Bootlicking Class Mistaken For Ruling Class By New York Times
In a recent New York Times piece entitled “Why Our Elites Stink,” a number of theses regarding the elite class in the United States are made. Most of these assertions are naive and misguided, as the bootlicking class of scientistts and academics who innovate for control are mistaken for the capstone power-wielders in society. In the very first line, for example, Brooks writes, “through most of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Protestant Establishment sat atop the American power structure.” This is a mis-reading of the true history, as, by the middle of the nineteenth century, European powers had largely insinuated themselves into the American power structure financing the burgeoning, secular ruling class in the US. These powers were largely secular.
To boot, by the 20th century, Protestantism, particularly in the United States, was defined by increasing fragmentation. In this century, a rise of liberal and conservative factions contributed to the splintering of the religion. Even more important, in a larger sense, is that the 20th century was defined spiritually by increasing secularization in the west.
But, Brooks points towards “a relatively small network of white Protestant men dominating the universities, the world of finance, the local country clubs and even high government service.” David Rockefeller was a baptist, a sect of Protestantism, while also sitting on the boards of roughly 40 corporations already in the middle of the nineteenth century. JP Morgan, an episcopalian, sat also on about 40 boards at mid-century. So, it seems that Brooks has put his finger on the United States’ ruling class, but his CONclusions about how this ruling class evolved puts too much emphasis on a waning of the power of the Rockefellers and the Morgans.
As he discusses the new elite, “a more diverse and meritocratic elite,” he fails to get across that the old elite and the new elite are very much the same. He claims that, today, “people are more likely to rise on the basis of grades, test scores, effort and performance.” While the new technocratic elite is very much important to the modern inner-workings of civilizations’ power structure, Brooks is not discussing the true elite here, but, more accuarately, a boot-licking class of scientists, financiers and politicians. The new elite is the old elite, with names like Rockefeller and JPMorgan, and age-old cronies, affecting the way of the world still today. In other words, the “meritocratic elite,” as Brooks refers to the bootlicking class, is owned by the “old boys’ network.” And, that is why, as Brooks writes, “it’s not even clear the brainy elite is doing a better job of running [society] than the old boys’ network.”
Brooks writes about Christopher Hayes’ take on the elite class (read: the bootlicking class):
Christopher Hayes of MSNBC and The Nation believes that the problem is inherent in the nature of meritocracies. In his book, “Twilight of the Elites,” he argues that meritocratic elites may rise on the basis of grades, effort and merit, but, to preserve their status, they become corrupt. They create wildly unequal societies, and then they rig things so that few can climb the ladders behind them. Meritocracy leads to oligarchy.
More, accurately, the increasing importance of scientists and second-tier bankers to the system has resulted in an oligarchy beneath the oligarchy. While the meritocratic elite might live elite lifestyles, they are by no means the ruling class. The bootlicking classes highly specialized nature prevents many bootlickers from seeing the greater scheme of which they partake. As Brooke writes: “If you read the e-mails from the Libor scandal you get the same sensation you get from reading the e-mails in so many recent scandals: these people are brats; they have no sense that they are guardians for an institution the world depends on; they have no consciousness of their larger social role.”
That is because they are not supposed to have the consciousness of a larger social role. That is for “the old boys’ network,” not the bootlicking classes. And that is the true reason our elites stink.