NEVER HAS THERE BEEN SO LITTLE DIVERSITY WITHIN AMERICA'S UPPER CRUST.
Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America's upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter.
The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another.
Few had much contact with government, and "bureaucrat" was a dirty word for all. So was "social engineering." Nor had the schools and universities that formed yesterday's upper crust imposed a single orthodoxy about the origins of man, about American history, and about how America should be governed. All that has changed.
Today's ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits.
These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints.
Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters -- speaking the "in" language -- serves as a badge of identity. [THIS IS KNOWN AS CULTURAL MARXISM OR POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.]
Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct.
Many began their careers in government and leveraged their way into the private sector. Some, e.g., Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, never held a non-government job. Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America's ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government.
The two classes have less in common culturally, dislike each other more, and embody ways of life more different from one another than did the 19th century's Northerners and Southerners -- nearly all of whom, as Lincoln reminded them, "prayed to the same God."
By contrast, while most Americans pray to the God "who created and doth sustain us," our ruling class prays to itself as "saviors of the planet" and improvers of humanity.
Our classes' clash is over "whose country" America is, over what way of life will prevail, over who is to defer to whom about what. The gravity of such divisions points us, as it did Lincoln, to Mark's Gospel: "if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand."
http://spectator.org/archives/2010/07/1 … ss-and-the
So very, sadly true. My husband, who has a Master's Degree in Social Science, has often pointed out that our society is a pyramidal structure with the 'warrior/kings' at the top of the pyramid, controlling all the weatlth and power, and the bottom of the pyramid is comprised of the rest of 'common man' i.e., flunkies, who make it possible for the topw third to prosper.
No less important in this scheme of things are so called 'secret' societies, most of which are known, and not actually 'secret,' but nonetheless, weilding more than their fair share of influence and power. The most visible of these being the Masons. Did you know that nearly every president since George Washington has been a Mason? With a single exception, the ones who were not are the ones who were assassinated. Gives you pause, doesn't it, about our so-called 'freedoms.'
apologies for not proofing carefully and missing typos. This is a 'hot button' topic for me, and I'm afraid I let my fingers run ahead of my brain. :-(
This is a very well written piece; I am impressed. However, I am confused. Are you seriously saying that George W Bush and Barack Obama, both the product of the educational system of which you speak, have the same social views?
Anncee - I think that's a pretty good statement of your case. I'm not American, but can draw parallels elsewhere.
I agree with you that there is a self-serving ruling class, largely comprising political dynasties, banks and boardrooms. Whether or not they all think alike, at least they all agree to pursue self-enrichment at the expense of non-members.
Where I'm less in agreement is with the idea that the bulk of the population can see what's going on. I think most can't. To support this, look at what happens in the run up to any election - bipartisan division. People at each others' throats, all still believing that the 'left' or the 'right' can sort matters. There is no chance of a popular groundswell gaining any real momentum while there is such division in the ranks. You only have to look at HP's Politics Forum. The screwed fighting the screwed while the screwdrivers laugh in the wings.
Where is your Lech Wałęsa? Where is your Solidarność?
You are right on target anncee.
Progressives, Cultural Marxism, centralized education and indoctrination have destroyed our country and the minds of many of the young.
I do not know if it is yet to late to take our country back... but I hope not.
I would say see... he, "McCarthy", told you all so... but from your avatar pic you look a lil youg to been alive back then.
I guess you have been miserable in your country since the 50s...
AnnCee seems to have disappeared. Pity, because she almost started an interesting thread. TMMason has assumed that the ruling class can be identified with 'progressives', but I think that doesn't stand up because there are plenty of poor progressives around, who have no claim to dominance. I have identified the ruling class with the self-serving political-banking-corporate complex, to which I would add top military.
But Ann has not come back to say which of us is nearer to her idea. Who knows. This thread may be a 'slow burner' that will yield great ideas after 13 days. But I doubt it
Seriously for a minute - the only reason the OP did not trigger a lively thread was that extreme partisans hadn't a clue how to react to it.
