Elite Power and the Politics of Division: Neema Parvini’s “The Populist Delusion”
Neema Parvini. The Populist Delusion. Perth, Australia: Imperium Press, 2022.   What entails the backlash against populist politics, a political ideology that once held respectable admiration in the institutions of culture? Further, what about the pervasive, both implicit and explicit, argument about white sin and white fragility, which construes everything white to be evil? Populism,… The post Elite Power and the Politics of Division: Neema Parvini’s “The Populist Delusion” appeared first on VoegelinView.

Date

source

share

Neema Parvini. The Populist Delusion. Perth, Australia: Imperium Press, 2022.

 

What entails the backlash against populist politics, a political ideology that once held respectable admiration in the institutions of culture? Further, what about the pervasive, both implicit and explicit, argument about white sin and white fragility, which construes everything white to be evil? Populism, when emanating from white Americans, is deplored. Populism, when emanating from other American ethnic groups, is promoted. What gives?
Neema Parvini, in his new book The Populist Delusion, writes:
[I]n 2021, the US Federal Government – the public face of the aforementioned syndicalist nexus of finance, corporations, and NGOs – has declared that ‘white supremacists’ constitute the highest terrorist threat to the country; former President George W. Bush even argued that they belong in the same breath as ISIS and that, in a statement as Schmittian as any ever uttered, ‘bigotry and white supremacy are “blasphemy” against the American creed. The media daily propagandise against ‘white privilege,’ explains why white people are ‘the problem.’ But why would Power focus so heavily on this group, ‘white people?’ It is because it comprises people who are independent of the state, would-be aristocrats, subsidiaries in potential, and even a few truly independent institutions, and therefore represents the largest threat to its hegemony. This was embodied in the hated figure of Donald Trump, but since he was banished from the airwaves and social media, now it must take the form of a direct attack on the disobedient people themselves, especially if they have refused the vaccination against the pandemic which is a very convenient proxy marker of ‘friend’ or ‘enemy’ to Power. Jouvenal as a guide would tell us two things: first, one way or the other, the hour of decision will come; second, whatever order exists after this hour of decision will grant no more ‘liberty’ than what came before – the game stays the same, only the players change.[1]
In The Populist Delusion, Parvini takes the reader through a survey of theorists of the elite which also gives much consideration about the future of populism and its political potency. Gaetano Mosca, Vilfredo Pareto, Robert Michels, Carl Schmitt, Bertrand de Jouvenel, James Burnham, Samuel T. Francis and Paul Gottfried. These seem to be the writers to read to understand how things function politically and what is going on now, as opposed to the popular narratives presented in the media or by run-of-the-mill political science professors.
Because “whiteness” gets attacked, some misguided people think that people of color are the problem. This is categorically wrong on a number of levels once modestly considered. BLM and Antifa were sponsored by the elite and supported by the media and have now largely disappeared – though it can be predicted that they will be resurrected, brought out of the closet, whenever it suits the elite to threaten violence to those who deviate from the elite agenda.
The people organizing this mob crusade against “white people” (employed by the elites and progressives as a pejorative epithet) are themselves white. They are happy to bring people of color into the fold so long as they subscribe to and pledge allegiance to the elite. What king would object if a subject is only too happy to declare his loyalty? White people can use the outgroup to attack their own ingroup and gain status for themselves within the white people ingroup through virtue signaling. But then you have this massive top down bureaucratic attack on white people en masse. The Biden administration have declared war on anyone not already fully under their control and come up with various derogatory names for them. Since being a “racist” is supposed to be the worst thing to be at the moment, all Trump supporters are “white supremacists” to be potentially investigated by the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, and tightly controlled by social media, and the Disinformation Board housed within Homeland Security, the latter being dropped for now. Anyone who deviates from DEI orthodoxy is an enemy of the state. They are really enemies of the elite who are the managerial class – the vampires occupying administrative positions at colleges, corporations, civil service, etc., who readily rotate between governmental positions to private enterprise and back again. The military general merely waits for his opportunity to cash in in some firm supplying the military. He scrupulously adopts the views and modes of speech of the elite and goes from public to private and back again. The distinction is irrelevant. It is the corporations who are the dominant force among the elite at this point, not the politicians.
Anti-white hysteria simply makes no sense when taken at face value. Especially when the people promoting it are mostly white.  But when understood as the determination of the elite to have a complete monopoly on power and to suppress in advance the rise of any new elite, then it makes perfect sense.
The Populist Delusion accepts the above thinkers’ contention that all societies are ruled by an elite irrespective of the prevailing ideology in power. The well-organized few, bound by a common agenda, can easily defeat the disorganized many and pick them off one by one should they resist. It is much easier to unite the few, than the many. Additionally, most of us have no interest at all in sitting in some back room in a committee doing what is required to actually rule. If you belong to a union, do you want to sit on the board of the union, worry about choosing the next leader, or, most especially roles like “treasurer,” etc. Most likely you do not even want to do whatever research might be necessary to vote for union functionaries with any idea who they are.
If the elite is to be displaced, there must be a replacement elite waiting in the wings with a plan to take over. The Bolsheviks were such an elite. Without that there would simply be chaos and a directionless rabble much as occurred at the supposed “insurrection” at the Capitol building.
Most people adopt the views necessary to succeed in life and to be accepted by polite society, they therefore don’t actually play or participate in politics. Perhaps, most of us just want to be left alone, only to find that the elites are strangely intrusive and want to monitor every Facebook post and YouTube video for signs that someone is not fully on board with their hegemony. This is a sign of insecurity. Some of the elite’s more bizarre fetishes, the love affair with the “transgendered” for instance, can seem like a test of loyalty, like the kind of woman who asks her husband or boyfriend to do arbitrary things just to see if he will obey. But it is just this phenomenon of finding some new outgroup with which to hit your ingroup over the head.
Elites can be foxes or they can be lions. Foxes use cunning, propaganda, and control the institutions of clout and power to make sure there is a consistency of messaging. Lions use force. The current elite are getting more and more heavy handed, awakening the rest of us to their presence – reminiscent of the idea that the greatest trick the devil pulled was convincing us that he did not exist. There is some question as to whether they have the stomach for real force. We will find out.
