Consider the Possibility We Are Ruled By Cowards

 

An emaciated working-class America is being torn apart at the seams. The deterioration was hidden for years under the guise of the poverty epidemic: a disease that scourged the urban centers of the nation’s great cities, indiscriminate in its ravaging of people across racial and ethnic backgrounds. But when the separation of classes became an issue to be exploited for the gain of the elites, the dividing lines became clear. The elite class is an institution to be protected. Any proletariat threats are absorbed into their fold and weaponized. The ire of discontent is redirected towards a better-suited antagonist: middle and working-class Americans of whom systemic this-or-that is finally revealed to be the true villain.

Tom Wolfe wrote in his 1970 essay, Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny’s, “Radical Chic, after all, is only radical in Style; in its heart it is part of Society and its traditions.” Where before the elite supported radical political movements and ideas because they were fashionable, even if those movements advocated for their very abolition, now they support those similar radical movements because they fear the backlash from those movements’ opponents. The Black Lives Matter guerilla-force isn’t welcomed with open arms into universities and corporate headquarters because they themselves are feared (although that initially played an important role), but because the elite class needs them to intimidate the politically weak.

What we see now: the racial animus, the cancel culture, the glorification of a broken moral order, is not the consequence of white guilt revealed by America’s racial reckoning, but elite fear. It is fear of us, the average American, and becoming us. It is the visceral terror of being subjected to the cancellation that threatens the powerless and insulates the powerful. They have an autonomy in the current social hierarchy that they deny the rest. They know it, they depend on it, and they determine their agency from it.

When did Americans decide it was better for their well-being to trade their voices for the ignoble promises of expanding state power? When did we trade what we knew as our inherent human value for that doled out by a cabal masquerading as the promise keepers of tolerance? I think frequently of if there was a definitive point when America cleaved itself from the great experiment of individual liberty, unshackling itself from the world’s long history of indentured servitude to earthly masters, kingdoms and royalty, serfdom and servitude to the yoke of man’s selfish, insatiable hunger for power over his fellow man. And it is even a hard question to ask because America defied this history and successfully resolved to prove, that yes, “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” But to admit that we freely bequeathed that which was given to us as the most precious gift of liberty to retake the chains that still enslaved so many across the globe looking to America as a clear beacon of freedom is difficult to fathom. But if there is one point that opened a cascading descent into a baseless morass in which the ideals of equality were stolen and replaced with equity, where character was no longer held to judgment of a person’s actions or principles but rather the tone of one’s skin; where we are blessed or cursed based on the lie that truth is a mirage, conjured up by the ruling class of any given day – it would be the Utopia promised by President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.

It was a promise that not only went unfulfilled, but led to the decay and mistrust of our institutions, and the unmooring of truth from the American Dream. The years following the policies of the Johnson Administration concealed the rot that would eventually disintegrate the pillars of a nation self-assured in its goodness. The tax cuts implemented by President Kennedy, the innovative fortitude of the Space Race that inspired the country, and a nation not yet at the height of war-weary, socially divided chaos were enough to absorb the brunt of a radically expanded government.

But eventually, the truth must come out. And as the patina of the optimism of post-WWII wore off, the chasm between an America trying to hold on to the notion of a flawed but great nation and one that condemned its very existence as the root of evil widened. And it has continued, in fits and starts to this point. A time when the elite have found a way to insulate themselves from the fray by turning Americans against each other. They try to divide us by race, by ethnicity, by sex, by an artificial dogma of privilege assigned in such a way that the author of division, Ibram X. Kendi can only define through a dramatic representation of circular reasoning: “A collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity that are substantiated by racist ideas.” Is that your head spinning, or just your eyes rolling?

America just experienced a great bodily disturbance and it heaved the heavy breath of a man gasping for reason and truth under the heavy jackboot of oppression and delusion. We are seeing parents taking back their children’s education from government school indoctrination. We are seeing black communities slowly rise above the petulance of progressive policies that results in rising homicide rates rather than graduation rates. We are seeing minorities voting against their “interests” and for their freedom in places like the border city of McAllen, Texas, which is approximately 85% Hispanic. The city elected its first Republican mayor in 24 years.

