Saturday, August 13, 2016

Peggy Noonan on the New Ruling Class

Peggy Noonan was opining yesterday about the conflict between global elites—that is, citizens of the world—and the little people who are forced to pay the price of bad policies.

She began with Germany, where, she explains, the supremely virtuous and arrogant Angela Merkel and her supporters can easily shield themselves from the predations of the million Muslim refugee invaders they just let into the country. Anyone who disputes the policy is declared a bigot.

Noonan writes:

Ms. Merkel had put the entire burden of a huge cultural change not on herself and those like her but on regular people who live closer to the edge, who do not have the resources to meet the burden, who have no particular protection or money or connections. Ms. Merkel, her cabinet and government, the media and cultural apparatus that lauded her decision were not in the least affected by it and likely never would be.

Nothing in their lives will get worse. The challenge of integrating different cultures, negotiating daily tensions, dealing with crime and extremism and fearfulness on the street—that was put on those with comparatively little, whom I’ve called the unprotected. They were left to struggle, not gradually and over the years but suddenly and in an air of ongoing crisis that shows no signs of ending—because nobody cares about them enough to stop it.

The powerful show no particular sign of worrying about any of this. When the working and middle class pushed back in shocked indignation, the people on top called them “xenophobic,” “narrow-minded,” “racist.” The detached, who made the decisions and bore none of the costs, got to be called “humanist,” “compassionate,” and “hero of human rights.”

From Wall Street to Silicon Valley to Hollywood the global elites live within a bubble of personal self-interest. They care about themselves and no one else. They do not identify with a nation and do not feel any loyalty to their nation. They are citizens of the world, a guardian class of the enlightened, destined to rule the rest of the world. Plato would have been pleased.

Noonan describes Wall Street:

On Wall Street, where they used to make statesmen, they now barely make citizens. CEOs are consumed with short-term thinking, stock prices, quarterly profits. They don’t really believe that they have to be involved with “America” now; they see their job as thinking globally and meeting shareholder expectations.

Silicon Valley is not much better:

In Silicon Valley the idea of “the national interest” is not much discussed. They adhere to higher, more abstract, more global values. They’re not about America, they’re about . . . well, I suppose they’d say the future.

And Hollywood is just as bad:

In Hollywood the wealthy protect their own children from cultural decay, from the sick images they create for all the screens, but they don’t mind if poor, unparented children from broken-up families get those messages and, in the way of things, act on them down the road.

Charles Murray has already made the point. The elites who concoct schemes for social progress are less likely to live them out than are poorer citizens. Elites get married and try to have stable homes. Poor people do not get married, but have families where one woman is bringing up four children from four different men. The poor woman is living the ideal more closely than is the elitist woman who developed the theory at Harvard.

We are lacking in patriotism:

From what I’ve seen of those in power throughout business and politics now, the people of your country are not your countrymen, they’re aliens whose bizarre emotions you must attempt occasionally to anticipate and manage.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Yes, one of Peggy Noonan's best columns.

Globalization has marginalized sovereignty and compromised the idea of the nation-state in favor of some imaginary aggregate Gaea culture. This impacts political voice, the social fabric/structure, and economic opportunity.

This monstrosity -- this global human Pangea -- is the dream imagined by liberal arts professors lamenting the loss of ancient languages like Manx, bureaucrats who see the gravy in regulating global trade, and the cognitive elite seeking to digitize all aspects of life. It is rife with corruption: bribery, kickbacks, 0% monetary policy, political intrigue, murder, carve-outs, set-asides, loopholes, currency manipulation, targeted tax penalties, pallets of cash flown in on unmarked cargo planes... you name it.

All the while, these same people are looking to express themselves with a phony rasta- Che- chic "authenticity, " shallow pandering about "what's on Bill Gates' iPod" and calls for us all to celebrate diversity. These people claim to "understand" Black Lives Matter over cocktails on Nantucket. These are the same people who support the NEA/AFT and call for the best public schools, all while sending their own children tot eh Sidwell Friends School, Salisbury, Phillips Exeter and the World Academy. These same people who call for compassion and subsidy for those poor and disenfranchised minorities are the very same people making out like bandits in this Globalized economy. It's easy to say yes to everything when you're using someone else's money to get what you want.

If we have an increasingly connected world, it means we have an increasingly connected global elite. This is where WikiLeaks and Guccifer seem to be providing a public service. When it's okay for public figures to lie, you have to find the truth through other means.

These are names we've come to love: Buffett, Tesla, Solyndra, Apple, Comcast, Soros, Chase, Gates Foindation, GE, GM, IKEA, Facebook, Harvard, Alibaba, Bezos, Disney, Google, United Nations, Goldman Sachs, Oracle, Hollywood, Mittal, Maersk, Citibank, the House of Saud, etc.

Their voices are one: "More, more, more!" and they buy it at any price... all around the globe. They probably can't believe it could be this easy.

Look at the revolving door of the White House and Google. Look at the State Department and the Clinton Foundation. Look at George Soros giving directives to politicians. Look at Twitter, Google, Apple and Instagram conspiring to impact the election. Track federal grants and foundation awards and see where the money goes. Look at these lopsided trade deals, sweetened with promises for retraining for the "21st century jobs" that later go to India (Disney).

People -- the real people who make America work -- are collateral damage in the macro economic, political and social craze for global domination. Our government is an active player in this massive underground economy, creating winners and losers instead of refereeing a level playing field. They have the whistle in their mouth while cash falls out their back pockets.

And a big strategic play in this is political cash and lobbying to shape trade and regulatory policy for competitive advantage. No wonder people do more business on private email accounts and homebrew servers. This is where hackers can be information Robin Hoods. If our privacy doesn't matter to the political class anymore, then fair's fair. We'll take away theirs. It's like Google's Eric Schmidt: he doesn't want you to have privacy, but he sure wants to protect his. By the way, Google execs have visited the White House 427 times during Obama's presidency.

By the way, China loves all of this.

The difference today is that people can still vote, much to the chagrin of our elites. And I hope the much-vaunted proletariat (read: the people who actually work) will vote this year and send their betters a message: this is our country.

Anonymous said...

After the British had voted to leave the European Union, Germany's President Gauck stated: “The elites are not the problem, the people are the problem.”

Zerohedge has collected a few videos with reactions of those people who happened to meet Gauck:

Anonymous said...

"Peggy Noonan was opining yesterday about the conflict between global elites—that is, citizens of the world—and the little people who are forced to pay the price of bad policies."

But the little people vote for globalists like Obama and Hillary.