It is only when one’s own views and dispositions, say in favor of order and tradition, conflict with the rule of the elite, that the mechanisms of power come into view. It would be as though one had a natural inclination to drive at 30mph in town, and 55 or 65 mph on the highway, on the right side of the road. If it were not for other people being pulled over, the existence and role of the police could start to seem apocryphal.
A lot of paint is sold under the pretext that it is self-priming. No primer necessary. This is not true. Do not believe the hype. Because I believed what I read, I have applied up to six coats of paint to certain rooms in my house precisely because I did not know that using real primer is a must. Likewise, I grew up in a “liberal democracy” and imagined that things were as they were advertised. My wife, on the other hand, grew up in a communist dictatorship and had a high school teacher who informed her that all societies are ruled by elites. She could see that for herself. On top of that, because Yugoslavia was “nonaligned,” she was exposed to “news” from both the East and the West and knew that could not both be right. So, she has also known that journalists are not to be trusted.
Becoming aware that every single major institution is rigorously ruled and determined by the elite has come as quite a shock to me at an embarrassingly old age. How did it happen? Leftist hegemony is ubiquitous. It has always been thus, and will always be so. Politically, you are either a friend of the regime or an enemy, as Carl Schmitt noted. “They” can be in charge, in which case you will be suppressed and reviled. Or, “we” can be in charge, in which they will be suppressed and reviled. There is no “liberty” other than when a society is disintegrating. There is no freedom of speech. There is sanctioned speech and unsanctioned speech. One’s speech can seem free if it happens to conform, or at least stays within the bounds of the Overton window. When it does not, you will not know what hit you.
It is the existential situation of any monopolist, whether in business or politics, to see himself as threatened on every side. He has everything to lose and nothing to gain. Speaking once to a leftist professor (what other kind are there?) he expressed his dismay that there were a couple of think tanks right of center and a few non-liberal colleges. These exceptions that prove the rule he perceived as all hell about to be let loose and proof of just how far the Left had to go before they really had monopolistic control.
According to Parvini, my mistake was in thinking that it has ever been otherwise. There cannot be two centers of power in a moderately well-functioning society. The separation of powers is an illusion. They converge. Anything otherwise would be a denial of rule by the elite. The Supreme Court right has overturned Roe vs Wade with its recent ruling in Dobbs vs. Jackson, and thus seems to be going their own way, but for how much longer? We have seen the mass response to the Court’s ruling. Protestors are using physical intimidation of the judges at their homes and the media support them. We cannot have a lynch mob determining court decisions; except we can and do. The elite are presumably overjoyed at having such a galvanizing issue to focus on when Biden and the economy are doing so badly. If they turned up at a liberal justice’s home, like Sotomayor, the gross violation of convention would immediately be noted and “separation of powers” would be appealed to. Judges and the congressmen and the leaders of corporations all attended the same “elite” universities and conformed to the elite’s whims enough to graduate. Every meeting of Congress or the judiciary is like some class reunion. The Republicans and the Democrats are members of the same club and everyone knows that the “choice” presented to the voters at election time is Hobson’s choice. You can have a liberal supporter of gay marriage, or you can vote for the Democrat. The idea that Mitch McConnell is a big improvement over Nancy Pelosi is wrong. The politicians have themselves nominated by their friends, the party choose the candidates for their own purposes, the media play their role, and go through the pretense of democracy, subjecting themselves for a few days to popular sentiment, but once in office go back to ignoring the popular will. Parvini notes that “a recent empirical study showed that public opinion has a near-zero impact on law-making in the USA across 1,779 policy issues.”[2]
The naïve idea is that “something has gone wrong.” The Republicans and Democrats have converged into an indistinguishable blob with no real choices available. It is called “rule by the elite.” Republicans simply lag a few years behind the innovations of their progressive brethren. Any conservative “movement” in the US has failed. There are no conservative elites ready to take over. They are not sufficiently organized or united in common purpose and have no idea what they even stand for except to slow down the progressive agenda. The elites need to get the people to go along with their plans and hegemony and use every means available to make this happen. Without this consensus, they need to resort to violence. An eighteen-year-old kid who appears to be mentally ill kills residents of Buffalo for racial reasons. This is proof that white supremacy is the biggest threat to the United States’ peace and prosperity. What a gift to the elite narrative. A subway shooter in NYC shoots the same number of people, who all miraculously live, but his race is strangely never mentioned (the shooter was African American). The New Yorker describes him as “a disturbed drifter named Frank James.” Not, “a crazed black antiwhite maniac.” A black man in Waukesha drives a vehicle into mostly little old ladies and children with his car at a Christmas parade and the story is quickly buried by the media and his race suppressed as much as possible, and his antiwhite motives denied. Now someone with a Hispanic name has murdered elementary school children. The message then turns to gun control and Republicans are blamed in the media and by celebrities.
Parvini, drawing from one his named writers, notes that it is he who gets to suspend the rules, who decides on the exceptions, who is sovereign. Donald Trump was never sovereign. Democrat and Republican politicians hated him, the media kept up a relentless barrage against him, the Russia Collusion hoax starting with Hillary Clinton’s sponsoring of the fake Steele dossier and extending into years of special council investigations and then impeachment proceedings, neutered him. Of even more importance, of course, was the Deep State’s determination not to implement any of his policies. The president can do what he likes, but if the bureaucrats will not carry out his orders he is useless. Trump never even got his wall built.
New Zealand, like England, has an unwritten constitution. In the 1980s, an attempt was made to create a Bill of Rights, to establish a Supreme Court, and so on. Without an upper house, the prime minister functioned as an elected dictator with no limitations. The sitting government could and did go, in some instances, from thinking of a new policy to it becoming law of the land within a two week period. People writing the law would complain that they did not have time to properly vet their own work. Geoffrey Palmer, a law professor, former unelected prime minister,[3] and distant relative, noted in his book Unbridled Power that a country like NZ needs no written constitution and that in a genuine crisis the constitution is not worth the paper it is written on. As if to prove his point, the current prime minister of NZ enacted the most draconian lockdown policies of any country on earth, to the point that NZ simply had no tourists for two years or so. Her rule was so arbitrary, for instance, shutting down a 2.5 million person city because of a single Covid case, that it seemed like an experiment designed to see how much she could get away with. “Emergency powers” simply suspend all constitutional-type rights whenever it suits those who are sovereign rendering all laws, conventions, etc. meaningless.