So what does the elite class do in the midst of this Awakening? Codify silence. Erase absolute truth. Shout down opposition and declare nonconformists the enemy. But they do it out of fear. This post-reason society is so terrified of being judged by faceless mobs, the same ones we are subject to in our lives, communities, and work, they are becoming terrified of their own previously held beliefs and thoughts – yet they are so very certain of others’ guilt, they are willing to betray the only rights standing between freedom and oppression. They cling to hate – not as a problem to be identified and solved – but as a scarlet letter with which to brand dissidents. The speech codes and virtue signaling are not for the benefit of America. They restrict the views and arguments of the minority, not protect them. It is important to remember that Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his iconic Letter from Birmingham Jail inside that jail because he was imprisoned for violating speech codes. Free speech protections were crucial for minority groups in their fight for civil rights. Though the speech prohibitions take different forms today – Amazon taking books of its website, college campuses declaring “Safe Space” areas for specific types of speech, attacking scientific theories that go against leftist political narratives – they are no less important.

Elites chide us for our basic standards of happiness: a desire for an autonomy unhindered by the draconian rules based on fear-mongering like climate apocalypse. They label us as backward for trying to maintain our traditional value system centered on a stable family and traditional religion. They chide this as regressive and unsophisticated, openly advocating for tearing down the doctrines that lead to an unqualified truth. Meanwhile, they participate in their Radical Chic ideology: projecting their fear of powerlessness onto a nation struggling to find a path out of the disorderly state they helped create.

When culture is settled in lines defined by one group in order to set it apart above all others, those definitions become ineradicable walls to freedom. When thinking and telling the truth becomes useless, the battle is lost. The late Richard John Neuhaus described it well, “In the absence of truth, power is the only game in town.”

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  1. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Great post, Jenna!

    JennaStocker: It is important to remember that Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his iconic Letter from Birmingham Jail inside that jail because he was imprisoned for violating speech codes. Free speech protections were crucial for minority groups in their fight for civil rights.

    I didn’t know this. I’ll have to look it up; it’s a beautiful example of why the current craze to censor under the guise of “managing” “misinformation” is so misguided (if not something more sinister).

    As for your thesis that fear drive the elite, I’m sure there’s truth in it. I try to think of other motivations, say simple nihilism or financial greed, but both seem minor compared to the fear of a loss of status and influence that appears to grip the elite. So, yes, I think you’ve probably nailed it.

    • #1
  2. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    I don’t mind being ruled by cowards, as long as it’s me they’re afraid of.

    The problem seems to me to be that we’re not ruled by cowards, but by fearless imbeciles.

    • #2
  3. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Great post, Jenna!

    JennaStocker: It is important to remember that Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his iconic Letter from Birmingham Jail inside that jail because he was imprisoned for violating speech codes. Free speech protections were crucial for minority groups in their fight for civil rights.

    I didn’t know this. I’ll have to look it up; it’s a beautiful example of why the current craze to censor under the guise of “managing” “misinformation” is so misguided (if not something more sinister).

    As for your thesis that fear drive the elite, I’m sure there’s truth in it. I try to think of other motivations, say simple nihilism or financial greed, but both seem minor compared to the fear of a loss of status and influence that appears to grip the elite. So, yes, I think you’ve probably nailed it.

    Now we have to figure out the difficult part: how we get out of this mess!

    • #3
  4. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    I don’t mind being ruled by cowards, as long as it’s me they’re afraid of.

    The problem seems to me to be that we’re not ruled by cowards, but by fearless imbeciles.

    I understand that. But keep in mind the great purges weren’t ordered because the authoritarians felt safe in their power. 

    • #4
  5. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Good post.  As I see it, though, the self-defined ‘elite’ isn’t solely or even primarily a matter of *money*, it is more nuanced than that.  The owner of a mid-sized manufacturing or distribution business, making several hundred K$ per year, and with a net worth of several million $, will likely be viewed as less ‘elite’ than a journalist or professor who is paid and is financially worth considerably less.

    As one example, Trump had and has far more money than the vast majority of those sneering at his perceived non-eliteness.  

