Video: The Tea Party vs the Ruling Class

posted at 12:45 pm on October 16, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

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.

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Whittle/Morrissey 2012!

aquaviva on October 16, 2010 at 12:51 PM

You can find the process losing your country explained here.

BobMbx on October 16, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Very well stated Ed — both the definitions of elitism and the outcome of the ruling class mentality that has taken hold in Washington D.C.

AZfederalist on October 16, 2010 at 12:58 PM

The Great Grand Purgation Cometh on November 2!!

canopfor on October 16, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Love that Murkoski Crazy Eye Stare!!

canopfor on October 16, 2010 at 1:03 PM

canopfor on October 16, 2010 at 1:01 PM

And the First Presidential Temper Tantrum (TM) arrives about Midnight, November 3rd!

kingsjester on October 16, 2010 at 1:04 PM

But isn’t Nancy Pelosi one of those 10 smartest?

John the Libertarian on October 16, 2010 at 1:07 PM

This is why the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution represented one of the most radical and freeing ideas in the history of mankind. Remove the yoke of government by the elites and voila freedom and prosperity for the individual masses. Amazing, really.

txmomof6 on October 16, 2010 at 1:10 PM

The wisdom of crowds, baby. See it in the economy, in gambling, in the idioms that spring forth from the people.

The wisdom of elitists? Not so much.

MaxMBJ on October 16, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Ooooh dats good,300 million processors,to the 10 processors,
at the Central Processor!!

canopfor on October 16, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Technical point from the resident physicist:
A collection of billiard balls cannot be predicted out to infinity, because quantum randomness will eventually exert itself (though it is unlikely that your measurement precision is good enough to even get down to that level).

Count to 10 on October 16, 2010 at 1:17 PM

You can find the process losing your country explained here.

BobMbx on October 16, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Yep. Scary stuff.
Fortunately, the theoretical planners that came up with that subversion plan had about the same shortcomings as the people that ran the Soviet economy.

Count to 10 on October 16, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Minor gripe: 2 humans are not chaos ^2. They are 2*chaos. Carry on.

matd on October 16, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Good overview, Ed.

Elites are OK. Think Navy SEALS, NASA astronauts, scientist at the top of their game (Craig Venter, K. C. Nicolaou, Barry Sharpless etc.).

Political elitists — No. They have epic performance /ego mismatches.

NaCly dog on October 16, 2010 at 1:26 PM

I believe elitism is believing that you are smarter than others. That isn’t what we are seeing from the liberals and progressives, nor from the RINO’s.

Entitlement is closer, and nothing more noble than a power grab for the sake of power itself. It would take a significant leap of innocence to believe that liberals and progressives give two shits about anyone besides themselves. That has been proven time and again by the the lack of any fundamental discipline. Combine lack of discipline with flat out dishonesty and you have your typical politician.

Elitism would require a modicum of discipline in at least one aspect of a core belief, not just pandering to wherever you think you can get the most votes. John F. Kennedy was an elitist, Ted Kennedy was not. John Kennedy may have gotten his ideals after service in the military, and almost succumbing to the USSR during his early presidency, but he got wise, fast. Ted Kennedy was never anything more than a self serving political lackey.

Elitism is only a small danger in the USA, the real danger is the flat out greed and lust for power that is rampant in politicians. Arlen Specter, Lisa Murkowski, and Charlie Crist are not examples of elitism, rather they simply believe they are entitled to power. That power is used for the corrupt gains of positioning themselves to accept bribes and pay off supporters, nothing more.

Liberals and progressives have never helped anyone, they have only helped themselves to the public till, and used their ill gotten gains to pay off their lackeys and cronies.

The President has shown the best example of this entitlement mentality. The vast majority of tax payer money has gone almost exclusively to his dedicated voting block. He doesn’t care about anyone unless they will vote for him. If a group of people don’t buy into his government, he is careless to the point of recklessness towards them.

This video is completely wrong, the rise of conservatism is more about regaining some semblance of integrity and less about elitism. Elitists are nothing more than a whipping post for the ignorant.

Rode Werk on October 16, 2010 at 1:27 PM

From a systems standpoint, elitism creates a positive feedback loop, which is inherently both unstable and chaotic.

Seen from this perspective, and with a hat tip to txmomof6, the radical concept in the Constitution is to create a negative feedback loop. In practical terms, the Constitution created a governmental system where the will of the people created an anchor on the state. This type of control mechanism is inherently conservative in nature, as it seeks to conserve the will of the people.

Therefore, this election can be seen as a spring’s backlash caused by stretching it too far from a relaxed state. Luckily, the Framers of the Constitution gave a (very difficult) way to change the governmental system. It’s just too bad that no one who wants change is willing to go through that process anymore.

Scott H on October 16, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Rode: Elitism is not, necessarily, thinking you are smarter than someone else. It is thinking (generally incorrectly) that you are better than someone else.

