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The New Feudal Lords

30 November 2013 @ 17:24

Long-time readers of these Dispatches know that I usually take a break from serious postings on the Thanksgiving Day Weekend to give both you all and me a few days-off from all the mishegas we have to live with in The Age Of King Barack The Unready, but the issue discussed here seems worth breaking my tradition over…

Over at Protein Wisdom, Darleen Click quotes from an article by Charlotte Allen, published in The Weekly Standard and entitled, Silicon Chasm: The Class Divide On America’s Cutting Edge.

This was the section of the quoted article that struck me:

Master and servant. Cornucopian wealth for a few tech oligarchs plus relatively steady but relatively low-paying work for their lucky retainers. No middle class, unless the top 5 percent U.S. income bracket counts as middle class. Silicon Valley is a tableau vivant of what many economists and professional futurologists say is the coming fate of America itself, a fate to which Americans, if they can’t embrace it as some futurologists hope, should at least resign themselves. […]

In other words, what is coming is the “new feudalism,” a phrase coined by Chapman University urban studies professor Joel Kotkin, a prolific media presence whose New Geography website is an outlet for the trend’s most vocal critics. “It’s a weird Upstairs, Downstairs world in which there’s the gentry, and the role for everybody else is to be their servants,” Kotkin said in a telephone interview. “The agenda of the gentry is to force the working class to live in apartments for the rest of their lives and be serfs. But there’s a weird cognitive dissonance. Everyone who says people ought to be living in apartments actually lives in gigantic houses or has multiple houses.” […]

In the Comments section of Darleen’s post, GeoffB remarks:

Across much of the world and for almost all of the time of human society there were only two classes of people as defined by wealth and power. The very rich and powerful and the poor. Places where there arose a middle class which made it possible for people to transition upwards from the ranks of the poor to the wealthy/powerful have always been the exception and exceptional as societies.

One of the goals of the ideology that is expressed here today in the person of Obama is the destruction of the traditional middle class which is entrepreneurial, risk taking, small business people. They are to be replaced, in the class structure, by government functionaries who will be making roughly the same income but have a completely different way of looking, relating to the world.

The destruction and replacement of the bourgeoisie by the nomenclatura is on track.

And that train is picking-up speed.

The feudal system suits the Elite just fine because they know that it is the Middle Class Mentality that drives the desire for preserving, protecting, and defending freedom and liberty.

Of course, this new feudalism will be modernized. I think their goal is a softer-appearing version of the structure of the society of Oceania, found in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Also: at least in the old Feudal System, many of the Lords and Ladies felt restrained by the Hand Of God. The Modern Feudalists see themselves as gods, believing, as it must follow, that they are wise in all things.

One of our goals in our struggle to restore our freedoms and liberties, it seems to me, is to bring about the destruction of the Elite Establishment, which is like melanoma in it’s insidiousness.

We have been declared Enemies Of The State and the Feudalists will do whatever it takes to eliminate us, whether by goading the Dependent Class to violence against us or by using their Power And Control to force us to become Proles, ala Orwell’s nightmare scenario [Darleen provides an example in another post here].

Enslavement or Death means we must either Join Or Die.


The theories of Locke and Helvétius permit intellectuals to claim status as mankind’s “educators” in the broadest sense of that word. They are the repository of reason, which they believe to be always superior to experience. While mankind gropes in darkness, they, the “illuminati,” know the path to virtue and, through virtue, to happiness. This whole conception puts intellectuals at odds with the rest of humanity. Ordinary people, in pursuit of their livelihood, acquire specific knowledge relevant to their particular occupation under the specific conditions in which they have to practice it. Their intelligence (reasoning) expresses itself in the ability to cope with such problems as they happen personally to confront: in the words of William James, in attaining “some particular conclusion or … gratifying] some special curiosity … which it is the reasoner’s temporary interest to attain.” The farmer understands the climatic and other requirements for his crops: knowledge that may be of little use in another place and useless in another occupation. The real estate agent knows the value of properties in his area. The politician has a sense of the aspirations and worries of his constituents. Societies function thanks to the immense variety of the concrete kinds of knowledge accumulated from experience by the individuals and groups that constitute them.

Intellectuals and intellectuals alone claim to know things “in general.” By creating “sciences” of human affairs—economic science, political science, sociology—they establish principles said to be validated by the very “nature” of things. This claim entitles them to demand that existing practices be abandoned and existing institutions destroyed. It was the genius of Burke to grasp the premises and consequences of this kind of thinking, as expressed in the slogans and actions of the French Revolution, and to insist, in response to this experience, that where human affairs are concerned, things never exist in “general” but only in particular (“Nothing is good, but in proportion, and with Reference” [14. Alfred Cobban and Robert A. Smith, eds., The Correspondence of Edmund Burke, VI (Cambridge, 1967), 47.]), and abstract thinking is the worst possible guide to conduct.

—Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution, Chapter 4 – The Intelligensia

  1. 30 November 2013 @ 18:33 18:33

    Nice work. A very important theme. I like Codevilla’s magisterial piece at Spectator as well:

  2. M. Thompson permalink
    30 November 2013 @ 23:39 23:39

    Lassez les bon temps roulez…

    Hopefully, a nice big quake can take care of them.

  3. 30 November 2013 @ 23:50 23:50

    Everyone who says people ought to be living in apartments actually lives in gigantic houses or has multiple houses.

    I can’t tell you how many upper middle class urban liberals I’ve listened to moan about the death of the inner city and then propose some scheme to try to cajole, guilt, or force other people to move from the ‘burbs to the core. What they don’t realize is that if you’re not upper middle (or upper) class, the city is an expensive and shitty place to live. But don’t try to explain that to them because not only does it serve their lifestyle to have the Morlocks close by, it makes them feel all fuzzy and warm inside knowing that the servant class is stacked up all nice and neat in boxes not using up so many resources with a consumerist lifestyle. I mean, c’mon! If the peasants own their own land, they might start to think they have a right to a say in how things are run. They can’t have that.

    You know that sprawl and things like the “exurbs” are the right things to do when you see upper middle class liberals seething over them.

  4. 01 December 2013 @ 21:41 21:41

    This is somewhat apropos, taken from a book on Hollywood folks:

    “Katharine Hepburn always laughed whenever Spencer Tracy told the story of his visit to her family home in Connecticut. One night at dinner, the outspoken actress got into a lively argument with her father Doc Hepburn about how to best help the less fortunate. Tired of their moralizing, Tracy went out to the porch for a smoke. After a couple of puffs, he looked up to see a very lost, very timid-looking Mexican fisherman who had somehow stumbled onto the property. Tracy yelled inside, “Hey, better get another plate ready in there, the poor are here to collect.” Old man Hepburn came out on the porch. “Hey you, get the hell out of here! I’ll sic the dogs on you.” After the frightened trespasser ran away, Thomas Hepburn told the startled Tracy, “Got to get the alarms fixed.” Then the men went back inside, and the family resumed their discussion on aiding society’s downtrodden.”

    Schochet, Stephen (2010-02-20). Hollywood Stories: a Book about Celebrities, Movie Stars, Gossip, Directors, Famous People, History, and more! (p. 268). Hollywood Stories Publishing. Kindle Edition.


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