Let’s begin with a quote from which the rest of this post will naturally follow:
Oddly enough, it is the intellectual snobbery and elitism of many of the literati that politically correct egalitarianism appeals to; their partiality to literary Marxism is based not on its economic theory but on its hostility to business and the middle class. The character of this anti-bourgeois sentiment therefore has more in common with its origin in aristocratic disdain for the lower orders than with egalitarianism.
– John M. Ellis
Most of my readers are likely personally familiar with this attitude. Debate a Leftist on social media and prepare yourself for a barrage of insults. You are ignorant, uneducated, immoral, hateful, and many other horrible, terrible things. The implication, of course, is that they are not these things. They are superior to you, better than you, more moral, more intelligent, etc…
Some time ago on Twitter, a self-declared Socialist explained to me that my car, a 2015 Mustang, was so plebeian. It was, he declared, entirely common. Anybody could afford the payments, he said (that I disdain auto loans and bought mine in cash never entered his mental calculations). I found this utterly fascinating, for Socialists usually claim to be acting for the common man. How could the word “common” thus be insulting?
Ocasio-Cortez became something of a meme after some enterprising reddit user humorously tabulated the cost of the various high fashion items she was wearing, while representing herself as a woman of the working class:
Because, as we know, the common man (or woman) wears a $3500 outfit. This tied in rather neatly with the Twitter Socialist decrying my automobile as too common. A proper Socialist would undoubtedly only drive a Ferrari or something. Ocasio-Cortez defended this by claiming the clothing was lent to her from the fashion industry. That doesn’t make it any better. Rich champagne Socialists are jumping on her bandwagon and dressing her as one of them? More elitists to tell you that the common man sucks.
The essence of modern Socialism is thus a carefully calculated message: “I’m better than you, neener-neener.” Everything they say is tainted with this. Pull up an article on any Left-leaning outlet and see it for yourself. Michael Crichton coined the term the Gell-Mann Effect to explain how people could be so blind to media stupidity. Perhaps we can coin a new term to refer to the Left’s smug superiority complex.
We could call it the Ocasio-Cortez Effect.
Socialism appeals to the very poor and the very wealthy. The very poor, of course, are jumping on the train because elitist Socialists are promising them a mountain of free shit. We can understand, and to some extent even forgive, their support of the far Left. The wealthy Socialists have a different conception of things, something Thomas Sowell explained quite clearly:
The almost universal disdain toward the middle class — the bourgeoisie — by those with cosmic visions can be more readily understood in light of the role of such visions as personal gratification and personal license. The middle classes have been classically people of rules, traditions, and self-discipline, to a far greater extent than the underclass below them or the wealthy and aristocratic classes above them. While the underclass pay the price of not having the self-discipline of the bourgeoisie — in many ways, ranging from poverty to imprisonment — the truly wealthy and powerful can often disregard the rules, including laws, without paying the consequences. Those with cosmic visions that seek escape from social constraints regarded as arbitrary, rather than inherent, tend to romanticize the unruliness of the underclass and the sense of being above the rules found among the elite.
– Thomas Sowell
Only someone far removed from the reality of the world could truly believe something like Socialism could work on an intellectual level. Marxist thinking is a disease that is precisely tailored to infect the mind of the intellectual elitist – after all, Marx himself was one such. Rationalizing absurdity is the province of an arrogant mind disconnected from the consequences (as Taleb would say, someone without skin in the game), not necessarily a stupid one. It takes someone far removed from the consequences of his actions to believe objective reality could be made subservient to subjective whims.
Socialists are a collective mirror of Xerxes trying to whip the sea into obedience. That’s the sort of thing only a smug, self-entitled, angry, and dare I say childish individual could possibly come up with. But stupid? No, not stupid. No doubt Xerxes had some twisted, self-satisfied rationalization for why the gods would obey him, should he do those things.
Or maybe he was just a petulant child. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between a smug elitist and a child throwing a temper tantrum. When you see Antifas lighting garbage cans on fire and breaking windows while screaming “FUCK TRUUUUUUMP”, know that you’re seeing a lesser version of Xerxes having the sea whipped.
Look at the Socialists out there today, with their Starbucks coffee, Apple iPhones, and mountains of debt. They say they are better than you. They say they are smarter, more moral, more fashionable, etc… They would never be caught dead with a common product, naturally. Nor would they be caught dead with the common working man. Coal miners? Fuck those guys! Plumbers? Electricians? Line workers? So plebeian!
I bet they drive Mustangs. And they probably don’t even wear Gucci! So passe.
Is it any wonder working and middle class folks came out in support of Trump in such a big way? Decades worth of Leftists were shitting on the common working class man, and finally they had enough. Once the Left at least pretended to like these people, to fight for them. Now they only fight for foreigners. Send truckloads of illegals, refugees, and whoever else they can possibly ship over the border and give them as much free shit as possible. Provided, of course, that they vote for Socialists. Socialists with Prada bags, presumably.
That’s always the bargain. If Mexicans voted like Cubans, Obama would have built walls that put Babylon and the Great Wall of China to shame. They’d have been thicker and taller than the Theodosian walls of Constantinople.
Do what your betters say. Obey. It’s an affliction that even makes itself known on the nominal right. Tom Nichols is a big fan of obeying the experts because they are better than you. And by experts, he is really referring to technocrats. Most technocrats, of course, lean Socialist.
I will close with one quote the anointed experts, self-avowed champagne Socialists, and Ferrari drivers should take note of:
Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.
– Thomas Jefferson
The Founders knew perfectly well the dangers of Socialism… long before it was even called by that name. Government by anointed elitists who know better than you is as ancient as the historical record.
Probably more, actually.