They aim to tame the beast

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

Having defeated Donald Trump and stumbled on new methods of control during the Covid-19 pandemic, the elites who run our institutions are striking back, Martin Gurri says:

Trump, always a volatile substance, in defeat managed to live up to the most outrageous caricatures of himself drawn by his opponents. His madcap nihilism was a happy gift to the elites. The president of the United States was thus banned from social media, using protocols developed during the pandemic to direct only “authoritative” information to the public.

Trump’s QAnon followers actually exceeded anyone’s expectations of what a lunatic fringe might behave like, then took selfies of themselves in the act of being violently bizarre. That was another happy moment. The barbarians who looted the Capitol building were declared to be not a mob but an insurgency, a sort of latter-day Whisky Rebellion — and the heart of Washington, D.C. remains occupied by a military force to this day.

When Trump won in 2016, elites insisted that he had subverted the election with Russian help. When Trump lost in 2020, the electoral process miraculously regained its virginal purity. To question the outcome became the equivalent of saying that Bill Gates had invented Covid-19. Both were simple opinions, however eccentric — and both were found to be dangerously unorthodox and thus bounced from social media.

The Georgia state legislature, controlled by Trumpian Republicans, enacted an election law that the Trump-loathing establishment condemned as an attempt to restrict minority votes. The law contains nothing particularly new, and some of the claims made against it seem dubious, but the elites in their hour of triumph were in no mood to tolerate deviancy. A vast choir of voices emanating from the White House, traditional and digital media, CEOs of major companies, academia, the social justice industry, and the usual gaggle of virtue signalers — all with remarkable unanimity and in perfect harmony — pronounced the Georgia law “unacceptable.” Punishment had to be meted out to the inhabitants. In an unprecedented gesture, Major League Baseball withdrew the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta. Georgians, in their shame, were unworthy of Bryce Harper.

Joe Biden doddered into the presidency with a single thought in mind: to sign as many enormous checks as his septuagenarian hand could stand. That the public would tolerate a drunken-sailor approach to federal spending was yet another lesson of the pandemic—Trump and his Republicans were eager to participate in the original binge. The economic theory behind this appears to be that government prints the money anyway, so what harm can be done if the president shovels tons of it at those he loves? No doubt we’ll get the answer in the next few years.

Today, having lost access to the money spigot, congressional Republicans have developed highly principled reservations about spending. It’s too late. They will be emasculated. The Biden bills in their bloated enormity will shower money on an entirely different crowd.

These bills have such official-sounding descriptions as “stimulus” or “infrastructure,” but as always when colossal sums get thrown around, something is bought and something is sold, and political and ideological fantasies are fulfilled thereby. The $2 trillion infrastructure bill allocates a measly $115 billion to what I, in my simplicity, understand infrastructure to be: roads, rail, and so forth. Much will be spent on “addressing climate and racial inequities.” The object is clearly to purchase a permanent majority, forever secure against madcap populists and other incursions from below — the ultimate fantasy. A trillion here, a trillion there, and suddenly you find yourself applauded by a lot of new friends.

Now, some might insist that this spree belongs to the great American tradition of partisan politics. The Democrats, not the elites, won the 2020 election and are now reaping the rewards, while Trump and the Republicans, having lost, are deservedly consigned to the wilderness. And that is true so far as it goes. But it misses the big picture: the elites in our country lean progressive and vote Democratic, but not all Democrats love the elites.

Joe Biden, a 78-year-old middling figure who had failed at presidential politics before, would never have become the Democratic candidate except as a desperate stopgap to the anti-elite Bernie Sanders. He would never have become president except for the establishment’s four-year exorcism of the anti-elite Trump. The elites got Biden where he is; elite is what he is, a man whose chief attribute is comfort at the top of the pyramid. When the CEO of Coca-Cola and the commissioner of Major League Baseball, tech companies like Google and Apple, the New York Times and Washington Post, and Bank of America and the ACLU run interference for the president on the Georgia controversy, a weird agitation of the elites is at hand that transcends party politics.

The people in charge of our great institutions fear and loathe the public. The election of Trump convinced them that ordinary citizens couldn’t be trusted with the vote. The rise of social media has persuaded them that limits must be imposed on what can be said. Aware that they lack personal and institutional authority, they will gladly settle for political power. They aim to tame the beast.

Let’s be clear: there’s no elite conspiracy, no secret gatherings in smoke-filled rooms, only a herd-like huddling of conformist minds. There’s no elite ideology in any coherent sense, only a blind impulse to control that gravitates instinctively to certain positions on certain issues. The script is always the restoration of order in a broken world.

Two common threads are apparent: the public is a bigoted and destructive monster, and only state power wielded by virtuous elites can protect this creature from itself. The politics of racial and gender “equity” entail complicated government mandates over corporate and private behavior, as well as undeviating conformity in speech and opinion policed by online inquisitors. The politics of climate change entail government control over large swaths of the economy and the demonization of skeptics as the moral equivalent of Holocaust deniers. The politics of authorized truth entail the regulation of digital platforms to ensure that algorithms deliver officially approved answers, and the red-flagging or de-platforming of opinions obnoxious to the elites. The politics of transportation entail taxing to extinction that symbol of indeterminacy, the car, while shoving the masses into predictable rail lines and bike lanes.


