Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The American Ruling Class

This is an interesting article that, I think, illustrates both the strengths and limitations of modern “conservative” critiques of the new ruling class. Angelo Codevilla’s theory was half-right.
“Some scholars such as Charles Murray and political commentators such as Ben Shapiro and Tucker Carlson have come to use the term “ruling class” or “new ruling class” of this pan-institutional and bipartisan elite. They define class as a matter of power and attitudes, differences in access to government and education, habits, and tastes. In contrast, Marxists saw the central divide as one between owners of capital and those who worked for them—capitalists and wage-workers or, in previous class societies, between slaves and slave-owners, or feudal lords and serfs.”
And they’re both right. Traditional conservatives have long objected to the cultural framework associated with bourgeois capitalism (which they identify with the decadent and culturally philistine rule of the merchant class) and traditional socialists have objected to the socio-economic framework, which they identify with the exploitation and immiseration of the working class. American-style conservatives have always been something of an anomaly because they’re not really conservatives but bourgeois liberals. But the transformation of capitalism from classical bourgeois capitalism to managerial capitalism to digital capitalism over the past century has produced a parallel cultural revolution. The cultural framework and institutions that modern American conservatives object to are the product of digital capitalism, the “Information Age” and related economic and technological trends.

By Paul Adams,  Epoch Times

Those who control our institutions and both parties, the commanding heights of the economy, politics, and culture, comprise an elite with shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and power. They dominate universities, media, education, big business, big sport, and Hollywood.

Some scholars such as Charles Murray and political commentators such as Ben Shapiro and Tucker Carlson have come to use the term “ruling class” or “new ruling class” of this pan-institutional and bipartisan elite. They define class as a matter of power and attitudes, differences in access to government and education, habits, and tastes. In contrast, Marxists saw the central divide as one between owners of capital and those who worked for them—capitalists and wage-workers or, in previous class societies, between slaves and slave-owners, or feudal lords and serfs.

America’s Ruling Class

The political philosopher, former senior intelligence official, and critic of the main schools of foreign policy Angelo Codevilla died in a traffic accident on Sept. 21, 2021. In addition to his books, articles, and speeches on statecraft and the foreign policy establishment, Codevilla provided an influential conservative analysis of the central class divide in the United States. He published a brilliant and prescient essay (and later book) in 2010 that laid out his view of America’s ruling class.

Codevilla emphasizes the power and attitude of the new ruling class—its conviction of its own moral and intellectual superiority and its utter contempt for the rest of society.

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