May 23, 2011

Ignoble Nobility

The post has drifted into realm of politics and thus has been moved discreetly below the fold.

As compensation here is unrelated footage of  a girl enjoying her sweet potatoes.

The scandal involving the World Bank chief allegedly raping a hotel maid  is not something I would normally blog about, but it has inspired some very good posts that deserve linking to. Cdr Salamander has a  post on another woman who alleges she was attacked by Strauss-Khan.Her story has a twist that is arguably even more horrible

She says she consulted a lawyer at the time, but
was persuaded not to take action by her mother, a regional councillor in the Socialist party and friend of the Strauss-Kahn family. Banon is goddaughter to Strauss-Kahn's second wife.

..because he was a high muckity muck in the Socialist Party, she asked her daughter to 'take one for the team'. fail at motherhood.

As Jonah Goldberg notes however, this most un-American notion, that of an elite for whom the rules are bent or don't apply is not at all unheard of here. The problem is deeper than he notes though.

Mark Steyn has a rather long piece that beats this idea about but it's Ace commenting on the Steyn piece who nails it rather more succinctly.

The New Aristocracy isn't made by blood but by credentials. The aristocracy is "born" in each countries two or three most elite schools, and the formal induction into the class occurs in key international/financial government bureaucracies.

And then?

Then you can stop paying taxes with no fear of the consequences the commoners face, and you can forcibly rape (or, actually, sodomize) the help and know that an entire nation's aristocrats will defend you and criticize those lowly prosecutors who charge you

He's on a roll read the whole thing.

R.S. McCain has additional thoughts on this and WHY its a growing problem.

One of the horrible consequences of the trends that Murray and Herrnstein chronicled is that the New Aristocracy think they possess a monopoly on intelligence. And because the homogenity of their experience includes matriculation at liberal-dominated elite institutions, members of the New Aristocracy also often believe that everyone who isn’t liberal is demonstrably stupid.

Again, read the whole thing, it is thought provoking, or ought to be.

But it is worse than this.

Given the trends McCain points out, we're taking many (not all but arguably most) of our best and brightest and setting them up as a sort of credentialed nobility who have a nobleman's disdain for work and those who do it.  We are also encouraging them to go into NGO's, the government and academia, which are  last places most our best and brightest ought to go during their most productive years. This is a net loss to our economy and society.

It's not just unease and a feeling that this whole class of people hold us in's that they objectively suck at their jobs. The nations finances got clobbered by these same smug braniacs  because they made decisions (see Fannie/Freddie) that would have seemed utterly blinkered to anyone who ran a small business, or for that matter balanced a checkbook.

The populist brand of conservatism associated with the Tea Party is often described as anti-intellectual by its detractors. However when Tea Partiers talk about the elites, they are taking about this new nobility. The term is often misunderstood, willfully I must suppose. First, the Tea Party types tend to revere the founding fathers who were surely intellectuals. Everybody wants their doctor, mechanic, or lawyer to be above average, and preferably among the elite in their field. 

What they do NOT want is a bunch of people who feel they are entitled to rule over them like lords. They would also prefer they have some frame of reference to and empathy for how most of us live. That first thing there we've got in spades...the other two, not so much.

This collection of rants is necessarily guilty of massive generalization, there are of course lots of people from the particular social strata we talk about who are perfectly grounded individuals with no empathy deficit who have meaningful real world experience. Those individuals are not the issue...and they don't seem to be in charge.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 09:21 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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