And I suspect, neither has AnnCee, who would seem to have been subtle by mistake.
Actually the progressives and suversives hid themselves very well after they slew McCarthy and covered up the truths he exposed.
But now that they are in the open guess who is waking up to just what they are doing.... America is.
For many decades there has been a large silent majority in this country which have been scratching thier heads in wonderment at what has been going on.
Many of them thinking... "Why is everything so backwards these days"... and... "What the hell is our Govt. doing?".
Now they see who it is and what they, the progressives, have been doing.
And they do not like it.
That is just a fact.
You hit the nail right on the head! The only way to bring this to a halt, is to demand term limits so we no longer have career polititions that are bought and paid for by the likes of George Soros and others who seek to control the world and all it's inhabitents.
Hey there, Paraglider. If you know any poor progressives, you know that they are satisfied with being "smart" and "cool." They don't even notice they are being used as long as they can shop at Trader Joes and have coffee once in a while at Starbucks. They don't even notice that the middle class is being decimated and poverty is trickling up under the policies of the wealthy elite progressives.
They think that their opinions are heard and that Barack Obama and his bosses want them to participate in Democracy. They don't understand the what is wanted is their blind devotion. And they are blindly devoted.
Just read the message boards.
You are right - but this is not the fault of any one party or governing caucus - it is all of them. The people who rule western countries through government or the media are no longer dependant on 'their' country any longer. They should give a rats @ss about anyone as long as there is division and poverty to drive the remaining compliant middle classes to continue to climb up over each other at any cost. They even have war taped now, the country pays for the wars and terror that they create and they reap the profits. You are absolutely right - it is about time the people (generally) woke up and took back governments into their own hands to make them truly democratic.
Pity - I was hoping that you had recognised that this isn't a left/right issue, but one of dominance of the many by the few, irrespective of their ostensible politics. But I see you are still intent on fighting the same old battle. There's no future in it, really.
The entire article, which prints out to 16 pages, is well worth a read. And it is worth passing on to your friends. We do need to wake up, this is a serious situation we need to be aware of reality. Americans tend to make a joke of everything. We'll laugh ourselves into oblivion if we are not careful.
Well OK, I can see that you're serious about it. But I'm also serious about my view that global corporatism, private banking and militarism have a vested interest in perpetuating and aggravating the differences between people in order to keep them (us) blaming each other instead of noticing the real issue.
Good Day Paraglider
Do you think it would be fair to say that the wildly unequal distribution of power, and therefore resources, creates an artificial sense of "left" and "right" among the lower rungs of the population, that is, the rest of us? Are left and right partisans merely fighting over the crumbs from the banquet table of the various national elites and global Superclass (title of a great book by former Clinton cabinet member David Rothkopf)?
I think so. Over in America we see a classic example of this. In the wake of nearly destroying the world economy, in the wake of the huge amount of taxpayer dollars extracted to recapitalize certain banks, honor derivative policies, etc -- state governments and local governments are mercilessly cutting social programs ("We gotta balance the budget! We gotta balance the budget!); and we see Republicans [I'm not particularly picking on Republicans since they are merely a faction of the business party] and conservative Democrats returning to one of their old saws: "We got to 'reform' (meaning cut) Social Security.
My point is this: the bankers have had (and are having) the banquet, the trillions of dollars in profit in good times and bad; and they deceive us, in a way, to fight over crumbs, Social Security (an efficient program that has never missed a check and the Congressional Budget Office has said is perfectly solvent and will easily make all scheduled payments through 2039), and it like most of America's social provisions, I understand, are rather miserly at that by comparison with other industrialized, developed countries.
In threatening our crumbs (Social Security) aren't the elites creating a kind of false sense of "left" and "right" among the rest of us?
