Today I read an article decrying stagnant wages for the middle and working class, the rise of an empty and soulless plutocracy, and the fall of civic-mindedness among these new elites.
Just another left-wing screed from Mother Jones, right?
Prepare to be surprised: it is up on National Review. You wouldn’t even know it’s from a conservative until the very end when he engages in obligatory and random bashing of feminism and such, to prove his bona fides I guess. But until then, this guy may as well be an OWS speaker with his decrying of our new and empty global elite.
It is heartening that more and more conservatives are waking up to the fact that these plutocrats are NOT on their side and are NOT conservative in any meaningful way, and that their party does not have to be the bought-and-owned property of these elites who could not care less about workaday Joe Sixpack conservatives in flyover country. The elites are working against all of us, party be damned.
This is the true divide in society today, the war of the elites versus the rest of us, and it is far more important than the silly red vs. blue political theater which distracts the masses and in the end means little to those in power. Do you think your average plutocrat, who sits on the board of five different corporations because he knows all the right people, gives a fig about abortion or guns either way? Do you think any Clinton or Bush or Rubin or Jarrett is actually more concerned about helping the country than simply securing their own lifetime Peerage in our new global elite?
I hope more conservatives and liberals come to understand this crucial problem. I hope we all realize that the Tea Party and OWS both originated from the same disgust of our nonpartisan elites, and I hope we realize what utter crap it was that both movements got co-opted, once again, by cynical partisan hacks (in the case of OWS, by communist/anarchist violent extremists who scared off the regular liberals and which therefore doomed the movement).
Author Robert Patterson (not the guitarist, nor the sparkly vampire) compares these empty people to the founders of the Dodge car company, comparing them unfavorably to Henry Ford who honestly believed in building up his community (let’s leave out Ford’s attitude towards Jews for the moment). The Dodge brothers only cared about making themselves as rich as possible and to hell with their workers, which, of course, is basically the corporate motto of Wal-Mart today. He notes how the civic-mindedness of Ford and other elites of that period helped America reach its golden age, weathering two world wars and a depression to achieve what is arguably the period of greatest civilizational strength in American history. And he notes how our elites of today compare less than favorably.
Myself, I’ve written before how this loss of virtue and civic-mindedness among our self-proclaimed leaders coincided with the rise of the worst generation in American history, the Baby Boomer generation. The Boomers decided that the old virtues of community, self-sacrifice, hard work, and bettering one’s society were just, like, too square, man, and threw them all out. Now we have an attitude where the only goal left is money and power (which are interchangable) and the only law left is the law of the jungle.
Of course, these “leaders” will always tell you how good and noble they are. Think of all those copycat assurances and statements from corporations, from Microsoft to the NFL to Wal-Mart, about how “dedicated” they are to the environment, to women’s health, or whatever thing is in fashion this week. Never mind what goes on behind closed doors in the boardroom or in a Senate office or at the golf course or at Davos — that just doesn’t count.
And ultimately, these people want nothing more than to see you impoverished, broke, and fully dependent on them. Whether through an underpaying job or a government handout, it’s all the same as you will be brought to heel and kept compliant either way. And they don’t care who you vote for. After all, the Clintons and the Bushes and the Obamas are all equal members of the Peerage.
I don’t know how much of a voice populist conservatives like Patterson will ever have. After all, it’s tough imagining him or someone like him getting a regular spot at FoxNews, as the media has a vested interest in keeping up the illusory red vs. blue divide and in maintaining the Boomerist elite. Not even Sen. Rand Paul dares speak much against the elite (besides Obama and other Democrats, of course) as that would cause his presidential chances to evaporate overnight. He will have to make a choice soon enough: either toe the line, or be a perenniel losing candidate like his old man.
But whenever a conservative does dare speak out on the most important issue of our generation, we rank-and-file liberals should cheer them on. We can allow them to vent against traditional liberal causes as long as they are on the right side of history. Because, deep down, we are them and they are us.
You know. Regular folk.