     

    • #5
  6. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    I don’t mind being ruled by cowards, as long as it’s me they’re afraid of.

    The problem seems to me to be that we’re not ruled by cowards, but by fearless imbeciles.

    I understand that. But keep in mind the great purges weren’t ordered because the authoritarians felt safe in their power.

    I neglected to thank you for the post. I enjoyed it.

    • #6
  7. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Good post. As I see it, though, the self-defined ‘elite’ isn’t solely or even primarily a matter of *money*, it is more nuanced than that. The owner of a mid-sized manufacturing or distribution business, making several hundred K$ per year, and with a net worth of several million $, will likely be viewed as less ‘elite’ than a journalist or professor who is paid and is financially worth considerably less.

    As one example, Trump had and has far more money than the vast majority of those sneering at his perceived non-eliteness.

     

    I agree with you. I don’t think I mentioned wealth in my post – I did use the metric of, I guess I’ll say attitude. It’s the liberal that scoffs at traditional values, patriotism, organized religion, and recoils at any dissent to progressive dogma. I always found it amusing when the left uses wealth or income as some dividing line, as if low income people cannot relate or communicate at the same level of understanding as someone rich, and vice versa. They can claim Joe Biden is some Everyman, but Trump is a bridge too far, apparently. The left makes it plain their complete lack of self-awareness at every turn. This is another example.

    • #7
  8. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    I don’t mind being ruled by cowards, as long as it’s me they’re afraid of.

    The problem seems to me to be that we’re not ruled by cowards, but by fearless imbeciles.

    I understand that. But keep in mind the great purges weren’t ordered because the authoritarians felt safe in their power.

    I neglected to thank you for the post. I enjoyed it.

    Thank you for taking time out of your day to read it!

    • #8
  9. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Great post, Jenna!

    JennaStocker: It is important to remember that Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his iconic Letter from Birmingham Jail inside that jail because he was imprisoned for violating speech codes. Free speech protections were crucial for minority groups in their fight for civil rights.

    I didn’t know this. I’ll have to look it up; it’s a beautiful example of why the current craze to censor under the guise of “managing” “misinformation” is so misguided (if not something more sinister).

    As for your thesis that fear drive the elite, I’m sure there’s truth in it. I try to think of other motivations, say simple nihilism or financial greed, but both seem minor compared to the fear of a loss of status and influence that appears to grip the elite. So, yes, I think you’ve probably nailed it.

    Now we have to figure out the difficult part: how we get out of this mess!

    I favor the direct approach: give them something to be even more fearful about.

    • #9
  10. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    I don’t mind being ruled by cowards, as long as it’s me they’re afraid of.

    The problem seems to me to be that we’re not ruled by cowards, but by fearless imbeciles.

    +1000 likes.

    Is there such a thing as “reverse Marxism” where social division is used to create a wealth/power divide between elites and workers?  Maybe that is called “Zuckism”.

    • #10
  11. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    JennaStocker (View Comment):
    I agree with you. I don’t think I mentioned wealth in my post – I did use the metric of, I guess I’ll say attitude. It’s the liberal that scoffs at traditional values, patriotism, organized religion, and recoils at any dissent to progressive dogma.

    So do all the millions of unemployed or underemployed college graduates with degrees in social work and communications who spend their time shouting at police and peaceful diners do so to enter the ranks of the elite?

    • #11
  12. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Jenna, good post.  I have some comments and questions.

    I think that you are hypothesizing that we are in a political battle between three groups.  There is a Left-leaning Elite at the top, a generally conservative Middle Class on the right, and a sort of Proletarian group of the poor, the revolutionaries, and certain minorities.  Like any model, this is something of an oversimplification of a complex world, but I think that it is generally accurate.

    The strange thing is the behavior of the Elite.  Charles Murray pointed this out in Coming Apart, among others.

    If I’m following you correctly, you are hypothesizing two — or maybe three — motivations for the strange behavior of the Elites:

    1. They are cowards
    2. They are afraid of a backlash from the Middle Class
    3. They are afraid of becoming the Middle Class

    I’m not sure about the cowardice part.  It’s not exactly cowardly to be afraid, if you really have something to fear.