Now, if your sole criterion of goodness is someone’s intelligence, then sure, elitism will reduce to your definition.

Luckily, the Constitution created a Republic, and not a Meritocracy. The ‘elitists’ currently in office do indeed believe that our country is a meritocracy (which it is not), and that they are better/smarter than other people (which they are not).

I think, really, that this video, and arguments like it, argues that elitism is the reason that the entitlement mentality exists. If I am better than you, should you listen to me? While, theoretically, most people would disagree with this, the practical answer is yes.

A couple of examples illustrate this. No one without knowledge of car operations argues with their mechanic over what’s wrong with their car. They may argue over the price, but not the problem. By the same token, a hallmark of traditional ethics is respect towards elders. They normally gain this respect because they have more experience, and therefore are more likely to know something that we do not.

So what happens when someone who thinks they’re smarter than the rest of us (your own definition of elitism) gets into a position to shape policy? By the above, they will believe we should listen to them, and that they are entitled to that deference. Almost the entire problem with both the current administration and people like Murkowski and Crist is that their elitism leads to an entitlement mentality, which leads to cognitive dissonance when we don’t agree with them.

And that dissonance has caused all of the problems.

Scott H on October 16, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Whoa now. You’re starting to sound like that crazy extremist Ayn Rand.

Atlas Shrugged really is the story that deals with, and explains, all this the best.

Weasley Mouch, ftl.

Aquateen Hungerforce on October 16, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Meanwhile…….
==========================

Friday, October 15, 2010

President Bill Clinton in the O.C. — Stumps for Loretta Sanchez, Blames George W. Bush for Economic Crisis

A small contingent of Van Tran supporters were on hand to welcome the 42nd president, including Monica Lewinsky herself:

http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/president-bill-clinton-in-oc-stumps-for.html
======================================

canopfor on October 16, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Bill Whittle is beginning to scare me. I’m starting to believe he is the incarnate of one of the original founding fathers. He has been sent by this “elite” group to give us a slap on the side of the head. Now the question is, which one?

hoi polloi on October 16, 2010 at 1:40 PM

I LOVE the focus this week of Breitbart! Show the people running with the Tea Party–show the diversity–take that away from the Dems! Love it…

http://www.breitbart.tv/

UnderstandingisPower on October 16, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Chesterton noted the problem with a governing class v. a governed class over 100 years ago:
http://powip.com/2010/10/an-insufferable-elite/

meep on October 16, 2010 at 1:47 PM

There is a golden rule among mankind.

“The man with the gold makes the rules.”

This is what your fighting against in a democracy.

Your describing only Democrat socialist elites who have engendered the current bowl of turds in power. There is a Republican conservative elite that can produce its own bowl full as well.

Elites need to be criticized and exposed by the people on a regular basis and cynically viewed at all times. But all of them, not just the leftard ones.

[email protected] on October 16, 2010 at 1:48 PM

They are not the ruling class

These career politicians live in such small isolated little bubbles that they have become disconnected with reality. They are your modern hillbillies! In today’s time, the most ho-billy, back woods, “Deliverance” charioteers, are more informed than these social elites. Watch Harry Reid

Nearly Nobody on October 16, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Back to Christine O’Donnell

Chris Coons would love for to believe that he is really a clean shaven capitalist; that he is a victim of a distorted joke, made by his friends in college.

Is he telling the truth?

Delaware Debate Fact Check

Nearly Nobody on October 16, 2010 at 1:56 PM

I think elitism is the subsequent rationalization of power-hungry elected officials. I mean, they feel pressured to convince themselves and others that nobody else can do their job. We need to check that.

karlant on October 16, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Rode: liberals at the top DO believe they are smarter. Actually being smarter is a different issue all together. Look at Al Gore and Pelosi. Elitism is never about what they think is best for others. It’s what they think is best for them and by consequence should be best for others if those others could ever, one day, be as good as them. At no point do they actually care about others.

MrX on October 16, 2010 at 1:59 PM

If you want something scary for Halloween look up the Bilderberg Group, the IMF, there you will truly see what elitism is and how they are scheming to rule the world, the ruling class. kings ,queens,Strong,Soros,wannabees has never gone away they just have gone underground posing as the people that want to help you because you are to STUPID to rule yourselves.

concernedsenior on October 16, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Great job with both videos!

FloatingRock on October 16, 2010 at 2:25 PM

You are missing my point. The video is wrong. He states that elitists believe they are doing what’s best for us, because they believe they are smarter than we are. And generally I believe ACTUAL elitists believe in pluralism, and believe they are acting for the common good, regardless how far from reality they may be. President Roosevelt was an elitist. President Reagan was an idealist. President Carter was an elitist. Martin Luther King Jr was an idealist. Tea Partyers are idealists. Charlie Crist, Lisa Murkowski, and Arlen Specter do not fit into either catagory. Most politicians are neither idealists nor elitists.

