From a comment by “Whiskey” in a thread at Belmont Club:
But clearly, the elites must be purged from all institutions and life. The attitudes of Obama or Goldman Sachs (screw the customer, because you are powerful) even when shown to be long-term bad, continue in the attitudes described by Michael Lewis in Liar’s Poker.
How can the elites be purged?
Fear and terror. Not by anything violent and illegal, not only is that course counter productive but middle class people are neither violent nor criminal — it is why they are middle class in the first place.
The elites have a great weakness. A hideous one. They and particularly the media cover for each other so much that all their dirty secrets are not even hidden. They are out in the open for anyone to see. John Edwards, Eliot Spitzer, Blago, Mayor Tony Villaraigosa, Gavin Newsome, John Ensign, Dennis Hastert, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, and the rest all had their scandals widely known. EVERYONE in the elite knew about them, and never uttered them publicly. The people involved did not try to hide it.
What we need is an army of Luke Fords. Bloggers, who have some traffic, no ambition for politics, who don’t mind personal attacks, publishing the ugly, sordid, nasty, and often illegal details of the lives of political, cultural, economic, and bureaucratic elite. Plus their friends, families, and supporters. Simply being around, soaking up the open secrets, and publishing their ugly details, would be enough to push a purging frenzy. Particularly if one could jigger the job as being motivated by insider enemies. For example, unflattering and true details about Rahm Emmanuel being ascribed to people around Bill Clinton. To use a hypothetical. Elite infighting is another weakness.
The strength of the people is that they don’t make good Alinsky targets. Joe the Plumber is just a guy. So too, Luke Ford, or Mickey Kaus, or anyone else. It is the logical culmination of asymmetric political warfare.
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Anything we can get on public figures is fair game. But it’d better be actually true, and their families must be out of bounds. We’re not the left, and we don’t want to be. If we degrade ourselves to the point where we start to resemble lefties, how exactly can we be trusted with any power at all?
So long as the ‘family members’ are behaving as ordinary citizens and otherwise minding their own business, fine leave them alone.
But when they become part of the machine, or otherwise profit (consulting, lobbying, think tanks, corporate or charity ‘boards,’ etc…) from those connections, then they become fair game.
And let’s face it, for the vast majority of the ‘elites’ that is what they are, and that’s the real reason they do it – greed and lust for power.
Sounds like “digging for dirt” and “looking for news” and “holding them accountable” and “airing the dirty linen” and “reporting the facts”… all the stuff that the so-called “news media” is supposed to do.
It sure would be nice if someone did it, since the news media are not doing it.
You can’t have a society without elites. The Russians got rid of the Czar and the noblemen, and got the Commissars instead.
The problem isn’t elites per se, it’s the attempt to take the multiple status ladders that have traditionally existed in American society and collapse them into a single status ladder with access tightly controlled.
Part of the problem is the erosion of standards in “elite” institutions of learning. Getting accepted to Harvard seems to be the end. What happens afterward is anti-climax. In fact, the Harvard faculty seem to have adopted this attitude, as well. When was the last time a Harvard undergraduate got an “F” ?
Outside the hard sciences, I don’t think there is much going on in an educational sense.
Obama seems to be a pretty good example. “How do you say that in Austrian ?”
The beauty of the American system of government is that we have been able to remove and replace our elites without cutting off their heads, mowing them down in front of firing squads, or tossing them out of windows (defenestration).
Elites strive to entrench themselves and their offspring in power. It’s the way of the world.
Americans are just now waking up to realize that elites have recently been working against the general welfare and for themselves at our expense.
That’s what the Tea Parties are really about and why they draw such heated reaction – they propose a peaceful replacement of current elites at the ballot box and through the market system.
Let’s hope it works the American way again or we’ll either revert to slavery or else resort to traditional methods of elite replacement.
Dennis Hastert? I wasn’t aware of any major scandal there. Did I miss something?
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