Patterico's Pontifications

7/17/2010

The Ruling Class vs the Country Class

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 1:35 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

This American Spectator essay by Angelo M. Codevilla, a professor of international relations at Boston University and former U.S. foreign service officer, is a must read for every American. Codevilla defines America’s ruling class and country class and reviews the decisions we Americans have made that will decide our and our children’s futures.

Implicit in Codevilla’s essay is the following question: Will Americans choose to be governed by a ruling class or will we return to self-governance by the country class? I think most blue states have already chosen the ruling class with its comfortable promises and European-style goals. I pray most red states and especially my fellow Texans will choose the Country Party, but at this point I have little hope it will be enough.

– DRJ

99 Responses to “The Ruling Class vs the Country Class”

  1. Those blue-staters would be the ones that believe in the idea that, once elected, our representatives magically transform into the smartest, most benign beings in the universe; and that everything they do is for our collective benefit. The politics of wishful thinking.

    Icy Texan (3699fa)

  2. Codevilla just wrote the tea party manifesto.

    Related From Rasmussen:

    [68% Say Political Class Doesn’t Care What Most Americans Think]

    I think Codevilla was spot on and it was a great read on many different levels. One of the best I have read in awhile.

    Cheers!

    Shakes (a2aaff)

  3. Another variation of the leftist belief that anyone that disagrees with them is a racist homophobic hilljack ‘tard hayseed. Screw ‘em.

    JD (5308da)

  4. Not sure what a hilljack is, but I’m wih ya JD.

    Prof Mr. Codevilla absolutely rocks! I’ve read up through his “ruling Class” section. He has perfectly articulated the internal threat to our ideals of what it is to be American, in exacting language.

    (His Machiavelli reference was perfect.)

    I agree everyone should read it, especially in the universities.

    Pons Asinorum (a2b185)

  5. An excellent article that explained what’s happening with the Court and Country parties extremely clearly. But as I said in a previous comment, Codevilla undermined his case with the woefully uninformed bashing of evolution as a mere “notion” popularized by Darwin. It’s a huge error for him to portray religion as contradicted by evolution — the likes of Richard Dawkins and P.Z. Myers will be thrilled.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  6. Codevilla is a religious professor, almost an oxymoron even with Religion professors. I agree it was a weak spot in his analysis although I tend to agree that religion is an important piece of the puzzle of a civil society.

    Mike K (0ef8c3)

  7. Mike K,
    Well that explains it, a bit. I just hope someone like you or Eric Blair can explain to Codevilla that evolution/religion should be a big tent issue. Maybe Codevilla believes that, but his article implies otherwise. The left (many of whom know little about evolution besides it being a talking point), will have a field day with that aspect of his article.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  8. I like the way he tries to lump an increasingly confusing and complex American socio-political spectrum into two big definite groups of people with the noble, salt of the Earth Republican voters types on one side and the nasty elitist smarty-pants Democratic voters types on the other.

    I mean that is totally original and has never been done before.

    AJB (d64738)

  9. The ruling class knows that Americans must learn to live more densely and close to work, that they must drive smaller cars and change their lives to use less energy, that their dietary habits must improve, that they must accept limits in how much medical care they get, that they must divert more of their money to support people, cultural enterprises, and plans for the planet that the ruling class deems worthier. So, ever-greater taxes and intrusive regulations are the main wrenches by which the American people can be improved (and, yes, by which the ruling class feeds and grows).

    I don’t know if this guy realizes it but:

    1.) The growth of suburbia and car culture has everything to do with governments at all three levels massively subsidizing the automobile industry while neglecting alternative modes of transit and living.

    2. Human beings kind of need a clean healthy Earth in order to live. The so-called “ruling class” of eco-fascists and limp-wristed librulz (so as to distinguish them from the rugged individualist folks who run our heavily-subsidized oil industry) only favors keeping the Earth healthy because they know that a dirty Earth means more dead humans. Crazy, I know.

    AJB (d64738)

  10. he tries to lump an increasingly confusing and complex American socio-political spectrumSo complex that any attempts at understanding are dismissed as lumpy. Lumpy things are hard. That is why Barracky took 60 days before acting on lumpy oil in the gulf

    highpockets (fe389c)

  11. Indeed, the political spectrum is complicated, and often deceptive. For example, there’s left-wing political groups like the pseudo-populist “Coffee Party,” now moribund, and its successor, “One Nation,” desperately pretending to be a grass-roots response to the Tea Party.

    Then there’s the pseudo-religious “American Values Network,” which finds that Biblical values coincide with left-wing agendas such government-run health care and global warming alarmism. And it was founded by an operative of Hillary Clinton. Quelle coincidence!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  12. Uh, whatever.

    The fact of the matter is that Republicans (and the tea partiers for that matter) don’t care about small government and are just angry that they don’t control the spigot.

    AJB (d64738)

  13. The fact of the matter is that

    you got your head so far up your ass you didn’t even know it was summertime, did ya’?

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  14. @ 13
    Now that was funny!

    Labcatcher (b1ac83)

  15. Different day, same drivel from AJB.

    JD (358a94)

  16. AJB – What massive subsidies did the automobile industry get? The government built the interstate highway system, but that’s not a subsidy.

    Who alternative modes of transportation were ignored? Buses, trains, airline, pogo stick, bicycle?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  17. “Human beings kind of need a clean healthy Earth in order to live.”

    Yeah, they used to have that “clean healthy Earth” thing back in the good old Dark Ages, along with stuff like a 25 year life expectancy and an infant mortality rate in excess of 50%…then we learned how to pollute, and look at us now.

    Idiot.

    Dave Surls (de1fbb)

  18. Human beings kind of need a clean healthy Earth in order to live. The so-called “ruling class” of eco-fascists and limp-wristed librulz (so as to distinguish them from the rugged individualist folks who run our heavily-subsidized oil industry) only favors keeping the Earth healthy because they know that a dirty Earth means more dead humans. Crazy, I know.