Yes, but I think the tactic is to stir up the 'natural' conservative element to believe that the good old days have been ruined by 'progressives'. It's a reds under the beds campaign, but conducted through mainstream (wholly owned) media. This creates an opposition, equally unaware that it too is a product of cynical manipulation. Divide and conquer - nothing new in that.
Private banks don't stand a chance against this administration. They were used and abused by the Democrats and the Democrat banks Fannie and Freddie. Now they are under the thumb of a Democrat cabal who will decide what is right and what is wrong and what to do about it with very little direction from a financial regulation bill with very little specificity. Arbitrary decisions made by appointed Democrats.
Hugo Chavez installed parallel banking, communication and education. He nationalized the oil industry. Any of that sound familiar?
Private banks have been bailed out largely to buy time. Some attempt is now being made to regulate their excesses. I think you'll find that usury (interest) is deprecated both in OT & NT. Though not religious myself, I can see that these old guys got that absolutely right.
Anncee - much of your outrage is well directed, but (if you'll let me say this) you need to cut your intellect free from the failed left/right dialectic. Think pragmatically, not dogmatically, and you might just see that what's needed is reconciliation at ground level and recognition of our common enemy - the global profiteer.
Private banks were used and abused???
You are still asleep.
lovemychris - instead of fighting, let's try to find common ground. There's no sense in left/right pugilism. It just provides a spectacle for the controllers.
Do you think the banks decided it was better to loan money for mortgages to people who could never pay them back?
Thanks, Jim. I don't know why more people don't know this. Must get their news from Chris Quiverleg.
Yes, many of them did. They wrote the toxic mortgages, packaged them and sold them to investors all over the world. They cared less whether the mortgages would ever be paid off.
I'd just like to know when progressive became a pejoritive term?
When they got all confused by 'liberal" and "libertarian"?
Then there's 'Libertine' and 'Liberace'. Blame it on the candelabras.
I can see real divisions among the populace above and beyond the left/right paradigm.
Those that support the power of each individual state to govern itself except for commerce between the states and defense.
Those that believe in centralized control with all the states following the rules layed down by the Federal Government.
This to me is a real and central issue dividing America.
Good point, Reality Bytes.
Poor progressives will give their freedom away in exchange for the promise of cradle to grave entitlements from a corrupt federal government run by immoral political elites.
It is shocking to see how many Americans support the insanity of the Obama's Department of Justice suing Arizona over a law that simply upholds federal immigration law which the federal government fails to uphold. Bizarre.
Another Bizarre aspect:
There is third aspect to the state /central paradigm.
That is the third leg that would like to see a global government with each Nation having powers like the current states do. There are many ,many people who ultimately feel this would be the only way to world peace.
These people are the elite ruling class, and those followers who feel they will also benefit from sycophantic behaviour.. They sit on corporate boards and head the ford and rockefeller foundations etc..., they could care less about boundaries the entities they represent exist everywhere. They meet in secret to decide what the world's puppet leaders will do. All that is really provided to us is a real live show just like a wrestling extravaganza.
All the while the decisions are already made and all we see is the screenplay.
Well then, it's time to vote for Sarah Palin and the devil take the hindmost.
Bow before them that are the Elite Ruling Class!
The sad part about all of this is that it is the nature of human nature to react not pro-act. The divide and conquer is working and as long as there are enough scraps to eek out a bearable living, people will keep taking it in the ass. Nobody is going to take back the government until their are enough of them in some Dickensian state to form up a revolution. Then it's a coin toss whether it works, and, inevitably, democracy ends in dictatorship or the people get lucky and restart the process. The problem is not the banks and corporations, it's human nature. This cycle has played out a zillion times before. We call them CEO and Secretary now instead of King, Excellency or Chieftan, but its the same crap over and over and over.
The meek will never inherit the Earth. At least not for more than a week. When they get hungry enough, they have a riot, and if they do over throw the King's army, they'll pick a new leader and it starts again. Always.
