Getting the Word Out on our Failed Ruling Class
I finally got to watch 56-Up, the latest in the Brit Up Series that has followed the lives of 14 Brits born in 1956, starting with Seven Up broadcast on ITV in 1964.
The cunning plan of the lefties at Granada TV was to pitch three seven-year-old sweetie-pie working-class lasses against three insufferable upper-class boy snobs, one of whom allowed as how he read the Financial Times. But the whole thing fell apart in later episodes as the working-class girls descended into welfare-state hell and the toffs grew up to be model citizens: Baldrick’s Cunning Plan strikes again.
Could it be that the meaning of life, the universe and everything has nothing to do with mechanical things like the NHS or union jobs or government schools? Ya think?
We know who is to blame. It’s the educated ruling class -- media, the universities, the intellectual, the activists -- that invented and implemented the welfare state, and have acquired power and fame doing it. But how to tell the people?
I found out the answer, from Voltaire’s Bastards by John Ralston Saul. The book is a hot snarky mess, except the chapter on “The Faithful Witness” and the rise of the novel. It was the Voltaires, the Swifts, Dickens, the Balzacs and Zolas that told the last lot where to go, and they succeeded in spite of the power of the ruling class of the time, which threw everything it had at them: jail, exile, you name it.
The writers got the word through to the people, because they told a compelling story.
The question is: how does our generation get the story out to the people, in spite of a ruling class that runs everything and, like ruling classes everywhere, is pretty good at getting people to think and write and say approved thoughts, and also at making them pay dearly for saying and writing unapproved thoughts.
The problem for Britain’s old working class, as for our U.S. white working class dying of despair, is that the glorious mechanical apparatus of progressive administration has no soul. As Chris Arnade of Back Row America says, the lower class interface with the welfare state is with “sterile institutions that chew them up and then spit them out.” We are talking about the courts, the prisons, welfare offices, “rehab clinics and detox centers, law offices”.
The fact is all government institutions are like that, including armies, which are expressly designed to suck up young men and send them out to fight the regime’s wars. In the process millions of young men get chewed up, and the lucky ones get spat out.
Hello liberals! It doesn’t matter what government program we are talking about, whether evil colonialist militarism, or domestic activist colonialism; in the end it comes down to chew-up-ology and spit-out-ology. Because government is not compassion; it is force.
And so the working class in Britain and in the U.S. got chewed up in the gears of administrative government, and spat out onto the scrap heap of history. Yet our lefty friends have learned nothing, and are still proposing vast new administrative programs to save health care and the planet.
Most world views are binary: socialism against the capitalists, front row vs. back row, somewhere vs. anywhere, as though we are all one or the other. But I see a world in triplicate, Three Peoples, with two interfaces, between subordinates and responsibles, and between responsibles and creatives.
And here's a thought: people experience good and evil as they look across the divide, and hate the Other. Hell is other people, said Sartre.
The working class looked across the divide at the competent middle class and hated it. Now we have educated ruling class hating on the responsible middle class.
The lesson of 56-Up is that there is no alternative but to take up the burden of responsibility for your own life. That is the message. The socialists say that you can hand over responsibility to caring and compassionate activists and they will look after you. They lie.
Still, it must be admitted that the middle class with its culture of responsibility has obtained a monstrous advantage over the working class; some might even call it unjust white supremacy.
Right now all good deplorables are raging against the deplatforming and campus mob action and social media censorship. But maybe all it means is we are getting the word out, and that the ruling class is starting to fight back, and has sent its guards to beat up the peasants with pitchforks that are beating on the gates.
The rulers will doxx us and harass us and ruin us and even jail us. Just like in olden times. All we have to do is get our message out. Just like in olden times.
But let’s not hate our foolish rulers. We are better than that.