Après Nous, Le Déluge

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Joel Kotkin shares my belief that wealthy liberal elites are dancing on the precipice of a volcano:

 

The French nobility, observed Tocqueville in The Ancien Regime and The Revolution, supported many of the writers whose essays and observations ended up threatening “their own rights and even their existence.” Today we see much the same farce repeated, as the world’s richest people line up behind causes that, in the end, could relieve them of their fortunes, if not their heads. In this sense, they could end up serving, in Lenin’s words, as “useful idiots” in their own destruction.

Although they themselves have benefited enormously from the rise of free markets, liberal protection of property rights, and the meritocratic ideal, many among our most well-heeled men and women, even in the United States, have developed a tendency to embrace policies and cultural norms that undermine their own status. This is made worse by their own imperious behavior, graphically revealed in the mortifying college admissions scandal in the United States, where the Hollywood and business elites cheated, bribed, and falsified records to get their own kids into elite colleges.

At the same time, these same people continue to boost their own share of the world’s wealth, as a recent OECD report reveals, largely at the expense of the middle and working class. The embrace of  inexorable “globalization”—essentially shifting productive work to developing countries—may appeal to the progressive rich even as it, in the words of geographer Christophe Guilluy, “revived the citadels of Medieval France.”

Sometimes the elite policy agenda is justified as part of a “green” agenda that impoverishes the lower and middle classes by expelling basic industries, thereby boosting housing and energy prices. This in turn has set the stage for the kind of peasant rebellions—from Brexit and Trump to the rise of illiberal regimes in eastern Europe as well as the re-emergence of socialism—that threaten their hegemony.

The Gentrification of the Left

In the twentieth century, most business leaders were predictably conservative. Big money aligned with their class allies in the “party of property.” Conservatives in Britain and Canada, Liberals in Australia, Republicans in America, and Gaullists in France all supported—albeit with significant differences—a basic property rights-oriented regime backed by law. Yet, over the last 20 years, the upper classes have adopted environmental and social agendas that are fundamentally at odds with competitive capitalism and the survival of a vibrant middle class.

Today, many traditional left-wing parties are largely financed by the wealthy and supported by the elite classes in Canada and Australia. Large sections of traditionally conservative parties like Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, meanwhile, have evolved to embrace the internationalist and green agenda. Only in Britain, ever the eccentric laggard, has old-style class warfare been revived by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.

In the United States, a clear majority of wealthy donors now support the Democratic Party rather than the traditional corporate party, the Republicans. The vast majority of the ultra-rich foundations—including those funded by the offspring of the Rockefellers and the Fords, whose fortunes were made in fossil fuels—now all tilt to the left, particularly on the environment and cultural issues.

Over the past half century, as was the case in pre-revolutionary France, the elite’s worldview has become increasingly detached from traditional morality. But, while the ruling classes of the industrial era continued to pay lip service to the primacy of the family, many in today’s upper classes have embraced an agenda that has little use for traditional values on anything from sex roles to cultural norms. Increasingly, this is no longer a question of mere tolerance, but an aggressive challenge to the tradition familial culture that once laid the foundation for successful societies.

These pervasive progressive memes are now being adopted by vast corporations. In search of the progressive dollar and appeasement of the Left’s noisy social justice tendency, Gillette has produced ads that attack “toxic masculinity”; similarly culturally PC approaches have been adopted by firms such as Audi, Procter and Gamble, Apple, and Pepsi, with varying degrees of success. Today, employees at Google, Microsoft, and Accenture in Britain are expected to subscribe to the progressive orthodoxy on race and gender; and if they fail to do so, employees fear finding themselves without a job.

When in power, the Left does its best to impose its preferred perspective on the population. Legislatures in seven states, including New York, have passed bills expanding abortion availability into the third trimester. In Colorado, Governor Jared Polis, a tech mogul, is considering legislation to mandate sex education, including information about “healthy” transsexual relationships and bans discussion of gender norms.

Go here to read the rest.  A vast storm is coming in the West and the majority of the elites who purport to run our societies are completely oblivious to it.  Now to lighten the mood:

 

 

 

 

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Hattip to commenter Nate Winchester.

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6 Comments

  1. “In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea
    With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me
    As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free
    While God is marching on
    Glory, glory, Hallelujah! Glory, glory, Hallelujah!
    Glory, glory, Hallelujah! His truth is marching on!
    His truth is marching on! And on and on and on and on and on.”

