“They can romanticize distant peasants — or terrorists — while jeering at anyone who shops at Walmart.”—Barry Rubin
This article by Barry Rubin at Pajamas media should be the companion piece to my post this morning about “the bubble” (have you taken the test?). Entitled “Why is the Political Situation so Bleak? Because the Elite Fears Being Unfashionable More Than Being Wrong,” is so right-on that I wanted to copy the whole thing here, but that isn’t ethical, so here is a snippet. Please read the whole thing! (Hat tip: Judy again):
Despite the pose of the heroic intellectual speaking truth to power, many or even most of those whose good fortune rests on paper credentials or election rather than on actual, provable achievement are either cowards or opportunists. They will not do anything truly courageous when it comes to breaking with the fashionable consensus. When once brave intellectuals defied tyrants who shouted “off with their heads!,” now they dare not say anything that might lead to “off with their grants!” “Off with their reputation!” “Off with their invitations to nice parties!” They fear less the country going to hell than being identified as one of those unwashed, ignorant, backwoods fools who actually think the Constitution should be respected, free speech is a basic right, and unlimited debt is bad.
I am not joking. These are people who can ridicule the masses as an ignorant mob and weep over the poor and downtrodden at the same time. With full good conscience that they are simultaneously superior and compassionate, they look down on those from most American states, small businesspeople, and the hardworking masses as their inferiors. In Marxist terms, they have put the yuppie upper-middle class in place of the proletariat. We are looking at an establishment-approved program of snobbishness as virtue.
But that’s precisely why the current leftism works so effectively. They can romanticize distant peasants — or terrorists — while jeering at anyone who shops at Walmart. They can have a high living standard, feel virtuous, and be viciously arrogant all at the same time with no guilt whatsoever.
It’s a wonderful life.
To agree with anything said on talk radio, for instance, is equivalent to wearing two different colored socks, slurping your drink, or using the wrong fork.
Calling all Tea Partiers!
Somebody else is going to have to save America, because the academics, journalists, Washington insiders, and various “experts” aren’t going to do it. They don’t fear being wrong, damaging the society, or failing in their duty so much as being called the equivalent of nerds and peasants.
Endnote: Readers might want to visit (or re-visit) Angelo Codevilla writing at American Spectator in 2010 about the “Ruling Class” where we are reminded that not all elitists are “liberals.” Indeed there are many Republicans who want to be cool and join (or remain in) the safety of the Ruling (elite) class.