    Comment by AJB

    How do you define a “clean, healthy earth” ? I know this is a rhetorical question because you have no idea other than leftist politics and subsidizing solar and wind power but the environment has never been so clean and protected. Prosperity is what leads to a clean environment.

    Among other observations that you lefties will never see, the most white dominated group in society is the environmentalist lobby. The tea parties are way down the list. Not that you would ever realize it.

    Mike K (0ef8c3)

  19. AJB, the whining of the eco-fascists got past the “clean and healthy earth” goals a long time ago and are now attempting to create a socialist paradise using the “environment” as an excuse for social engineering that has nothing to do with actual environmental problems.

    That’s why we have these fake environmental scares every month that turn out to be frauds so often.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  20. Environmental whackiness like removing the designated “state rock” because it is a mineral complex that contains asbestos, that’s the kind of whacky nonsense the current eco-fascist movements spend their time upon.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  21. AJB:

    I don’t know if this guy realizes it but:

    You illustrate everything that is wrong with liberals in just 9 words. Saying “I don’t know if this guy realizes it but” is the equivalent of saying he’s (at best) uninformed and (at worst) stupid. Apparently you say that because Codevilla disagrees with your world view, yet you’re content to let liberal academics who share your world view make decisions for everyone. In other words, you have decided conservatives are always wrong and liberals are always right so they should rule the world. How stupid is that?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  22. Well said, DRJ.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  23. We just had another example of our brilliant “ruling class” when Yale grad Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee talked about the peaceful coexistence of North and South Vietnam and held them up as current role models we can all learn from…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK3rTUgoQD4

    GeneralMalaise (26e9b5)

  24. AJB whining
    like feral cat running through
    dog days of Summer

    ColonelHaiku (26e9b5)

  25. Dear Bradley:

    You wrote:

    “…I just hope someone like you or Eric Blair can explain to Codevilla that evolution/religion should be a big tent issue….”

    I agree completely.

    The problem here, as always, is what metaphorical dictionaries are carried about. I work with evolutionary issues in the lab pretty much every day. And I am surprised by folks on the Left and the Right carrying on about the subject, when it is very clear that they haven’t studied up at all.

    Please understand that I am not saying that folks who haven’t studied biology don’t have a right to comment on this topic, of course they do. My point is different.

    For example, many folks on the Right have trouble with the concept of evolution, because it appears to negate a Creator, and it can be used to justify behaviors of which some members of the Right disapprove.

    Never mind that the Catholic Church has long accepted evolution. And the “Aggressive Atheists” (as I call them; I continue to respect agnosticism) are happy to push the meme waaaay down the street, for their own reasons.

    Me, I am well aware of how little I know. And I don’t mean to play Socratic games; there really is much we don’t know. Yes, we are all related. Yes, evolution has occurred. That is clear from molecular data. But that is quite separate from most theological discussions.

    The problem, as always, is when imperfect “science” is used to bolster political ideas, which are viewed in terms of perfection by their adherents (much like many folks in religion, oddly).

    Like the way the Left loves “stem cell research,” when I can promise you that very few of the people carrying on about it understand the concepts. No, to the Left, “stem cell research” is a fig leaf for abortion rights, so to speak.

    Politics tends to sully all it touches.

    And let me be further clear: I am a person of faith myself, and have the greatest respect for those who believe. Belief and faith are not “proveable” (or falsifiable, if you wish).

    Neither is political belief. For some on the Left, politics has replaced religion. And it is ironic to hear such people scorn believers, when they themselves have made a Golden Calf of their belief in the DNC.

    Anyway, that was too long of a post. Thanks for your patience.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  26. The fact of the matter is that Republicans (and the tea partiers for that matter) don’t care about small government and are just angry that they don’t control the spigot.

    That’s true of the Republican party establishment. But so untrue of the tea party that I have to wonder what hallucinogenic you’ve been taking. In fact that’s why the GOP establishment is so afraid of the tea party, and trying so desperately to co-opt it for their own purposes. They don’t want someone to make them leave the feeding trough.

    kishnevi (c8aed4)

  27. Nothing has set the country class apart, defined it, made it conscious of itself, given it whatever coherence it has, so much as the ruling class’s insistence that people other than themselves are intellectually and hence otherwise humanly inferior.

    This surely must be the core of it: If one believes others are intellectually inferior to them, hence humanly inferior, then that eliminates any discourse or consideration from the get-go. The argument is over before it’s even begun.

    The great irony of course is that those very people like AJB, are the very last to realize it – if they ever do.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  28. #22 SPQR:

    Well said, DRJ.

    Hmmph. I don’t see anything different about what she said, than what I said.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  29. My impression from his references to evolution was not that he was attacking evolution but that he was attacking, first, what was called “social Darwinism” (although Darwin himself never came close to advocating anything similar to that application of his theories)–and Darwin was far more original than Codevilla makes him out to be), and second the use Progressives made of evolution to attack the “country class”.

    He is wrong on a couple of points (the 19th century ruling class was not broken up into fragments insulated from each other, and while they did not necessarily attend the same schools, they had the same sort of education in which the GrecoRoman classics had a leading role), but all in all a very good article.

    kishnevi (c8ebbd)

  30. Codevilla discussed a number of these same themes in The Character of Nations. Even if some libertarians and less socially oriented conservatives would disagree with his stances on abortion and the teaching of evolution, his basic message is appealing–that the continual expansion of government, particularly in its ever-powerful bureaucracies with little accountability, decreases citizenship, harms families, and degrades the ability of communities to solve their problems.

    A government apparatus with actual accountability, for example, would have fired Interior Secretary Ken Salazar months ago, or he would have resigned in humiliation. Christina Romer would be back in the university instead of continuing to advise Obama on economic matters. Gen. McChrystal wouldn’t have had the chance to embarrass the President in Rolling Stone.

