Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Our Elite Aren't

Now that the Cenotaph sleaze has been identified as Charlie 'Comfortably Scum' Gilmore, we can at least dispose of one myth about the university system. No, the problem is not just folks at Fulchester Uni doing degrees in surfing. In so far as Gilmore is an Oxbridge student, he's supposedly as good as it gets.

And yes, in so far as Oxbridge is apparently struggling with the difficult question of whether or not to even suspend him (from college, not from a tree), I think we can ditch the whole 'tiny minority' defence too. In fact, I'm about ready to start a sweepstake on who'll be the first member of the cult to claim that people only criticise Charlie because they're too stoopid to appreciate the subtle nuances of his position.

All of which is by way of saying that I'm starting to think the credit crunch isn't Britain's biggest problem.

Turns out Whiskey has been thinking along the same lines, albeit in a US context:
The Ivy League and "meritocratic" elites are resented because they've failed...

Outside of Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton, both of whom left festering problems of Islamic terror, to crop up with later Presidents, nearly every President since Eisenhower has been nothing but an abject failure. Amiable dunces, lecturing and preening moralizers, devious compilers of enemies lists, or all three in the case of Obama. Jeff Zucker, Harvard University, ran NBC into the ground. The Sulzberger family has made the NYT a national joke, destroying shareholder value not seen since the AOL-Time-Warner deal.

Ordinary people have given about fifty years to the elites, and have nothing to show for it but a ruined economy, cheap Chinese electronic junk, declining real wages since the 1970's, mass immigration turning them into sudden (and discriminated against) minorities in their own country, and the prospect of even more of the same. Meanwhile, the elites have put up a "No Ordinary Whites Allowed" sign in the means to entry into the elites: the Ivies and near Ivies.
A good comment by Novaseeker too:
This blind spot may be what causes the left to dig its grave, politically. They simply do not *understand* the real source of rightist populism (instead labeling it as being based on fear, which it isn't ... it's based on resentment at some Ivy-League jackass telling them what to do, as if he is better than they are -- because he *isn't*, he just has a degree
Actually, it cuts both ways. It isn't only that people don't respect a guy just because he has an Ivy League/Oxbridge degree, it's that these guys don't bring anything else to the table, and don't think they should even have to: they're super smart, what more do you need? Pay no attention to the wrecked nation behind the curtain.

That's the bottom line: from the Romans claiming no man is fit to command who cannot command himself, to the Victorian obsession with inculcating 'Officer-Like Qualities' into their schoolboys, to be elite was a matter of duty as much as privilege. Now? Not so much.

Consider Oxbridge's previous favourite baby seal. The most disturbing thing is these guys aren't asking for special treatment, so much as assuming it is the natural way of the world. Even the worst scumbag of a Victorian squire wouldn't go into print to defend his right to shoot at peasants without consequences.

The idea that privilege and rank is supposed to, at the least, confer a duty not to act out like a spoilt brat rather than a right to do so without consequences has apparently gone the way of the powdered wig.

Actually, I take it all back: Charlie is a hero after all. He's the giant turkey in the mine, telling us just how worthless is our alleged elite.

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