Likewise, Trudeau in Canada simply declared martial law, and the suspension of all usual judicial oversight when he had enough of the Ottawa trucker protest. Contrary to law, he got the banks to suspend the bank accounts of anyone who contributed to the trucker’s cause with no warning. Some people had made a donation only to find that their bank accounts were frozen having no foreknowledge that this was even a possibility. The courts just went along with Trudeau and backed everything he did. Trudeau is sovereign. He follows the laws until he decides not to. That ability determines who is really in charge. That is an arbitrary dictatorship. If I obey the speed limit and pay my taxes but nothing happens to me when I decide to do neither, I am a very powerful individual.
Again, the mistake is thinking that the neutering of Donald Trump, or the absolute domination of all institutions by a single elite, was a mistake of some kind. That “it shouldn’t have happened” in a liberal democracy and that “real choice” between political candidates is what ought to be in a well-functioning state. Those are all naïve illusions, promulgated, it is true by those in power, because it suits their purposes. Voters can vote for as many “red waves” as they like, but the current hegemony will not be threatened in the slightest, not when nearly every school teacher and college professor and every journalist, including Fox News, is onboard with the elite dispensation. Were Trump to get reelected, he would still not be sovereign. It might serve to mollify the deplorables and rednecks into thinking, “Gosh, the system is not so bad after all,” but those who control the IRS, Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, the military industrial complex, hedge funds and investment bankers, media, and schools will continue with business as usual.
Why do the number of managers proliferate and why are none removed as harmful charlatans who do nothing useful?
“The logic of managerialism is to create false “problems” which can, in effect, never truly be solved, but rather can permanently support managerial jobs that force some arbitrary compliance standard such as “unconscious bias training,” “net zero carbon,” the ratio of men and women on executive boards, or whatever else.”[4] Unsolvable and frequently false problems include “racial equality, gender equality, Islamist terrorism, climate change, mental health, and the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.”[5]
Presumably, in order to justify all these managerial interventions, a big head of steam has to be built up. In this regard, we went from a situation where homosexuals and even drag queens were tolerated, at least in urban areas, to a circumstance where these tiny minority of relatively harmless people have turned into a furious lynch mob. The question that arises is, “What are they so angry about?” Of course, most drag queens and homosexuals just want to go about their affairs and mind their own business. It is, however, in the interests of the managerial elite to promote the angry and belligerent few, rewarding them for acting up and speaking out. Without this salient and visible “problem” of gay and drag queen rights and supposed discrimination, managers have nothing to manage in this regard. Would you like a meeting with the college president? We will get you one, but only if you are very angry and willing to harangue the president – but don’t go overboard if you know what’s good for you. Would you like safe spaces, maybe a scholarship, a committee chairmanship, just for you? Would you like to get an academic position based on having the currently necessary credential and your sexual preference? Many years ago, a white professor at Le Moyne College was hired overtly because he was gay and promptly made chief of diversity on that basis, before that was a strictly administrative post. Being out and proud, gay and angry, is made as lucrative and attractive as possible. If people get too used to transexuals, then managers need to find more despised groups to promote and stir the pot. Managers have struck gold with pronouns since, as often commented, there need be no end to them and confusion can reign.
LGBTQ people are said to be very upset about being oddities, though some gays, at least, used to enjoy the forbidden fruit aspect of their sexual preference. No society could possibly exist made up entirely of gays and drag queens. They could never be the majority or the norm, just as we can never have only philosophers and no one doing any real work. Making them the norm will indeed be a nice unsolvable problem. It would be solved on condition of the dissolution of society, so no one would be around to enjoy the supposed benefits.
Ever the friend of the managerial elite and the mouthpiece of the DNC,[6] CNN’s technical director Charles Chester was caught on video, by Project Veritas, admitting that if and when pandemic hysteria were to lag in the ratings, CNN would play up climate change for fear-driven ratings.[7] Climate has to be an absolute disaster to make the managers happy and justify their salaries and interventions. Alex Epstein writes in Fossil Future: Why Global Human Flourishing Requires More Oil, Coal, and Natural Gas—Not Less that many environmental crusaders want no impact on the environment at all, when the topic should be, “What will contribute to human flourishing the most?” Only no humans would produce zero impact. Since that is not going to happen, the perpetual dissatisfaction of forever postponed goals can continue. This “climate first” position is helped by anti-human nihilism. The rise of antisocial, neurotic, spiteful mutants, who hate children, as evidenced by antinatalism and abortion up to the time of birth and beyond, i.e., infanticide, and, most importantly, the loss of religious faith, gives rise to an attempt at the willful mass extinction of the human race, at least rhetorically. As Rémi Brague notes, without a Creator God who declares his Creation good, can we really be sure the existence of life and intelligence in the universe is a good thing at all?
