Elite opinion going nuts

James Taub of Foreign Policy Magazine says it all: “It’s time for the elites to rise up against the ignorant masses”.

The issues are not between left and right he says, but between the wise and knowing elites and the angry know nothings who voted  for Brexit and who will he fears vote for Trump.

 

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Given Mr. Taub’s description  of what ails the masses, it is to be expected that they are in revolt. He writes:

 

The issue, at bottom, is globalization. Brexit, Trump, the National Front, and so on show that political elites have misjudged the depth of the anger at global forces and thus the demand that someone, somehow, restore the status quo ante. It may seem strange that the reaction has come today rather than immediately after the economic crisis of 2008, but the ebbing of the crisis has led to a new sense of stagnation. With prospects of flat growth in Europe and minimal income growth in the United States, voters are rebelling against their dismal long-term prospects. And globalization means culture as well as economics: Older people whose familiar world is vanishing beneath a welter of foreign tongues and multicultural celebrations are waving their fists at cosmopolitan elites.

If my long term prospects were ‘dismal’, to use his words, I too would revolt.

The schism we see opening before us is not just about policies, but about reality. The Brexit forces won because cynical leaders were prepared to cater to voters’ paranoia, lying to them about the dangers of immigration and the costs of membership in the EU.

It is customary in argument to assert that the view of reality held by one’s opponents must be wrong. Usually left wingers assert that opposition is informed by wrong attitudes, ideologies, and values. It never occurs to writers like Taub that the systematic cover-up by British police and social workers of Islamic rape culture in Rotherham has come home to roost, as it were. It never seems to occur to them that the price of imposing political correctness – which is not to perceive or speak about what is in front of one’s nose – is that the pressure must build up to the point of explosion. Through miscalculation, the Tory government handed the masses a clearly worded question that asked them in effect if they wanted

  • to be irrevocably committed to unlimitable immigration and
  • the permanent subordination of their political institutions to un-elected and unaccountable foreign ones.

Despite many material advantages of the current arrangements, the people answered ‘no’. Now the elites are going bonkers. Go figure.