    As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Govs. Brewer and Jindal kept demanding that Obama “do his job.” A nation where local communities are empowered to solve their problems without constant interference from the federal government would have simply said “Okay, if you refuse to employ the authority you argue that you possess, in order to do the job you are being paid to do, we’re going to take care of this problem in real time as we see fit–we dare you to stop us.”

    Modern leftists don’t seem to realize that at this moment, Americans are asking for the political equivalent of Hadrian–someone who will look at government’s bureaucratic empire and say “No more.”

    Another Chris (40ac96)

  31. EW1 – DRJ is the king/queen of dressing down people kindly. Though, ABJ is likely too dumb to insult.

    JD (b812d8)

  32. #20 JD: I was just teasing SPQR. But likely the bozo isn’t going to understand the full import of DRJ’s comment to him.

    Have to admit, I don’t know how she does it: I run into industrial strength stupid like that, a breaker somewhere upstairs overloads, I know that there isn’t the slightest chance in the physical universe of well reasoned argumentation making a dent in that stupid, and the circuit gets shunted to “frivolously derogation” mode. And I don’t think there is any treatment for it, neither!

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  33. For the most part, I think Codevilla’s diagnosis is spot-on. Take this quote:

    “Our ruling class’s agenda is power for itself. While it stakes its claim through intellectual-moral pretense, it holds power by one of the oldest and most prosaic of means: patronage and promises thereof.”

    I think this is absolutely right. It is an observation found in the work of David Mayhew, who pioneered (to an extent) the logic of an electoral incentive as the driving force of politics in America in Congress: The Electoral Connection – for what it’s worth, it is one of the strongest and most sensible pieces of political science I have ever read. A patronage model – what I call “substantive representation” – cripples us. It was never what the Framers intended, I don’t think. Rather, they intended a system of “descriptive representation”: a system where constituents could be confident that they had a representative who (in the words of John Adams) “thought, felt, reasoned, and acted” like them; n equal and accurate voice in the legislature, rather than a self-interested resource siphon (which is what many Americans have come to expect and grudgingly accept in their representatives).

    I also think Codevilla’s assessment of the primary dividing line between the two groups – call them what you will – hits close to the mark: an air of superiority in the “ruling class” which dismisses all opposition as born of stubborn ignorance or willful stupidity, when anyone who makes an effort to engage in a good-faith discussion can see that that is not the case at all. For all the disagreements I’ve had with conservatives in the years I’ve been here, I’ve seen little of the condescension, unsubstantiated superiority, and blind devotion to politi-pop dogma that I’ve witnessed in significant segments of the university and progressive left population. I’ve seen some, mind you, but I’ve seen significantly less, and I say that as a decided liberal. Eric Blair makes Codevilla’s main point – this observation of a hypocritical superiority in much of the modern Left – on a regular basis; sometimes it annoys me, if I feel that he’s using too broad a brush in applying it, but for the most part it may be counted as accurate and even prescient, even if it has disturbing implications for those of us who think liberalism can be something better than what it has become. It places an onus on us – for an intra-ideological reckoning, even.

    “The apparently endless series of wars in which our ruling class has embroiled America, wars that have achieved nothing worthwhile at great cost in lives and treasure, has contributed to defining it, and to discrediting it — but not in its own eyes.”

    It was this very dynamic- specifically, the Democrats’ handling of the Iraq War after their Congressional takeover in 2006 – that convinced me once and for all that no politician at the Federal level gave a flying fuck what I thought, as their constituent or as a human being. That lesson has been driven home again and again over the course of the past four years – in the handling of every major issue and controversy the major parties have deigned to address, on their own terms and at their own leisure, and at the expense of otherwise lucrative fund-raising ventures: TARP bailouts; auto industry bailouts; healthcare “reform”; financial “reform”. Failure after failure to represent the people they were sent to represent, and yet the Democrats – I’ll speak of the Democrats, since they claimed (falsely) to speak for me, to represent me – found no fault in themselves. The fault rested not in their selves but their stars, they said, and we – friends, Romans, countrymen that we were – needed to shut the fuck up and give them the benefit of the doubt. Again.

    The last discussion I had with my grandfather – my dad’s father – devolved into a three-way screaming match over this very issue because my father “scoff[s] at the claim that the ruling class’s bureaucratic language demonstrates superior intelligence” and I am “insulted by the ruling class’s dismissal of opposition as mere “anger and frustration” — an imputation of stupidity”… and my grandpa is both enamored of the bureaucratic navigational skills of the big-name Democrats and convinced of the profound stupidity of anyone who disagrees with their methods or assessments. All three of us are staunch liberals, but I take heart in the fact that there are still those on my side of the political spectrum who realize that Codevilla’s dichotomy – between a self-styled ruling class and a class who refuses to be ruled – is far more significant, and potentially far more damaging, than the divisions between mere political opposites, which can be bridged at points of common ground.

    I don’t mean this to be arrogant, but to drive a point home: they would handpick me for this. This was supposed to be who I was – I’m young and sharp and liberal, and (to a degree) I’m ambitious. They would look at me and think I would dive headlong into this shit, into a life of calculated ass-kissing and backstabbing and blame-shifting self-concern, which you see every time these bastards step up to a podium – a life of deciding the lives of others, and looking down my nose at them when they protested. And that’s what makes me so vehement about the whole thing. I spent four months living and working in DC – not long, perhaps, but long enough to realize one thing: that game sickens me. I have no interest in it. I turned down virtually every hobknobbing invitation/opportunity I received as a congressional intern – including a letter of recommendation from the Congressman I worked for – because the idea of trying to ingratiate myself to those people made my lip curl involuntarily. It still does. I hope it always does.

    They are Narcissus, and we are The Pool: they gaze at us, but see only their own perfection. Hopefully, we The Pool can find it in ourselves to become an Abyss, and stare back into them for a while.

