American Ruling Class: A Cancer That Will Devour Civilization, If Nothing Is Done


 All societies develop ruling classes. It is a very bad flaw of civilization: those oligarchies contradict the nature of humanity (liberty, equality, fraternity), and the nature of optimal intelligence (ideas from all over, competing for the best thinking; not just in the self-service of a tiny elite).

Why do ruling classes develop? Fundamentally, elitism is intrinsic to civilization. Civilization harnesses exponentiation: power grows proportionally to itself. For example, the more people, the more manpower, thus the more food production, the more irrigation workers, the bigger the defense budget, etc. Consequences of this exponentiation of human power can be dire: the Sumerian cities were destroyed in a flood of biblical proportions, caused by the ravages visited by human deforestation, agriculture and herding. Similar situations arose in Europe and Japan three millennia later (however, powerful medieval governments stopped these ecological devastations brutally before something).

But the same situation plays inside: political power exponentiates (not just financial interest from loans). That means the wealthiest and,or, the most powerful become increasingly, from one generation to the next, ever wealthier and powerful. This happens as classes, not just individuals. For example Harriman, the railroad baron, had two sons highly influential not just the US Democratic Party, but with Stalin and Hitler (one of them got decorated at the highest level by both; his wife became ambassador to Paris).   

Ruling by the few is intrinsic to civilization. Look at China with its, until recently, mostly independent 5,000 year old history.

The father of China’s big chief, Xi Jinping, was so important that the entire Red Army of Mao found refuge in the province this general held. Such auspicious beginnings at the very top of the Chinese elite, fed Mr. Xi and his all consuming, righteous hubris. A few years among the peasants under the Red Guards just fed his thirst for vengeance of whatever, whoever, did not fully appreciate his greatness. Let’s hope he has a good shrink. Doesn’t look like it, though…

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The preceding is modified from a published comment to NYT answering America Has a Ruling Class

[Matija Medved] The ruling elite of the USA imagines itself as by the people, from the people, for the people. In truth, growing for 150 years, it’s a new aristocracy, so far diluted by the growth of the empire it rules, by hiding that this is exactly what it is doing

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So what to do? Before having a strategy, we need those who can write down a strategy to be aware of the problem, and its seriousness. We are not living in more primitive times, when civilizations came and went. Destroying one brought another. And time had time. 

Notice that, after the collapse of the Tang empire, China tended to be invaded by foreigners a lot, and thoroughly: Uighurs, Jurchens, Mongols, Manchus… and even a tiny bit by France and Britain, and later powers in conflict with the Boxers; China tends to talk a lot about this late aspect, which was NOT significant; the real problem had been caused not just by those occupations lasting centuries, but the degeneracies which led to them. In any case, Chinese civilization slowed down enormously. In the West, it was worse: two enormous collapses, the Bronze Age Collapse (BAC), 32 centuries ago, and the Roman Collapse (RC, starting by 395 CE, death of Theodosius I, my chronology) showed that civilization is fully reversible. In both cases, literacy got killed (more so with BAC). The Roman Collapse was very complicated, because it was accompanied by the rise of the Frankish civilization, which was more advanced than the Greco-Roman one in the domains of ethnic and religious tolerance, diversity, equity (inheritance equally divided), slavery (outlawed), universal citizenship (everybody was a Frank, even Pagans, Jews, Syrians, Arians, not just Catholics).

The point though, is that all this happened over centuries, civilization had time. Nowadays, because of the unpredictable rule of an autocrat like Mr. Xi, the world could wake up tomorrow, at war. It does not take too many H bombs for a real bad day. Xi is not the US elite, of course, but just something that the US elite contributed to grow… same as Hitler, Mussolini, or Franco, or even Hirohito… Yes, Hirohito: why didn’t the US got his divinity’s oil supply off in 1937? When he invaded China, not just Korea and Manchuria?

