What to Call Our Ruling Class

One of my readers recently wrote that he objected to my use of the term “educated ruling class.” Said he:

Every Jill Biden with a Ph.D. in kiddie literature considers themselves ruling class. They are decidedly uneducated.

Of course, I use the term while understanding that it is mostly the ruling class’s self-image. Our liberal friends believe that their right to rule issues from their education. You doubt it? Here’s an Atlantic writer, David Graham, who just can’t understand politicians like Ron DeSantis that “belie their impressive degrees from Ivy League universities by aligning themselves with the populist conservative movement in some capacity.”

And then Vox Day links to a couple of pieces sneering at our ruling class. First, he looks at the way that prestigious institutions recruit.

[Elite employers] only recruit at the most elite colleges, and they want recruits to be attractive, energetic, articulate, socially smooth, and have had elite personal connections, jobs, and extracurriculars.

Extracurriculars? Yes, but they must not be useful, merely “prestigious.” “Excess interest in ideas marks you as a ‘boring’ ‘tool’.” He ends with a quote from Dominic Cummings, the Brit that ran the winning Brexit referendum:

Politics is full of people who want to prove they’re the smartest person in the room but they almost never realise that the room they’re in rarely has any really smart people in it!

Then Vox Day picks up an actual piece from Dominic Cummings’ Substack, where Cummings quotes chunks of Tolstoy’s War and Peace about courtiers “buzzing” and “humming” uselessly around in the court of the Russian Tsar during the Napoleonic invasion of Russia. Says Cummings:

Assuming wrongly that ‘at least those in charge know what they’re trying to do’ is one of the biggest errors made by the media and high status, often highly competent, observers.

But why? Why should this be so?

How about this?

There is no politics without an enemy. Therefore, the point of any politics is to rally under a warrior leader and then defeat the enemy. Needless to say, you need the best warrior possible, and the best men to fight and conquer the enemy.

But after the victory is won you don’t need all those exceptional people anymore. You just need people to keep on carrying on. You mean people who are “attractive, energetic, articulate, socially smooth, and have had elite personal connections, jobs, and extracurriculars”? That sort of person?

But suppose all those “attractive, energetic” people have kinda let things wind down while doing all those extracurriculars? Time for a leader with exceptional skills again. But don’t expect him from a ruling class that is “full of people who want to prove they’re the smartest person in the room” when they really aren’t that smart or are merely courtiers “buzzing” and “humming” around in deep-state Georgetown.

And the new leader won’t be reprising the over-under political formula with the left as Allies of the majority Oppressed Peoples against the minority White Oppressors.

When John Judis and Ruy Teixeira published their Emerging Democratic Majority in 2002 all the best people knew that the future belonged to a majority coalition of the college-educated, minorities, women, and the young. But when President Biden messes up the economy the Dem college-educated voters reduce to the professional wokists, Dem women reduce to college administrators, Dem minorities reduce to blacks, and the young know that they are screwed by the current system. So the Democratic majority reduces to a small minority, the wokesters, and the serfs.

And a new political formula starts to take shape, the expanding middle. Look, if you folks with the best extracurriculars want to be separate and special, that’s OK with us. When you have finished your latest extracurricular we would like to discuss how all your brilliant political ideas and programs have Made Things Worse. If you marginalized folks want to dwell in an ethnic ghetto, as many emerging Americans have done over the decades, we’ll be there to welcome you into the great middle when you are ready to join our great American party.

The question is still what do we call our current ruling class? To say “educated”  ruling class, as my friend says, doesn’t really communicate its cluelessness. And I don’t want to use pejoratives, so beloved of our liberal friends, because I don’t consider the ruling class composed of enemies, but only fools and knaves that have never stepped outside the box of their finishing-school education.

But wait, why not call them the “pejorative” ruling class? The members use pejoratives, like racist-sexist-homophobe, five times before breakfast, so the shoe fits. But there’s another reason. The Latin verb pejorare means “to make things worse.”

So when we talk about the pejorative ruling class we are talking about a ruling class that Makes Things Worse. That’s just our little joke. Don’t tell Whoopi Goldberg.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also, get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Image: Nicolas de Largillière

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