    Sorry for the rant.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  34. kishnevi,

    Codevilla attacked biological evolution, along with social Darwinism. He considers them of the same fabric:

    By 1853, when Sen. John Pettit of Ohio called “all men are created equal” “a self-evident lie,” much of America’s educated class had already absorbed the “scientific” notion (which Darwin only popularized) that man is the product of chance mutation and natural selection of the fittest. . .

    While the unenlightened ones believe that man is created in the image and likeness of God and that we are subject to His and to His nature’s laws, the enlightened ones know that we are products of evolution, driven by chance, the environment, and the will to primacy.

    As you know, Darwin’s “scientific” (love the scare quotes) notion that natural selection is the main mechanism for adaptation was novel. Common descent was accepted early on in the scientific debate; natural selection didn’t decisively win until the “modern synthesis” of the early 20th century.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  35. Eric Blair,

    Like the way the Left loves “stem cell research,” when I can promise you that very few of the people carrying on about it understand the concepts. No, to the Left, “stem cell research” is a fig leaf for abortion rights, so to speak.
    I agree completely with that.

    Politics tends to sully all it touches.
    Amen to that!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  36. You tease, EW1(SG).

    SPQR (26be8b)

  37. _________________________________________

    1.) The growth of suburbia and car culture has everything to do with governments at all three levels massively subsidizing the automobile industry while neglecting alternative modes of transit and living.

    Your assumption would have some weight if many of the older urban areas that Americans have been leaving behind — if not fleeing from — for decades were dominated by strong economies, great schools, low crime rates and a mostly stable populace where signs of dysfunction don’t pop up around every corner of a neighborhood.

    The so-called “ruling class” of eco-fascists and limp-wristed librulz….only favors keeping the Earth healthy because they know that a dirty Earth means more dead humans.

    But too many of those “progressives” you refer to actually spend far more of their time crying about Mother Earth (or, in particular, animals, plants and trees) than human beings per se.

    Using uber-left-leaning California as one very revealing test case — a lot of “progressives” find their heart all aflutter over, for example, owners of horses being able to sell their animals to rendering plants—it’s now illegal, as mandated by voters several years ago. Meanwhile, so many of those same enlightened liberals say la-de-dah about young single girls being able to get abortions without the consent of a parent or guardian—as re-affirmed by mainly “progressive” California voters not long ago.

    Another paradox: So many “progressives” are strangely quiet about all the environmental degradation — and muck and mire — associated with the Third World.

    I guess that’s because they’re too busy shedding tons of tears about the cruelty of Arizona’s recently passed legislation on illegal immigration.

    Mark (411533)

  38. Mark – I saw more litter in one hour on a beach in the Dominican Republic than I have seen in a year in Connecticut.
    I wonder if AJB would be able to explain the polluted cesspools much of the socialist world is compared to the relativity clean US. Check out the industrial regions of China, the old USSR, East Germany or Poland. Interestingly those that are now controlled by pluralistic elected governments based on free markets are remarkably cleaner than they were even fifteen years ago.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  39. Why Have Blue! Didn’t you get the memo? Capitalistic societies don’t care about the environment, didn’t you hear? And people in the LDC are closer to the Earth, and keep things so much more…sustainable!

    Part of Teh Narrative, sadly.

    Eric Blair (d7ba5c)

  40. Anyway, that was too long of a post.
    Comment by Eric Blair —

    Nonsense. We readers of Patterico have a longer attention span than the average sound byte.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  41. Esteemed Frater Bradley–
    I didn’t read it quite like you do; perhaps because I’m one of those who accepts the reality of both God and evolution, so I don’t see driven by chance, the environment, and the will to primacy. as being an inherent consequence of evolution.

    Meanwhile, since I don’t see a current thread that’s more on topic, this might of be interest to folks here
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100717/ap_on_re_us/us_neo_nazi_patrols

    I’ll leave it to you to decide whether the report focuses on the NeoNazis because NeoNazis grab attention better, or because it can thereby smear the other two groups mentioned, but please read past the NeoNazi stuff, which is actually the least interesting of the three groups mentioned in the article.

    kishnevi (391c85)

  42. Human beings kind of need a clean healthy Earth in order to live.

    Shhhhh! Be very quiet and come closer to the screen and I’ll tell you a secret. I said closer. Make sure no one is looking over your shoulder.

    Of course human beings need a clean earth to live, and conservatives don’t care if the Gulf of Mexico becomes filled with oil and has a water spill. Som that means that conservatives are too stupid to know what’s best for themselves (the error most smart people make), or… still no one looking over your shoulder? Come real close and don’t scream… or, they are not human!

    Kepp it a secret, because if they found out I told you, I would be in big trou

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  43. EW1(SG),

    Everyone is being kind but as is obvious, I wasn’t particularly nice in my earlier comment. Frankly, I’m tired of blogging alone and now I’m torn between not blogging at all or blogging less in the hope others will decide to blog more. Unfortunately I think my ambivalence is reflected in that comment.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  44. Comment by DRJ

    Sorry to hear of your weariness.

    Your standard of “not being particularly nice” would be a breath of civility in many quarters, and besides, it was earned.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  45. kishnevi,

    The article is unquestionably a smear of the anti-illegal immigrant militias. Look who got the most attention up front — a neo-Nazi — and how the reporter, Michelle Price, invalidly extrapolated from it to depict a law enforcement concern.

    This two paragraphs are the reporter’s agenda, disguised as objective journalism:

    Ready is a reflection of the anger over illegal immigration in Arizona. Gov. Jan Brewer signed a controversial new immigration law in April, which requires police, while enforcing other laws, to question a person’s immigration status if officers have a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally. . .

    Law enforcement officials said patrols like Ready’s could undercut the work of the thousands of officers on duty every day across the border, especially if they try to enforce the law themselves in carrying out vigilante justice.