If you happen to live during the right part of the cycle, the scraps are good. Enjoy your scraps if you have them. If you happen to live during the crappy part of the cycle, well, maybe you'll be one of the people in the painting depicting the government forces shooting you into the mass grave pit with the rest.
I could have put hundreds of photos from around the world too, recent stuff, but they're too graphic.
The elite finance the uprisings as well. Create a problem look for the reaction then provide the solution that the elite wanted all along. It is a part of history and gets replayed over and over like a continuous loop.
I am more and more inclined to consider Sarah Palin for president.
The powers of the air definitely hate her and that speaks well for her.
My enemies enemy is my friend
Now I am even more confused. You have written an erudite, clear, and well-written OP piece. And then you say you would like to see someone as president who clearly, for all of her good points, does not share your own level of capacity for intellectual analysis... EVEN REMOTELY...?
To a point, Row. Don't forget those handsome romantic dashing Taliban we loved when they were kicking the Russian bear's butt.
Certainly. We also really liked the Iraqis when they held Iran in check. Seems mnay of our left leaning frineds have forgotten how many Iraqis lost their lives furthing our "mission"...and they wanted to abandon them a couple years ago for partisan reasons.
"We also really liked the Iraqis when they held Iran in check."
Makes you wonder why the heck we removed the local check on Iran, doesn't it? We never did Iran a bigger favor than when we invaded Iraq.
Well, it isnt so black and white. Certainly when you think of the animal kingdom we have a history of trying to remove one pest with another, only to find out the replacement is a whole new threat; full of unintended consequences.
As somebody said, "There's an inexhaustible supply of bastards in the world."
It'd be a far far stretch for me to support Sarah Palin because I honestly think she is as out of touch with reality as Barack Obama is. He thinks (thought) he was magical and she thinks (thought) she was magical.
She didn't know or wouldn't admit that she was in over her head during the campaign. That is disturbing.
I think this woman said it well:
http://article.nationalreview.com/37247 … een-parker
However. If it appears that she could win. I would vote for her anyway because she has old fashioned values and was actually quite realistic and effective in her work in Alaska. She knows how to build coalitions unlike Obama who is completely insular. I think she's probably a more difficult person than we know, but also stubborn and hard working. I don't think she would take the United States in the wrong direction. Like Obama has. As you can see, I am torn. But that's the state of affairs these days, isn't it?
"She [Palin] didn't know or wouldn't admit that she was in over her head during the campaign. That is disturbing."
"However. If it appears that she could win. I would vote for her anyway..."
That's even more disturbing.
What's more disturbing yet, there's probably a lot of folks who think the same way.
You all know that James Maddison once remarked on his fear that the Union of states would become so large and so populace that it would enevitable disitergrate into a balkanized region of more than one country.
That the people would have so many differing views on the politics of the world and nation that it would be impossible for it to survive.
And that is the plan, I believe.
Well, certainly the schism seems set in steel between those who want to be supported by Other People's Money and those who want to work hard and succeed in life.
We only need to look at Texas and California to see two states within the nation that are as foreign to each other as any two places could possibly be.
Some are born poor, some achieve poverty and some have poverty thrust upon them.
Groups 1 and 3 are not to be blamed and should be helped by society.
Really, and do mind explaining that?
Being born poor isn't an excuse for remaining poor.
Those who achieve poverty, apparently do not strive to be better than that.
As for some have poverty thrust upon them, then I would suggest those people find a new place to live, if the problem is government action that dictates them into poverty.
It all begins with choice. Choice about self-improvement. Those who choose not to make their life about self-improvement, then they struggle and stagnate most, if not all their life.
So, from my point of view, which is on a worldview, poverty is just a tool used by others to either justify their position or as an excuse to not improve upon themselves.
Education is key, Parenting is essential, Growth is a must.
Okay, my rant is over.
OK. Well first of all it was just a fun misquote of: "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them" (Shakespeare, Twelfth Night), but I guess you knew that.
