With the latest batch of the Twitter Files released today, we get a front-row seat into the sentiment of America’s elite towards ordinary Americans and their leaders – complete contempt.
But what is the elite? We sense that these are members of the elite, but what do we really mean? Who are the members of the ruling class? What do they want? To what extent are they coordinated?
Elite theory and its contemporary applications are hot topics among thinkers, commentators, and “Twitter enjoyers” on the Right. Some of the questions above have settled themselves into a sort of consensus while others remain hot topics.
I will try to summarize leading opinions and provide my own take.
Let’s begin with topics that seem to enjoy a wide consensus.
In What Kind of System Do We Live?
During John Adams’s lifetime, he was often accused of promoting “aristocracy” merely for daring to recognize the perennial existence of elites. We have now vindicated John Adams. The consensus on the Right is that a powerful ruling class does indeed exist and that we now live in an oligarchy.
I wrote about this before.
No, Mitch McConnell doesn’t write any laws. Nor does Nancy Pelosi. They don’t even debate their suggested bills. Clearly, they make no attempts to persuade one another of anything. In the glory days of Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, a congressman would commit hours of oratory to memory and then dazzle an eager House with supreme eloquence. Not anymore! The croakings of AOC and Adam Schiff are not meant to persuade anybody, only to signal ideological zeal and loyalty.
Our elective bodies, the ones we learn about in civics classes, are mostly vestigial by now, including the mighty Presidency. Remember, Trump couldn’t even fire Fauci, a career bureaucrat lodged in the National Institute of Allergy. Effective power is mostly held by the vast apparatus of the administrative state, too large to reform, too opaque to control.
What Do They Want?
Here as well there is a wide consensus: The ruling class wishes for more power. As students of Machiavelli and his modern heirs, we recognize that power seeks more power. Some of us, perhaps, are quiet Frodo types with whom power is safe or never even sought; but most people, especially in the aggregate, are not like that at all.
The American ruling class at this point can be reduced to two recursive command lines: 1) Increase your own power; 2) Humiliate traditional Americans.
Test it. These two command lines suffice to explain everything the ruling class does – from supporting BLM to promoting mass immigration – and are very useful in predicting future moves.
#1 specifically means an ever-increase in the power of bureaucrats, “experts,” prestige universities, compliance officers, controlled media, and aligned multinationals. #2 means a continued assault on America’s traditional values and features – the family, our Anglo-Western culture, our borders, our faith, our towns.
It’s easy to see how #2 really serves #1. The last remaining check on the ruling class’s power is the traditional American nation and its potential to resist, especially regionally, the strength of the ruling class.
Who Are They?
Here we come to a question that is not so easy to answer. At least there hasn’t yet formed a consensus around this on the Right.
The identity of the ruling class is difficult to define because (and most do agree on this) it is distributed, at least to an extent. Meaning, we don’t have a titled oligarchy of dukes and barons that are easy to identify, nor do we have a powerful king. There is a faceless element to the powers ruling us.
There’s a semi-consensus that the ruling class at large consists of the vast government bureaucracy, decision-makers at top NGOs (Such as Tony Blair’s NGO, the ADL, the SPLC, the WEF, etc.), administrators and academics at prestige universities, prestige journalists, and the senior leadership of sprawling multinationals.
A good smell test (not a perfect one) to detect elite membership is adherence to the command lines stated above. Are these entities cementing their own power? Are they continuously humiliating and dismantling traditional America? If the answer is “yes” AND these entities have power, they are members of the ruling class.
The test is not perfect because clearly, a person may simply be a striver. Imagine a low-level HR manager named Paige who totally promotes BLM and “diversity” and attempts to force it on her organization (thus humiliating ordinary Americans while perpetuating herself). Paige, however, does not really have much power. And so she simply aligns with the elite, a striver, but hardly a real member of it.
In any case, the consensus breaks over the level of influence various members of the elite wield. One relevant spectrum of differing opinions is that of centralization.
