Bill Whittle released Part II of the “What We Believe” series yesterday, and it’s just as good as Part I. In this installment, Bill explains both the practical and meta problems with elitism, which he rightly calls the new Nobility, although Bill refers to it as the rotting corpse of the old Nobility. We wish. Bill channels Hayek’s Road to Serfdom in detailing the failings of master planning, but may not go far enough in detailing its dangers:
First, let’s define elitism. It is not, as some assume, a rejection of Harvard and Yale as education centers. In fact, it has little to do with alma maters at all. Elitism is the tendency of an entrenched political class to assume that they can make better decisions for individuals and have a better understanding of individual interests than the individuals in question. It makes no difference if the elites attended Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or Cal State Fullerton. It is fundamentally anti-democratic, as it negates the entire idea that an individual can govern himself, and should govern himself. If the prevailing assumption is that individuals cannot govern themselves individually, it’s a very short hop to the notion that a group of individuals cannot be relied upon to choose their own political leadership, either.
To extend Bill’s argument and to channel a little Hayek myself, let’s discuss what happens when master planning fails, for all the reasons Bill outlines so well in this piece. As we saw with the controlled economies of the 20th century, failure is inevitable, and unfortunately we’re also seeing that now. When those failures occur and the elites remain in power, they tend to use the failure to arrogate even more power to coerce the mass population to bend to their commands, believing that the plan was good but the execution failed from lack of cooperation. As coercion grows and freedom fades, the economies fail even more, which leads to even more coercion. As long as elites remain in control of government and remain convinced of their plan, top-down coercion is the only outcome.
That’s the true danger of elitism.