This includes an interesting discussion of Angelo Codevilla’s theory of the ruling class. I have my differences with Codevilla (mostly because he’s too partisan right-leaning and not nearly radical enough), but his perspective is worth checking out, although I would suggest doing so within the context of a wider examination of elite theory generally.
By Dan Phillips
The reaction of the ruling elite and their minions in official conservadom to the Donald Trump surge is best characterized as a hissy fit, an extended temper tantrum that the GOP base isn’t doing what they want them to. The elite and their gatekeepers can’t seem to figure out why Trump is surging and why the peons who support him won’t listen to their betters. What is more puzzling is why they didn’t see this coming and why it hasn’t happen sooner. The writing has been on the wall for a while.
Anyone who wants to understand the Trump phenomenon should read the book The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do About It by Angelo Codevilla. It was first published as a rather longish essay in the American Spectator magazine. It was so well received that American Spectator updated it, added an introduction by Rush Limbaugh and published it as a book.
At first glance, Codevilla perhaps seems like an unlikely candidate to write such a book. Arguably a member of the ruling class himself, he was first an influential government employee before moving on to the Hover Institute think tank and then to Boston University as a professor of international relations. With a Ph.D from the Claremont Graduate School and a history of foreign policy hawkishness, he was also perceived as at least somewhat neoconish. My impression is that he may have backed away from his hawkishness a bit in the last few years, but where exactly Codevilla stands on foreign policy is beyond the scope of this essay. Suffice it to say that regardless of Codevilla’s own shaky credentials as a pitchfork-wielding man of the people, his insights in the book ring true and are much appreciated.