    So to begin her story, reporter Price chose a neo-Nazi as her centerpiece of a “reflection of the anger over illegal immigration.”

    Now if Jason “J.T.” Ready’s group and other neo-Nazis represented a large faction of the anti-illegal immigrant militias, and if they were imposing vigilante justice, the space given to him would be journalistically justified.

    But Price doesn’t present any evidence to that effect. She doesn’t even tell us how many members are in Ready’s group. IMO, Price is just hyping the story of one man to make readers think “neo-Nazi” when they see the word “militia.”

    Price at least described the “tough” Arizona illegal immigration law correctly. But this appears to be AP’s routine outline of the law. So I don’t give her credit for that.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  46. DRJ:

    I will afford an encouragement that you once afforded me in slightly different words:

    You have to do what is best for you, but this place can not be the same without you.

    No insult to Patterico, but his Pontifications are a bit better because of you. My natterings are nothing more than blowing off steam.

    Ag80 (363d6e)

  47. DRJ,
    Please keep blogging, within the limits you feel comfortable with. If you’re too weary, by all means reduce the blogging. But this forum would be worse off if you totally ceased blogging here.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  48. The ruling class today is what should be known as the Axis of Evil:

    1) Media

    2) Academia

    2) Entertainment

    Arizona Bob (e8af2b)

  49. Comment by Leviticus — 7/17/2010 @ 7:26 pm

    Leviticus, I’ve been reading some of Orwell’s essays recently, and he makes many of the same points that you do in your comment. A recurring theme for him is the dichotomy you write about, which Codevilla expands upon–that of the “ruling class” which doesn’t represent the wishes or desires of those who are ruled.

    Orwell’s a person whom I would agree with very little on politically; yet, it’s clear from his writings and the way he lived his life that he possessed more integrity and faith in humanity than many of the leading leftist politicians and philosophers who have influenced modern progressivism–maybe it’s just my soft spot for anti-authoritarians talking there. Not to blow smoke up your ass, but I think that is why a lot of the commenters here take your writings seriously (the occasional digs aside, of course), because you possess a lot of those same qualities.

    It certainly lessens my cynicism somewhat that a bright individual such as yourself didn’t let the oily obsequiousness of DC culture affect your integrity or your principles, and I hope you maintain that no matter what pressure is brought to bear on you.

    Another Chris (40ac96)

  50. The ruling class today is what should be known as the Axis of Evil …

    Arizona Bob, I think you missed one. I’d say:

    1) Media

    2) Academia

    3) Bureaucracy

    Murgatroyd (fd5fcd)

  51. Isn’t that neat? JEA knocked over his blocks, and they spelled out AJB.

    Icy Texan (ebf207)

  52. #42 DRJ:

    Everyone is being kind but as is obvious,

    Perhaps I worked in the defense industry a little too long, but my idea of “not particularly nice” involves large amounts of chaos and destruction. And usually bloodshed.

    How you manage to be unfailingly civil is a mystery to me (and others, I am sure), but you are quite likely to be more persuasive than the rest of us when it comes to inducing an otherwise closed mind to reconsider.

    As to your blogging, you know you have a great many fans here: but I would rather that you enjoy yourself doing it, rather than feeling obligated to churn out posts for the edification of the masses. And I am sure I am unanimous in this. Perhaps you might try Karl’s model, fewer posts but more depth on subjects that intrigue you? Or perhaps put yourself on a strict schedule, that limits your blogging time so that you force yourself to get out from in front of the monitor? And into whatever passes for sunshine in your part of Texas? (I mean, I’m sure that y’all have sunshine there, I just dunno if its the kind that you enjoy languorously in the early afternoon or that you hide from as it scours the landscape.)

    Meantime, allow me to recommend Terry Pratchett’s The Truth between posts. You might even recognize a character or two in it. Oh, and if you haven’t lately, have a Klondike bar. In fact, I think I’m gonna have one for breakfast. ;)

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  53. Seems like Codevilla is the vanguard of term limits and the Citizen Elect. We need simple, viral ideas/ideals with which to reset our nation.
    Not because we are a simple people but rather because the problem is so straightforward. Ensconced elitists.

    pitchforkntorches (888cb1)

  54. Here is a case study on how this works in practice:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/07/nyt_confirms_steven_chu_frustr.html

    ian cormac (d28167)

  55. That’s true of the Republican party establishment. But so untrue of the tea party that I have to wonder what hallucinogenic you’ve been taking. In fact that’s why the GOP establishment is so afraid of the tea party, and trying so desperately to co-opt it for their own purposes. They don’t want someone to make them leave the feeding trough.

    When the self-anointed leaders of the Tea Parties start calling for a repeal of those part of the economy that they and their constituents are addicted to, I’ll take your assertion as having some validity.

    So, how about repealing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unnecessary (at least according to the military) weapons programs, farm subsidies (for that matter all subsidies), the INSANE War on Some Drugs (conservatives are very addicted to this one), etc…

    Horatio (55069c)

  56. The unfunded liabilities stagger the mind, we’re talking tens of trillions of dollars, an almost?
    insurmountable obstacle

    ian cormac (d28167)

  57. Horatio, more bad faith on your part. Republicans tried to reform social security and were demogogued by the Democrats on the issue.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  58. Horatio, more bad faith on your part. Republicans tried to reform social security and were demogogued by the Democrats on the issue.

