One of the unremarked aspects of the current age is that we seem to be experiencing exaggerated versions of various types in the managerial society. For example, Pete Buttigieg is an exaggerated version of the managerial class striver. He is entirely without accomplishments, but festooned with participation medals. Trump is the exaggerated, almost cartoonish, version of the populist resistance. He’s the picaresque populist fighting the system, but all of the dials are turned to eleven.
Michael Bloomberg is turning out to be another wildly drawn version of types that have come to associate with the managerial state. The most obvious being the scheming middle-man, who produces nothing, but is highly skilled at inserting himself into transactions where he can extract a fee. Bloomberg became one of the richest men on the planet by gaining a lock on the flow of data to the financial world. This allowed him to, in effect, tax every transaction, despite having no direct role.
He is he exemplar of the new, post-industrial economy. Instead of inventing something or building something, he schemed to gain control of the flow of information, which allowed him to operate as a tax farmer, of sorts. Silicon Valley operates much the same way now. They don’t produce anything of value to us, but instead skim from the economy in various ways. Big finance is also just a massive skimming operation. Bloomberg is the extreme version of the new economic man.
His personal story is an outlandishly exaggerated version of the Jewish success story in 20th century America. He is the product of eastern European Jews who emigrated in the late 19th and early 20 century. He grew up lower middle class, but was able to go first to Johns Hopkins and then Harvard Business School. America has been great for Jews and really great for Bloomberg. So much so he now intends to buy it, or at least its political class, and add it to his portfolio of assets.
Of course, Bloomberg is the wildly drawn version of the cosmopolitan conservative, or what has become known simply as establishment conservatism. If you look around at what passes for the Right in late managerial America, the so-called conservatives are people more comfortable in the urban setting. Their cultural outlook is that of the man, who rides the subway and hails taxis, just like their liberal friends. For them, the country outside the city is a place you fly over, not a place to live.
This means their conservatism is purely economic and superficial. To call it low-tax liberalism is to give more credit to managerial liberalism than it deserves, but it gets to the heart of the matter. The cosmopolitan conservative believes all of the same things as his liberal antagonists, he just dons the green eye-shade and a highly practiced disdain for personal excess. The difference between the cosmopolitan conservative and the left-wing urbanite is ceremonial and superficial.
That’s what you see with Michael Bloomberg. The difference between him and the core of the Republican Party is so narrow that light can barely squeeze through. He is for unlimited economic freedom for the oligarchs at the top of the system and maximum regulation of the lower classes. You can’t question the morality of him owning a bottleneck on financial information, but he can tell you how many shakes of salt you can have on your fries during your assigned day at the burger joint.
This is no different from what you see in conservative circles. Ramesh Ponnuru, for example, has detailed plans for every conceivable social issue. Kevin Williamson is always at the ready to look down his nose at the complaints of the lower classes about the inequity of the system. If in a mania of hunger, Kevin Williamson accidentally swallowed Ramesh Ponnuru, you would have the perfect archetype of the cosmopolitan conservative attitude. The result would be David Brooks.
As an aside, this is why the anti-Trump types will inevitably support Bloomberg as not just the savior of the Democratic Party, but the savior of “our democracy.” Part of it will be ethnic solitary, as most of the anti-Trump people still take Saturday off, even if it is to spend the weekend skiing. The bigger part though will be the fact that Bloomberg is their Übermensch, their idealized man of the future, who rises above the old conservatism, polluted by Christianity and populism.
Finally, there is another angle to the Bloomberg phenomenon. He is the extreme example of the type that lacks self-awareness to the point where his own behavior destroys that which allows him to exist. What Bloomberg is doing is discrediting the very notion of modern liberal democracy. If he is able to buy the nomination, much less the White House, he will have established that America is no different from Russia or Ukraine, areas ruled by oligarchs with little connection to the people.
To be blunt about it, if antisemitism is ever going to take hold in America it will be due to people like Michael Bloomberg. He is right out of central casting. He ticks every box on the anti-Semite checklist and does so with a big bold check mark. He is the wildly drawn caricature of the happy merchant come to life. His breathtaking lack of self-awareness could create more anti-Semites in one year than have existed in North America since the first humans cross the Bering land bridge.
This is current year America. The public stage is populated with cartoon figures, who have little bodies and massive balloon heads. Their bodies are the sum of their contributions to society, while their heads are the wildly exaggerated stereotype of the managerial age. Over-The-Top Jewish Oligarch has been called in to stop Unfrozen Bolshevik Caveman from winning the nomination, because Gay Managerial Man and Screeching Old Harpy are not up to the job.
It turns out that Marx was wrong when he said the history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. It turns out that managerialism heads right to the farce. The logical end point is rule by overly credentialed poseurs and oligarchical middle-men. It turns out that the managerial state is not going to end in a soft tyranny, but instead it will be eaten alive by an absurd parasitic class it created. Perhaps it just comes to hate itself so much, it chooses the only form of suicide available to it.
For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!