    I wonder what you mean by the becoming part.  Are you suggesting that the Elite doesn’t want to accept Middle Class beliefs and values, or doesn’t want to lose their Elite position and the financial and social benefits that it provides?  (Or maybe both, or something else too).

    I also have a question about the backlash idea.  What backlash do you contemplate?  Is the idea that the Elites, with their bad ideas, have done a huge amount of damage to our society, and they don’t want responsibility fixed on themselves?  Or is is something else?

    • #12
  13. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    I don’t mind being ruled by cowards, as long as it’s me they’re afraid of.

    The problem seems to me to be that we’re not ruled by cowards, but by fearless imbeciles.

    +1000 likes.

    Is there such a thing as “reverse Marxism” where social division is used to create a wealth/power divide between elites and workers? Maybe that is called “Zuckism”.

    I think you just coined a phrase.

    • #13
  14. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    Flicker (View Comment):

    JennaStocker (View Comment):
    I agree with you. I don’t think I mentioned wealth in my post – I did use the metric of, I guess I’ll say attitude. It’s the liberal that scoffs at traditional values, patriotism, organized religion, and recoils at any dissent to progressive dogma.

    So do all the millions of unemployed or underemployed college graduates with degrees in social work and communications who spend their time shouting at police and peaceful diners do so to enter the ranks of the elite?

    That sounds like a prerequisite, yes.

    • #14
  15. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Thanks for a great post Jenna, as always well written.

    • #15
  16. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    I take serious objection to being “ruled”.

    I intensely dislike the majority of the “elite” that I see on a regular basis.

    I concur that they are cowards.

    Evidence: China just bio’d the entire planet, killing more than 3 million humans, 600K in the US alone. We lost more people in this bio-attack than we lost soldiers in the American Civil War and more civilians than we have ever lost in any conflict except the American Civil War. Our “leadership” has no plan to see recompense for these damages. They are cowards, Q.E.D

    • #16
  17. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I’ve long thought that the defining trait of many on the left is personal insecurity. To rise to the summit of the left, one must understand and be able to capitalize on that trait in others.  Exhibiting a degree of cowardice is one way to curry favor with the insecure.

    • #17
  18. navyjag Lincoln
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Jenna, good post. I have some comments and questions.

    I think that you are hypothesizing that we are in a political battle between three groups. There is a Left-leaning Elite at the top, a generally conservative Middle Class on the right, and a sort of Proletarian group of the poor, the revolutionaries, and certain minorities. Like any model, this is something of an oversimplification of a complex world, but I think that it is generally accurate.

    The strange thing is the behavior of the Elite. Charles Murray pointed this out in Coming Apart, among others.

    If I’m following you correctly, you are hypothesizing two — or maybe three — motivations for the strange behavior of the Elites:

    1. They are cowards
    2. They are afraid of a backlash from the Middle Class
    3. They are afraid of becoming the Middle Class

    I’m not sure about the cowardice part. It’s not exactly cowardly to be afraid, if you really have something to fear.

    I wonder what you mean by the becoming part. Are you suggesting that the Elite doesn’t want to accept Middle Class beliefs and values, or doesn’t want to lose their Elite position and the financial and social benefits that it provides? (Or maybe both, or something else too).

    I also have a question about the backlash idea. What backlash do you contemplate? Is the idea that the Elites, with their bad ideas, have done a huge amount of damage to our society, and they don’t want responsibility fixed on themselves? Or is is something else?

    Jerry, isn’t the backlash already happening? Public school parents, probably mostly from suburban good schools, going nuts over CRT (see Loudin county, Va), African Americans voting for Adams as NYC mayor.  Agree need to see lots more. But it may be coming. Can’t wait to see how S. Texas welcomes Kamala.  

    • #18
  19. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Good post. As I see it, though, the self-defined ‘elite’ isn’t solely or even primarily a matter of *money*, it is more nuanced than that. The owner of a mid-sized manufacturing or distribution business, making several hundred K$ per year, and with a net worth of several million $, will likely be viewed as less ‘elite’ than a journalist or professor who is paid and is financially worth considerably less.

