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Walter Russell Mead on our Oligarchical and Technocratic Elite

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

I am still busy with several posts and a couple of book reviews, none of which are finished and some offline activities. In the interim, Lexington Green sent me this post by Walter Russell Mead. It is long but brilliant, spot on and thoroughly devastating:

Establishment Blues

….By contrast, we have never had an Establishment that was so ill-equipped to lead.  It is the Establishment, not the people, that is falling down on the job.Here in the early years of the twenty-first century, the American elite is a walking disaster and is in every way less capable than its predecessors.  It is less in touch with American history and culture, less personally honest, less productive, less forward looking, less effective at and less committed to child rearing, less freedom loving, less sacrificially patriotic and less entrepreneurial than predecessor generations. 

 Its sense of entitlement and snobbery is greater than at any time since the American Revolution; its addiction to privilege is greater than during the Gilded Age and its ability to raise its young to be productive and courageous leaders of society has largely collapsed.

…We have had financial scandals before and we have had waves of corporate crime.  We have had pirates and robber barons.  But we have never seen a collapse of ordinary morality in the corporate suites on the scale of the last twenty years.  We have never seen naked money grubbing among our politicians akin to the way some recent figures in both parties have cashed in.  Human nature hasn’t changed, but a kind of moral grade inflation has set in and key segments of the American Establishment are increasingly accepting the unacceptable as OK.  Investment banks betray their clients; robo-signers essentially forge mortgage documents day after day and month after month; insider traders are lionized.   Free markets actually require a certain basic level of honesty to work; if we can’t be more honest than this neither our markets nor we ourselves will remain free for very long.

Many problems troubling America today are rooted in the poor performance of our elite educational institutions, the moral and social collapse of our ‘best’ families and the culture of narcissism and entitlement that has transformed the American elite into a flabby minded, strategically inept and morally confused parody of itself….

[ Emphasis mine]

….A leadership class is responsible for, among other things, giving a voice to the feelings of the nation and doing so in a way that enables the nation to advance and to change.  Most of the American establishment today is too ignorant of and too squeamish about the history and language of American patriotism to do that job.  In the worst case, significant chunks of the elite have convinced themselves that patriotism is in itself a bad and a dangerous thing, and have set about to smother it under blankets of politically correct disdain.

This will not end well.

Read the rest here.

I have written about the deficiencies of the elite before, mostly in their inability to think strategically and create a coherent foreign and national security policies but their increasingly oligarchical attitudes of favoring self-dealing fiscal, regulatory and social policies, at the expense of their fellow citizens or the national interest is cause for great alarm.For example a legion of recent national security officials from the current and previous administration, a few barely out of office, have just accepted large wads of lightly laundered Saudi cash to lobby on behalf of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, a nutty, cultish, Marxist terrorist group that formerly worked for Saddam Hussein. This with no sense of embarrassment or shame that they are putting a dingy cast on their prior public service or awareness that doing so conflicts with solemn oaths some of them have made to the Constitution of the United States. 

How many are also taking Chinese money, I wonder?

We need a new elite

An end-timely reminder

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

[ by Charles Cameron ]


I spend a fair amount of effort as you know, trying to monitor the various forms of end-times religion manifesting in the Abrahamic faiths, so it came as a shock to me to find a seam of material on Sunni Mahdism that I hadn’t previously run across, now a year old, from over on my old side of the pond of all places…

Look what happens to London:


And if that isn’t graphic enough for you — and it really isn’t very graphic — look at what happens to New York


The End of Time… A New Beginning…


The first image comes from a poster for a tour of Ireland in October of last year — though why the good people of Ireland should be so worried if London is consumed in sulphurous fog and flame is a little hard for me to understand — while the second graphic advertises a conference in London — though why the good people of London should be so concerned if the city of New York… no, I won’t go there, there’s the Special Relationship, isn’t there?  Is there?

I missed both events, alas, living quietly here in the United States, or I might have heard, in Ireland:

a clear description about life in the grave, the trials of the last day, the major and minor signs leading to the last hour and the day of resurrection including Imam Mahdi, The Dajjal and many more.

I could have taken notes, and published them here on Zenpundit. After all, as the advertisements advertised:

On the Day of Judgment those who pass the test will be rewarded with Paradise.

Cliff’s Notes for Judgement Day — a sure best seller!


Not to worry, I can still study up on the January 2009 London conference, at which Anwar al-Awlaki reportedly hosted a live video question-and-answer session, presumably beaming in from Yemen — even though tickets are no longer available

If I can just get hold of the DVDs…


Sadly, though, they’re out of stock


Okay seriously now — three points:

This is associated with al-Awlaki.  This has slick PR, intercontinental video feeds, and DVDs.  And this is Sunni Mahdism.


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