy and politics though I always voted Republican and thought the Bushes were OK. Trade relations with Communist China made me nervous. Over these three decades nothing has gotten better except when Trump was President, not everything got better then, of course, but some things did. Now they are all worse again.

    • #24
  25. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    This is a great post, OB.

    Having said that, I’ll proceed to challenge your main thesis. :)

    Old Bathos: When the USSR collapsed 30 years ago, it never occurred to anybody that the next major assault on constitutional democracy and western culture would be led by the world’s richest people.

    Actually, I would think that any Populist would have thought this. Maybe Ross Perot thought this, rich as he was himself. I was of voting age at the time, but didn’t pay that much attention to the details of Perot’s agenda. I do recall that he was opposed to the free trade system and opposed to illegal immigration. As a youthful libertarian-type, this did not appeal to me at the time.

    To review what seems to be happening: We have a fairly large group of very wealthy people. This isn’t new, and was one of the things that led to the various socialist movements, but in the 19th and early 20th Century, the wealthy held “bourgeois” values. Many were dismissive of the masses, though there were others who were notable philanthropists.

    Now we’ve had a sexual revolution, and the wealthy seem to be very decadent. They seem to be anti-faith and anti-family.

    Historically, it seems similar to some periods of Roman history.

    After challenging your thesis, I’m coming around to agreeing with you, OB. I’d say that we should have seen this coming, but I don’t think that I can claim that we did. A few people did, and most of us didn’t listen to them, myself included.

    A follow-up question is this: If we didn’t see this coming, and should have, what ideas or ideologies did we believe that caused us to miss this problem?

    For many it was the “bread and circuses” offered by the mass media.

    However, for much of the middle class, I tend to think that once they became parents and began throwing themselves into their children’s lives, they seemed to tune out their civic duties such as being aware of the changes occurring in government.  I know that I purchased two books for my niece: Lights Out and Dreamland.  A few months later I asked her if she had read them.  Her reply was that, “I’ve just been so busy with the kids and grandkids that I haven’t had the time.”  I think that a lot of the middle class is like the mayor of Amity being confronted by Richard Dreyfuss’ character, “Does that shark have to swim up and bite you in the ass?”

    • #25
  26. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    If we didn’t see this coming, and should have, what ideas or ideologies did we believe that caused us to miss this problem?

    I think the biggest problem for Republicans was the Decepticons like Bill Kristol and the Bushes and Cheneys.

    • #26
  27. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    This is a great post, OB.

    Having said that, I’ll proceed to challenge your main thesis. :)

    Old Bathos: When the USSR collapsed 30 years ago, it never occurred to anybody that the next major assault on constitutional democracy and western culture would be led by the world’s richest people.

    Actually, I would think that any Populist would have thought this. Maybe Ross Perot thought this, rich as he was himself. I was of voting age at the time, but didn’t pay that much attention to the details of Perot’s agenda. I do recall that he was opposed to the free trade system and opposed to illegal immigration. As a youthful libertarian-type, this did not appeal to me at the time.

    To review what seems to be happening: We have a fairly large group of very wealthy people. This isn’t new, and was one of the things that led to the various socialist movements, but in the 19th and early 20th Century, the wealthy held “bourgeois” values. Many were dismissive of the masses, though there were others who were notable philanthropists.

    Now we’ve had a sexual revolution, and the wealthy seem to be very decadent. They seem to be anti-faith and anti-family.

    Historically, it seems similar to some periods of Roman history.

    After challenging your thesis, I’m coming around to agreeing with you, OB. I’d say that we should have seen this coming, but I don’t think that I can claim that we did. A few people did, and most of us didn’t listen to them, myself included.

    A follow-up question is this: If we didn’t see this coming, and should have, what ideas or ideologies did we believe that caused us to miss this problem?

    For many it was the “bread and circuses” offered by the mass media.

    However, for much of the middle class, I tend to think that once they became parents and began throwing themselves into their children’s lives, they seemed to tune out their civic duties such as being aware of the changes occurring in government. I know that I purchased two books for my niece: Lights Out and Dreamland. A few months later I asked her if she had read them. Her reply was that, “I’ve just been so busy with the kids and grandkids that I haven’t had the time.” I think that a lot of the middle class is like the mayor of Amity being confronted by Richard Dreyfuss’ character, “Does that shark have to swim up and bite you in the ass?”

    The Decepticons always did a good job of making us believe we were in good hands and on the same page when we were not even close.

    • #27
  28. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    unfortunately, now the marxist are in the boardroom and head of government institution pushing CRT and ESG

    • #28
  29. Derek Tyburczyk Lincoln
    Derek Tyburczyk
    @Derek Tyburczyk

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Perhaps a better historical precedent to the current Woke Left is Fascism rather than Communism. There were indeed quite a few wealthy people who favored Italian Fascism and German Naziism in their respective countries.

    Unless a Man has talents to make something of Himself, Freedom is an irksome burden. Of what avail is Freedom to choose if the self be ineffectual? We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, ‘to be free from freedom.’

    Hoffer

    That is a brilliant and poignant quote thank you for sharing. It truly is a fine line between self-sufficiency that leads to a stimulating and fruitful existence, and an existence that’s awash in strife, and self-inflicted doubt. If one doesn’t have the fortitude, aptitude, and sometimes just plain luck to find their path, then one could just as easily have a self-inflicted miserable existence.

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  30. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Old Bathos: But who would have guessed that after the stunning political triumph accompanied by decades of unimagined wealth creation, many if not most of the most favored beneficiaries of that victory would turn against their own cultural and legal heritage that has bestowed so much good on so many? 

    I doubt that I was the only one. I’m pretty sure lots of people observed this happening, well before the Soviet empire fell.  It was not so obvious and thorough then as now, though.  Of course, I was brought up with a conservative populist mindset so was prepared to see it before it was as obvious as it is now; but try explaining to your average congressional candidate in the 80s that he should take political advantage of this phenomenon, and all you got was blank looks.   Even among conservatives in political forums as the internet age was dawning, you’d get complete incomprehension when you’d talk about it. 

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