The Hostile Elite and Social Cohesion- An Elaborated Background and History

There have been lots of great comments about taking action, but I would like to talk more about the relationship of the elite to the white masses, particularly over the last hundred years or so.

The term “hostile elite” seems to come from Kevin McDonald, but it’s an idea widely held in what Moldbug would broadly call “democratic” politics- the non-aristocratic politics of modern times. The original hostile elite, as perceived by the Protestant Reformers, was the Catholic clergy and hierarchy, in England to include the aristocracy not sufficiently with the program. In the French and Russian Revolution it included the church and the aristocracy. In American populism it was the Eastern bankers and business elite. In all these events the idea was that the hostile elite was some kind of an anomaly, that the elite would be overthrown or in the case of populism, restrained by law.

Such elite as existed afterwards would be an enlightened one without negative influence on society, quite the opposite it would lead wisely, gently and bravely. American social democracy in the form of the New Deal had the novel idea of creating a new elite largely out of the old one, in the guise of taking positive responsibility for the welfare of society. Franklin Roosevelt is approvingly described as a “traitor to his class” by leftist historians, but he was no such thing, just a savvy marketer.

Fascism and falangism take the more realistic approach that there are always going to be classes in society, and the purpose of politics should be to make them work effectively together for the good of all. That is another subject altogether however.

No society will admit itself having a hostile elite, although its intellectuals will bravely point out the hostile elite of others. People who say their own society has a hostile elite tend to be regarded as real soreheads. In the Soviet Union this put you in jail or a mental hospital; in modern Russia they just beat you up or shoot you. In the West we of course have freedom of speech, social ostracism serves the same purpose even more effectively because being mocked and humiliated does not make one a martyr.

Here’s the thing, though- throughout history people have never thought it was abnormal for the elite to be hostile, or a threat to their own interests. It was assumed to be the normal state of things, and people organized themselves to look after their own welfare.

Some years ago I was at an event held in an Elks club building. I was talking with a man from South Africa, a rich man who had recently left with his money. He asked me, “What is this thing, the Elks?” I told him it was a fraternal organization, of a type common in the US, such as the Moose- he chuckled at this, and I was a bit hurt, as my grandfather was not only a member of the Loyal Order of Moose, he was lodge president.

To the modern mind, these organizations- the Elks, the Moose, the Shriners with their fezes and little cars- are pretty silly. But pre-New Deal, life was rough, work was dangerous, and nobody looked out for the working man but the working man. There was little welfare, no food stamps, no Medicaid, no workers compensation, no worker safety laws and no legal recourse for injury or death on the job. Grandpa worked in sawmills his whole life. He lost a couple of fingers in the process. Losing a limb or getting killed was a real and constant possibility for men working in logging, mining, fishing, and heavy industry. The Moose provided (and still provide) an orphanage for the children of members who have died, and a retirement home for members. These organizations were a product of the industrial age, but had their roots in England in such “friendly societies” as the Oddfellows, the Foresters and the Shepherds.

Social turmoil, combined with an egregiously hostile, predatory, and exploitative elite will produce the need to band together for mutual benefit and protection. Early Christianity seems largely to have been formed for this purpose, against a hostile and predatory Roman elite exploiting the population with tax collectors and a hostile and predatory Jewish religious elite exploiting the population with temple and religious fees.

At their peak in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the workingmen’s associations started to be portrayed as quaint anachronisms by the 1950’s. On the 50’s sitcom “The Honeymooners” Ralph (a bus driver) and Ed (a sewer worker) belonged to the Raccoon Lodge, a club with silly rituals played up for laughs, that seemed to exist mainly to get the poor guys away from the tyranny of their wives-

The New Deal offered the white working class a broad variety of benefits, in return for their loyalty to the enlightened elite. Now looked after by the best, brightest, and most sophisticated retrograde loyalties to neighborhood, church, ethnic group and trade hardly seemed necessary any more.

Social democracy offered something much grander, as we see in this song from an early 60’s Broadway musical-

As I have said, that was the genius of the New Deal- to co-opt and disarm the white working class.

This was part of a larger trend, but not the whole story. Robert Putnam’s study of the breakdown of American community, “Bowling Alone” is loved by conservatives for its observation that diversity reduces social cohesion. Putnam shows, but does not really explain, the change in American society over the 20th century.

The replacement of such social networks as church, neighborhood and lodge- all largely ethnic and thus racial- by the promise of government support was a beginning. The fact that the former broke down under severe economic stress got this started. But as prosperity returned, non-elite whites became not just secure again but prosperous, either as unionized factory workers or office workers. The union man had a workingmen’s organization, but it was an economic and above all political organization, a deep shade of pink if not red, and explicitly anti-racist. The office worker identified with his corporation and its management. They did different work, but they were both capitalist workers and capitalist consumers. The destruction of the ethnic neighborhood gave the process a final push. The virulent “anti-racism” instituted in the 60’s made white racial consciousness unacceptable.

