If one were to conjure just one image to explain the French Revolution, it would be of the sheltered and self-indulged Marie Antoinette saying “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” when told the peasants were starving. Perhaps framing it alongside an image of the peasants in the streets, desperate for food. The story is apocryphal, but it probably stands as the most enduring image of the Revolution. The decadent and indifferent ruling class on one side and the desperate peasants on the other.
Even though the story is not true, it works as an explanation for what happened in 18th century France. On the one hand, there was a ruling class that was increasingly out of touch, physically and culturally removed from the people. On the other hand, the people were evolving away from the ruling class. The growth of what we would call a middle-class was changing the nature of France. It is the psychological separation that drove the political dynamic, leading to the revolution.
It is a useful image to keep in mind as the political dynamic of this age continues to move toward crisis. A reason the ruling class hates Trump with such intensity is for them, he is one of the peasants showing up at their party. He is the dirt monster, a golem called into life by the evil Dirt People. It’s why his policy proposals and actions have no impact on them. Their hatred for Trump is not about policy, but about what he represents. He is the unguarded door to their world.
There is no better example of this chasm between the Cloud People and the Dirt People than the ridiculous charade that is the impeachment show. The foreignness of the whole thing is its main feature. Act one had a collection of people with strange names talking about strange places. Act two was obscure people from the academy. Word comes that the Democrats, the inner party of the Cloud People, will accuse Trump of treason, for the high crime of existing in their midst.
The thing is, none of this is very good theater. Instead of colorful figures presenting their case in dramatic fashion, it is weird strangers arguing on the basis of their assumed authority as rulers of the land. The cries for impeachment are every bit as entitled and self-indulgent as Marie Antoinette saying “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.” These are people so disconnected from the rest of us, they assume things about themselves that no rational person would assume. They are hot house flowers.
In a way, it is fitting that the inner party will nominate Joe Biden as their nominee, rather than one of the minor party figures. No one on stage captures the essence of elite detachment quite like Biden. This is a man who has never had productive employment in the dreaded private sector. Instead, his back story is a collection of entertaining fictions conjured over drinks at various Washington watering holes. The story of Joe Biden is a parlor tale for the entertainment of the ladies.
It’s why Biden is always ready to challenge some restrained old fellow in the audience of his campaign events. This has been his game for decades. In the fantasy world in which Biden lives, he is a tough guy. The ladies in the salon all swoon when “Working Class Joe” breaks bad on one of the staff. That’s because these people are living in a highly orchestrated charade, in which winners and losers are determined in advance, based on criteria that have no meaning outside the Cloud.
This disconnect is why senior members of the intelligence services were happy to break many laws to spy on Trump. It’s not that they were terrified by the Dirt Monster coming to Washington. It’s that their life is a game without consequences. In the fantasy world of the Cloud People, the worst thing that happens to you is you fall off a few invite lists for holiday parties. Maybe you get a letter in your file down at party headquarters, so you can’t get that sweet White House gig you always wanted.
The much-awaited Inspector General’s report on the FBI will be a white wash, because in Cloud People land, the only real punishment is a few negative sentences in a report no one will read. Dirt People go to jail, face real hardships and have to answer for their actions. That sort of stuff is for the peasants, not the beautiful people who are defending democracy. That’s just not how things are done in Washington. If the Dirt People don’t like that, well, “qu’ils mangent de la brioche.”
This is why, by the way, the propagandists will never get in the same room with well-spoken dissidents. Ben Shapiro was pantsed by a kindly old man on the BBC, because Shapiro is incapable of defending himself in the real world. The TP-USA people were humiliated by school boys asking tough questions, because they have been cultivated to live in the hot house of Conservative Inc. None of these people would last twenty minutes on stage with one of the sharper dissidents.
This is, in part, what drives the censorship on-line. When the propagandists opened their sites to comments, they assumed everyone agreed with them. Then they found out that the Dirt People thought they were foolish and dumb. The comments were closed. The same thing happens on social media. These hot house flowers get crushed by dissenters, so they demand the sites be purged of dissenters. They are pulling the blinds down so they don’t have to look out at the peasants in the streets.
Modern America is now a revolutionary place. Like the aristocracy in 18th century France, the Cloud People are incapable of reforming themselves, because they are incapable of seeing themselves as we see them. They have become entirely divorced from the rest of us. The people who rule over us may as well be foreign occupiers, as they have no idea who it is they rule nor do they care. To them, the Dirt People all look alike, smell alike and act alike. We are not them.
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