    No bad faith here – they simply lacked the political will to force it thru or if I recall, get an on-the-record vote for fear of losing an election. You can count on the Dems pushing their agenda thru especially if they lose the House or Senate in November – and, even if they win both houses, the Reps won’t be able to repeal a damn thing. They will not achieve any veto-proof majority in either chamber

    Republican politicians are country club liberals. They believe in multi-culturalism, the welfare state, their favorite subsidies or programs. It’s all about power. There are no principles involved. Small government, drastically less spending & taxes, elimination of agencies, rules, and regulations, and increased individual liberty are not in their interests. They may use the rhetoric, but that doesn’t translate into action. If McConnell and Boehner become Majority Leaders in their respective Chambers unless they introduce legislation to actually do something positive – let’s say eliminate the Department of Education as Reagan wanted to do – then this is all about hot air, sound bites, and positioning themselves to win another election and try to defeat The Chosen One in ’12.

    Horatio (55069c)

  59. So is it the Tea Partiers that are mostly out of office except for Bachman and a few others or the current leadership

    ian cormac (d28167)

  60. “On July 14, 2010, Christina Romer announced that the Romer-Summers plan had created or saved between 2.5 million and 2.6 million jobs and had increased gross domestic product by between 2.7 and 3.2 per cent through June 30, 2010. She further stated that the full 3.5 million jobs that she had promised during the Congressional debates over Stimulus II will arrive two quarters earlier than anticipated. Wow! What a success story!” – Charles Rowley

    I watched a video clip of a smirking Romer making this claim. If I were an unemployed person with no prospects on even the distant horizon, I’d have murder in my heart for Obama’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

    GeneralMalaise (26e9b5)

  61. GeneralMalaise, Romer is especially dishonest in this. First of all, her own academic work showed how poorly “economic stimulus” works to “create” jobs – and especially how poorly the pork spending that the faux stimulus bill mostly consists of. Secondly, she is putting out numbers now that are made up from a mathematical formula based on funds spent that uses a multiplier that contradicts that earlier mentioned academic work.

    In other words, the administration gave up trying to “count” jobs “created or saved” when the data they were using was shown to be utterly fraudulent. Now they are using a statistical model that contradicts the work of the very person purporting to report it.

    That’s Hope and Change for you.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  62. #59 SPQR:

    In other words, the administration gave up trying to “count” jobs “created or saved” when the data they were using was shown to be utterly fraudulent.

    IOW, they are pulling stuff entirely out of their ass.

    Who knew?

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  63. Horatio,

    With all due respect – you are full of crap, first of all Reagan, wasnt a conservative as the new goal posts of tea party fantasy worl goes, sure he was against communism BUT THAT WAS HIS JOB – Reagan to get a modest somewhat weak tax cut enacted a flat tax increase and let the democrats expan their entitlement programs to twice what they were before he took office

    Republicans are not the country club – you described the democrats

    EricPWJohnson (cedf1d)

  64. EW1(SG), actually they are pulling stuff out of their ass after getting caught creating fraudulent numbers.

    They are brazen.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  65. Those foolish people who took the bait (e.g., Colin Powell, William Weld, Kenneth Adelman, Christopher Buckley) and supported Obama in 2008… I wonder… can they honestly look back and say they weren’t warned?

    GeneralMalaise (26e9b5)

  66. #62 SPQR:

    They are brazen.

    Oh, I can think of many, many more descriptive phrases…

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  67. When he talks of the divide between the two classes being bigger now than before the Civil War, the Professor is clearly leading us to believe, even though he does not explicitly say so, that a second civil war is likely and perhaps inevitable.

    I happen to agree. Do others here think that way? I happen to think that the ruling (leftist) class would force it by overstepping their bounds by a combination of massive vote fraud to steal elections (note how Obama backed Zelaya when he tried to destroy democracy in Honduras), forcing through an amnesty that would create so many Hispanic Democrats that the nation would effectively be rendered a one-party state, and using the “Fairness Doctrine”, “Hate Speech” legislation, and intimidation tactics to silence dissenting media.

    It would reach a point where red state America will find it too much to bear, and it will secede.

    Am I wrong?

    Eric R. (cf2fa1)

  68. I happen to agree. Do others here think that way? I happen to think that the ruling (leftist) class would force it by overstepping their bounds by a combination of massive vote fraud to steal elections (note how Obama backed Zelaya when he tried to destroy democracy in Honduras), forcing through an amnesty that would create so many Hispanic Democrats that the nation would effectively be rendered a one-party state, and using the “Fairness Doctrine”, “Hate Speech” legislation, and intimidation tactics to silence dissenting media.

    It would reach a point where red state America will find it too much to bear, and it will secede.

    Am I wrong?

    why would not vote fraud be countered with vote fraud?

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  69. Mr. Ejercito:

    The Republicans cannot get away with vote fraud.

    The Democrats control the news media, and have turned it into their version of Pravda and Tass. Not only would even the slightest hint of GOP fraud be blared out 24/7 by the MFM/DNC complex, they would and have made up false charges of the same.

    The Republicans were falsely charged with vote rigging in Florida in 2000 — in a county run by Democrats, no less — while the blatant vte rigging in places such as the 2004 Washington gubernatorial Senate race and the 2008 MN Senate race have either been ignored or even defended by the propagandists of the MFM.

    Eric R. (cf2fa1)

  70. Reagan to get a modest somewhat weak tax cut enacted a flat tax increase and let the democrats expan their entitlement programs to twice what they were before he took office

    Comment by EricPWJohnson

    I think some reading would help you to understand why Reagan was unable to get all he wanted. Bob Dole blocked the immediate implementation of the tax cut, thereby causing the severe 1982 recession and cost Reagan the Senate majority. The House was always held by Democrats.

    Had the tax cut gone into effect in 1982, shortly after passage, its effects would have taken place and the recession of 82-83 would not have occurred. Most people stopped spending and investing until the tax cut would take effect. That is called dynamic economic effect.

    Reagan had to deal with Democrats to get the military buildup that won the cold war. Every Reagan budget was called “dead on arrival” by the Democrats in he House. Maybe you are not old enough to remember that. Bush I also had Democrat majorities and to this day I think he was ambushed by them to get the authorization for the Gulf War. The result was the 1991-92 recession that cost him re-election.

