Every advanced society has an elite. Its patricians. Its Aristoi. Its propertied classes. Its gentry or its Hidalgos.
They are the lucky ones. The smart ones…the educated ones…the ones with the PhDs, the formulae, and the secrets.
They’re also usually the ones with the money.
They design the bridges, write the laws, and count the votes. They also write computer code…and God knows what else.
Duties and privileges
In ancient societies, the elite claimed to have some inside track with God. It — the elite — used religion to stay in power. The religion explained each caste’s duties and privileges. One ruled. The others obeyed.
Today, the elite uses science.
We don’t need to wear masks, said the experts in January. Oops…no, we must all wear masks, say the experts now.
‘The Earth is freezing’ was the climatological alarm in the 1970s. Now, ‘it’s burning up’ is the gospel according to today’s experts.
There will be no more financial crises ‘in our lifetimes,’ forecast Janet Yellen, PhD, three years ago. Now, she says we must mobilise Congress and the Federal Reserve to fight the crisis she said wouldn’t happen.
We must do battle with the Sunni Muslims in Iraq, said the experts; the Shi’a are our friends. Now, we must fight the Shi’a in Iran; the Sunni are our friends. Or vice versa?
In the past, only the elite could read and write. This gave them a special source of knowledge and power. They could open up their sacred books…and there, they would find wisdom and secrets forbidden to the masses.
Then, when the invention of the printing press made literacy more widespread, the elite set up schools to teach people what to think and do.
Catholic schools taught obedience to the Pope. Shiite Muslim schools did the same for their Ayatollahs. Secular schools required students to pledge allegiance to the flag.
Like all things in nature, elites age and decay. Power corrupts them. Wealth weakens them. Over time, each generation becomes more grasping and less competent.
In France in 1789, both the aristocracy and the clergy claimed exemption from taxes. They also expected special favours, privileges, and sinecures.
This left the entire burden of supporting the government — and the privileged classes — on the backs of people who had relatively little support to give.
In the revolution that followed, the sans culottes rose up. Some 17,000 of the elite class were guillotined. Many thousands more were murdered by other means.
France then replaced its old dominant class with a new elite — many of whom were the same people. They had merely switched their allegiance — from religion and the king…to science and the new republic!
We saw last week that when Team Trump yields to the Biden Bunch, the new White House elite will be a bit more feminine and darker-skinned.
But in the ways that matter, they will be of the same tribe, drawn from the best schools and privileged pasts, where they were taught the new faith — that they have a right to rule…relying on their superior knowledge of (social) science.
Then, they made their way up through the ranks, joined political parties, took jobs in Washington, moved from lobbying to think tanks to staff positions on Capitol Hill. And there…they found what they were after — power.
They write long laws and codes…incomprehensible to the common man. But they are there to interpret them, to enforce them…and to help other elites get around them.
They tell students what to think. They tell the public what to think, too — for they control the newspapers and the TV stations. They are the opinion mongers…the commentators…the columnists…
They are ‘liberal’, or they are ‘conservative’. The emphasis changes. The words and colours, too. One says he is concerned about the plight of the poor. The other says he wants to ‘make America great again’. Still another says America already is great…it just needs to put the Chinese in their place.
But they all — Republican and Democrat — have one major goal, shared among them like an STD. They all want to keep the ‘system’ going…and use it to shove more and more wealth and power in their own direction.
Biden’s financial experts — headed by Janet Yellen — are tried and true. None will stand in the way of the great flimflam.
Continuing the work of Bush, Obama, and Trump…they will provide more money-printing…more stimulus…more bond buying…more fake interest rates and giveaways.
Hey…a ‘bi-partisan’ group hopes to push another bailout — almost $1 trillion — this week.
So, too, are Biden’s foreign policy experts ready to take the baton from the Trump team…and continue running in the same direction. More pointless wars…more spending…more sanctions and meddling.
As these programs continue — foreign and domestic, military and civilian — trillions more will be printed…and spent. And every dollar will go to someone.
To whom? Guess.
And sad to say, none of America’s elite has yet been guillotined.
More to come…
For The Rum Rebellion