This new way of life- the alienated, isolated, individualistic suburban consumer- was nice while it lasted. It didn’t last long. These two economic roles- the office worker and factory worker- are mostly gone, through outsourcing, downsizing, automation and computerization. These were partly rational business decisions but also simply ruthless cost-cutting driven by hostility towards people who made up the costs.

The newer economic system is gone, and meanwhile the old support networks have faded away. Lodges still exist, but they are mostly made up of a few old people. Ethnic societies still exist, but mostly focus on nice but irrelevant things like folk dancing. Mainline churches enforce the elite’s norms and control; evangelical churches collect their members money, often demanding large amounts, to send to Africa.

The goal of most people who claim to represent non-elite whites, typically refered to as conservatives, is to gain political control of the system and restore prosperity and freedom to them. We are back to where we started from- overthrowing a hostile elite. It’s a worthy goal but I’m not holding my breath for it to succeed. We need to go back to where people have been for centuries- 1) the elite is hostile and 2) you must find a way to look out for yourself and people like you.


About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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13 Responses to The Hostile Elite and Social Cohesion- An Elaborated Background and History

  1. Pingback: Daily Linkage – July 14, 2012 | The Second Estate

  2. Columnist says:

    “In the West we of course have freedom of speech, social ostracism serves the same purpose even more effectively because being mocked and humiliated does not make one a martyr.”

    Ironically, the welfare state somewhat protects against this. As soon as Conservatives dismantle the welfare state, the informal networks return. So the Left has a hard time to win.

  3. mindweapon says:

    Great point, thrasymachus.

    I’m bringing a bread making machine to a poor family today, going to show them how to do something so quaint as to bake one’s own bread, albeit with a machine, and buy things in bulk such as flour, oil, peanut butter and jelly from Costco or the Mormon Bishop’s Storehouse. Five years ago, such people would have dismissed me as a crackpot — they had enough hours at their crappy jobs to maintain their laziness and apathy. Now things are getting serious — they are getting their electricity shut off, they are going hungry.

    I hope I can get the Radical Thrift movement to go viral among the working White poor. These White kids (non college edumucated) are making 7.25 an hour and only getting part time work,, while illegal immigrant Brazilians at the local dairy farms are making 15 an hour plus over time.

  4. Heil Hizzle Mein Nizzle says:

    “the elite is hostile and 2) you must find a way to look out for yourself and people like you.”

    But the problem, and the contradiction, seems to be that the hostile elite knows how to rain the bennies down upon the heads of the people it controls. They’ll give you free meal vouchers, healthcare, student loans, subsidies, WIC and SNAP, maternity leave, prenatal care, etc.

    The non-elite are sort of like children in a household with an abusive father. They know he’s wrong, and they’re tired of being beaten, but they’re not going to eat or get clothes on their back without his help. And the worst part of it is that you never get to turn 18 and fly the coop.

  5. Pingback: Linkage Is Good For You – 7-15-12 | Society of Amateur Gentlemen

  6. This is Moldbug’s favorite slice of not-so-old history for JUSTIFIED reasons.,9171,801396,00.html

    Read and behold! Where be the Jews here?

  7. RS says:

    > And the worst part of it is that you never get to turn 18 and fly the coop.

    But the coop, the bennies, are set to collapse. All the people I see at walmart, almost all SW Asian or mestizo or something, can’t build the walmart and its contents, can’t build the cars they got there in.

    Long before benefits collapse entirely, Whites will already be squeezed off of the rolls by and large — and/or the average value of the benefits per recipient will decline further and further, especially for the likes of Whites. Rather few Whites have a 2.3 sigma low (for Whites) level of Conscientiousness, but at this point a fair fraction of the USA’s population does meet one or both of those descriptions — a much larger fraction than when I was born. This fraction not only has been but still is, and will be, growing — and they will be the ones monopolizing most of the bennies, being the most incapable.

    At some point the bennies will consist largely of food and basic health care. Some people will live in shanties or squats, and will die if and when they stand in need of fine health care.

    • RS says:

      was supposed to be: Rather few Whites have a 2.3 sigma low (for Whites) level of Conscientiousness, but at this point a fair fraction of the USA’s population does meet one or both of those descriptions

      • RS says:

        Oh, I’m messing it up by using greater than and less than signs.

        It was supposed to be: Rather few Whites have an IQ below 65, or a level of Conscientiousness below 2.3-sigma-(for Whites)-low, but at this point a fair fraction of the USA’s population does meet one or both of these descriptions

  8. Columnist says:

    In a way, the powerful Jews, like George Soros, use Muslims to keep powerless Jews like Pamela Geller, down. In the Gulf States, non-Muslim mercenaries are used to keep the common Muslim down. So we see a pattern.

  9. Pingback: Social Capital and Disaster Survival | Deconstructing Leftism

  10. Pingback: A New European Fraternal Organization | Deconstructing Leftism

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