Being born poor is the single greatest impediment to becoming rich. Exceptions are rare. Slum-dog Millionaire is typical Hollywood garbage.
Some 'achieve' poverty by bad life decisions: gambling, profligacy, addiction, etc.
Some have poverty thrust upon them: law suits, unemployment, victims of crime.
On your world view, do you not see that for many, the choices are very limited. Education and even parenting may be wholly absent.
To consider such people choose to make their poverty an excuse for lack of self-improvement is verging on callous.
It is callous, not verging on.
Do we always have to compare behaviors of people ruling elite or not in different times? Of course they will differ. Social stratification is different in different times. The more advanced a society is the more the powers reside to the bankers and big corporations.
Time changes, circumstances change and the mass media is a lot more powerful now than ever before. Information travel faster.
We are entering into New Age already, globalization etc and of course the economic powers -- those who holds the power -- will influence politics.
POLITICS and Money Always go together. They are best friends so why not become one,
If I had it all to do over again I would train myself to have the morals of a sewer rat and then in 2012 I'd be sure to have a seat on the Mars ark.
Yeah, join 'em. Right.
I've got no problem with what Paraglider wrote. I am involved with the Salvation Army and this group does help all of the poor mentioned by Paraglider. Mostly group number 2 if I'm not mistaken.
I have a problem personally with people who have won every battle all along the way, doing things their own way. You know the ones? The ones who told their parents where to shove it? They told their teachers. They told their bosses. They did it their way all the way to the gutter? You know? Real winners. The ones who say, "I really told him but good!!"
These people are louts, they are sluggards, they are fools. And it bothers me to have to support them. The Salvation Army helps these people once they have run out of people to tell off, run out of people to use and discard, run out of people to win little daily victories against. Once they have reached the end of their ropes they actually can be helped. I've seen it over and over. Some go back to lives of foolishness, but many don't.
I don't think Paraglider is inaccurate in his observation. I don't understand the anger, Ralph. If you have compassion for the poor, is that any reason to lash out at someone who sees certain people as lazy and lost by choice?
There is another aspect to all of this I haven't seen anyone raise. Up till the 1970s in the US wages kept up with cost of living, more-or-less on a par. Since then however many (most?) people's income has slipped down a slope in relation to cost of living, meaning (probably) millions of families have seen their incomes FALL in real terms.
In other words, we can probably debate what psychological factors go into being poor till the cows come home, and indeed we probably should, but to have a discussion about poverty in America without asking what the forces are that have caused incomes to fall against cost of living is never going to explain the whole story...
For sure, progressive policy of implementing social justice through the tax code is causing trickle up poverty. That along with business groups and unions owning Washington and paying Congress to legislate in ways that are destructive to the American labor force. Both parties have been complicit in keeping the southern border open. Our government is driving the American people into poverty. The chasm between the haves and the have nots is growing ever wider. 1% of the population is responsible for 30% of the economy. Half of the population pays NO income tax. I guess most of those are getting make work pay credits.
Meanwhile the middle class is being squeezed out of existence. Soon there will be the ruling elite and their slave drones populating Amerika.
Hard to imagine banks -- as an industry -- collectively loosening their lending standards by so much, all at the same time. Hard to imagine the banks suddenly got all patriotic and said to themselves, "Every single American deserves to how his/her own house. We'll do our part -- our patriotic duty -- and make loans in such a way as more people get to fulfill the American dream of homeownership."
Yeah, right. Ya think they might have had a more self-centered interest in floating these sub-prime loans???
Interestingly, I wrote a hub about mortgage-backed securities that sort of answers this question. (No link, of course, because linking is a no-no, but it's called "Mortgage-backed securities are actually pretty cool" if you're interested.)
Banks were threatened by the government that they would be investigated for noncompliance with race legislation. It was in the news.
