Whither the Ruling Elites

The ruling elites, whose word used to be law, have been fighting for their privilege ever since the civil rights revolution threatened to enable the people to govern, just as the Constitution proposed. Universal suffrage, freedom of information, public access to the halls of legislatures all threaten the hegemony of the ruling class. Nominating technocrats as surrogates has not worked. Neither has reducing elected public officials to rubber stamps. The people persist in making their interests known. Consumerism has not deterred them. The ruling elites relying on currency as a lever of control has also backfired. The citizenry has responded by setting up a gigantic shadow economy ($2 trillion a year at last counting) which managed to mitigate the crash of 2008 into a mere recession. Not many banksters went to jail, but over 500 bank failures put a significant crimp in their ranks AND prompted effective regulation. Most recently, somebody has invented the term “cognitive elites,” as if cognition were some sort of negative. Which it is, if the ambition is to be born into the ruling class. Of which, by the way, the Dude is a prime example. If he hadn’t inherited a bundle, along with the retinue that handles it for him, he’d be living under a bridge. Making money the signal of rank was effective, as long as money was relatively scarce. Now the myth of scarcity is imploding. The shield of money and the law behind which the ruling elites have been operating is in the process of being rent.