On one end you have completely top-down cabal theories where the West is ruled by the Jews, the WEF, the revanchist old nobility of Europe headed by the King of England, etc. I’m actually not dismissing this as silly, it may easily appear this way from certain angles.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have something completely diffusive and decentralized, involving no coordination at all beyond spontaneity and ingrained malice. Yarvin’s Cathedral comes close to this.
The spectrum in-between has all sorts of variations. The Hillsdale-Claremont view (Codevilla, Anton) seems to vastly emphasize the role of elite universities and the prestige they confer upon their spawn. That, in addition to the vast apparatus of bureaucrats – heirs to Burnham’s “Managerial Elite” – and the “megaphone” of the febrile media.
Another interesting in-between view is that of Neema Parvini, aka Academic Agent. His Octopus is an expansion of Yarvin’s Cathedral with a more central role to monied interests and focused players such as NGOs.
My own view is close to Parvini’s. Call it the dummy’s guide to the Octopus. I’ll be Parvini’s epigone. Let’s expand on it in the following section.
How Do They Coordinate?
The question of coordination, to me, is the biggest disqualifier of clandestine top-down cabal theories. Any person in business can tell you that coordinating the management of a company of more than 1000 employees is already very difficult (depending on the variance of that company’s activities). 10,000 employees and above and it’s not even clear that there is any management beyond a kind of very slow inertia and directing. Now, blow that out to 330M people, or the entire (!) West, and then impose secrecy (!!) on the whole thing, and the idea of a centrally managed cabal becomes very improbable.
Remember – to make Twitter manageable the first thing Musk did was to fire 2/3 of the company’s employees.
A diffusive basis is much more probable. A diffusive theory also allows us to avoid a clear line of who’s in the elite and who isn’t. It explains the fuzziness.
See, each person contributes to the best of their malicious ability. From the lowly HR lady to the omnipotent Susan Rice. Call it the Fungus. Each spore senses which way the wind is blowing, or whichever way the stench of rot is blowing. They know that status is to be found by dumping on America and by supporting the “right” people and opinions, and so they always turn to the side of the rot. Like spores coalescing around a carcass from Hell.
By and large, nobody tells these people what to say, believe, pursue or do. They act ecologically. They blend into a super-fungus where status is to be achieved by humiliating Americans and perpetuating the fungus itself.
Remember: What happened when the editors of the NYT (supposedly the Times’s centralized authority) allowed Tom Cotton to publish an opinion piece? The spore underlings screamed and swirled in Stygian fever until they forced their own bosses to publish an apology. One even had to resign, I think. I can’t remember exactly.
Meaning, power clearly didn’t come from above. But it didn’t exactly come from below, either. It came from the ecological system. The spores act each to the extent of their own abilities. In the NYT, they cry to their bosses. When elevated to complete control over Twitter’s content moderation, they eliminate a US President.
However, there are spores and there are spores. There are obviously bigger spores, or clusters of spores, that are more active players and wield power more intentionally. It’s done in the open, there’s no need to guess: People like Soros, Schwab, and Blair are very openly active in their promotion of a “New Order” or whatever and invest immense resources into their initiatives. Some organizations are obviously more coordinated and powerful, say, the FBI and the DOJ. Even a few Jewish organizations.
By the way, the most powerful elements are not necessarily the richest, even though money definitely helps. If you’ve met CEOs and their likes, you realize that most simply seek the same status and affirmation. Like the lowliest HR lady, they simply follow the poisonous cloud wherever it blows, while dragging entire companies behind them.
As to the more powerful and intentional elements, do they direct the whole fungal system? No, but, yes, they are more active than some of the other elements. Are they effective? Who knows. It’s difficult to judge who is more effective – the corpse-like Schwab and Soros or the legions of brainwashed spores acting spontaneously.
How to Test the Above?
So who is right? This requires more political science lore than I’m in possession of. But let me suggest that the Fungus theory may allow us not to decide. Since each blasphemous spore contributes to the extent of its own malice – some extending slimy tentacles, others threatening with the full power of their fang-ringed jaws – we shouldn’t really care much. In one way or another, the ruling class encompasses them all.
They are all harmful, and each contains the seed of more harm when given the opportunity.
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