Angelo Codevilla; Wow

(Via The Other McCain)

Angelo M. Codevilla, Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Boston University, has written an excellent article over American Spectator on the “new class” warfare in America, how we got there and what to expect in the days to come.

As over-leveraged investment houses began to fail in September 2008, the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties, of major corporations, and opinion leaders stretching from the National Review magazine (and the Wall Street Journal) on the right to the Nation magazine on the left, agreed that spending some $700 billion to buy the investors’ “toxic assets” was the only alternative to the U.S. economy’s “systemic collapse.” In this, President George W. Bush and his would-be Republican successor John McCain agreed with the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama. Many, if not most, people around them also agreed upon the eventual commitment of some 10 trillion nonexistent dollars in ways unprecedented in America. They explained neither the difference between the assets’ nominal and real values, nor precisely why letting the market find the latter would collapse America. The public objected immediately, by margins of three or four to one.

When this majority discovered that virtually no one in a position of power in either party or with a national voice would take their objections seriously, that decisions about their money were being made in bipartisan backroom deals with interested parties, and that the laws on these matters were being voted by people who had not read them, the term “political class” came into use. Then, after those in power changed their plans from buying toxic assets to buying up equity in banks and major industries but refused to explain why, when they reasserted their right to decide ad hoc on these and so many other matters, supposing them to be beyond the general public’s understanding, the American people started referring to those in and around government as the “ruling class.” And in fact Republican and Democratic office holders and their retinues show a similar presumption to dominate and fewer differences in tastes, habits, opinions, and sources of income among one another than between both and the rest of the country. They think, look, and act as a class.

I know it’s long, and there are no pictures, but you will be better for it. Off with ya!

There will be a test. In November. Plan accordingly.

P.S. Perfect:

If, for example, you are Laurence Tribe in 1984, Harvard professor of law, leftist pillar of the establishment, you can “write” your magnum opus by using the products of your student assistant, Ron Klain. A decade later, after Klain admits to having written some parts of the book, and the other parts are found to be verbatim or paraphrases of a book published in 1974, you can claim (perhaps correctly) that your plagiarism was “inadvertent,” and you can count on the Law School’s dean, Elena Kagan, to appoint a committee including former and future Harvard president Derek Bok that issues a secret report that “closes” the incident. Incidentally, Kagan ends up a justice of the Supreme Court. Not one of these people did their jobs: the professor did not write the book himself, the assistant plagiarized instead of researching, the dean and the committee did not hold the professor accountable, and all ended up rewarded. By contrast, for example, learned papers and distinguished careers in climatology at MIT (Richard Lindzen) or UVA (S. Fred Singer) are not enough for their questions about “global warming” to be taken seriously. For our ruling class, identity always trumps.


  1. Shakes said,

    July 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I think that Codevilla is on to something with this piece. I like his take on the divide. I caught this comment on The Other McCain:

    “I coined the phrase a number of years ago, “The Criminal Class”, when referring to Washington and Wall St. I now have to update it after Professor Codevilla’s wonderful article. The Ruling Elite Criminal Class.
    The American People Pretend to Be Free. Our Rulers in Washington Pretend to Agree.”

    Ever read Albert Nock? I am reading “Our Enemy, The State” right now. He likes to talk about the state as a professional-criminal class. If you haven’t read him he sounds right up your alley.



  2. July 17, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    […] Obi’s Sister. This quote? I know it’s long, and there are no pictures, but you will be better for […]


  3. July 18, 2010 at 8:20 am

    […] Angelo Codevilla; Wow « Obi's Sister […]


  4. Tina said,

    July 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    This is so good, thanks for linking to it. I’ve been trying to say some of this in different ways: those we elect to stand in our place should be our peers and in America, that means our neighbors. We ought to be able to walk past their houses, sit at the same long table at the Kiwanis Pancake Supper. If the people on the ballots can’t be our neighbors, they aren’t our peers and they aren’t standing in our shoes.


  5. Obi's Sister said,

    July 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Well said, Tina. And if they aren’t our peers, how can they truly represent us?


  6. Hank Pyro said,

    July 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Every now and then I encounter something so crystal clear that I have to get up on my soap box and shout about it. Well actually I just forward and retweet. Codevilla’s piece is burning up the Internet and I am happy to proselytize about the ruling class.

    Everyone knows about cronyism/elitism/insders/bureaucratism/the aristocracy of pull/the political class/the ruling class. Never have they wielded so much power.The alphabet soups won’t discuss the subject and few of us can analyze it and summarize it like Codevilla. Succinct. Accurate. Truthful.

    I salute Codevilla.


  7. mark said,

    July 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Very interesting article by Codevilla, but with a lot of blank spots.
    The “ruling class” is only a partial creation of liberal colleges.
    The Boston Bramins, Pittsburgh magnates, California landowners
    were seeing that their sons and grandsons are not too good
    to sit on corporate boards, run corporations, or big agricultural
    enterprises. What to do with not so bright and capable kids –
    create for them and their offsprings guaranteed jobs in
    Washington, and hire good CEO’s to run their businesses.
    Another reason, they didn’t want to send their kids to Vietnam.
    And these big shots from Boston, Pittsburgh, California were
    oblivious what kind of brainwash their scions got in colleges ?
    Did not they talk to kids during summer vacations ?
    Did not they shower these colleges with donations?
    These big shots in Boston were not isolated from the
    NYC magnates, or Pittsburgh titans… they knew very well
    what was going on. Don’t make them innocent.
    One phone call from a Bramin would send a liberal college
    professor sweeping the streets .
    Didn’t these big shots had not control over media ?
    The creation of the “Ruling Class” is the work of these
    big industrialists and landowners. And now we see the outcome
    of the monster they have created and fed. And this monster
    is goingt to devour many , but not the scions and their cronies.


  8. Mark said,

    August 24, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Why is it that both political parties complain endlessly about the other side being “The Elite”? Who are these people, exactly? Wall Street tycoons? Obama bailed ’em out, but so did the GOP. And they still hate Obama anyway, so there’s no alliance there. Are lobbyists the elite? They may encourage corruption, but they represent both sides. How about political leaders? They’re elected by everyday folks and can be un-elected when folks don’t like them anymore. There is no “Ruling Class,” we don’t live in a monarchy. This sounds like the same unfocused class envy that the right accuses the left of stirring up.


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