The college campus can become a metonym for the managerial state. A part can represent the whole, as a picture of an overdeveloped bicep can stand for body building. As a professor on a modern campus, things can seem very puzzling indeed. Endlessly hungry, snarling, winged vampiric devils have descended on colleges and their numbers have increased astronomically. Twenty years ago, the HR department at SUNY Oswego had four members, and at least one of them, was rather knowledgeable and helpful. Now, they have twenty additional employees doing God only knows what. The number of students and professors have not increased so there are twenty-four people doing the work of four. Likewise, new “services” have been invented to do with things like student mental health, equality of opportunity officers, one assigned to each person of color, “writing centers” for the functionally illiterate, disability offices for the intellectually and emotionally challenged, veteran services, countless deans, assistant deans, provosts, assistant provosts, vice-presidents, each with their own staffs and retinues, and the all-important diversity czars, and overseers of equity and Title IX inquiries. A provost has just had his powers expanded. An announcement read:
“I am pleased to announce that SUNY Oswego’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, [name withheld], will be taking on an additional role and leading all enrollment operations of the university, while we initiate a search this summer for a future Vice President for Enrollment Management. His new title—Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management—is effective immediately and will incorporate the leadership of undergraduate enrollment (first year and transfer student populations) with his existing oversight of graduate, international, online, non-traditional and Syracuse campus enrollment.”[8]
There is an online parody site called “University Title Generator” that automatically generates new gobbledygook names for college managerial positions that is simply incapable of exaggerating the word vomit. “Assistant Temporary Visiting Acting Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Consultant for Writing Center Exploratory Initiatives” would be my own effort. The University Title Generator suggests, at first try, “Vice Liaison to the Committee on Academic Excellence.” Even better and more representative is, “Assistant Associate Dean of External Affairs of the Subcommittee for Neighborhood Relations.” The key is to invent new ways of making it sound like someone’s status is being diminished with terms like “visiting,” “assistant,” “associate,” “vice,” “temporary,” while in practice succeeding in getting someone’s eyes to glaze over in boredom and incomprehension before the blood-sucking administrator has even finished naming her job title.
The University Title Generator encourages viewers to click the blue button provided if the proposed job title and promised remuneration is not sufficiently prestigious for one’s tastes.
As a faculty member, this endless proliferation of administrative positions is bewildering. Faculty numbers are stable or decrease, many retiring professors not being replaced, while more and more investigators of possible Title IX violations, and the like, skyrocket. It is the poor old students and taxpayer who have to pay for all this. When financial cuts are proposed, emails explicitly mention the possibility of cutting adjunct instructors. These are the lowest paid members of the academy and thus the most productive relative to their salaries. Cutting a single higher level administration position would save more money than could possibly be extracted from getting rid of adjuncts.
In another recent email, a current dean was offering a seminar on herself titled, approximately, “How to Go From Being an Outstanding Professor to a Superlative Administrator.” It was so nice of her to offer herself up as a case study. My dear departed friend Thomas F. Bertonneau did a little research on this dean some years ago to discover that her publication record was most dismal indeed, suggesting that her seminar might better be titled “How to Take a Mediocre Teaching and Research Career and Parlay It Into a Six Figure Salary,” and never have to deal with another disinterested student ever again!
It is the Chief Diversity Officer as leader of the witch hunt that has professors looking over their shoulders the most. All job advertisements for professors must be passed by him first. Faculty know he has to find problems to solve and that his position depends on him not solving them. As such, he is like every other manager, at least of the elite variety. Being already familiar with the pox on society known as the proliferation of college administrators, it is easy to understand that this happening everywhere. Hospitals, for instance, quite unrelated to colleges, have experienced the same thing. HR departments everywhere terrorize employees, acting as moral police and keeping a permanent record of any perceived infraction. On that topic, if you are considering asking a colleague out, just do not. Take a vow of celibacy if necessary, but do not get involved.
In the wonderful book of short stories called Cyberiad, Stanislav Lem tells a parable of a giant winged monster who descends on a planet and it goes something like this. The monster is so large that he takes up one third of the entire land mass and extends into the heavens a height equal to half of the diameter of the planet. The planet’s inhabitants are incapable of displacing him. A hero steps forward, “Leave it to me.” The hero approaches the monster. “Welcome to our planet. We are truly honored by your presence. I just have a little form for you to fill out detailing your original planet of residence, the length of your intended stay here, a list of contacts should any emergency befall you, and a catalog of dietary requirements and food exclusions. In triplicate, if you please.” The monster looks astonished, but, you know, bureaucracy is unavoidable, so he dutifully picks up the pen provided and starts filling out the forms. When he finishes, the hero returns and says, “Thank you so much for your cooperation. It is very much appreciated. However, the Committee On The Welfare And Provisioning Of Visiting Alien Entities is worried that our hospitality might prove insufficient for your needs. Consequently, we have another set of forms requiring your signature and informed consent. Please provide a copy of all vaccinations and medical interventions as well as your family history of mental and physical ailments. Some outline of your hopes and dreams is also necessary so we can make your stay here a truly rewarding and memorable experience. Please detail your expectations regarding social interactions, provision of entertainment, and tentative travel plans for the next three years.” And so it went. Finally, after the tenth iteration of such requests, the giant monster simply could not take it anymore and flew off, but not before completing the required recommendations, exit interview style, to be inserted in the suggestion box. If only Planet Earth had such a hero, the managerial elite might relocate and leave us in peace. Who says we have nothing to learn from the communists?