Tolerance, if it is tolerance of evil, can be a cancer. It was found recently that nicotine affects directly immune system anti-cancer mechanisms. If Xi is a cancer, the US elite is nicotine. More generally this is happening because of mono-thinking in plutocratic, elite universities… Cancelling the existence of the errors of the past cannot be done. That’s cancelling the book we have to learn from. What needs to be cancelled is elite thinking claiming that birthright elite doesn’t exist.

The mephitic influence of the American elite extends worldwide, by implicitly flaunting itself as something that needs to be emulated. Nothing wrong with elitism, as long as it is genuine elitism of thought. But intellectual fascism, the rule of just a few ideas, from a few people and their instrumentalized institutions, is its exact opposite.

Patrice Ayme

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Here are extracts from the NYT that the preceding reflections complemented: 

America Has a Ruling Class

Why do members of the political elite insist that they’re not? By Samuel Goldman

Mr. Goldman is a political scientist and literary editor of Modern Age: A Conservative Review. March 30, 2021

America’s most powerful people have a problem. They can’t admit that they’re powerful.

Take Andrew Cuomo. On a recent call with reporters, the embattled Mr. Cuomo insisted that he was “not part of the political club.” The assertion was confounding because Mr. Cuomo is in his third term as governor of New York — a position his father also held for three terms. Mr. Cuomo has also served as state attorney general and as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Or think of Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence. After her appointment was announced, Ms. Haines declared, “I have never shied away from speaking truth to power.” That is a curious way of describing a meteoric career that includes stints at exclusive universities, a prestigious judicial clerkship and important jobs in foreign policy and intelligence before her appointment to a cabinet-level office overseeing a budget of more than $60 billion.

This sort of false advertising isn’t limited to Democrats. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, for instance, has embraced an image as a populist crusader against a distant “political class.” He does not emphasize his father’s career as a banker, his studies at Stanford and Yale Law School, or his work as clerk to prominent judges, including Chief Justice John Roberts. The merits of Mr. Hawley’s positions are open to debate. But his membership in the same elite that he rails against is not….

Both strategic and generational factors help explain Al Gore, who claimed to represent “the people versus the powerful” in his 2000 campaign against George W. Bush. Compared with a Yale graduate, son of a former president and grandson of a senator, perhaps Mr. Gore — a Harvard graduate, incumbent vice president and son of a senator — did count as one of the common people. But Richard Nixon, an object of boomer hatred, inveighed against the status quo as bitterly as any hippie. Refusal to accept responsibility is not just a boomer quirk. Its roots lie deep in American culture.

…we should stop confusing consumer preferences with power. Popular culture relies on the outdated clichés of starched linens and vaguely British accents to indicate privilege. This anachronism encourages public figures to signal their outsider status with aesthetic posturing. On the left, that often means the vaguely bohemian manner cultivated by Ms. Haines, who once operated a bookstore that hosted readings of erotic literature. On the right, it tends to involve exaggerated machismo and embrace of working-class signifiers.

… We should judge public figures by the arguments they make and the results they deliver, not whether they eat caviar, kale or capocollo.

… we need to learn from historical figures… We honor and study consequential historical figures because they were flawed human beings who made incredibly hard decisions. Canceling their stories and monuments prevents us from understanding why they succeeded — and failed.

Finally, we need to be honest: America has a de facto ruling class. Since World War II, membership in that class has opened to those with meritocratic credentials. But that should not conceal the truth that it remains heavily influenced by birth. Even if their ancestors were not in The Social Register, Mr. Cuomo, Ms. Haines and Mr. Hawley were born to families whose advantages helped propel their careers. Admitting the fact of noblesse might help encourage the ideal of oblige.Ultimately, the change must come from the powerful themselves. Just once, I’d like to hear a mayor, governor or president say: “Yes, I’m in charge — and I’ve been trying to get here for my entire life. I want you to judge me by how I’ve used that position, not by who I am.”

