G7: Repeating Dead Rituals from a Former Age

 

In 1910, nine European sovereigns posed for a final “family photo” before the Great War. They gathered for the funeral of King Edward VII, appropriately enough. Within ten years, the majority had lost power via abdication, assassination, revolution, or death.

The image came to mind after seeing this week’s photo of the current masters of the international order who gathered in Cornwall for the G7 summit.

I couldn’t help but think…

Another group of aloof leaders stubbornly out of touch with the people they’re supposed to represent. Politicians who condemn authoritarians while offering them sweetheart deals behind the scenes. Mouthing words of unity while aggressively pursuing their self-interest. Leaders who gripe about the rabble who lost trust in them but find it beneath them to earn it back.

Unaware how to move forward, they mindlessly repeat the dead rituals from a former age.

Every poll demonstrates that people have lost faith in their elite institutions; not so obvious is what will take their place. In his prescient book The Revolt of the Public, Martin Gurri analyzes the moment:

The immediate target of revolt is an elite class that has failed persistently, on its own terms. The elites once were wrapped in the mantle of authority and delivered grandiose national projects, but now the public knows them too well, and they can only mutter and stammer, demoralized. They loathe the public for their humiliation. Politicians have lost faith in the idea of service, or the common interest, or the promotion of some universal cause or ideology: they exist, in office, merely to survive, or more accurately to be seen surviving, to suck up the attention of mass and social media. It has come to pass that presidents are chosen from the casts of reality TV shows. Political actors more and more resemble the real actors in Hollywood, whose company they keep and whose perverse predilections they seem to share.

Staged photo ops and elbow bumps only reinforce the sense that our “meritocratic” post-WW2 order is as fragile as the aristocratic courts of 1910 Europe. The difference today is that the elites have already lost faith in themselves. Instead of forging a new future, they lock the serfs in their homes and ridicule anyone who dares oppose them.

Increasingly, the proles’ reaction to this mockery is a shrug. Indifference terrifies the institutions even more than opposition and spurs them to greater fantasies of control. We need a Great Reset, a Global Minimum Tax, and smartphone passports to prove your vaccination status (and shares other metadata you don’t need to worry about). The proles laugh harder.

Pantomimes like this week’s G7 Summit reveal an enervated order that doesn’t wield power so much as it clings to it. The danger ahead is that, as Gurri writes, “You can condemn politicians only for so long before you must reject the legitimacy of the system that produced them.”

Everyone senses a change coming and pray it’s nothing like what swept away the world of 1910.

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  1. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Did you catch the one guy alone for the elbow bumps?

    “Did everyone else know we were supposed to bring dates?  I didn’t know we were bringing dates.”

    • #1
  2. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    That picture says: 

    “We are afraid of each other”.  Outdoors, in the wind, to protect themselves from the Wuhan Coronavirus, against which they have all been vaccinated and are no longer at much, if any, risk.  Effete, “elite” snobs.  I’m actually surprised that they are not wearing masks too.

    • #2
  3. Jeff Petraska Member
    Jeff Petraska
    @JeffPetraska

    John, you’re not the only person thinking this way.  Spencer Klavan agrees.

    Something New is Being Born – American Mindset (substack.com)

     

     

    • #3
  4. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    Jeff Petraska (View Comment):

    John, you’re not the only person thinking this way. Spencer Klavan agrees.

    Something New is Being Born – American Mindset (substack.com)

    I hadn’t seen that post, but what’s funny is that I sent him my article just after posting :)

    • #4
  5. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Remember, if you’re selling yourself as “the best and the brightest,” you better be able to prove that when the ship-hits-the-sand. If all you’re able to do is prove yourself to be is another bumbling bureaucrat then the jig is up.

    And quite frankly, not many covered themselves with glory during the pandemic. This jig is definitely up.

    • #5
  6. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Jon, can you identify the characters in the first photo?  I think middle front is Nicholas of Russia, what of the others?

    • #6
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Jon, can you identify the characters in the first photo? I think middle front is Nicholas of Russia, what of the others?

    That’s Nicky’s cousin, George V. Directly behind George is another cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm II. The King of Norway is standing on the right, the King of Belgium is standing on the left, the other kings are Portugal, Bulgaria, and … I dunno.

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Sitting on the left is King Alphonso XIII of Spain. My great grandfather singed his beard when he was twelve years old. The King was twelve. Great Grandpa Arnie was a little older.

    • #8
  9. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Gee.  7 people we can do without.

    Here’s how you know they’re useless.  If all of them were gone, tomorrow, magically – what would change?  What would stop working?  Would the lights go out?  Would the food not show up on the shelves at the grocery store?  Hell, the dollar might gain in value because we’d stop spending so much the Fed wouldn’t be spilling trillions into the economy.

    We would all be exactly the same.  The guy who plows your road in the winter doesn’t rely on a president to get that job done.  The local utilities don’t need any one of those people to generate, transmit, and distribute power.  If anything, these idiots represent what gets in the way of things getting done.

