The Primal Scream of the Policy People
I was talking with a friend, and he said that his son would probably go get a PhD because he wants to do “policy” in education.
I replied that, for me, “policy” is the problem in education. Government does not learn (Kevin D. Williamson) so adding more policy into the dead-end mess we call government education isn’t going to solve the problem.
In fact, I went on to say, the policy people are the well-born elitists doing the dirty work for the ruling class, figuring out, like Jonathan Gruber, how to dress up the monster of ObamaCare so it looks like affordable care, even it if walks, talks, and defecates like a dead-end government program to pay off the ruling class’s supporters. The policy people are part of the problem.
So it is telling that the people really upset about the Trump phenomenon are the policy people, those well-born men and women that went to the right schools and interned with the right power people and are now seen all over the media carrying the ruling class’s water.
The policy people intuit that the Trump candidacy, in some dark and animalistic way, represents the end of the line for people like them. Politics in the future, they fear, isn’t going to be nicely turned policy papers but something ruder and cruder.
I think they are wrong. But that doesn’t stop a chap like David Brooks from imagining the end times for policy-nerds.
Enough about the yelping and yipping at the policy puppy store. What is the meaning of Trump?
This week’s answer is in Mencius Moldbug’s idea of The Cathedral (recently sneered at by Kevin J. Williamson). Says Moldbug:
The great power center of 2008 is the Cathedral. The Cathedral has two parts: the accredited universities and the established press.
Under the Cathedral’s bishops and canons is the Apparat of the civil service and the NGOs, etc. Downstream from the Cathedral is politics, organized as the Inner Party of Democrats and the Outer Party of Republicans. When the Inner Party is in power it gets to rule; when the Outer Party is in power it only gets to govern. This means that Inner Party functionaries get one free grope, but Outer Party cuckservative policy types better not even think of it. This is because, like any established church, the Cathedral enforces its Articles of Faith, received directly from God, and it is heresy to depart from the orthodoxy of Holy SJW Writ, and the Cathedral leans more on people whose Faith is suspect rather than on those that just went to Policy Confession.
The frustration we conservatives have felt in the last few years as the GOP won the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014 is that the Outer Party GOP establishment knew that it was better obey the Holy Writ and not challenge the Inner Party and the bishops at the Cathedral. Not yet, and maybe not ever.
But Donald Trump is running for president from the Outer Party and he has driven a stake through the Cathedral’s orthodoxy and lived to tell the tale. No wonder the lefty muscle-men are marchin’ and protestin’ and blocking highways and closing down Trump rallies. They can see the Antichrist and know what to do about it.
A vital job at any Cathedral is to cover the mailed fist of political power with the velvet glove of gentle Christian persuasion. That is why I like to say that liberals are always pretending that their ruthless political operatives are nothing but kindly librarians.
But government is force; politics is violence; system is domination. That is the truth about government and politics and government programs, as anyone on the receiving end of such wonders will tend to agree.
But ruling classes all end up forgetting these simple truths, and are genuinely shocked and offended when the slaves rebel. Of course they are, when the Cathedral echoes every day with tuneful anthems sung by the Cathedral choir attesting to the godliness of the ruling class, its ethics and its compassion.
And so, when the head of rebellion shows up, the ruling class is shocked and insulted, not just the bishops and the canons and the Cathedral choristers and the Inner Party thugs but the Outer Party policy puppies as well.
And really, we would all probably end up much better off being good little girls reciting our lessons and getting our government checks regular. But there is something in human beings that, every now and again, rebels against good-little-girldom, and strikes out west to the Territory. Maybe this is one such time.
But my guess is probably not, and so all the policy puppies can stop yipping and whining and peeing and shut up.
Mommy will be along with the Puppy Chow soon.
Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.