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April 11, 2013

Elite Panic and Kermit Gosnell

Instapundit linked this interesting observation about the beliefs elites have about the people "beneath them" (in their minds). You will not be shocked to learn they don't think much of us.

This observation is specifically about elite feelings about how plebians will behave in moments of disaster -- such as in Hurricane Katrina. However, I'd suggest a broader reading than that. I think this applies to how they view us generally.

It's not just about fearing how we'll behave during an earthquake; it's about fearing how we'll behave if the Wrong Information comes into our hands. Things that might excite us and make us all crazy.

Elites tend to believe in a venal, selfish, and essentially monstrous version of human nature, which I sometimes think is their own human nature. I mean, people don't become incredibly wealthy and powerful by being angelic, necessarily. They believe that only their power keeps the rest of us in line and that when it somehow shrinks away, our seething violence will rise to the surface -- that was very clear in Katrina. Timothy Garton Ash and Maureen Dowd and all these other people immediately jumped on the bandwagon and started writing commentaries based on the assumption that the rumors of mass violence during Katrina were true. A lot of people have never understood that the rumors were dispelled and that those things didn't actually happen; it's tragic.

But there's also an elite fear -- going back to the 19th century -- that there will be urban insurrection. It's a valid fear. I see these moments of crisis as moments of popular power and positive social change.

I think this is how the elites -- God, how I despise that term, as it gives complement to mediocrity; let me try again. I think this is how those who imagine themselves to be elite justify their complete embargo on the Kermit Gosnell serial-murder trial.

People who do evil generally don't imagine they're doing evil. In fact, some of the worst evils are perpetrated by those who've convinced themselves they're doing good. One's conscience tends to restrain one from evil; but if one can trick one's conscience into thinking one's doing good by doing evil, well. Then you've really got something.

I imagine the media believes it's "doing good" by being so cautious about What Truths the Public Is Capable of Hearing. After all, if this Gosnell trial were publicized, people would Get Angry, and come to All the Wrong Conclusions, and put the allies of those in the media (such as NARAL and Planned Parenthood) on the defensive.

Hell, these maniacs might even get in into their skulls to hurt people!

Well, we can't have that. We can't let the Wrong Kind of Information -- true information, but the sort of information the non-enlightened may be confused about -- passing into the Wrong Kinds of Brains.

Thus, this embargo on the Gosnell story is not just partisan bias, fronting for the Democrats by refusing to mention anything that might be used as a wedge issue against them.

No, this embargo is done for the Public Good, even if the public is too stupid to understand that. If the public heard about these things... Well, that's not gonna happen. Not on our watch.

It's been occurring to me lately that much media behavior is explainable by this prism. They don't want to report certain facts, not because the facts aren't true (they're facts by definition), but because they're Concerned About The Capacity of Non-Journalists to Successfully Interpret These Facts.

And they justify this to themselves by conceiving themselves as Angels guarding the outer doors of Hell itself, with millions of slavering monsters just beyond the gate.

By deliberately misleading the public, you see, they're protecting the world.

From us.

They have taken the exact opposite side of the proposition this nation was founded upon. Far from a well-informed citizenry being necessary for a free democracy, they've decided a well-informed citizenry is a deadly threat to it.

Don't worry, though. They're working their level-best to end that threat.

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posted by Ace at 02:13 PM

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