    Ask SpaceX.  Or anyone trying to pull a construction permit for their house.

    • #9
  10. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy) Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy)
    @GumbyMark

    These people are all vaccinated.  Why are they bumping elbows?

    • #10
  11. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    The only outlier was Trump. Yet someone demanded his dispatch and return to normal. All the good he began is being systematically undone.  

    Well, this is what normal looks like. Happy now ?

    • #11
  12. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Jon, can you identify the characters in the first photo? I think middle front is Nicholas of Russia, what of the others?

    Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria (abdication), King Manuel II of Portugal (overthrown and exiled), Kaiser Wilhelm II of the German Empire (abdicated), King George I of Greece (assassinated) and King Albert I of Belgium.

    Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King-Emperor George V of the United Kingdom and King Frederick VIII of Denmark (died).

    • #12
  13. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    I am not at all sure what the statement that the Elites have already lost faith in themselves refers to.

    If that statement was true in any way shape or form, tens of millions of people would have marched maskless into the streets by July or August of last year. Instead, in region after region, lockdowns that were senseless in terms of real science were accepted by the multitudes, perhaps with resentment, but mostly through apathy.

    Small mom and pop businesses closed down, but the money they lost ended up going to the CostCo’s, WalMarts, and Amazon mega stores.

    Globally, over twenty trillion dollars was transferred from the middle incomed to billionaires.

    Sure, some people may be pulled down off their pedestals.  Fauci needs a miracle or two to hold on to his position in the bureaucracy,

    But every executive at Pfizer, Moderna, J & J, Astra Zeneca who  benefitted from the Weird Science that Fauci promulgated for the last 15 months has solidified their position.

    The many corporations that invested in BLM have accomplished exactly what their billions of dollars of donations were to accomplish. As Catherine Austin Fitts has so patiently explained, in 34 of the 38 neighborhoods incinerated by last summer’s peaceful protests, 34 were Opportunity Zones. Prior to businesses being turned into rubble, mega corporations who moved their shipping departments or customer service call centers to such locations would have enjoyed beaucoup tax breaks. But they would have still found it necessary to pay top dollar for buildings and real estate. Now the fact the buildings are rubble and the land is scorched means that whatever real estate is part of their game plan can be had for pennies on the dollar.

    Because they control the political pawns on the chessboard. “Our” Corporations do not care what type of society the underlings are deemed to live inside. The society can be run as vulture capitalism, or socialism, and why would it matter to the inner families at the top?

    Only one individual in the last forty years has attempted to stand for family style capitalism. His goal was to follow sensible rules that govern by allowing  a nation to care about its people more than trumped up, virtue signalling of abstract love for massive numbers of immigrants, or extra profits for  top financial people who didn’t mind our jobs had gone overseas as long as they made profits from that. This individual was not under their control. He upset the Elite’s plan for enslavement/deprivation under the banner of sustainability. He understood the UN directed so much that is behind the promotion of no borders, endless regulations to “Green” the Earth, and the new dictates of “Diversity Uber Alles.”

    By January of 2020, Trump had returned jobs to our neighborhoods. Even MN had become purple. The VA was reformed, drug prices were forced back, inflation was under control, we had peace in the ME and more. So they unleashed COVID & falsified the election.

    • #13
  14. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Maybe only something like what happened in the 1910’s can make the change happen. 

    I do not see anything short of a destruction of these instructions working. 

    • #14
  15. JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery Thatcher
    JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery
    @JosePluma

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Jon, can you identify the characters in the first photo? I think middle front is Nicholas of Russia, what of the others?

    Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria (abdication), King Manuel II of Portugal (overthrown and exiled), Kaiser Wilhelm II of the German Empire (abdicated), King George I of Greece (assassinated) and King Albert I of Belgium.

    Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King-Emperor George V of the United Kingdom and King Frederick VIII of Denmark (died).

    Standing (left to right): King Haakon VII of Norway, King Ferdinand of Bulgaria, King Manuel of Portugal, Emperor William II of Germany, King George I of the Hellenes, King Albert of the Belgians. Seated (left to right): King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V, King Frederick VIII of Denmark. King George V was related by ties of blood or of marriage to most of the sovereigns of Europe, some of whom gathered at Windsor for his father’s funeral in 1910. Here he can be seen with two uncles (the Kings of Denmark and of the Hellenes), a brother-in-law who was also a first cousin (the King of Norway), another first cousin (the German Emperor), a first cousin by marriage (the King of Spain) and three distant cousins, all descended, as he was, from branches of the Saxe-Coburg family (the Kings of Bulgaria, Portugal and the Belgians).

    From here.

    • #15
  16. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    The current photo made me wonder, was this the setting where we got Trump pushing his way to the front? It was some meeting of international leaders.

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Percival (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Jon, can you identify the characters in the first photo? I think middle front is Nicholas of Russia, what of the others?

    That’s Nicky’s cousin, George V. Directly behind George is another cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm II. The King of Norway is standing on the right, the King of Belgium is standing on the left, the other kings are Portugal, Bulgaria, and … I dunno.