The video demonstrates something entirely different than elitism, it represents people of greed, and corruption, without any principle or scruples. Their objective is nothing more than to grab power. Once in power they do nothing other than pay off lackeys and cronies, in their attempt to stay in power.

The fight against elitism is a red herring, it creates a boogyman for minions to point at, and fight against. More importantly it gives room for excuse of actions.

Rode Werk on October 16, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Minor gripe: 2 humans are not chaos ^2. They are 2*chaos. Carry on.

matd on October 16, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Matd,

I disagree with you and agree with Mr. Whittle. I think it is an exponential increase not just multiplicative. Its like compounding interest in a savings account. Each amount of chaos builds on the chaos before it accelerating the chaos much faster. Like a pyramid scheme.

JeffVader on October 16, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Minor gripe: 2 humans are not chaos ^2. They are 2*chaos. Carry on.

matd on October 16, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Actually, Bill got it right. If an entity X has N possible distinct states, the set of states of two instances of X will number N squared. For example, a byte has 256 states. Two bytes have 256 * 256 states, i.e. N ^ 2. Same with people. It’s an exponential explosion in complexity.

shazbat on October 16, 2010 at 2:57 PM

It all boils down to who has the power. Our system establishes that the people have the power, not elites of any sort. We choose who we allow to use our power in the form of representatives. We have been passive until now thinking we didn’t have to keep control over our representatives and allowed them to use our power to their own devices, but the people have awoken and will control them now. That is why November 2nd (and every election day for that matter) is so important. Congress could ignore our phone calls and protests etc., but unless they themselves want to do violence to our system they will have to accept the will of the people as expressed on Election day. If they or the Executive or Judiciary don’t, then our system allows for the consequences of that as well.

txmomof6 on October 16, 2010 at 3:08 PM

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

hmmmm….why does this make me think of the president’s assertion that he focused too much on the policies and not enough on the politics? He has said that we have rejected his policies because he has not articulated them well enough. You villll cooperate, nein?

4Freedom on October 16, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Yes… But Obullsh*ta has a brain too large for his a**… So there.
/Idiotic Joe Bite-me impersonation

RalphyBoy on October 16, 2010 at 3:36 PM

And the First Presidential Temper Tantrum (TM) arrives about Midnight, November 3rd!

kingsjester on October 16, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Are you saying that we’re gonna act stupidly?

Lanceman on October 16, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Last night Mark Levin said that the 2010 will either be “the beginning of the beginning of the beginning or the beginning of the end.”

I believe it will be the beginning of the end of elitist rule.

bw222 on October 16, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Whoa now. You’re starting to sound like that crazy extremist Ayn Rand.

Atlas Shrugged really is the story that deals with, and explains, all this the best.

Weasley Mouch, ftl.

Aquateen Hungerforce on October 16, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Actually Ayn Rand was an elitist who believed that the elites should withdraw to Galt’s Gulch and the ignorant masses would then collapse in hopeless confusion.

“Don’t you know,” he asked, “that we can’t sacrifice millions for the sake of the few?”

“You can! You must. When those few are the best. Deny the best its right to the top-and you have no best left. What are your masses but mud to be ground underfoot, fuel to be burned for those who deserve it? What is the people but millions of puny, shriveled, helpless souls that have no thoughts of their own, no will of their own, who eat and sleep and chew helplessly the words others put into their mildewed brains? And for those you would sacrifice the few who know life, who are life?”

sharrukin on October 16, 2010 at 5:00 PM

a group of individuals cannot be relied upon to choose their own political leadership

Sure they can! Like Uranium, if you have just the right type of individuals, and they hold the “correct” ideas, and you group them together tightly in certain groups, you can reach “critical mass.” At that point, a higher order of intelligence is reached by the group and they become able to govern all: wisely, relentlessly, ruthlessly…

(Gee, what ever happened to Ruth?)

Anyway, we can call their ideas Elitium-235 to differentiate them from just your run of the mill, naturally occurring elites that exist on the right and left.

Not that the naturally occurring Elite is worthless. The E-235 needs the other Elites to keep the system stable at critical mass; something has to absorb the Freedom particles that might cause the whole thing to crash down. Freedom particles seem to be “right-handed” in a “nukuler” sort of way; and you need both “Right-handed” and “Left-handed” Elite atomic-like individuals to intercept the particles. The “right-handed” Elites act as shielding for the rest of the core, but they’re destined to be used and discarded; no ultimate reward.

Uh… sorry. Retired engineer warning! I geek there for I am…

OK, what was the question, again?

karl9000 on October 16, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Ed you have written a very good description of “elitism” in this post. You’re spot on.

Elitism in the current political sense has nothing to do with education or, even intelligence. It has to do completely with attitude and state of mind.

