It’s often suggested that America, and maybe the entire West, is undergoing a great realignment culturally and politically. The managerial class has matured to the point where it controls the high ground in Western societies and most important, it has become class aware. What we used to think of “leftist” ideology has evolved into an elaborate defense of the prerogatives and interests of the managerial elite.
The rise of the managerial elite dates back to the 19th century with the full flowering of the Industrial Revolution and the credit economy. It’s often forgotten that Herbert Hoover, the guy “responsible for the Great Depression” because of his “laissez-faire” economic policies, was president of the Efficiency Society. Hoover, like many educated men of his age, believed modern engineering techniques could be applied to the organization of human society.
The story of the 20th century in America was the retreat of the traditional middle class in the face of a technological revolution that extended far beyond the material goods of life. This managerial revolution allowed the new ruling elite to consolidate economic, cultural and political power through corporate and governmental bureaucratic power. By the end of the 20th century, the loop had been closed. Politics, finance and the culture would be controlled by the managerial elite.
What we are seeing today is the public waking up to the reality in which they find themselves. Both political parties in America are now immune to the will of the voters. Across Europe, the main parties work together to thwart challenges from populist parties. At every turn the public is faced with a unified ruling class, from proselytizing by the cultural organs to financial chicanery greenlighted by the political class. Of course, no one in power is ever held accountable.
This last part is a good example. Forty years ago, Richard Nixon was run out of town because Liberals hated him. The America of the 1970’s was a country in which members of the elite fought one another for power and influence. There were competing interests in politics. Today, Barak Obama has done all of the things critics suspected Nixon wanted to do. The result is a shrug from both political parties. Hillary Clinton most likely sold national security information for cash to her slush fund and no one in power dares mention it. The shield wall remains intact.
The thing to understand is that the managerial class is not a self-conscious conspiracy or “deep state.” It’s a cohort that shares educational, class and cultural perspectives. They are bound together by an egalitarian ethic and a preference for technocratic solutions. Those solutions are to be carried out by the bureaucratic institutions in which they swim like microbes in a Petri dish. The shared interests and shared worldview results in a natural, unconscious cooperation, like ants whose queen is the bureaucracy. The interests of one is the interest of all.
It’s why there’s no mechanism to self-police. Holding Obama to account for his crimes means expulsion from the managerial class. To these people, such a thing is up there with crucifixion or stoning. Ultimately, the only punishments that can plausibly be handed out within the elite are those that lower one’s status within the elite. Anything that threatens one’s membership in the elite is therefore off limits. Hillary Clinton can auction off state secrets and not fear prosecution. The worst that she can expect is losing to Bernie Sanders.
This natural cooperation looks like coordination because it is so natural. The decision by the Supreme Court to take up Obama’s amnesty action is a good example. The court has decided to expedite the review this case and decide whether Obama, or any future President, can issue citizenship to random people at his discretion. Lower courts have put the brakes on the program for various administrative reasons and now the high court will decide the matter.
Of course, expediting this case is unusual. The reason for the rush is Obama is leaving office in a year. There we see one element of the managerial class helping the other without thinking too much about it. This would not have happened, of course, if Paul Ryan and the Republicans had not gone along with the scheme by funding it in the last budget. So we have one side of the class pushing open borders, another element signing off on it, despite claiming to be mortal enemies of the former. Then another side comes in to help expedite it.
Again, that looks a lot like coordination and one would be forgiven for thinking it is a conspiracy. But wait, there’s more! The court now has the opportunity to remove this issue from public consideration. They will most likely rule that the executive can issue citizenship to whoever he likes whenever he likes. This removes the issue from Congress. From there, it just takes one president to issue green cards to South America for the circle to be complete. Citizenship, as a practical matter, ceases to exist.
Across the managerial class, the concept of citizenship is seen as antiquated. They all believe that the world is headed to a world without borders and countries. A vast administrative apparatus working through local bureaucracies will handle the issues of governance formerly done by nation states. While not always articulated in this level of detail, anything that moves us toward the general vision of a borderless world is supported by the elites, be they on the court, at the banks or in the legislatures.
The court did not take up the case because they intend to block the administration. They took up the case for fear it could languish until after Obama was gone and the public had become fully aware of what’s happening. Once the court rules in Obama’s favor in a few months, the game is lost. It’s just a matter of time before the ruling elite is completely decoupled from the people over whom they rule. They will have their managerial state, if they can keep it.