The government strong-armed banks into bad loans with the promise they could offload to Freddie and Fannie as part of the false economy shell game. Alot of people were ensnared by this, not because they were tricked, as our fearless leader claims, but promises set forth and the illusion that "everyone DESERVES the American dream". The chickens have come home to roost and the longer we delay the inevitable, the worse it will be.
Nobody strong armed Wall Street into investing in derivatives based on those "bad" loans.
You're right about the derivatives thing. It's kind of funny the way banks got caught up in their own lies. CDO's were created to get those bad loans off their books, but banks wound up buying them because they were "doing so well as investments". The fact still remains that CDO's would never have been created without the CRA of 1977 and Clinton's war against a nonexistent practice.
That was a small factor in the mortgage meltdown. There's plenty of blame to go around--crooked mortgage brokers, appraisers, customers, investment banks like Goldman, bond rating houses, and commercial banks. And the anti-regulation movement that started at the University of Chicago with Milton Friedman and was picked up by Reagan and perpetuated by all presidents that succeeded him until the crash. The pendulum is now swinging back toward sensible regulation of the Wall Street banksters. Fannie and Freddie remain to be dealt with.
Proof, Ralph, proof. Clinton tried mightily to regulate all sorts of things during his reign. Clintoncare comes to mind. It's funny how the politicos were falling all over themselves to claim the reason they lost in 1994 was because they failed to pass Clintoncare. Now that we have Obamacare it looks to be 1994 all over again.
What you really mean is incomplete deregulation. The CA "deregulation" debacle comes to mind. But then again you can't see where government intervention in the power industry caused those rolling blackouts in the early 2000's.
Once upon a time, back in the early 70's I think, you had to be able to prove that you had income equal to a certain percentage of the total loan on your home. Then this regulation went away. This was long before Clinton was president.
The regulations forcing the banks only to loan to people who could afford to pay the loan back, and not to loan more to a person than he could afford to pay, were done away with. But there were never any regulations preventing banks from selling loans to other banks (or other people, for that matter).
The government's equal housing initiative was responsible for a tiny minority of nonperforming loans. Once the banks figured out that they could bundle up a bunch of mortgages and sell them as securities (thus offloading any risk) they started writing loans willy-nilly, bundling them up, and selling them off to unsuspecting individual investors, pension funds, 401k plans, etc., and it was all 100% legal because there was no regulation in place to stop them, or at least to ensure that the securities were accurately rated for risk (they weren't), or to ensure that the people who wrote the loans in the first place would retain at least some of the risk that they were foisting off on others.
True all of that about the banks and real estate industry in general but it was Democrat Congressmen and women who ordered banks into previously red-lined areas and forced them to make mortgage loans to people with no prospect of repayment. AND it was Congressmen and women who were paid off to keep their hands off while the banking industry went crazy inventing exotics. AND it was Fannie and Freddie who gilded the turd loans with phony gold plating and sold them to a complicit banking industry who knew full well what they were buying and selling.
It is disturbing indeed. To think that we may have may have such a poor choice AGAIN. Will we end up with a retread like Gingrich?
Politics has never been more disgusting and disturbing.
At least Sarah Palin respects the history of this country and its traditions. And she speaks plainly in her own inimitably convoluted way.
People talk about Palin's lack of foreign policy experience. Could anyone fluff it any worse than Obama has done? Bowing to foreign leaders, dapping with thugs, being lectured like a little boy. He is an embarrassment. I believe foreign leaders would take Palin more seriously because she has a clearly visible hard streak and she doesn't hesitate to do what she thinks is right.
I'm not a Sarah Palin hater but if given the choice between her and Gingrich, I'm going with Gingrich.
He has forgotten more about history and what it takes to run a Country than Obama or palin combined ever knew.
Unfortunately ol' Newtie's ego gets mightily in the way once he has power. Happened before. Would it happen again?
I respect his knowledge and share his values but he sure threw his weight around in a bad way when he had a chance to do some good for this country.
http://www.societasviaromana.net/Colleg … ninus4.php
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