HondaV65 on October 16, 2010 at 10:41 PM

Elites are OK. Think Navy SEALS, NASA astronauts, scientist at the top of their game (Craig Venter, K. C. Nicolaou, Barry Sharpless etc.).

…and musicians and dancers and sports champions….but they don’t want to and aren’t trying to use their excellence to justify running your life, they are just doing what they are great at.

YehuditTX on October 16, 2010 at 11:41 PM

At a whole different level look at the flexibility and innovation that comes from small flexible involved businesses as compared to huge companies such as GE.

It can’t be denied that large companies can produce some very good items. They can respond to customer demands if you give them time. They also have a “mass” that supports really large projects. But they seldom innovate completely out in left field. Google, FaceBook, Twitter, Yahoo, and the Internet as we know it today, even blogs like this, did not come through corporate innovation. They came from free interactions of much smaller entities all contributing new ideas to the masses for testing. Some succeeded, as the names above attest. Many failed. A GE seldom tries such innovation with a 1 in 1000 success rate. Would shareholders permit it? Would the man or woman at the top permit it to take place with its implicit “loss of control?”

In a competition for ideas when problems need to be identified and solved no government by elites, geniuses, or even Colossus itself, can complete with the combined random trial and error of a nation of free plain old normal people. That is why we performed so well in WW-II compared to the more elitist centrist governments that we fought or that we aided. Free people are nimble. Large corporations and large governments move like their feet are mired in glue by comparison. Anybody who has worked in a large corporation is aware of the time lags introduced by the corporate decision process. Magnify that of the largest corporations by tens of times to get the government lag.

So even if really large corporations and really large governments can appear to work, they fall apart in the face of problems their leaders are unfit to address. As Mr. Whittle notes, the leaders are not and never can be fit to solve EVERY problem. Nor are they even likely to be fit to pick people who can either solve the problem or pick other people who can. So ultimately they fail and the whole corporation dies or the nation dies.

{^_^}

herself on October 17, 2010 at 4:38 AM

Politics has been too much about connections, with political dynasties, entrenched party controllers, money, lobbying, etc.

That has created a culture of elitism. Easy to see how anyone would be seduced by the idea that they are the “chosen” ones. And, there’s quite a lot of our history of having elites in power.

And then there’s a lot of our history where people tossed them out, too. Andrew Jackson, the first populist, was the hero of people.

So, wrestling the elites out is primarily a matter of voting them out and then not paying too much attention while they squeal miserably about the change.

AnninCA on October 17, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Nah, this isn’t what elites are all about. It’s possible that they themselves don’t even recognize what they are all about in the eyes of the tea party. The elites are all about setting up a tri-class society of the privileged, the peasants, collectors.

The privileged are the elites, unions (esp public), greens, attorneys, and assorted others. They generally live outside marketplace forces for compensation, rules, laws and more.

The Peasants are the average private sector worker bees. They spend most of their life’s energy interacting within the private sector marketplace. Most everything they do is government by general marketplace rules.

The Collectors are those in the private sector with incomes over 250k. The business owners, managers and more. Their role in the tri-class society is to collect the life energy of the working class peasants and pass it on to the privileged, so the privileged can lead their life outside of normal market forces. The Privileged are all about promoting class warfare against the Collectors by the Peasants — the peasants are not supposed to ever realize that whatever the Collectors passed on to the Privileged was really the peasants own life energy.

This system has worked just fine when it comes to counting votes, but not so well when it comes to counting money. The cat is out of the bag about this tri-class system with public sector workers earning almost twice as much as the private sector.

The tea partiers all all about recognizing and reforming this tri-class system of abuse of the private sector by the privileged. As such, it has a lot in common with the tea partiers of the 1770s, rising up against an elitest privileged ruling class of England.

drfredc on October 17, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Where on EARTH did that find that picture of Spcter? He looks like he’s coked out of his brain!

American Elephant on October 17, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Elites are OK. Think Navy SEALS, NASA astronauts, scientist at the top of their game (Craig Venter, K. C. Nicolaou, Barry Sharpless etc.).

and musicians and dancers and sports champions….but they don’t want to and aren’t trying to use their excellence to justify running your life, they are just doing what they are great at.

YehuditTX on October 16, 2010 at 11:41 PM

Well, except for the lefty musicians and dancers and sports champions. They seem to know how we should run our lives.

Your describing only Democrat socialist elites who have engendered the current bowl of turds in power. There is a Republican conservative elite that can produce its own bowl full as well.

Elites need to be criticized and exposed by the people on a regular basis and cynically viewed at all times. But all of them, not just the leftard ones.

[email protected] on October 16, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Maybe I’m missing your point, but Specter, Crist, and Murkowski were all Republicans RINO’s.

2ipa on October 17, 2010 at 7:14 PM