Michael Shellenberger should find that he is public enemy number one, since he single-handedly represents a major threat to two cherished false problems of the managerial elite, climate change and homelessness. His book San Fransicko: How Progressives Ruin Cities is filled with proven and tested solutions for California’s and Seattle’s “homeless” problem; “homeless” being a euphemism for the mentally ill and drug addicted who choose to live on the streets, the categories of which have a large overlap. The huge majority of poor people are not without homes or housing. They live with relatives or friends, if necessary, or move to cheaper places where housing is more affordable. They can qualify, if sufficiently impecunious, for Section Eight housing where rent is subsidized; a much better alternative to public housing projects which turn into centers of crime and disaffection. In some areas of the country, namely, Houston, Chicago, and Miami, where house prices and rents were increasing in the twenty first century, “homelessness” actually declined.[9] The East Coast of the US has already adopted these polices, shutting down open air drug markets, giving addicts a choice between prison and drug treatment, and providing forms of housing with behavioral requirements that include staying off drugs, with stunning success. 99% of New York City’s homeless have access to shelters and Miami has halved its homeless problem in the space of ten years, while San Francisco’s doubled during the same time period from 2010 to 2020. Countless NGOs in San Francisco in particular depend on the “homeless” problem not being resolved and the ACLU, Housing First, and Harm Reduction all doing their best to make sure that open air drug markets are not closed down and the selling of hard drugs is not prosecuted, while, at the same time the state of California forbids even vaping in baseball stadiums, and the contents of shampoos are strictly regulated in case of tiny amounts of harm, while the deaths from overdose in the US have gone from 17,000 to 93,000, again, in twenty years. A Boston study that was unusual in being longer than most, ten years, instead of the more common two, found that 45% of the “homeless” provided with housing were dead of overdose within that ten year time period, and only 12% remained housed.[10]
Shellenberger has also written a book about climate change, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, and again offers solutions. Wind and solar make up 3% of the power supply and are unreliable. Alex Epstein notes that when people talk about the low cost of installing solar panels, they do not mention the high costs of unpredictable, unstoreable power production. Wind turbines are made to withstand hurricane force winds, making their disposal particularly difficult. They cannot simply be crushed. Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, wrote Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom cataloguing hoaxes ranging from the coral reefs are dying, to polar bears are endangered by the lack of ice and are starving and drowning, to islands of plastic in the ocean. We have all heard about coral “bleaching” and thus being irrevocably harmed and presumably dying. Moore explains that this word “bleach” has, no thanks to journalists, been misunderstood. It sounds like the result of too much UV light from the sun, or, even worse, from chemical bleach, sodium hypochlorite. It is not. Coral have no color of their own. Their color comes from the microorganisms they absorb in a form of symbiosis. When coral is stressed by slightly warmer water, they release these organisms and they lose their color. It does not mean they have died, or are dying. When conditions suit them better, or they adjust, they reabsorb their partners in life and their color returns. Polar bears are doing just fine. In fact, there are enough to be a problem for human settlements. They do occasionally drown just as humans do, but neither one is going extinct from drowning. Polar bears were originally Grizzly bears with whom they can still mate. They have been around for at least 100,000 years with widely varying planetary temperatures and CO2 levels. They can cope with a change of a few hundred ppm of CO2. Finally, the island of plastic does not exist. It is a hoax. There is plastic in the sea but not a big island of it. Seabirds like it and use it by swallowing and using it as a grinding surface to digest food in their gizzards. They need this because they have no teeth. Doctored photos exist making it seem that swallowing the plastic has killed the birds. It does not. Birds swallow food and things for grinding food. They do not accidentally swallow plastic.
Just as American slavery can be properly understood only by looking at slavery in context – both historically and globally, similarly, global warming and changes in the climate need a broad view and not just the 170 years since the industrial revolution. Moore writes, “If CO2 was 4,000 ppm at one time and 2,000 ppm at another time and still 1,000 ppm at another time and then during the Pleistocene rose and fell from about 190 ppm to 280 ppm numerous times, why is 280 ppm, the “pre-industrial” level considered some kind of benchmark level for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? Life on Earth worked just fine at all those other levels, which are clearly much higher. One climate activist group even named themselves 350.org to identify 350 ppm as the calibrated limit before bad things happen to the planet. Well, it’s measuring at 415 ppm in the year 2020 and the main effect has been a big increase in the growth of plant life.”
Elsewhere, Moore comments: “During the last glacial maximum, 20,000 years ago, CO2 fell to about 180 ppm, only 30 ppm above the level where plants begin to die from CO2 starvation. At lower than 150 ppm there simply isn’t a high enough concentration of carbon dioxide for plants to survive. It’s the same phenomena as animals suffocating from lack of oxygen.”
The current amount of CO2 415 ppm, has resulted in a greening of planet, with 37% more vegetation on the planet’s surface than a century ago. Human beings evolved in a warm climate and cannot survive in the cold for long. Many more people die of the cold than heat. The warming of the planet does not affect the Equator and tropics, for the most part, but only makes the more northern or southern latitudes more pleasant.
Shellenberger makes a strong case for nuclear power as the energy for the foreseeable future. Generation four reactors cannot melt down if they lose power, making any risk even lower than it already is. We know what to do with nuclear waste; leave it next to the power plant. The association of the word “nuclear” with atomic weapons seems to have contributed to the demonization of nuclear power. Forty six people have died from exposure to radiation from the Chernobyl accident. This has never happened before or since. No one died from radiation poisoning at the Fukushima plant. Chernobyl was a generation one power plant, it was unique, and poorly designed. 8.7 million people die from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels a year, and thousands and thousands die from coal mining annually. With this fairly simple, obvious, and entirely achievable solution to allaying any fears about the climate, Shellenberger really is being most disagreeable.
James Burnham identified the rise of the managers in books like The Managerial Revolution. In the nineteenth century, private ownership was the norm. Adam Smith, the original theorist of the free market, foretold that a switch from owners running private companies to guns for hire running joint-stock limited liability companies (proto-corporations) would not auger well.
 “The directors of such companies, however, being the managers rather of other people’s money than of their own, it cannot well be expected, that they should watch over it with the same anxious vigilance with which the partners in a private company frequently watch over their own.”[11] There was a lack of skin in the game. With their salaries and stock options, their bonuses and performance rewards, modern day managers transfer any fragility to the companies and stock holders. They cannot lose. Taleb notes that it is in the interests of managers, for example, to get stock prices to fluctuate wildly and then sell on an upswing. No net gain accrues to the company from such oscillations, while stable stock prices would not help managers at all. Additionally, Smith was convinced that manager run companies made less money than private adventurers.
The interests of owner/operators are aligned with their companies, their fortunes rising and falling in tandem. Managers, however, frequently have the agency problem; what is good for them is not aligned with what is good for the company. Parvini points out that even when the descendants of people like Henry Ford help to run Ford they have been trained as managers and act as required. Showing who is the boss, several founders of companies have found themselves removed by their boards if they dare deviate from the ideology of the managerial elites. Parvini notes that “John Schattner, the founder of the Papa John’s pizza chain – and a billionaire – was forced out of his own company by the board after making racially insensitive comments on a conference call in 2018.”[12] “Tripwire Interactive CEO and co-founder, John Gibson, was forced to step down just 53 hours after tweeting his support for a ban on abortion in Texas.”[13] Nassim Nicholas Taleb comments, “We saw that bureaucrats (whether in government or large corporations) live in a system of rewards based on narratives, “tawk,” and the opinion of others, with job evaluation and peer reviews—in other words, what we call marketing.”[14]
Managers have no allegiance to their firms, government departments, colleges, etc. Their skills are considered transferable. No experience in a particular line of work is required. As such, they are like cosmopolitan people in general who can flit from country to country depending on changing circumstances. Frequently, their interests simply conflict with that of their companies. Disney and other companies, such as producers of video games, are happy to lose money to promote Woke agendas. Their managers will suffer no stigma for their efforts, and will in fact be rewarded with new jobs elsewhere as fine upstanding supporters of the cause. This simply would not be the case when companies were privately owned and run.