    As one example, Trump had and has far more money than the vast majority of those sneering at his perceived non-eliteness.

     

    Yeah, I think “intellectual” elites is a more accurate term.

    • #19
  20. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    Some are cowards, others cynical opportunists, corporate prostitutes, and crypto-progressives.  And then there’s the Democrat part of the ruling uniparty….

    • #20
  21. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Can’t wait to see how S. Texas welcomes Kamala.

    You won’t know, because she isn’t going to South Texas, she is going to El Paso.

    The real border problems are from Del Rio down to the lower Rio Grande valley.

    So she’s ducking the issue to the extent possible.

    • #21
  22. navyjag Lincoln
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Can’t wait to see how S. Texas welcomes Kamala.

    You won’t know, because she isn’t going to South Texas, she is going to El Paso.

    The real border problems are from Del Rio down to the lower Rio Grande valley.

    So she’s ducking the issue to the extent possible.

    OK Headed. Drove through there some years ago.  Was sure Mexico was just off to my left. Just kidding. Obvious the problem is much further south. Not that Kamala, our worthless former San Fran DA, could figure out the solution.  Maybe she learned some Spanish. And could tell the cartels “don’t come here.”

    • #22
  23. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    JennaStocker: What we see now: the racial animus, the cancel culture, the glorification of a broken moral order, is not the consequence of white guilt revealed by America’s racial reckoning, but elite fear.

    Indeed, bread and circuses. 

    None of this threatens America’s elite, it just keeps people occupied and gives their dissatisfaction an outlet to fight against.

    The elite that matters is the economic elite, focusing on anything else is a side show.

    • #23
  24. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Great post!

    What’s remarkable about the new overlords is their inability to use the language of the people they seek to rule. They speak a new tongue full of unbellyfeel, thinking that it will sway the masses with its shiny virtues. But it doesn’t.

    This is a miscalculation, but they could do no other: they have unshakable faith in themselves. They may, in some deep private part, find themselves distressed that a lifetime marinating in the language of theory and bureaucracy has left them unprepared to deal with parents who show up at public meetings and speak plain, hard, brash American truths. 

    • #24
  25. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    Never listen to what elites say, watch what they do.

     

    • #25
  26. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Great post, Jenna!

    JennaStocker: It is important to remember that Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his iconic Letter from Birmingham Jail inside that jail because he was imprisoned for violating speech codes. Free speech protections were crucial for minority groups in their fight for civil rights.

    I didn’t know this. I’ll have to look it up; it’s a beautiful example of why the current craze to censor under the guise of “managing” “misinformation” is so misguided (if not something more sinister).

    As for your thesis that fear drive the elite, I’m sure there’s truth in it. I try to think of other motivations, say simple nihilism or financial greed, but both seem minor compared to the fear of a loss of status and influence that appears to grip the elite. So, yes, I think you’ve probably nailed it.

    Now we have to figure out the difficult part: how we get out of this mess!

    I favor the direct approach: give them something to be even more fearful about.

    Then Biden threatens to respond with F15s and nukes. That really does seem to prove the OP thesis. 

    The need to stop speech always come from fear. 

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

    Zafar (View Comment):
    The elite that matters is the economic elite, focusing on anything else is a side show.

    What matters is the power elite. Focusing on the economic elite is a sideshow.  (Usually the two are connected, though.)  

    • #27
  28. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Jenna, good post. I have some comments and questions.

    I think that you are hypothesizing that we are in a political battle between three groups. There is a Left-leaning Elite at the top, a generally conservative Middle Class on the right, and a sort of Proletarian group of the poor, the revolutionaries, and certain minorities. Like any model, this is something of an oversimplification of a complex world, but I think that it is generally accurate.

    The strange thing is the behavior of the Elite. Charles Murray pointed this out in Coming Apart, among others.

    If I’m following you correctly, you are hypothesizing two — or maybe three — motivations for the strange behavior of the Elites:

    1. They are cowards
    2. They are afraid of a backlash from the Middle Class
    3. They are afraid of becoming the Middle Class

    I’m not sure about the cowardice part. It’s not exactly cowardly to be afraid, if you really have something to fear.