    Mike K (0ef8c3)

  71. Comment by Eric R. — 7/18/2010 @ 11:28 am

    Interesting Eric, I’ve been thinking about that quite bit lately. Never thought the day would come in my lifetime, but now — not so sure anymore.

    Recently on the History Channel, there was an historian commenting on the Fall of the Roman Empire. He remarked that many Romans had no idea that the Empire had fallen, an attitude that prevailed for as long as a century IIRC (my apologies as I forgot the historian’s name).

    Even before the election of President Obama, private property rights ceased in our country (here, here and here), save in name only. Liberty cannot exist without the right to private property. Without Liberty, I cannot help but wonder if the United States has already fallen.

    If there is another Civil War, perhaps it will not be about succession but retaking our Country and returning our inalienable rights and restoring Liberty as a matter of law.

    PS:
    President Obama’s worse action may have been his backing of Zelaya (I say “may” because he has so many reprehensible actions to choose from, it is not an easy choice). This was so revealing of President Obama’s character. Under his leadership, our ruling class tried to infect a fledgling republic with leftist philosophy and attempt to destroy their Constitution, Supreme Court, Congress, and the People’s Rule of Law. Somehow, the People of Honduras defied President Obama and emerged victorious – they are still a Free People.

    May we be so lucky.

    Pons Asinorum (a2b185)

  72. DRJ is expressing some understandable frustration regarding my absence from the blog. I have no intention of giving up but a trial and family in town have caused me to be silent lately. I did manage to get a post up this morning but the next week will continue to be rough.

    Patterico (1f7d8f)

  73. John Hinderaker at PowerLine is thinking about the bleak future of America whether Democrats or Republicans are in power, and I admit I’m concerned about America’s chances regardless of how the 2010 vote turns out. Even if the GOP wins the House, I can see that opening to the door to Obama re-election which means the Supreme Court will become majority left. Nothing can save America then.

    As for the blogging, I’m not blaming Patterico. I’m just not a blogger at heart.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  74. Mike K

    Reagan use the consierable resources of the US military that was already built and paid for to call the Soviet bluff in Europe

    I was refering to the absolute no compromise tea party rhectoric that no spending is worth a deficit AND USE BUSH and the republicans as evil overspenders – which is patently and rediculously false

    and Reagan had an economic boom, no wars and no disasters on his watch

    and he made a total mess of Europe, the middle east, asia and is responsible for allowing the democrats to be spending the money they are today

    Reagan refused to confront the democrats wuth his veto

    EricPWJohnson (cedf1d)

  75. EricPWJohnson, your coherency is not improving.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  76. “and he made a total mess of Europe, …”

    Yeah, that Berlin Wall thing was horrible.

    Pons Asinorum (a2b185)

  77. DRJ:

    You consistently blog with more grace, dignity and wit than anyone else, that is including professionals who make their living doing this.

    (I hardly ever address you directly, and well, just wanted you to know that).

    Thank you DRJ all your blogs are spot-on and I appreciate all the work you put into it (just wanted you to know that too).

    Whatever you decide, please know that you will always have my best wishes and will always be well thought-of.

    Pons Asinorum (a2b185)

  78. Pons

    had nothing absolutely nothing to do with Reagan – it had to do with the rotting corruption of the false fabric of the communist in the USSR

    We essentially spent those billions on nothing – they were going to fall

    SPQR – yep you still are a factless moron – (I apologize – morons cant help it)

    Mike K

    I’m not saying that we didnt need a strong military – we always do – just money was spent on systems that were already obsolete like the M1 abrams tank and the bradley and the B1 bomber instead of put into more submarines carriers and stealth aircraft and battlefield weapons research

    the first few thousand m1′s we built are in storage missing engines and we scrapped tens of thousands of useful upgradable tanks that still could defeat the best the soviets could deploy.

    But raising the Social secuity tax 100% (actually if you look at today someone making 125,000 is paying 400% more thanks to Reagan) to get a weak tax cut that didnt even last 10 years

    And dont forget the amnestly either – if you thought there was a flood of illegals – you should have seen the 80′s back then we didnt give a crap

    EricPWJohnson (cedf1d)

  79. DRJ

    You put alot of time and effort into this and blog from things that are insightful and interesting

    Whateve you decide – I wish you well

    EricPWJohnson (cedf1d)

  80. You are the bee’s knees, DRJ. You are much appreciated!

    GeneralMalaise (26e9b5)

  81. –Ordinary people have also gone a long way toward losing equal treatment under law. The America described in civics books, in which no one could be convicted or fined except by a jury of his peers for having violated laws passed by elected representatives, started disappearing when the New Deal inaugurated today’s administrative state – in which bureaucrats make, enforce, and adjudicate nearly all the rules. Today’s legal – administrative texts are incomprehensibly detailed and freighted with provisions crafted exquisitely to affect equal individuals unequally. The bureaucrats do not enforce the rules themselves so much as whatever “agency policy” they choose to draw from them in any given case. If you protest any “agency policy” you will be informed that it was formulated with input from “the public.” But not from the likes of you.–

    This is truly one of the most frightening paragraphs in the American Spectator essay. And quite sadly, historically accurate and completely on point.

    elissa (a9ef5a)

  82. Recently on the History Channel, there was an historian commenting on the Fall of the Roman Empire. He remarked that many Romans had no idea that the Empire had fallen, an attitude that prevailed for as long as a century IIRC (my apologies as I forgot the historian’s name).

    Was that James L. O’Donnell? He’s published a book called The Ruin of the Roman Empire, and part of his thesis includes the point you make. He also points out that the standard idea of a barbarian invasion doesn’t really wash; the barbarians were already half Romanized and often came as individuals or small groups going into military service at the invitation of the Roman emperors. It wasn’t so much an invasion as a process of taking over from the Romans when the Roman state could not or would not function in one or another part of the imperial dominions. Unfortunately, about half of the book is marred by an irrational hostility against Justinian (who apparently should have had the same views as a 21st century Georgetown prof, but was an utter failure because he didn’t–at least according to O’Donnell).

