James Poulos, at Ricochet.com, provides a timely redefinition of the concept of class – no longer based on income, family background or social status but on being in or out of government. He thus describes, to a T, the typical ruling class of a socialist country. The only thing I would change is the term itself: we are no longer talking about a class but about a caste.
Being in government means a lot of things. You are “in.” You are overwhelmingly a member of one particular party (or perhaps the only authorized Party). You are essentially above the rule of law except when you have served your purpose, become embarrassing or discontented – even perchance grown a conscience! – and they need to “get” you. You have a secure income, perks and special privileges far above those of the ruled caste. You are extremely well organized (or, if you will, “owned and operated”) by battalions of disciplined and ruthless community organizers. You always see yourself and your caste as the true benefactors of “the people” and, because of the in-caste intellectual inbreeding, you soon begin to believe it. You have become – the nomenklatura, aptly described as a fossilized elite.
The outcome is that, being so invested in the system, you are extraordinarily loyal and will do literally anything to maintain your status. Any threat, real or perceived, any hint of opposition from the “untouchables” (that’s you and me, who are not “in”) is reason enough to whip up hysteria and call out the people’s militia.
In Mr. Poulos’ own words:
Anyone who responds to the current crisis by anointing unionized employees of the government as the epitome of ‘the working man’ is placing themselves, and I really do not say this lightly, at the mercy of socialism — not just as an intellectual theory, but as an emotional promise of happiness. There has never been a viable, durable Labor Party in the US. But neither has the government class ever been so big or faced such an existential threat.
And so…it makes sense to watch the fascinating things that are happening in Wisconsin these days. The governor had decided that the only way to prevent a statewide economic meltdown is to clip the wings of the ruling caste by depriving them of some of their perks. True to form, all “in” members of the legislature had fled the state to ensure paralysis due to lack of quorum. The community organizer brigades had quickly descended on Madison: even our infantile community organizer-in-chief put in a good word for them. Various unions showed up in force to support their embattled government caste brothers and sisters. Teachers cut class and dragged many of their students with them. Doctors showed up to give protesters fake medical chits, including the new Walker pneumonia diagnosis, to ensure the protesters wouldn’t get in trouble at work. In a word, we’re watching a classical socialist evolution by the privileged caste to stop progress and, in so doing, to make things so difficult that a manufactured consensus demand for “stronger leadership,” i.e. some kind of dictatorship, will emerge at the end of the day.
The drama now being enacted in Madison would have a strong coloring of Gilbert and Sullivan if we didn’t have a century’s worth of tragic data showing just how destructive the government ruling caste (with its proverbial running dogs) can be. One can only hope that there is enough intelligent people in Wisconsin to put a stop to this nonsense. The Tea Party is a good start, but it isn’t enough. Imagine the runaway legislators being recalled for dereliction of duty and new ones being elected in their stead!