Our Rulers: Wrong in Theory, Incompetent in Practice
The big takeaway from the western ruling class’s war on the rising populist movement is ruling-class failure. Rulers typically don’t feel the need to take out the opposition unless they have fluffed it. Or muffed it: I’m not sure which applies here. Hello Fluffy Joe Stalin in the 1930s and Muffy Mao in the 1960s. Frankly I’d prefer if Muffy and Buffy would stick to playing beach volleyball.
Experts agree that Stalin and Mao succumbed to The Totalitarian Temptation, courtesy of Jean-François Revel. But I think the experts are missing the point. The totalitarians weren’t so much tempted to go political to the max as carefully taught to do so. That was the Thing in the 19th century: get the politics right and justice will ensue. Fundamental transformation, dontcha know.
Let’s tell it like it is. First the educated ruling class was wrong on its theory that politics could lead to justice. Second, the educated ruling class failed when it put its theory of politics-with-everything into action.
The basic error in the Enlightenment was the absurd faith that politics could ever be more than a necessary evil. I get that the educated class needed a political philosophy to justify its overthrow of the old feudal and monarchical order. But I declare that, by 1850 at the latest after nearly a century of revolutions and constitutions, any educated-class thinker with half a brain should have admitted: politics is a very blunt instrument; use only in emergency.
Let’s say that, by 1850, the educated class had succeeded in establishing its right to rule. At that point the movement turned into a racket, as Eric Hoffer would say. And believe me, you don’t want to be governed by a racket. Nice little social media company you got there. Pity if something should happen to it.
Hey, anyone can make a conceptual mistake, except that political mistakes generally don’t get fixed without a hefty butcher’s bill. But what really bothers me is the incompetence of educated class rule since 1850.
Take slavery. The Brits managed to abolish the slave trade in 1807 and end slavery in their dominions in 1838. Here in the U.S. our brilliant leaders opted for a bloody civil war, butcher’s bill 700,000 and a century of Jim Crow.
Take World War I. By all accounts, Kaiser Wilhelm II was a twerp. How come you brilliant French and Brit democratic leaders couldn’t talk the Kaiser out of WWI? My nickel says that, if you guys had put a couple of knightly stars of an order of chivalry on the Kaiser’s chest, then Flanders fields would still be full of poppies.
And then World War II. How come the brilliant college president Woodrow Wilson and his educated advisors didn’t put the kibosh on reparations after World War I that led to hyperinflation in Germany and a Teutonic rage for revenge? And imagine that while all this foolishness was going on, the Germans — with a Dane or two to make it fair — were inventing general relativity and quantum mechanics.
Post Cold War. How best to understand the incompetent U.S. meddling in the Middle East for the last 30 years, which has achieved exactly bupkis? Whether we are talking about the geniuses behind Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama, Biden, you tell me: what exactly was the brilliant strategic vision? I tell you what I see — and it’s taken me a while to realize it. I see Keystone Kops, only that would be insulting to producer Mack Sennett.
Workers and Women and Blacks. Now that the auto workers are being thrown to the wolves, because climate change, and women thrown to the wolves because transgenders, and blacks thrown to the wolves because…
Yes, please tell me in what way that our ruling class has done anything to make Black Lives Matter over the past 50 years. Frankly, I’d say that our rulers have done nothing for blacks except milk them as electoral cattle. Joe Biden blurted the truth out loud when he said that “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Remember when our liberal friends were fainting in the aisles over racist "dog whistles?"
Let's repeat it. Our Founders were right when they set up our nation on the theory that politics and government needed lots of checks and balances to keep political power in its lane. If you think that political power can lead to justice, you are just flat wrong, Barack.
Our experience over the last 150 years of educated class governance is that educated rulers are as incompetent and corrupt as the tribal leaders, priestly Brahmins advising warrior Kshatriyas, kings, consuls, emperors, feudal lords, absolute monarchs, or machine bosses in the olden time. If you want something messed up, get government to do it.
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