A famous line from the movie The Usual Suspects is “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Even after all these years, it turns up in comment sections and social media. It is a good line to have in mind when thinking about who is actually ruling over us. In America, our elites have spent a very long time convincing us that there are no elites. The fact is though, every society has an elite and it is usually a stable, semi-permanent one. The people in charge tend to stay in charge.
Here’s an interesting bit of data that underscores the stability of a nation’s elites. In the 16th century, the Spanish conquered the area that is now Guatemala. The Spanish were not settlers like the English, so a local Spanish elite came into rule over the conquered people, who were often used as slaves in mining and agriculture. Since 1531, 22 families have controlled Guatemala’s economy, politics and culture. Another 26 families have served as a secondary elite, often marrying into the core elite.
The result is one percent of the population, descendants of the Conquistadors, has controlled the country for over 400 years. This dominance has been locked in by a set of marriage rules, that created a self-perpetuating marriage strategy. For example, both the bride and groom had to bring a certain amount of wealth into the marriage. The result was both families would negotiate marriages much in the same way it was done in medieval Europe. These rules have their roots in the Siete Partidas, that dates to the 13th century.
Of course, elite families marrying one another is not a new idea, but it is more than just wealthy families using marriage to solidify alliances. There is a biological factor to it. The people in the elite got there originally by having elite cognitive skills. Modern elites like to throw around the term meritocracy, but they know biology counts for a lot. It’s why you don’t often see a member of the elite marrying one of the servants. Arnold learned that lesson. The one on the left is from the maid, while those on the right are with a Kennedy.
Another thing about elites is they tend to get what they want. One of the benefits of being in charge is you get to shape the institutions you control. A great example is the Fabian Society. This was not some program hatched by mill workers in their free time. It was a hobby for British elites in the late 19th and early 20th century. As Scott Alexander points out in this post, the Fabians managed to get most of what they wanted pushed through over time. The reason for that is they convinced their fellow elites it was a good program.
An interesting bit from that Alexander post is that the Fabian program, which they called the “True Radical Programme” was intended to be far more radical than the other reform efforts. They wanted it to seen as way-out on the fringe. Yet, things like women’s suffrage, paying MPs a salary and public education eventually became normal. It’s something to keep in mind when thinking about the war on men or the waves of anti-white agitation we see in the media. Today’s crazy elite culture is tomorrow’s new normal.
Of course the real reason elites tend to get what they want is they are better than the rest of us. They are smarter, better socialized and they have greater access to the stock of knowledge relevant to being in charge. Americans despise the idea of a ruling elite, so the people in charge spend a lot of time pretending they don’t exist. It’s why our form of democracy works so well. The people keep voting for different candidates, but the people in charge never change. That’s what we are seeing with Donald Trump right now.
That’s probably why the global elite is so worried about the rising tide of nationalism through the West. The constant moaning about “threats to our democracy” really don’t mean the people in charge care about actual democracy. The game of bad cop/worse cop we see in our politics is not a bug. It is a feature. The process of voting has been gamed by the ruling class such that the results are fixed. No matter which candidate you choose, you get the same results, because the candidates are owned by the same people.
What nationalism does is tie the candidate to a group of people. The politicians of Germany care only for the interests of Germans, not migrants and refugees. Once “them” is no longer as important as “us”, the definitions get more granular. Each pol them looks at his district or province as “us” and the rest of the country as “them.” This makes it exceedingly hard for a national elite, much less a global elite, to corrupt the political system with cash, favors and access to elite society. That’s very bad for global elites
This is another reminder that civic nationalism is a sucker’s play. The rules we have in place today are designed to lock in the status quo. No challenge to the status quo, therefore, can be based on assiduously adhering to the rules. In fact, the goal is to turn adherence to the rules into a destabilizing force. When the people in charge no longer trust the rules to protect their position, they seek to change the rules. It’s why all of a sudden the Progressives are campaigning to end freedom of speech. the truth is their enemy.