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August 19, 2021

Must Read: "Farewell to Bourgeois Kings"

Commenters were linking this as a must-read.

I just saw an excerpt at Instapundit. Let's hope.

Hindsight may very well be 20/20, but with that caveat out of the way, some events truly come across as historical in their importance even as they play out in realtime. We might not know what the results will be, but we can feel that something quite big is happening. Watching the fall of the Berlin wall was one such moment in recent history, and watching the twin towers fall was another one.

...

[The Professional Managerial Class's] spectacular failure on every conceivable level now brings us to the true heart of the matter. Western society today is openly ruled by a managerial class. Where kings once claimed a divine right to rule, and the bolsheviks of old claimed a right to rule as messiahs of a future kingdom on this earth (bearing a conspicuously strong resemblance to a very old tradition of messianic christianity with the serial numbers filed off, by the way) the technocrats of today base their claims to lordship not necessarily on the idea of the democratic will of the people, but on the historical inevitability of technocracy as such.

...

[J]ust like the kings of old, our technocrats at one point claimed (and even enjoyed) a form of quasi-magical power in the eyes of their peasantry; a view once commonly shared that they could use the very thing that made them rightful rulers -- science, logic, rationality, data -- to lay on hands, cure ills, and improve society.

...

I suspect we are currently witnessing the catastrophic end of this metaphysical power of legitimacy that has shielded the managerial ruling class for decades. Anyone even briefly familiar with the historical record knows just how much of a Pandora's box such a loss of legitimacy represents. The signs have obviously been multiplying over many years, but it is only now that the picture is becoming clear to everyone. When Michael Gove said "I think the people in this country have had enough of experts" in a debate about the merits of Brexit, he probably traced the contours of something much bigger than anyone really knew at the time. Back then, the acute phase of the delegitimization of the managerial class was only just beginning. Now, with Afghanistan, it is impossible to miss.

It is not just that the elite class is incompetent -- even kings could be incompetent without undermining belief in monarchy as a system -- it is that they are so grossly, spectacularly incompetent that they walk around among us as living rebuttals of meritocracy itself. It is that their application of managerial logic to whatever field they get their grubby mitts on -- from homelessness in California to industrial policy to running a war -- makes that thing ten times more expensive and a hundred times more dysfunctional. To make the situation worse, the current elites seem almost serene in their willful destruction of the very fields they rely on for legitimacy....

I find it very likely that most future historians will put the date of the real beginning of the collapse of the current political and geopolitical order right here, right now, at the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Look carefully, and you will see that all the real political disagreements today are between defenders of the Professional Managerial Class' right-to-rule -- NeverTrumpers and the liberal establishment, all so very proud of their degrees and comfortable upper-middle-class Class Mores --and those who believe the Professional Managerial Class is obscenely unqualified to rule, and meets each new failure with arrogance that the Serfs Just Don't Understand How Hard It Is To Rule.

Tom Nichols' twitter feed is nothing but the latter.

It's time to turn them all out into the streets. Their claim that "this will all fall apart unless you finally listen to us and believe our Cult Doctrines!" cannot be sustained when everything is falling apart on their watch and under their incompetent rule.

What additional failures would have accrued in Afghanistan without the sage input of the Foreign Policy Establishment, exemplified by such ludicrous puffed-up social studies teachers like Tom Nichols?


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posted by Ace at 04:11 PM

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