    Nor does it help that he chose HarperCollins as his publisher, a company that apparently does not believe in fact checking (no, I’m not referring to Going Rogue; I’m referring to some other books that have appeared under their rubric that ought to have shamed any publisher who believed in a good product), so he comes up with occassional gems such as (in relating the later history of Hadrian’s Tomb aka Castel SantAngelo) identifying Verdi as the composer of Tosca. A truly facepalm moment.

    kishnevi (24fcbf)

  83. It would reach a point where red state America will find it too much to bear, and it will secede.

    The scenario is complicated by the fact that a lot of those prospective Hispanic Democrats live in what are now red states

    DRJ–you are much too good at the art of thinking not to blog at all. Even if it’s only one or two posts a week, you shine a much needed ray of common sense.

    kishnevi (24fcbf)

  84. The History channel would cause both Herodotus and Thucydides to cry, for every good piece on the 300 hundred or Rome, we have all this obscurantist Priory de Sion garbage or mega disasters, who published Bellesiles again, o Doris Kearns after
    the plagiarism accounts

    ian cormac (d28167)

  85. DRJ! I like your bloggings I don’t know any other blogger person what is as discerning as you about when to let the post speak for itself and when to put a bit of spin on it.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  86. both Herodotus and Thucydides

    Make that Gibbon, Parkman and Prescott. The ancient historians had few compunctions about making things up if they needed to in order to tell a good story, or make up facts that fit the version they wanted to present. The only difference was the degree to which they did. Thucydides was one of the better ones, but most of the speeches he attributes to one or another politician, general or statesman were probably written by him, sometimes merely to match what he thought they said but had no transcript of, sometimes to illustrate a point he was trying to make.

    Herodotus would have loved the History Channel–he pretty much threw anything into his book that sounded like a good story.

    kishnevi (24fcbf)

  87. Comment by kishnevi — 7/18/2010 @ 6:22 pm

    Kishnevi, yes, I beleive it was James L. O’Donnell. Thanks.

    I only watched a couple of minutes and just heard that particular remark in passing. No idea of its validity, but your summation was quite good. Thanks.

    Unfortunately, about half of the book is marred by an irrational hostility against Justinian (who apparently should have had the same views as a 21st century Georgetown prof, but was an utter failure because he didn’t–at least according to O’Donnell).

    Heh!

    Pons Asinorum (a2b185)

  88. @ 79 EricPWJohnson:

    Pons
    had nothing absolutely nothing to do with Reagan – it had to do with the rotting corruption of the false fabric of the communist in the USSR.

    You’re right, President Reagan did “absolutely nothing” cuz, you know, powerful regimes just fall apart by themselves, almost like magic.

    Here, have a cookie.

    Pons Asinorum (a2b185)

  89. Pons

    actually it was the poles who started the beginning of the end, the huge drop in oil prices in 85, the growing tade gap and the was in Afghanistan formented open critcism of the government

    The USSR needed the easten block to prop up their failed economy, the poles then the Rumanians refused to ship goods to the motherland sealing the USSR’s fate

    they never responded to Reagan, rightly figuring that he was all talk

    Reagan had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with their collapse – according to the top researchers at MIT

    EricPWJohnson (cedf1d)

  90. Yes, and who supported Solidarnost, and worked with the Saudis to bring oil prices down, and to fund the mujahadeen, who challenged the Soviets move for move

    ian cormac (d28167)

  91. Reagan had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with their collapse – according to the top researchers at MIT

    Comment by EricPWJohnson

    LOL LOL LOL LOL

    The USSR collapsed trying to keep up with Reagan. The massive power of the capitalist system simply outperformed the pathetic power of a fascist statist system.

    Ronald Reagan will be remembered for centuries for his accomplishment, which saved millions of lives, and there’s nothing the moonbat concern trolls can do about it. Actually, they are probably helping.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  92. The list of topics that EricPW has demonstrated his ignorance on is practically endless, and appears to be limitless.

    JD (047c15)

  93. Has Breitbart been indicted yet?

    JD (047c15)

  94. I think Patterico and DRJ should try to bring in another co-blogger. There are a few really strong ‘green room’ posters you could snipe away for a limited period. Maybe Patterico knows an LA Times layoff reporter that could use some exposure.

    DRJ, you say you’re not a blogger at heart as if you aren’t one of the best bloggers blogging. You’re excellent and your work is of significance. If you’re feeling burnt out, at least it’s from doing something that badly needs to be done.

    As far as DRJ’s fear about the nation being completely screwed if Obama manages to replace a conservative jurist, that’s well founded. But things were going to have to get really bad before they got better. Obama has pushed the envelope and I think there’s a real chance to finally cut back the entitlement culture. Voters still want lots of free stuff, but they want a stable economy more.

    Let’s keep the faith.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  95. (@90 EricPWJohnson): Reagan had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with their collapse – according to the top researchers at MIT

    Well, now that you put it in capitols, it makes sense.

    Here, have another cookie.

    Pons Asinorum (a2b185)

  96. DRJ, just a note to say that although I comment infrequently, I thoroughly enjoy your work here. You are valued and appreciated.

    With sincere best wishes,
    Laura

    Laura (82a2e2)

  97. EricPWJohnson’s continuing quest to embarrass himself utterly in as many distinct topics as possible continues … with “Win” on the embarrassment in two, err, no, THREE new categories in this thread alone.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  98. The ancient historians had few compunctions about making things up if they needed to in order to tell a good story, or make up facts that fit the version they wanted to present. The only difference was the degree to which they did.

    Howard Zinn had more in common with the classical historians than I originally thought.

    Another Chris (40ac96)


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