Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Elites Never Listen


TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I suggest that the elites can be wrong from time to time.

For John, BLUFWhat is Local Girl Makes Good's line?  "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!"  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:
Forget the conspiracy theories. Something much more dangerous is seeking to gut our government and change the character of our society.
This is from the magazine Foreign Policy, which, in this Trump Era, has become relentlessly anti-Trump.  The author is Mr David Rothkopf and the dateline is 22 February 2017. A friend of mine noted that "This could be read as a defense of the elite."  Yes, the bien-pensant.

Here is an except:

The shallow state is in many respects the antithesis of the deep state.  The power of the deep state comes from experience, knowledge, relationships, insight, craft, special skills, traditions, and shared values.  Together, these purported attributes make nameless bureaucrats into a supergovernment that is accountable to no one.  That is a scary prospect.  But the nature of bureaucracies, human nature, inertia, checks and balances, and respect for the chain of command makes it seem a bit far-fetched to me.  (The bureaucracy will drive Trump, like many presidents, mad, and some within it will challenge him, but that's not the same thing.)

The shallow state, on the other hand, is unsettling because not only are the signs of it ever more visible but because its influence is clearly growing.  It is made scarier still because it not only actively eschews experience, knowledge, relationships, insight, craft, special skills, tradition, and shared values but because it celebrates its ignorance of and disdain for those things.  Donald Trump, champion and avatar of the shallow state, has won power because his supporters are threatened by what they don't understand, and what they don't understand is almost everything.  Indeed, from evolution to data about our economy to the science of vaccines to the threats we face in the world, they reject vast subjects rooted in fact in order to have reality conform to their worldviews.  They don't dig for truth; they skim the media for anything that makes them feel better about themselves.  To many of them, knowledge is not a useful tool but a cunning barrier elites have created to keep power from the average man and woman.  The same is true for experience, skills, and know-how.  These things require time and work and study and often challenge our systems of belief.  Truth is hard; shallowness is easy.

So, darned if you do and darned it you don't.  The elites think they know what is good for the rest of us.  But, their track record isn't so great.  Think of all the nations they have led into ruin.

If a bunch of people think their nation is going in the wrong direction they can vote the politicians out, and if that isn't possible (my wife just asked me "Can't the people of Venezuela do anything about their Government?) the only thing left is Revolution, and you know how that usually turns out.  We were lucky, as were the British.  Others not so much.

And speaking of the Elites, what is that line from Oliver Cromwell?  "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."

Regards  —  Cliff

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