    Bring on the Storm.
    We belong to Christ.
    Whether we live or die we are His.
    Bring on the storm you liberal elite.
    Truth will prevail.

  2. The article is interesting, but I fear the climate-change-mocking author has his own equally deep and preposterous prejudices: “Like the Medieval church, the acolytes of this movement have little patience for rational debate”.

    There has never been so much rational debate as in the High and Late Middle Ages.

  3. The expression, Après moi, le deluge is usually attributed to Louis XV, but it has a long history.

    The same thought occurs in a fragment from a Greek tragedy

    ἐμοῦ θανόντος γαῖα μιχθήτω πυρί•
    οὐδὲν μέλει μοι• τἀμὰ γὰρ καλῶς ἔχει.

    When I die, let earth and fire mix:
    It matters not to me, for my affairs will be unaffected.

    (Tragicorum Fragmenta Adespota, 513 Nauck)

    One finds the same thought in Lucretius’s didactic poem, De Rerum Natura

    scilicet haud nobis quicquam, qui non erimus tum,
    accidere omnino poterit sensumque movere,
    non si terra mari miscebitur et mare caelo. (3.840-842)

    Certainly then, when we do not exist, nothing
    at all will be able to happen to us nor excite our senses,
    not even if the earth mixes with the sea, and the sea with the heavens.

    Then, there is Strato of Sardis

    Καὶ πίε νῦν καὶ ἔρα, Δαμόκρατες• οὐ γὰρ ἐς αἰεὶ
    πιόμεθ’ οὐδ’ αἰεὶ παισὶ συνεσσόμεθα.
    καὶ στεφάνοις κεφαλὰς πυκασώμεθα καὶ μυρίσωμεν
    αὑτούς, πρὶν τύμβοις ταῦτα φέρειν ἑτέρους.
    νῦν ἐν ἐμοὶ πιέτω μέθυ τὸ πλέον ὀστέα τἀμά•
    νεκρὰ δὲ Δευκαλίων αὐτὰ κατακλυσάτω.

    (Greek Anthology 11.19)

    Drink and love now, Damocrates, for we shall not
    drink for ever or be for ever with the lads.
    Let us bind our heads with garlands and scent ourselves
    before others bear flowers and scent toour tombos.
    Now may my bones inside me drink mostly wine,
    and when they are dead let Deucalion’s flood cover them.

  4. All so very true. The rich and elites are creating the conditions for their own demise. This is because pride blinds reason. The devil, whose will they follow, is a treacherous partner.

    The same thing that is going on in large corporations is going on in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. The Liberal elite are doing all they can to support the culture of death and the globalist agenda at the expense of Catholic doctrine and morals.

    Let us support Traditional Catholicism, Nationalism and Donald Trump. We will win in the end perhaps over many dead bodies.

  5. I think that one can look back to 1992 and the election of Bill Clinton as the start of the shift of the wealthy to the leftist causes, although in some aspects it started long before that.

    My example is the Philadelphia suburban counties, the most populous and wealthiest in Pennsylvania. These people were called Rockefeller Republicans. Pennsylvania voted for Nixon in 1972, Reagan in 1980 and 1984 and Bush in 1988. The Philly suburbs easily outweighed the Democrat majorities in Western Pennsylvania (for a bunch of reason, we never grew as big as Philly). These ‘burbs went for Clinton in 1992 and put PA in the Democrat column every election (sometimes narrowly) until 2016.

    The New York City wealthy have almost always trended Left. In DC – what else would the wealthy be?

    The most dangerous rise of the Left is in Big Tech. Facebook and Google simply ban anyone they don’t agree with under the guise of “hate speech”. Big Tech is a willing accomplice in Red China’s suppression apparatus.

    Corporations all celebrate “diversity” as if having fewer middle age white guys employed is an improvement. 24 years ago we had Good Friday as a holiday and there were no Indians. I see as many Indians as I see white people at work, Good Friday is another workday and we are bombarded with “Pride Week”.

    Rush Limbaugh pointed out a long time ago how crazy the Left becomes when they are not in power – although, to be fair, they are crazy when they have power, too, but the anti-Trump rage has been going on for three years and shows no sign of going away.

    There is going to be another civil war of some type, although I doubt I will live to see it. The Left is completely nuts. This current batch of House Representatives proves that.

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