A Matter of Interpretation

I was reading an article/opinion piece on Class and the New Economy.

I didn’t disagree with the basic idea that the younger, Elite-educated crowd tends to cluster in a few Way-Left cities. The writer mentions – San Jose, San Francisco, Washington, Austin, L.A., and New York as the most stratified by occupation.

The creative class has converted cultural attainment into economic privilege and vice versa. It controls what Jonathan Rauch describes in his new book, The Constitution of Knowledge, as the epistemic regime—the massive network of academics and analysts who determine what is true. Most of all, it possesses the power of consecration; it determines what gets recognized and esteemed, and what gets disdained and dismissed. The web, of course, has democratized tastemaking, giving more people access to megaphones. But the setters of elite taste still tend to be graduates of selective universities living in creative-class enclaves. If you feel seen in society, that’s because the creative class sees you; if you feel unseen, that’s because this class does not.”

I do have some argument with the bolded line – I can’t honestly call what dreck has taken over the media as “Cultural Attainment”. We’ve hardly been living in an age of High Culture. If you turn on your TV, you’d be hard put to find anything worth watching (even Public TV dips heavily into retro, nature, travel, and cooking shows).

Oddly, David Brooks is under the erroneous impression that those in the Elite class can seamlessly move between classes.

Wrong. I’ve been around those people, and – unless you are a privileged minority – you will notice barely-disguised amusement at our taste in music, food, or humor. That is, unless we cross some invisible line, and that amusement turns to horror, disgust, and contempt.

But make no mistake – Brooks is a perfect example of his class – and, his contempt is clear:

“The working class today vehemently rejects not just the creative class but the epistemic regime that it controls. In revolt, populist Trump voters sometimes create their own reality, inventing absurd conspiracy theories and alternative facts about pedophile rings among the elites who they believe disdain them.”

Absurd conspiracy theories? Like Russiagate? The idea that Trump was planning an insurrection? That he was conspiring with Ukraine to get his hands on bribes?

That, underneath every Trump vote lay a white-sheeted, fag-bashing, womyn-oppressing bigot?

That the ONLY reason that we recoil at the violent, destructive riots is because we hate Black people?

That the ONLY reason we want the border defended, and illegal intruders returned is because we’re deeply suspicious of “them foreigners who cain’t even speak good English and take OUR jobs!”

Oh, please.

That stereotyping of those who oppose you on principled philosophical grounds is SO last century!

“The bobos believe in human dignity and classical liberalism—free speech, open inquiry, tolerance of different viewpoints, personal autonomy, and pluralism—but our class has not delivered for the people outside it.”

Or, as we-uns would say, they believe in those things for THEMSELVES.

Not for the average person.

There’s a whole lot of that “The only reason you cretins don’t get on board with everything that benefits us and a few of our less-privileged allies is because you’re not smart enough to understand that it’s in your best interest.”

Hint: it’s NOT in our best interest.


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  1. I’ve never thought much of Brooks and his ilk, but the truly absurd thing about them is their assumption of superior intelligence. Any Liberty’s Torch Co-Conspirator could give them a stack of IQ points and still wipe the floor with them in a contest of the intellect. But such presumption is often found among those with an emotional need to feel superior to others, in the absence of objective reasons to think so.

    The typical Brooksoid elitist has very little of substance to his name. Academic credentials? These days they’re bought and sold rather than earned. Show me one who can solve a simple simultaneous-motion problem, or find the roots of an arbitrary quadratic equation. By and large they have little beyond a certain verbal adroitness.

    “Creative” accomplishments? Contemporary “literary” fiction is unreadable,  soporific, emetic, or both. Contemporary art, sculpture, and “serious” music are outright garbage. I’ve frequently entertained the notion that the elite’s notion of “high culture” is “anything that shocks the bourgeoisie:” offensive garbage that prides itself on being offensive.

    Elites are often merely gaggles of the privileged who reassure one another that they “belong” in the elite. The contemporary Brooksoid elite is worse than most, being both useless and contemptuously arrogant. Ultimately it will find its proper level: somewhere below the street peddlers of knockoff handbags and watches and others who perform minimal services to the general public.

    • ontoiran on August 5, 2021 at 2:05 PM

    i couldn’t finish reading that bilge. some people think an awful lot of themselves in spite of the faact that they can’t feed themselves.

  2. It is what John Darbyshire called the Cold Civil War between the Cloud People and the Dirt People.  Since the time of the English Civil War – perhaps before – they have hated us.  With what you said here and Mr. Porretto did also in the post just before, is that now they control all the organs of government, academia, entertainment, and “news,” at long last they have it within their grasp to kill us all.
    The ZMan mentions this often on his blog:  “We are ruled by people who hate us and want us dead.  When they talk about killing you and raping your children, they are not kidding.”
    War is upon us and Heritage America sleeps.

    • Hudson H Luce on August 6, 2021 at 12:38 AM

    It’s so funny that those people do not realize that their lifestyle depends on many people doing things for them – fixing toilets and plumbing, keeping sewers and sanitation plants going, making electricity, transporting it to them, keeping the water supply going, collecting the garbage, keeping them fed – all of which class of people would be in the class Brooks despises. His intellect is very shallow and limited, he knows nothing about interdependency and systems, all of which can be very fragile, very interruptible. All that has to happen is for the electricity to go out for 10 days – and he and his are sunk…

    • furball321 on August 6, 2021 at 1:41 AM

    Very well said, Linda. (Not that you need my confirmation, but I wanted you to know you’re appreciated.)

    (You, too, Fran.) 🙂

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