I’m combining two seemingly unrelated topics but bear with me as my thesis will become clear.
Just yesterday I was watching an old video on climate change denialism (couldn’t stand it for more than a few minutes) and heard the term “bicoastal elites” (in contrast, of course, to “real Americans”, in the heartland, naturally). Well, guilty as charged. Yep, college in Boston, working life in California, brand-name college, multiple degrees – can’t get much more bicoastal elite than that. And the video contrasted these elites with those real Americans who “make stuff”, not like me who only created bits that got distributed on installer disks. Yep, next time you see someone in the heartland making stuff ask them how all their computer, GPS, communication technology means nothing to them.
Anyway ragging on “elites” is just a favorite tactic of another elite, naturally not that they’d admit that is what they are. IOW, the rich. Nah, the 1% isn’t an elite, it’s real Americans too, who make stuff like toxic securities and high-frequency trading. But with the money they throw around they do a good job of pretending they’re not an elite and then needing a bogeyman to attack which anyone with a brain and a bit of education is labeled. Those elites only deal in facts and truth whereas real Americans, including the Kochs naturally, deal in “stuff”.
So what’s the connection with SCOTUS? Today they handed down another decision to let those faux real Americans, i.e. the 1%, spend even more money in politics with even less restrictions or transparency. I guess since corporations are actually people they need a lot of free speech. This decision, by nominally intelligent folks with their own collection of degrees from prestigious institutions, well, of course, they’re not elites either, just real Americans in black robes.
In fact, let’s be serious. The elites, in all fields (when was the last time you didn’t think about a professional athlete as also “elite), do run the show. And the scientific and intellectual elite is, of course, the mortal enemy of the money elite, since the thinking elites see more than greed as the purpose of life and see the greed of the 1% elite as bringing upon the earth disasters like global climate change and predatory financial systems. So this fight is really just among the elites with different agendas and those real Americans are just pawns in the whole thing. Who, of these elites, really looks down on the American people? The liberals who fight for them, or the 1% who think some bucks and clever spin can hoodwink them into voting against their own interests? Yes, exactly which elite is it that has contempt for the “ordinary” Americans.
But then, I think, actually the U.S. has been run by elites since its founding. Sure, tell me all those founders who cranked up a revolution were just folks, or perhaps they were the property owners and most educated of their time. And why, when they created the Constitution were they so afraid of direct democracy that they created the Senate which was not chosen by popular vote but by the backrooms. In fact, there wasn’t much “democracy” in the early days of this country, but definitely control by the elites. And of course, women didn’t count (and in most states neither did even white men without property) and we don’t even have to point out how Africans or Native Americans were treated. In fact, the property restriction took a very long time to get rid of. In short, the elites were always terrified of the “people”.
Now since we live in more complex times the elites that earn their keep with their minds and create knowledge and bits, instead of stuff, have multiplied a lot since the time when Jefferson was both an intellectual elite and a moneyed elite. And those nasty educated people, a goal for much of the U.S. history, now held is contempt, fueled the economy to push the U.S. to the greatest wealth creation in the planet’s history. But now some of those elites, those labeled as the bicoastal elites by Fox, have the audacity to challenge the real masters of the universe, i.e. money. Pesky folks like Krugman who debunk their silly economics, or Lewis who point out (again) the corruption on Wall Street, or Dawkins for denouncing religious stupidity in science, and especially all those climate scientists that think more carbon release might just kill all of us. No, those are the elites that must be denounced, so now SCOTUS is going to let even more money be spent selling that message to “real Americans”.
I think the money elites may be making a mistake (of course they are, they’re wrong about everything, but in this case I’m referring to their political tactics). The rabble they’re stirring up, as with the astroturf tea baggers, may just be the junkyard dog that turns on their masters. Once the Kochs and SCOTUS have succeeded in dismantled the fact-based elites the 1% elites will have to create a new bogeyman (of course, they have an endless supply of those), but the real problem will be: a) capitalism, without boundaries, has only one outcome, the concentration of wealth in the smallest number of hands and everyone else as poor servants of the 1%, b) as economics get worse, since making stuff has little to do with U.S. competitiveness and the bicoastal elites are all that is holding this country in first-world league, our race to the bottom, soon joining Haiti will eventually be so obvious that even the tea baggers will get it, and, c) as global climate change, plus unsustainable practices, deliver the coup de grace against much of the “heartland”, the sleeping giant of all those people conned by the money SCOTUS is allowed may just get aroused.
So in addition to all their spending to buy the political system the real elites in this country had better save a bit for their refuges in some other country and their planes for a quick getaway. But of course, without the U.S. as the world’s cop keeping the world safe for the greedy, they also had better make peace with Putin and/or the Chinese, since I don’t think their safe haven in Dubai is going to be much good without American military to protect it.
Ah, yes – the elites, they think they can fool everyone.