Do not trust the shifty-eyed manager, nor the glad-handing one filled with counterfeit bonhomie, student, perhaps, of Dale Carnegie, but lock your daughters away from them and tend well to your own affairs.
Do managers believe their own lies, and why do so many of their policies seem directed at the collapse of the economy and the end of the human race or Western civilization?[15]
Apparently, there is some dispute as to whether the elites really believe their own ideology or not. Samuel T. Francis was sure that managers cynically adopt whatever ideology will serve to increase their own power. Paul Gottfried, it seems, is more convinced that they are in fact true believers. Edward Dutton’s take on it is that smart people are capable of self-brainwashing, being high in openness and better able to control their instincts, impulses, and intuitions. Many people simply figure out what beliefs they need to have for their optimum career prospects and convince themselves of their truth. Thus, Dutton’s interpretation splits the difference. Yes, managers adopt ideas that serve their own interests, but they also genuinely believe them. Dutton suggests that the evidence is that many people will simply and happily adopt any new orthodoxy that comes down the line. The DEI true believers would just as soon adopt fascist principles if they needed to; they are seemingly soulless opportunists, not thinkers. If that seems farfetched, Facebook announced that pro-fascist statements are now permitted on their site if the pro-fascists are fighting the Russians as part of the Ukrainian military, specifically the Azov battalion.[16] We know that ideologues will simply ignore inconvenient truths. For instance, female happiness has declined with greater female participation in the workforce. This is described by feminists as a “paradox.”[17] Likewise, we know that men and women will make violently different occupational choices given maximal freedom and minimal social pressure. Only 23% of engineers are women in “free” Sweden, while 50% of Iranian or Indian engineers are female. This will seem odd only to an ideologue. Sane people call this sexual dimorphism. We know that women as a group are more attracted to people, not things, and when they do go into science, prefer life sciences. Women, being more agreeable than men, are extra specially capable of bending and reshaping themselves to follow where the political winds blow, going from being more conservative than men in the 1940s to being more liberal than they are now. This chameleon tendency is particularly useful for mating with conquerors and invading forces who kill all the men and take all the women to boost the men’s ability to reproduce. Genetic records show greater continuity with DNA passed on from women, than the genes contributed by men within particular regions. The female line remains intact more so than the male.
A well-functioning elite mops up promising talent. This has two benefits for them. One is that the elites continue to have a fresh infusion of people of high ability. The second, is that it stops a counter-elite from forming. Thanks to DEI, however, talented people are in fact being excluded.  They are either not hired due to irrelevant factors to do with skin color, etc., or if they make it through, they are fired for expressing ideas which do not conform to the managerial consensus. Their career plans are simply scuttled. This is good news for those of us hoping for a counter-elite to form to replace the current elite, preferably one with fewer pathological features than this one. This was the situation in the UK when, thanks to snobbery, being working class stopped someone from rising through the ranks, providing smart, motivated, articulate MPs for the non-middle class.
Parvini puts the number of those completely disaffected with the elite US vision at 30%. These people are actively hostile to the messaging from the managerial elite preventing them from being managed. It was Samuel T. Francis who emphasized the importance of ideology in managerial rule.
The policies of the elite are seemingly designed to lead to billions starving and complete social and economic collapse. If a conspiracy theory turned out to be true, that, for instance, the Chinese or aliens were controlling the elite in order to eliminate the West as their rivals for world dominance, it would not be at all surprising, at least in terms of the methods employed. Net zero carbon emissions, for instance, would end life on the planet as we know it. Simply exhaling adds to carbon dioxide levels. Joseph Biden has closed the Keystone Pipeline to stop oil coming from Canada, and stopped fracking on public land, and has surely made it harder on private land as well. The U.S. has gone from being energy independent under Trump to not being at all independent with rising natural gas and gasoline prices. Biden, or rather, the people managing him, actually like rising energy prices. It is a bonanza for big oil and is in keeping with the sentiments of the Green New Deal, as though the increase in costs of fossil fuels will somehow help the climate. But Biden has presided over and caused this state of affairs, funding the Ukraine’s fight against Russia as well, while there are no reliable available replacement energy sources being promoted, such as nuclear power. Likewise, ramping up interracial hatreds, suspicions, and hostilities is a great way to ruin a multiracial society, not something the Han Chinese China has to worry about, except on the periphery, with the Uighurs being an obvious example. Open borders, so beloved by the managerial elite, promise to bring in cheap labor and new voters for the DNC, while placing new burdens on the welfare state. Economic refugees, if present in too large a number, threaten to reproduce the low social trust cultures that they are escaping from with their poor economic performance, slack adherence to the rule of law, and ubiquitous corruption. If open borders became universal policy, all first world countries would be reduced to third world status almost immediately.
The commentator Charlemagne proposes that the elite want to impoverish the population to make sure all are dependent on state largess. As already mentioned, the attack on whites is an attack on the middleclass (which is predominately white) and their allies who can currently afford to reject the elite agenda. The attack on “whiteness” is aimed primarily at this group of whites, not working-class whites who are still part of the Democratic Party’s voting base or the upper-class elite whites who run and fund the Democratic (and Republican) Party. Private smaller businesses represent a possible source of resistance to the elite and they were ruthlessly suppressed during the lockdowns for no logical reason, with Amazon’s profits increasing by 220% as a consequence. Walmart with its grocery stores remained open, while mom and pop stores went under, most never to return.
