(from my 2010 archives at NCO Brief – a meditation on class, rebellion and independence – which has new relevance in the light of this administration’s efforts to hobble and break the middle class of this country by essentially erasing the border.)
Nononono . . . not the kinda-sorta-conservative political part of that entity formerly known as Great Britain, and usually prefaced with the adjectives ‘hidebound’ and ‘reactionary’ . . . but those citizens of the 13 British colonies distributed along the east coast of the North American continent, two centuries and change ago. Those who disliked the thought of independence, of having their comfortable apple-cart upset, who liked the way of things as they were, and trusted above all that the Crown divinely appointed, of course. They trusted the Crown, of course. They trusted the Crown’s duly selected, and properly credentialed authorities to Know What Is Best for All, most especially what is best for the upstart, uncultured and amateur rabble. Who, being poor, unwashed, uneducated and singularly bereft of connection to as well as the friendship of Important People at Court, as well as their Pet Intellectuals (certified to have had all their shots and been properly neutered and de-clawed) were in desperate need of the guidance of their betters.
Such rebellious rabble were to be severely chastised if they had the gall to reject said guidance, for of course, those proffering such guidance had pure and noble motives, uncontaminated by any thought of gain or personal advancement. (Yeah, I know – a bit of a straw-man there, but I am having fun with it – indulge me.) Of course, looking at the mighty establishment of an Empire, (even if in a nascent form) and about two thousand years (or even longer!) of habitual deferment to the Big Guy with the Nice Shiny Sword, the Bigger Army and the Well-organized Establishment – certainly at least a third of the American colonists could do the political math. Bow to the Big Guy, acknowledge his authority, timorously attempt to ameliorate the worst aspects of his policies, sigh and throw up your hands and call it a day when your feeble attempt is rebuffed. You tried – and good intentions trump all. Good intentions count more than eventual results. That’s life under an aristocracy/oligarchy. The well-intentioned aristos and intellectuals retreat to their comforts and wring their hands. All that counts in this version of the exercise is good intentions and meaning well, feebly. Am I a bitch for snarling something rude therefore, concerning the traditional paving materiel used for the off-ramp to the Judeo-Christian theoretical concept known as Hell? Yeah, probably so: adjust. For I am a quiet rebel, and now I recognize my own, very well. And I have also begun to recognize my enemies, the new Tories.
In the words of a very astute observer at the Belmont Club,
There is a huge reserve of strength and good will in the American people. It is literally the only force on this planet with the ability to turn the ship around. The “ruling class” won’t do it. The “moneyed class” won’t do it. The “chattering class” won’t do it. The “intellectual class” won’t do it. It will be the tens of millions of productive citizens who – with the help of modern communication technology – will force an accounting, and accountability. The misadventures of the political class has awakened a sleeping giant, and it’s on the move.
Those first elements in L3’s trenchant description, those are the present-day Tories. They’ve got theirs, Jack – they have the friends at Court – oops, the friends inside the Beltway – the house in the gated enclave, the tenured position in the education establishment, an income-stream so generous that nothing the current administration or its minions could do would ever reduce them to shopping at Goodwill or Wally-world. They’ve got theirs, so they can cheerfully go on paying lip-service to the principles upon which this nation was founded, while at the same time undermining, denigrating and perverting those principles and standards at every turn. And the ‘chattering classes’ and the ‘intellectual classes, (not to mention the ‘media classes) may continue viciously abusing those ordinary concerned citizens – those who are concerned enough about a suddenly quadrupled national deficit – with baseless accusations of racism, indiscriminate violence, sedition, being the puppets of various interests, and just plain general ignorance. My god, these Tories have the very nerve – accusing the rebellious Tea Partiers of deeds which they themselves have committed in the past. Like millions of others, I have been driven ever farther into disrespect – and rebellion against our very own Tory class.
I and most of my middle-class friends in the Tea Party movement do not have the princely advantages that these new Tories possess, although many of them are at least comfortable. My own military pension is roughly 25% of what I had in my paycheck my last year of service, and my other income stream is – to say the least, erratic, although I very much enjoy the work that I do to bring it in, of marketing my books and producing blog materiel for pay – I enjoy it because mostly, I am my own boss. I can work at home, taking a break when I feel like it. I do occasionally have to hand-hold clients who fall along the full spectrum from the difficult to the seriously deranged – but that is by my own choice. I work at night, and on weekends, even federal holidays, when a project needs to be finished. I have a certain amount of freedom – perilously maintained, but it is freedom. I answer to my clients and customers, and very rarely to anyone else. And that, I surmise is what the New Tories despise above all: that we would rather control our own lives, even if the actual work is arduous and success not absolutely guaranteed. We are comfortable and independent enough in our lives. We are not clients or dependent upon the modern oligarchs and aristos, or the big government teat – yet, anyway. I will close with another quote: this one from the Old Testament: 1 Kings, 19-18
“Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”