Monday, February 12, 2018

The Revolt Against The Masses

Good interview with the author, Fred Siegel. I had not known he was previously liberal.
Collins: Do you think the liberal elite today see themselves self-consciously as the ruling class of one nation, as Americans primarily, or do you think they see themselves as distinct from other Americans, maybe feeling they have more in common with the global elite? Are they almost embarrassed by their own society?

Siegel: Very much so. Something happens in the 1990s. The elites of Washington, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles meld together. Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Washington and Wall Street all come together, and for the first time you have something like the British establishment. The British establishment could organise itself more easily because it was centred on London. For decades the American elite was divided among different coastal cities, plus the ‘third coast’ of Chicago, and it wasn’t until space collapses due to technology that you have the creation of this unified American elite. That unified elite is overwhelmingly liberal. Three hundred people who work for Google were part of the Obama administration at one time or another.

So this elite comes together, it looks across the Atlantic, it looks across the Pacific, but it doesn’t look at the heartland. The rest of the country recognises that.

2 comments:

Christopher B said...

Baby Boomers - Probably the first (and maybe last, too) generation to be raised as unhyphenated Americans. Certainly the first with rapid mass communication and nationwide mass media events.

RichardJohnson said...

I had not known he was previously liberal.

So it's not just you and some of your readers. (joke)

In previous generations, the "conservative" to "liberal" trend was rather common, as the young man from the provinces got "enlightenment" at the "liberal" university.

Was Ronald Reagan the first "liberal" or leftist to turn apostate? Come to think of it- no. James Burnham was a changer, circa 1940. Like Reagan, I had the impression that it wasn't so much that I had changed, but that "liberals" had changed. There is no end to the changes in the "liberal" agenda, which is where a lot of us have gotten off the "liberal" bus: this and no more.

For example, I signed on for the abolition of Jim Crow laws, but I didn't sign on for an America Last foreign policy with a default mechanism to kowtow to despots and totalitarians. America Last was definitely not the liberal stance in 1960.It was like peeling an onion for me. While my objection to America Last was the beginning of my disenchantment with "liberals," the more I looked at "liberal" stances or changes in those stances, the more I found out I disagreed with them.

I have had Siegel's book on the "to read" list for some months. Time to read it.