We are virtue-signaling our way to death. Mostly white individuals use outgroups to bash the ingroup over the head in an attempt to signal their moral superiority and thus to rise in prestige. They want power because they are neurotic and insecure, and they are antisocial; filled with malicious envy, and Machiavellian cunning. They pretend to be filled with compassion for various outgroups, the more outgroup the better, but do not marry, or socialize with, or live next door to, members of those outgroups, and, when told that their proposed policies not only do not help, but hurt members of those outgroups, could not care less. They even side with the ultimate outgroup, all of nature excluding human beings, against all of humanity. This is the case with energy policies aimed at zero impact on the environment rather than what is best for human flourishing. If individuals virtue signal, presumably whole governments can do so. We, the state, have chosen to scapegoat this group, who we see as a threat to our power, and we do so with the full force of all the mechanisms of bureaucratic and, potentially, military power. While being completely self-serving, we will claim to be protecting everyone from malignant malefactors. We will, for instance, provide subsidies to black farmers, but not to white farmers, and this is supposed to signal our virtue, instead of our utter corruption and contravention of conventions of basic fairness and justice. We will call this “antiracism;” current discrimination to make up for past discrimination according to Ibram Kendi’s formulation. Edward Dutton sees government as a protection racket and economically independent whites are a threat to their business model.
An online commentator objects to Neema Parvini’s embrace of the notion of the elite and says this is an outmoded model based on monarchies and the like. The new elites are distributed and networked the commentator claims. There could be some truth to the network description, but it is not clear what difference this makes to the diagnosis of what is going on. Certainly, there are still certain individuals like the CEO of Blackrock, Larry Fink (his last name says it all) who manages 7.5 trillion dollars in assets who wield enormous power, enforcing ESG (environmental, social, governmental) rules for businesses. When he says that it is never more important for CEOs to have a consistent voice, this is a threat. Any CEO who becomes a dissident will be punished. In fact, they will be unpersoned. Carl Schmitt’s friend/enemy distinction means the enemy is considered non-human. This has been a common observation about what happens in war, but with the failure of the neoconservatives to “spread democracy,” the war has been turned inward at it is one’s fellow Americans who are deemed to be demons living outside the bounds of order. And then George Soros’ influence exists seemingly wherever goodness and decency have been overthrown or are in decline.
The managerial elite make a nonsense of the public/private distinction. They circulate from institution to institution and they are a kind of network united in common purpose. They could be compared to the invention of the internet which was designed to be impervious to nuclear attack, simply rerouting from server to server any messages that were blocked in one place, being shunted all the way around the world if necessary. My old boarding school, Christ’s College, an expensive elite high school in New Zealand, has gone fully woke and embraces DEI because they know that is what they need to do to continue to be the future movers and shakers of New Zealand and elsewhere. The fact that the elite are distributed and multinational just makes them harder to dislodge or attack or stop. When the Biden administration decided to put sanctions on Russia, the managerial elite decided to go whole hog and withdraw every technology service providing corporation they could think of. Any corporation who hesitated was subjected to, or threatened with, economic retaliation and being canceled by having their customers abandon them in protest. Of course, those customers would need to be propagandized to assert that pressure and if the DNC or CNN and New York Times told those customers not to, they would not.
Schmitt claims that politics pervades everything and that there are no, and can never be, neutral institutions who just engage in “science,” for instance. An engineer I know claimed that the top scientific journals are immune to politics. That is not remotely true as all practicing scientists will be finding out if they do not know already. At Gad Saad’s university in Canada, not only must a statement be made about how your research helps DEI, but every element of the research must draw on DEI in some way, making sure that “diverse ways of knowing” have been included as part of the methodology, such as One Spirit people’s traditional intuitive and religious modalities. The editor of the Lancet, England’s most prestigious medical journal and the editor of The New England Journal of Medicine both resigned some time ago for the same reason, that articles were being selected or eliminated purely on political grounds not scientific.
The Populist Delusion notes that managerial regime is totalizing. No remnant of the old order must remain, hence the rewriting of history, the discarding, in theory at least, of all older books in libraries, and the destruction of statues not consistent with their rule.
Samuel T. Francis states that equality becomes a political weapon used by the elites to set up new inequalities. Such circumstances are inevitable because “equality” as a goal involves a contradiction. If equality is ranked higher than inequality as being more valuable and desirable, then the egalitarians are in fact in favor of ranking. They rank not ranking as better than ranking. Bernard de Jouvenal sees equality as part of a political strategy where the high promise to liberate the low from “oppressors,” offering to transfer middle class advantages to them.
Part of the managerial vision can be traced to Edward Bernays, a nephew of Freud, writing in the 1920s and 1930s. Along with Walter Lippmann, he regarded regular people as NPCs. All people should be treated as being mechanically identical with mass psychology to be employed to manage public opinion. The latter was never to be followed by the elite. The elite must engineer consent[18] from the top down. Eliminate the fiction of democracy and let the elite manage.
It suited the managers to adopt a blank slate vision of human beings as the mindless product of their environments. Thus, they could determine the kind of people they wanted by social engineering. Elections could be allowed so long as real choice was denied, since God only knows people are stupid. (They probably had a point there.) Lippmann in The Phantom Public does make the interesting contention that if voters had a big choice concerning for whom they might vote this might result in life becoming intolerable for the vanquished. With a small choice, the losers are more likely to endure with good humor the policies for which they did not approve. So, democracy should be, and can only be, a rubber stamp of rule by the experts.
However, the internet has made the job of the managers harder, particularly managing public opinion. Parvini comments that historically, the lack of moral unity between the rulers and ruled has never lasted for long. Such divisions spell trouble.
In Chapter 9, it is noted that the managerial state has aimed to produce atomized consumers, rupturing man-to-man ties and sharing only their common bondage to the state. In this way, “the extremes of individualism and socialism meet.”[19] Other commentators have mentioned that the family offers the possibility of resistance to the top-down imposition of power and that the Chinese have also historically gone after the family for the same reason. Ken Wilber once commented that if someone wishes to deviate from the consensus his best bet is to find a “micro-community” which offers moral support for his deviant ideas. Of course, such ideas might be as wrong or reprehensible as those being promoted by the majority, but it is the only way to sustain long term nonconformity to mass unanimity.
