The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, November 27, 2017


The seemingly never-ending exposes of sexual harrassment by the elites in Washington and Hollywood, along with media icons like Charlie Rose, have roiled the world of people who view themselves as our betters. Governed almost exclusively by political correctness (often run amuck), the elites today demand compliance with the notion that white male privilege is a scourge on minorities and women. That demand, by the way, applies only to us deplorables, not, apparently, to the elites themselves.

For the majority of my life, the elites were placed on a pedestal. They ran the government, the arts, and the entertainment and news media. They pronounced on what is moral and good and "fair." They established the memes that defined a "good" life, using those memes as examples to mold the behavior of the masses. They ruled through those memes, as much as they did through laws.

Richard Fernandez dissects the rule of the elites in this way:
To understand the damage the storm of scandal is creating in Hollywood, the media and Washington one must go back nearly a hundred years to a time when prestige ruled the world. Whenever a small group of people rule over multitudes coercion usually becomes an impractical method of subjugation. The only alternative to physical control, as 19th century Europeans found, was bluff, or prestige as it was then called. Prestige made it possible for a few to govern numerous (and often violent) subjects.

Prestige was almost entirely psychological, based on instilling a genuine respect and admiration among the ruled.
And now, prestige is in tatters. The elites have been show to be corrupt, dishonest, and increasingly vile and dishonorable. They talk the talk, but they don't walk the walk. Fernandez continues:
In the unending exposes of financial, moral and sexual turpitude we are witnessing a similar humiliation of a ruling elite. The critical role played by prestige in upholding the current status quo was no less important for the Western elite than it was for the old District Commissioners. Not so very long ago the elites were accepted as woke, part of the mission civilisatrice; better educated, better looking, better dressed, destined to greater things, the smartest people in the room. They could pronounce on matters of morality, politics and even the climate. What a shock it was to find through the Internet and social media it was all a sham; and these gods of Washington and Hollywood and the media were deeply flawed and despicable people.

Given the lack of quality control and penchant for recruiting rather than expelling the scandalous it's amazing in retrospect the prestige lasted so long. All the same, now their fallibility has been exposed under the spotlight of technological innovation, the spell is broken. The elites may still rule but the sullen masses no longer flock to their door as they did of old. Perhaps the single most destabilizing political development since the WW2 has been the destruction of ruling class prestige by the Internet.
The elites cannot control tsunami of information afforded by social media and other web-based information sources. As a consequence, prestige no longer works. I'm not sure whether that will be a good or bad thing, but in the end, the mask has fallen. It's reasonable to ask the elites: "Why should we follow your dictates when you can't and won't follow them yourselves.