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6 Responses to “American Ruling Class: A Cancer That Will Devour Civilization, If Nothing Is Done”

  1. aldariontelcontar Says:

    Reblogged this on European Reactionary and commented:
    Oligarchies are evil, but not because they contradict the nature of humanity. In fact, they reaffirm the nature of humanity, but only in its most raw, unrestrained (undisciplined) and destructive form. Communists have tried to achieve equality, and they have failed, precisely because equality goes against human nature. Not all people are equally intelligent, capable, gifted and so on. Intelligence is predominantly genetic; environment merely allows us to express it, but one cannot express what is not there to begin with. Therefore, it is natural to have specialization and hierarchy both; and how hierarchy is determined will usually depend on the societal priorities. Societies which engaged in constant warfare developed warrior aristocracy (medieval Europe and Japan are both good examples). Societies where wealth is the primary goal always develop into plutocracies. And so on.

    The reason why oligarchies are evil is the same as the reason why centralization is evil – and why representative democracy is evil as well. Namely, human psychology. If a person is interested in power, it means that person in question probably should not gain power to begin with. And centralization and elitism – noticeable in any centralized system, from absolute monarchies to representative democracies – leads to appearance of the elites who are completely divorced from the events on the ground, and thus incapable of responding to the same.

    And it was often overpowerful governments who caused their own destruction and societal collapse, or at least helped it along. Powerful government is a symtom of a sophisticated society, but sophisticated society often means sophisticated exploitation of the environment. Mayan civilization collapsed due to combined effects of deforestation and the climate change. Warning signs were there, but the ruling elites did not notice, and did not care, until it was far too late. Both the Justinianic Plague and the Black Death spread via very developed international trade routes.

    Globalization has only made the problem worse. Globalist elites do not need to share the fate of their people in any way, shape or form. When people die in earthquakes caused by fracking, elites will go onto their planes and spend time sunbathing in Bahamas. Chinese problems described in the post were also caused by the elites: in their bid to keep their power, they completely closed borders to importation of anything. And this anything included ideas. As a result, Chinese culture and civilization calcified completely, and was unable to deal with either internal troubles or with external powers after they came knocking.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      A lot to say here. So I will have to come back, and say more…

      “Communism”, as generally practiced is actually Marxism, the DICTATORSHIP of the whatever (“Proletariat”). So it’s actually often the rule of ONE: Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Putin, Xi… And that “Communism” is actually the most capitalist state. Listen to Hitler (we have a recording!) telling the chief Finnish general that they (the Nazi top commanders) couldn’t believe that Stalin had produced 35,000 tanks… Yes, Stalin was the world’s top capitalist (until FDR outdid him…)

      It is true that Xi is a return to Confucius who was busy justifying elites, no matter what. Both Qin and Mao found, rightly, Confucius repulsive… However, Confucius thought is no way to win wars…

      Like

      • aldariontelcontar Says:

        Communism is not a free market system, but I do agree it is a capitalist system. Capitalism is often defined as free market and competition; but in free market, businesses will always seek to establish monopolies, be it by buying out their rivals or by bribing state officials. And this results in a de facto socialist system: corporate socialism or corporate welfare. Said system also existed in other socialist states, such as Nazi Germany and USSR, and was defined by the alliance of overpowerful state and overpowerful corporations.

        Like

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          The only really free market is the jungle. Otherwise governments impose their ways, and the free market is like a free playground: the armed people are watching over it, and they set up the rules.

          The USA is of course the greatest, mightiest, most interventionist governmental system in the history of the known universe, and its “free market” just a tool of the ruling plutocracy (most of whose wealth and power is hidden from view)…

          It is my thesis that the USSR, Nazi Germany, and most fascist states, inter alia, including Xi’s China, were instrumentalized by the US Deep and Dark state. Hiding this basic fact is paramount to the present plutocracy.

          Like

          • aldariontelcontar Says:

            Have you read “Wall Street and the rise of Hitler”?

            As for market, it is true that fully free market does not exist – and cannot exist. Still, there are differences in scope and nature of governmental intervention. For example, repealing antitrust and antimerger laws led to overly powerful corporations dictating way too much. But whatever environmental and similar regulations government does introduce, you can be certain that they will impact small and medium businesses far more than large corporations.

            Like

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/synthesis-found-governmentalism/

          Liked by 1 person

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