Saturday, October 7, 2017

The War Against the Elites

The people are up in arms. They are rebelling against anyone who would tell them what to think, how to feel and what to believe. They do not identify as citizens of the world but as citizens of their nations. In truth, you cannot identify as a citizen of the world. The term contradicts itself.

Of course, the rebellion is so stoked with rage that it does not always know its target. Is it fighting the political establishment? Is it fighting the bureaucratic deep state? Is it at war against the media elite, the Hollywood moguls and academic bullies?

If you want to fight effectively, you need to know your enemy. If you are flailing at one and all you might have a couple of lucky hits, but you will eventually lose.

America’s rebellion has a great deal to do with Germany. Americans saw what Angela Merkel was doing to Germany and decided that, above all else, they did not want it happening to them.

Roger Cohen travelled to Germany to interview the leader of Germany’s radical right wing party—Alternative for Germany. Klaus Riedelsdorf told Cohen about the threat radical Islam poses for Germany (and, by extension, the West):

Islam is an ideology, he says, and an Islamic takeover of Germany is the greatest danger the country has faced since the Cold War. Not since the Cuban missile crisis has Europe been confronted with a danger as acute as the Arab Islamist threat to the West. When there are terrorist attacks by Muslims “and we say that has nothing to do with Islam, it’s a very dangerous development,” he says, because it deludes people.

Since they cannot stop the attacks and cannot take responsibility for opening their borders the elites governing and media classes force you to think of it all as they want you to think of it all. Above all else, they do not want you to hold them accountable.

Who is Riedelsdorf fighting against? Cohen summarizes the enemy in a wonderful paragraph:

In Brandenburg, as in Trump-world, there’s plenty of political energy against globalized, mealy-mouthed, quinoa-loving, inequality-fostering, immigrant-embracing elites with their gender spectra, climate doomsdays, multilateral organizations, mainstream parties and smug no-alternatives views of existence.

Again with the elites. People who think they know better and who arrogate to themselves the right to tell everyone else how to live. Better yet, these elites do not accept that they are ever wrong. They know what is best and they will not brook any disagreement or discontent. Other people will be called on to compromise, but they will never do the same. After all, they are right. Everyone else is wrong. It harkens back to the guardian class in Plato’s Republic, the best and the brightest who see more clearly and are less corrupted by the search for profit.

The people are at war against Platonic idealists and idealism, against thinkers and ideas. If there were less railing and flailing, those who are fighting against idealism would understand that in the world Plato defined there are no facts, only appearances. And they would see that the alternative to idealism is empiricism. The postmodern left, as former Evergreen State biologist Heather Heying pointed out, is at war with truth, at war with science, at war with facts. 

Yet, they are so clever that they present themselves as the champions of fact and reason. They denounce their opponents for being driven by emotion, not reason. Those who want to bring down the guardian class that is driving the civilization off a cliff should know what they stand for and should stand tall for reason, not for emotional manipulation. 


Sam L. said...

"Since they cannot stop the attacks and cannot take responsibility for opening their borders the elites governing and media classes force you to think of it all as they want you to think of it all. Above all else, they do not want you to hold them accountable."

Replace "cannot" with "will not", which is the correct wording. The "elite" refuse to do these things, or see that the government does these things.

Anonymous said...

"radical" right wing party—Alternative for Germany you wrote.
The entire Democrat party is more "radical" left than AfG is radical right. But what jewish psychiatrist isn't a "radical" lefty. It is not fair to be labeling and prejudging people and organizations without looking into the true positions they hold.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Actually, the article discusses the party's positions in some detail, as they were presented by the party leader. In German politics Merkel's Christian Democrats are centrist right... so that leave us with AfD as radical right. It sounds more elegant than right of centrist right.

Kansas Scout said...


Deana said...

I do not disagree at all. I simply will point out two things:

1. For the last 50 or so years, the people who are rebelling against the elites have been told by the media, Hollywood, politicians, professors, co-workers and even family members that they are provincial, racist, bigoted, homophobic, xenophobic, hateful, ignorant, unsophisticated, wasteful and probably haven't taken a bath in a month. This message has been so all encompassing, so uniform, so loud and suffocating that few ever dreamed that what THEY thought and felt would ever be voiced in public in their lifetime.

And then the election happened. And all of a sudden, the feelings and thoughts that had been pent up for so long burst forth. I am not surprised if the rebellion does not always seem coherent yet. It has just felt so good to see that there are many others who feel the same way we do and have just been silent in the face of the progressive onslaught.

2. There is nothing wrong about wanting the rebels to stand for reason. Yet one of the greatest sources of despair among therebel class has been the slow but growing recognition over the years that Progs despise reason. Facts rarely cause the Progs to stumble on their road to creating the narrative they will use to beat over our heads. Logic is ridiculed and damned as a white man's tool for suppression.

And yet we are supposed to hope that our use of reason will appeal to these folks?

Well I too hope it does. But I can't help but note the irony.


Anonymous said...

Three things to add to this post:

1. Riedelsdorf: “Islam is an ideology”

While ideology is a component of Islam, the Islam we see in the Middle East (where the horde emanate from) is more than that. Islam is a totalitarian theocratic system with religious, philosophical, economic, social (and more) components that rule over the entirety of the society. There is no separation of religion and state in Islam. It is a rigid medieval theology impacting all areas of life, evangelized by the sword. Submit or die.

2. “The people are at war against Platonic idealists and idealism, against thinkers and ideas.”

While this is an important distinction, it is also important to note the delivery system for this ideology: the modern university. The two are inseparable. Reform the university system, financing and curriculum, and things will begin to change. But not beforehand. Universities have been repurposed as Leftist seminaries.

3. “The postmodern left... is at war with truth, at war with science, at war with facts.”

In a simpler form, the chic Leftism we see on television today is bumbling intellectual contradiction. It’s really radical anarchy with a totalitarian bearing. The whole “live and let live” mantra has been replaced with “I am a special person living as a sovereign being with my own individual values, and you must conform to them.” The simpler way of saying this is that Leftism is, at its core, an assault on standards. Truth, science and facts are just the beginning... just scratching the surface. The rot goes much deeper. The attitude is more that of “I can do whatever I want, and you have to pay for it, and you’re a bad Person if you refuse.” It’s just spoiled adult children with an expensive college degree. And our elites are very much the same: they want all the authority, with little responsibility.


Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: In truth, you cannot identify as a citizen of the world. The term contradicts itself.

I confess I don't understand this. Perhaps its the definition of the word "citizen", but if we say member, it makes perfect sense. We can be a member of many levels of community, including the world, and our loyalty may be different at each level. And if people eventually colonize the Moon or Mars, eventually idealistic people may see themselves a citizens of the solar system, even if their political needs diverge greatly from their Earthbound cousins.

For reference, I see the first definition "a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection" fits Stuart's while definition 3 is "inhabitant" so the English language exceeds Stuart's needs here to demonstrate contradiction.

Myself, I'm partial to being Minnesotan first, American second, and the only representative I could vote beyond my state's interest is currently held by a New York born buffoon whom I don't consider a valid representative of me when I interact with the wider world. If I ever have to leave Minnesota, I'll probably consider myself a citizen of nowhere if not the world.

Sam L. said...

In Europe, "far right" and "radical right" are measured from well left of what maybe kinda sorta OUGHT to be the "center". These are NOT well-defined terms.