The trouble with much of our learned commentary, our elite, is that they don’t have to pay wages. Their wealth is not on the line. They don’t take risks. Instead of making things, they criticise them, or worse, regulate them. Such people, as Nicolas Taleb, notes, deserve contempt.
The first is the inequality people tolerate, such as one’s understanding compared to that of people deemed heroes, say Einstein, Michelangelo, or the recluse mathematician Grisha Perelman, in comparison to whom one has no difficulty acknowledging a large surplus. This applies to entrepreneurs, artists, soldiers, heroes, the singer Bob Dylan, Socrates, the current local celebrity chef, some Roman Emperor of good repute, say Marcus Aurelius; in short those for whom one can naturally be a “fan”. You may like to imitate them, you may aspire to be like them; but you don’t resent them.
The second is the inequality people find intolerable because the subject appears to be just a person like you, except that he has been playing the system, and getting himself into rent seeking, acquiring privileges that are not warranted –and although he has something you would not mind having (which may include his Russian girlfriend), he is exactly the type of whom you cannot possibly become a fan. The latter category includes bankers, bureaucrats who get rich, former senators shilling for the evil firm Monsanto, clean-shaven chief executives who wear ties, and talking heads on television making outsized bonuses. You don’t just envy them; you take umbrage at their fame, and the sight of their expensive or even semi-expensive car trigger some feeling of bitterness. They make you feel smaller.
There may be something dissonant in the spectacle of a rich slave.
As I write this, I could be describing myself. I earn a salary, in part from the university, where they pay me to be a critic and scholar and teach my craft. The other part of my week I practice my craft. That puts me at risk, and makes me accountable to various tribunals — of various levels of competency. At work, I am a practitioner more than a scientist.
And the clinical practice keeps my scholarly work focused, but this means that I don’t have the output of those false scholars who survey five people and then write a postmodern qualitative report designed to subvert those doing the work.
Besides, I would not be one of those. They tend to select for incompetence. Their models are closely held, but broken.
“Elite” is now an overused smear. But it is a fair pejorative when denoting a cadre that is not a natural or truly meritocratic top echelon, but is instead a group distinguished merely by schooling, associations, residence, connections and open disdain. If this is supposed to translate into some sort of received wisdom and acknowledged excellence, ordinary Americans may be pardoned for missing it.
The frustration with chronic elite incompetence was a theme in the 2016 election. “Expert” pollsters assured us of a Clinton landslide. The media could not follow undergraduate rules of decorum and truthfulness. “Brilliant” Ivy League trained pundits preached that the Trump administration’s first year would be disastrous and without accomplishment. Televised legal eagles insisted that Robert Mueller by now would have indicted Team Trump on charges of Russian collusion.
Half the country no longer believes these self-appointed authorities, largely because there is no visible connection between what the self-congratulatory say and do and any commensurate discernable accomplishment.
After a half-century of “whiz kids,” “the best and the brightest,” and “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” Americans finally yawned and are moving on.
VDH, American Greatness
But they want to Manage us. The Sarah Zhang article that Unamused cites (and it is linked to) worries about Stormfront reading genetics, and that the commercial ancestry tests reinforce the differences between tribes which she insists do not exist because racism.
The only thing she gets right is that the ethnic classification used in the USA is broken: I am NZ European, but does that mean I am Asian/Pacific Islander or Caucasian?
Sarah Zhang alerts us to a scientific crisis in The Atlantic (just the place): racialists, particularly “white nationalists,” are “serious about understanding genetics.” Their “obsession with racial purity is easily channeled, apparently, into an obsession with genetics,” for “even seemingly benign genetics research can reinforce a belief that different races are essentially different.” Disturbing stuff!
Of course, it would be even more disturbing the other way round: seriously studying human genetics, then developing a belief in essential race differences…
Unamusement, Unamusement Park
Basic leftists start to panic when they learn of right-wingers or nationalists who use valid scientific evidence to make their points. The left thinks of itself as the side of science and progress. It also thinks of the right as evangelical christians. Lots of broken hearts when myth meets reality.
Didymus, Unamusement Park
But that card no longer works. Please note that there is no Italy: there is a language and there are city states. The national government has little power: the commune has much. In this, the Italians are wiser than the American elite, who think they run a nation instead of an empire, or the European Union, who think they can manage an empire while remaining democratic.
Identitarianism, on the other hand, is best understood as a separate category altogether. Generation Identity is a pan-European group of young people seeking to defend Europe against the perceived threats of Islamisation, globalisation, and the erosion of European identity. In the ‘Understand the Facts’ section of its website’s homepage, the movement explicitly rejects both Nazi and fascist associations, stating that, “Generation Identity does not provide a platform for any kind of national-socialist or fascist groups or views.” Despite overlapping concerns regarding nationalism and identity, the values of fascism and identitarianism do not always coincide. These groups merit sober comparison if we are to understand what fascism and identitarianism mean in the political context of the country that introduced fascist ideology into the world.
Ethnic identity is perhaps the most contentious topic in debates about what these movements stand for. Forza Nuova, the most traditional fascist group, only supports ethnic Italians. When asked if Forza Nuova would accept Africans, or even more controversially for fascists today, Jews into their ranks, Luca Leardini – Forza Nuova’s organizer in Veneto – said: “We want to avoid accepting them because of the system that there is in place where Africans are intended to replace Europeans, and how many Jewish people appear to be behind this system.” He then appeared to equivocate a bit by arguing that Africans are also victims of the ‘system,’ and that not all Jews are to blame. However, when asked for his thoughts on the purported Jewish conspiracy, he asked abruptly: “What is Soros’s origin?”
Alessandra Bocchi , Jacobite
Those of us who make comments about other nations should rightly be ignored if we demand our policies are put into place there. We don’t live there: we have no children there. It is useful to learn from other places, but what matters is where we are: where our families are.
For there, we have our flesh on the line.
And those who think they can make other nations into a better version of their own are fools. Concentrate instead on your local area, your family, your clan. It is there, and there alone, where you can make a difference.