    I wonder what you mean by the becoming part. Are you suggesting that the Elite doesn’t want to accept Middle Class beliefs and values, or doesn’t want to lose their Elite position and the financial and social benefits that it provides? (Or maybe both, or something else too).

    I also have a question about the backlash idea. What backlash do you contemplate? Is the idea that the Elites, with their bad ideas, have done a huge amount of damage to our society, and they don’t want responsibility fixed on themselves? Or is is something else?

    Jerry, isn’t the backlash already happening? Public school parents, probably mostly from suburban good schools, going nuts over CRT (see Loudin county, Va), African Americans voting for Adams as NYC mayor. Agree need to see lots more. But it may be coming. Can’t wait to see how S. Texas welcomes Kamala.

    I think that President Trump’s successful 2016 campaign was part of a backlash, and there are certainly signs that the opposition is mounting, as you indicate.

    I may have phrased my question for Jenna poorly.  I can envision several kinds of “backlash.”  There may be political backlash, which would presumably mean a shift to the political right among the Middle Class.  There may be a social backlash, with the manifestation of stigma, ostracism, or other criticism directed toward the Elites.  The social backlash might occur relatively quietly, through rejection of programming and products produced by the Elites.

    As an example, I don’t watch the NFL any more.  There have been a few commercials that annoyed me, and I may not buy the products at issue.  I still occasionally buy Coke products, at restaurants, but I’m more inclined to avoid them.  It is unlikely that I’ll buy a Gillette razor ever again.  I may stop watching a movie or TV series if it veers into LGBTQ++ territory.

    • #28
  29. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Jenna, good post. I have some comments and questions.

    I think that you are hypothesizing that we are in a political battle between three groups. There is a Left-leaning Elite at the top, a generally conservative Middle Class on the right, and a sort of Proletarian group of the poor, the revolutionaries, and certain minorities. Like any model, this is something of an oversimplification of a complex world, but I think that it is generally accurate.

    The strange thing is the behavior of the Elite. Charles Murray pointed this out in Coming Apart, among others.

    If I’m following you correctly, you are hypothesizing two — or maybe three — motivations for the strange behavior of the Elites:

    1. They are cowards
    2. They are afraid of a backlash from the Middle Class
    3. They are afraid of becoming the Middle Class

    I’m not sure about the cowardice part. It’s not exactly cowardly to be afraid, if you really have something to fear.

    I wonder what you mean by the becoming part. Are you suggesting that the Elite doesn’t want to accept Middle Class beliefs and values, or doesn’t want to lose their Elite position and the financial and social benefits that it provides? (Or maybe both, or something else too).

    I also have a question about the backlash idea. What backlash do you contemplate? Is the idea that the Elites, with their bad ideas, have done a huge amount of damage to our society, and they don’t want responsibility fixed on themselves? Or is is something else?

    Jerry, isn’t the backlash already happening? Public school parents, probably mostly from suburban good schools, going nuts over CRT (see Loudin county, Va), African Americans voting for Adams as NYC mayor. Agree need to see lots more. But it may be coming. Can’t wait to see how S. Texas welcomes Kamala.

    What separates the elite from the rest isn’t necessarily wealth, class, or even education but agency. Who has power over his life to make impactful choices? If one feels the game is rigged – whether by bureaucrats, unresponsive politicians, or the media or Silicon Valley rather than within his community, place of worship, family, he has no voice. Apathy is a quick, quiet killer.

    • #29
  30. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    JennaStocker (View Comment):
    What separates the elite from the rest isn’t necessarily wealth, class, or even education but agency. Who has power over his life to make impactful choices? If one feels the game is rigged – whether by bureaucrats, unresponsive politicians, or the media or Silicon Valley rather than within his community, place of worship, family, he has no voice. Apathy is a quick, quiet killer.

    What separates them is power.  The elites have substantive power.  The rest (of us) not so much.  And the most powerful thing elites have is that they control the narrative, they govern what they rest of us know, and therefore what the rest of us care about.

    Imho the elite doesn’t care about CRT or trans issues or Marriage Equality or any of that stuff.  They only care about power, and that means economic power.

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