    EDIT: King of Norway on the left. King of Belgium on the right. Great. Now I have royal dyslexia to add to the list.

    • #17
  18. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Gazpacho Grande' (View Comment):
    Here’s how you know they’re useless.  If all of them were gone, tomorrow, magically – what would change?  What would stop working?  Would the lights go out?  Would the food not show up on the shelves at the grocery store?  Hell, the dollar might gain in value because we’d stop spending so much the Fed wouldn’t be spilling trillions into the economy.

    If they all were magically gone tomorrow, things would probably improve.

    • #18
  19. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Gazpacho Grande’ (View Comment):

    Gee. 7 people we can do without.

    Here’s how you know they’re useless. If all of them were gone, tomorrow, magically – what would change? What would stop working? Would the lights go out? Would the food not show up on the shelves at the grocery store? Hell, the dollar might gain in value because we’d stop spending so much the Fed wouldn’t be spilling trillions into the economy.

    We would all be exactly the same. The guy who plows your road in the winter doesn’t rely on a president to get that job done. The local utilities don’t need any one of those people to generate, transmit, and distribute power. If anything, these idiots represent what gets in the way of things getting done.

    Ask SpaceX. Or anyone trying to pull a construction permit for their house.

    This is a great discussion about that. It’s a very expensive podcast, but he may have a free trial. You can search for interviews of Simon on YouTube, too. The ruling class is not serious enough about regulating things properly so you have a dispersed prosperity. It really is about stealing from each other. It’s going to end the hard way. I always talk about how China is nothing but a mafia with an army, exploiting their own citizens and other countries, but if you listen to this the only difference between them and us is they are more explicit and extreme about it.

    • #19
  20. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    These people are all vaccinated. Why are they bumping elbows?

    • #20
  21. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Followed by two world wars, and a new system set by a new leader.  May have something similar with China in charge.  We’re dead and  unless we break off and get rid of most state and city bureaucracies it’s over.   The good news is that china will rot and a new generation gets to eventually start over. 

    • #21
  22. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    EJHill (View Comment):
    ship-hits-the-sand

    How about “shin hits the fat”?

    • #22
  23. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    The many corporations that invested in BLM have accomplished exactly what their billions of dollars of donations were to accomplish.

    Has anyone noticed the irony that some of these corporations had their own buildings destroyed by BLM during riots?  Payback . . .

    • #23
  24. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Yesterday in Canada, Maxime Bernier one time member of Parliament and still leader of the Peoples Party of Canada was arrested for attending and organizing anti-lockdown rallies.  Thats Trudeaus Canada.

    • #24
  25. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    I appreciate the sentiment, but note, the absolute monarchs of the major powers lost their places. The constitutional monarch has a granddaughter who retains the throne.

    While we certainly have the worst elites money can buy, we also have the power to toss them out. Up above, lots of posters cite the irrelevance of President and Mr. Biden to the routine aspects of life for 99% of the citizenry. This is the feature of a federal republic. While there is a lot of ruin in a nation, there is also a lot of patience in our nation. At some point, the public’s patience will end.

    The question to me, who will be prepared to lead the parade? 

    • #25
  26. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Percival (View Comment):
    My great grandfather singed his beard when he was twelve years old.

    Twelve years is a bit young for growing a beard, don’t you think? 

    • #26
  27. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Those G7 guys may be irrelevant, but the bureaucratic, administrative state is still in the driver’s seat in most of those countries. 

    • #27
  28. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Gazpacho Grande' (View Comment):

    Gee. 7 people we can do without.

    Here’s how you know they’re useless. If all of them were gone, tomorrow, magically – what would change? What would stop working? Would the lights go out? Would the food not show up on the shelves at the grocery store? Hell, the dollar might gain in value because we’d stop spending so much the Fed wouldn’t be spilling trillions into the economy.

    We would all be exactly the same. The guy who plows your road in the winter doesn’t rely on a president to get that job done. The local utilities don’t need any one of those people to generate, transmit, and distribute power. If anything, these idiots represent what gets in the way of things getting done.

    Ask SpaceX. Or anyone trying to pull a construction permit for their house.

    Isn’t this a good thing?  In what countries would the sudden disappearance of the head of state result in chaos?  Only the most heinous dictatorships.  I’d rather live in the free world where the entire fate of a nation does not hang on some glorious leader.

    • #28
  29. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    My great grandfather singed his beard when he was twelve years old.

    Twelve years is a bit young for growing a beard, don’t you think?

    In 1587, Sir Francis Drake sailed into the port of Cadiz and burned the ships of the King of Spain.

    In 1898, my great grandfather sailed into Manila Bay and did the same thing.

    • #29
  30. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    That G7 shot has me considering getting as far away from the 7 as possible.

    According to my Twitter feed Jon would like a “private island” for Father’s Day (aka Birthing Male Parent Day) but funds are short.  Perhaps if we chipped in, there might be room for a few more.  So … a semi-private island.

    • #30