Tag Archives: History

The Elites

9 Apr

Throughout human history governments have been run by Elites of various kinds, largely self-selected. There have been warrior elites, theocratic elites, mercantile elites, and (now) intellectual elites. As a rule, while they may have risen to power through some sort of discernible merit, over the span of their control the rationales that these elites have given for their supremacy have been less than persuasive.

Up to the Renaissance, the usual pattern was either a strong King (and his Aristocratic hangers-on) making use of the Priests or a strong Priesthood making use of the King. When you had a weak King and a weak Priesthood, you usually got invaded, and when you had a strong King and a strong Priesthood you frequently got a civil war. No matter what happened, the peasants got it in the neck.

The Renaissance introduced a new set of players; the merchants. They had been growing in importance for a long time, and they began to be able to force the Kings and the Priests to listen. Neither the Priests nor the Kings liked that much, and the resulting squabbles added force to the wars of the times.

The Revolutionary War was, in some part, a fight between a King and some merchants. The American Civil War pitted a bunch of would-be Aristocrats (the Southern Plantation Owners) against the merchant/industrialist North.

The Intellectual Class rose to importance as the industrial revolution  really got going in the 19th Century. Previously mind-workers (which is what an intellectual is, after all) were largely confined to the Church or the Aristocracy. With demand for them spreading, and the wealth to pay for them growing, they branched out. And like the Kings, Priests, and Merchants before them they quickly determined that the world would run much better if they were in charge.

The thing is, none of the elites have a good record. The history of human progress is, all to often, a history of what was achieved in the face of opposition by the current social elite. And the Intellectuals are no exception.

Each type of elite has, naturally, favored that type (or those types) of government that would place them in power. Kings have favored Monarchies. Priests have favored Theocracies. Merchants have favored various flavors of Plutocracy. The Intellectuals, for whatever reason, gravitated to Communalism, and its cousin Socialism, where they have stayed. When Marx wrote a scientific sounding justification for Communalism and called it Communism, the Intellectuals climbed on that bandwagon in vast numbers. No failure of Communism, no exposure of mass slaughter, or broad corruption has been able to make them let go of the dream of Communism/Socialism; a State run by panels of “experts” for the benefit of All.

Not that the Intellectuals are worse than the elites that went before them. The Aristocrats clung to the ideal of their Right to Rule in the face of societal collapse and the obvious degeneration of many of their bloodlines into inbred idiocy. The Southern Planters clung to slavery and actually managed to convince their Poor White quasi-subjects to take up arms to defend the institution that kept those subjects poor. The result was the bloodiest war the United States ever fought.  Other examples of elitist imbecility abound. But the Intellectuals are not better either. In the name of defending their ‘right’ to rule, they have defended the indefensible. Communism spent the 20th Century racking up a record of murder and misery that hadn’t even been approached for magnitude since the death of Attila the Hun.  In an effort to mark themselves as different from the sweating masses, they have also cozied up to all kinds of howling barbarians. They have flirted with mass murderers, genocidal maniacs, child molesters, and thugs. Like the elites that came before them they have the moral stature of slime mold. We should, as a people, cast them onto the ash-heap of history, and then start keeping a sharp eye out for whatever bunch of jumped-up yahoos tries to replace them.  Especially ourselves…