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January 11, 2010

You Know, David Brooks Is Sort of an Elitist Crypto-Fascist Douchebag

Or, let me be fair: David Brooks has some connectivity with the matrices of elitist crypto-fascist douchebaggery.

Maybe I'm dumb (or sick -- I'm sick today), but I'm having trouble coming up with the right word here. Crypto-fascist isn't right. What I mean instead of fascist is government by a select, credentialed, inter-marrying social elite. Crypto-aristocratic isn't quite right, and I don't think crypto-aristarchic is a word. Crypto-royalist gets the notion right, but he's not agitating for a real royalty.

I dunno -- what's the right word? Government by the credentialed urban faux-nobility, I mean. (The UHB, or Urban Haute Bourgeoisie, as that guy kept saying in Metropolitan.)

(Oh, and elitist is inadequate, because what I have in mind is a pining for a formalized caste system. "Elitist" suggests a belief in an informal system of class differentiation. Brooks and others seem to pine for the strictly, punitively class system of England, but without the titled nobility.)

My educational deficiencies aside: After introducing a letter by his cousin, a well-educated Tea Partier, Tunku Varadarajan turns to David Brooks:

Not everyone in the movement is a Wellesley graduate, and I bring my cousin into the story only as a forensic counterpoint to David’s fixation with the “educated class.” America doesn’t really have a class system, but that fact makes it tough for people like David, who sometimes seem to wish it did. The traditional solution has been to attend an Ivy League school if possible—or just cop an “intellectual” attitude if not—and then look down on the rest of America. When America was less of a meritocracy (and that was not so long ago), this solution was less damaging. Now that the country is run mostly by graduates of Ivy League schools, however, that they look down on the electorate is becoming not only vastly irritating to the electorate but also rather dangerous. Elitism, now, might have adverse political consequences—and a backlash.


What bothers me, however, is that although ideological differences are at the bottom of the Tea Party assaults, the critique is almost purely aesthetic: The Tea Partiers, it is said, are crude, sloganeering, lemming-like, heartland Bible-Beltists who don’t understand policy or David Brooks’ subtleties.

It's not pure aesthetics, though that's a big part of it. It's also the idea they don't dare clearly announce: These people have no right.

They are threatened. They have the sense of noblesse oblige and Divine Right, and they feel their positions are threatened by the rabble.

And what bothers them most of all -- and this accounts for the scorn poured by Brooks' colleagues on amateur commentators such as bloggers -- is that their belief that they are needed, and that only they have the sufficient education and wisdom to run this country (or even simply comment upon the running of it), is undermined and diminished on a daily basis.

The Tea Partiers don't need David Brooks to tell them what to think. They never did. It's only now that David Brooks begins to realize that, or realize these stupid Tea Partiers are too stupid to realize they need his erudite guidance on self-governance.

Thanks to JohnK.

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posted by Ace at 02:05 PM

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