In his book Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt, Paul Gottfried describes the elite using a combination of social justice and white guilt to manipulate. Minority groups neutralize the majority outgroup, and white guilt demoralizes that majority outgroup further in a perversion of Protestant morality that emphasizes our sinful nature. This unhealthy mixture resulted in the crusade against discrimination beginning in the 1960s then got exported to the rest of the world. The antiwhite Left focuses on the 1950s as the symbol of what they oppose, despite the 1950s being aberrant and nonrepresentative of anything much. The 1950s was the last gasp of the old religious, conservative, prosocial order with rather heavy-handed attempts to stomp out what ended up being the 1960s with its throwing off of the cloak of group conformity in favor of extreme individualism – although done en masse and entailing an extreme mimetic conformity of its own, bringing to mind “We are all individuals” chanted mindlessly and in unison from the movie The Life of Brian.
An interesting technique used by the managerial machine that Parvini identifies is the media pretending a consensus has been reached in order to mold public opinion. The example he gives is of a BBC show Question Time featuring four pro-immigrant people and one anti-immigrant person who happened to be part black,[20] with the studio audience booing when the anti-immigrant person spoke. Thus, viewers at home would be inclined to imagine that the anti-immigrant position was held only be a despised minority, when really between 1964 and 2017 65% of the British public opposed mass immigration.[21]
The playbook outlined by Gottfried is: Invent an imaginary consensus; use the past, real or imaginary, as a club to generate white guilt; depict unfashionable opinions as pathological and dissent as indicating mental illness.
Gottfried writes of psychiatrics who present their private political opinions as though they represented scientific truths. Many people will be familiar with the official book of mental illness used by the psychiatric profession in the US, the DSM, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, being altered in such a way that homosexuality went from being a pathology to perfectly normal. Again, this conforms to Schmitt’s dictum concerning the pervasiveness of the political.
The diversity machine is state power disguised as therapy, hence, anti-bias training. The many are pathological. The few will cure us.
Gottfried notes that the fiction of consensus is unique to the functioning of the managerial elite. No other ruling elite has bothered pretending that all agreed with them, although it could be noted that both communists and fascists liked to pretend that they had been elected by popular vote and insert the word “democratic” somewhere prominent in their messaging.
To sum up, politics pervades everything. All societies are controlled by elites, providing they have not descended into complete lawlessness. Elites do not tolerate alternative centers of power which would simply cause conflict and warring. Democracy is mostly window dressing as most people have recognized, evident in the lack of real choice between political candidates and then the lack of interest politicians have in the public once elected. Yes, Donald Trump was a real threat to the managerial elite, at least in terms of messaging, and they went into overdrive to isolate him and to depict him as illegitimate. A family member in New Zealand was convinced that Trump was a Russian agent, getting his news from CNN and the New York Times. But Trump was never sovereign. The sovereign is he who decides on the exception, who can declare emergency powers, and who will be unquestioningly obeyed by the courts. Any separation of powers will tend to collapse into a unity again.
There has been some discussion concerning setting up parallel institutions like The University of Austin populated by dissident academics resistant to the dictates of the current elite “dedicated to the fearless pursuit of truth.” This seems unlikely to succeed. Anyone associated with such a rejection of the elite consensus will immediately be persona non grata. He or she will never be able to leave, professors will be barred from publishing, they will not be invited to conferences, and if they are, other academics will boycott them under institutional pressure to do so, and so on. The state and the managerial elite simply have too many tools at their disposal to make prospective University of Austin professors’ lives a living hell (and they will). It seems most likely that the disaffected few, intelligent members of the 30% who reject the current dispensation, must, at some point, generate a replacement elite, one that is more congenial to those who reject the pathological direction taken by those currently in power. As Charlton points out, pathology and nihilism is inevitable once God has been rejected. Life is then seen as a product of chance, randomness, or determinism, and the very existence of man is seen as of questionable worth. Welcome to the politics of the twenty-first century unless a new elite sympathetic or themselves believing the views of the populist (anti-managerial elite) disposition obtain cultural and political power and turns back the nihilism of the current administrative and managerial elite.

NOTES:

[1] Neema Parvini, The Populist Delusion, pp. 86-87.
[2] p. 3.
[3] He had been Deputy Prime Minister and the real prime minister resigned.
[4] Neema Parvini, The Populist Delusion, p. 101.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Democratic National Committee.
[7] “CNN’s business model: Profit from fear, hate and division,” New York Post, April 18, 2021. <https://nypost.com/2021/04/18/cnns-business-model-profit-from-fear-hate-and-division/>
[8] https://www.oswego.edu/safety-on-campus/message-from-the-president/provost-scott-furlong-take-expanded-role-leading-enrollment
[9] San Fransicko, Michael Shellenberger, p. 7
[10] Ibid., p. 37.
[11] Ibid., p. 399.
[12] Ibid., p. 110.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Antifragile, Taleb, p. 391.
[15] Bruce Charlton has worthwhile things to say on this topic. See his blog for more.
[16] Sam Biddle, “Facebook Allows Praise of Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Battalion If It Fights Russian Invasion,” The Intercept, February 24, 2022. <https://theintercept.com/2022/02/24/ukraine-facebook-azov-battalion-russia/>
[17] Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2009. <https://www.nber.org/papers/w14969>
[18]“The Engineering of Consent.” One can see where Chomsky got his book title, Manufacturing Consent, from.
[19] Parvini, p. 125.
[20] Steven Wolfe, BBC Question Time in Boston, September 9, 2016. <https://www.stevenwoolfe.uk/10694-2/>
[21] Parvini, p. 131.

The post Elite Power and the Politics of Division: Neema Parvini’s “The Populist Delusion” appeared first on VoegelinView.

Originally appeared on VoegelinView Read More

More
articles

More
news

Mini-Heap

New additions to the Heap… Map apps “have a colossal influence on our experience of the surrounding world” but “rarely...