  1. Nameless Pessimist says:

    Nah, just another dumb take from Martin Gurri. Isegoria doesn’t know, but nothing happens unplanned. The pandemic was man-made, oil is over, civilization is ending.

  2. Gavin Longmuir says:

    The comments on Martin Gurri’s article in City Journal are interesting — and not at all favorable!

    Gurri is certainly correct that the Cool Kids (very far from being “Elites” in any meaningful sense of the word) are focused on pleasing each other, not on doing things for their populations or customers.

    This has all happened before, and history tells us unequivocally how it will end for the Cool Kids — check the Persian Empire, the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire, the USSR.

    The only question is whether the Cool Kids end up like the once all-powerful British aristocracy as impoverished dwellers in dank decaying old mansions or like the French aristocracy staring at the guillotine after a 10 minute trial.

  3. Handle says:

    If you search Kling’s place, you’ll see I’ve been using this “A New Hope” vs. “The Empire Strikes Back” metaphor criticizing Gurri’s thesis for years, and indeed, told it to him in person about 4.5 years ago.

    The problem is that Gurri’s original thesis was stated in a confident and adamant manner that media elites had *lost* control in a completely irreversible manner in a progressive phenomena that could only increase in strength and severity. That is altogether inconsistent with any kind of “resurgence” or striking back, and he has done nothing to explain why this should have been possible at all.

    Neither does he amend or refine his original thesis to account or allow for it, or even to explain why we shouldn’t expect this striking back and reversal to be permanent, now that the powers that be have gotten over the surprise shock of disruption, gotten their acts together in new business models, and adapted to the new media reality, developing even more powerful tools, techniques, and systems of control.

  4. Mike in Boston says:

    “history tells us unequivocally how it will end for the Cool Kids… the USSR…”

    I don’t think history is that consistent. For example, the USSR swapped one set of Cool Kids for another in 1937.

    “the powers that be have gotten over the surprise shock of disruption, gotten their acts together… and adapted”

    This is the evil genius of the two-party system. If the Globetrotters get too complacent and starts to lose its edge, the Washington Wizards will start to look like a serious threat, forcing the Globetrotters to get their collective act together.

  5. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Mike: “the USSR swapped one set of Cool Kids for another in 1937.”

    But the structure of the USSR remained through those internal conflicts, until the gerontocratic Soviet Cool Kids lost control in 1991 and the USSR joined the British Empire, Roman Empire, etc in the dustbin of history.

    History is fairly consistent that Ruling Classes which grow too big, too expensive, and too inefficient do not last. That is where our current Political Class is heading. History does not give us a clear answer on what will replace our present worthless clique of Cool Kids.

  6. Sam J. says:

    Martin Gurri is a liar.

    Is Biden even President? He signs things NOT in the oval office. It’s a set somewhere. The White house is frequently dark at night some say he’s not in nor ever been in it. Marines do not salute him. It’s obvious that the election were stolen the evidence is overwhelming.

    I saw a press conference, live, he gave in the rose garden but someone a few blocks away proved he wasn’t even there. He could see most of what was going on and sirens blaring where he was was not on the TV. Fake.

    I can’t say I know what’s going on as there’s so much disinformation but Biden is not totally in control of the US State and we don’t know what’s going to happen.

    Part the reason that people are not rising up and blazing away at each other is…that’s what the deep State wants. We kill each other off while they egg it on.

    I think it possible if they can get a Coastal States v. Central US States civil war going then they could bring in UN troops,supplies and a mass of Chinese from the ports, and defeat the Central States.

    People think owning guns will save them but if they are evil enough to just exterminate everything then guns will likely not save them.

    Of course the idiot Coastal elites think they will defeat the Central States but in all likelihood under this situation the Chinese would waste them too and take the US for themselves. Everything they need is here. Water, crop land, everything.

    That there’s a conspiracy is obvious. Every since 9-11 where buildings with 3 or 4 floors on fire fall over a hundred feet with zero support.

    I “think” that all the corona attacks and possible vax death shots are a desperate measure of the deep State, likely mostly orchestrated by the J__s.

    The internet has opened up the truth like never before and they are losing control. This is all a big hail Mary and it may work, may not. I expect not because a lot of people are not being vaxed and when all their family dies off they are going to be pissed.

  7. Jim says:

    “I saw a press conference, live, he gave in the rose garden but someone a few blocks away proved he wasn’t even there. He could see most of what was going on and sirens blaring where he was was not on the TV. Fake.”

    I saw that. I have the video somewhere, available upon request.

    “I can’t say I know what’s going on as there’s so much disinformation but Biden is not totally in control of the US State and we don’t know what’s going to happen.”

    I concur. It doesn’t feel like the Biden puppeteer cliquists are meaningfully commanding the security apparatus.

    So expect the unexpected.

    Even, dare I say it, trvst the plan.

  8. Sam J. says:

    “Even, dare I say it, trvst the plan.”

    I DO NOT trust the plan. There have been to many errors. Many steps that could have been taken that would have soured the US and other citizens on the deep State were not taken.

    The certifying of Biden as President should not have happened. They said,”We have it all”, but did nothing. If they did do something the results where not consequential enough to matter.

    It appears to me they are just stringing us along. A lot of “just wait”, “in two weeks”, “any minute now”. pftt…

    At the same time I do realize they have gassed the termites out of the woodwork. They are scrambling all over and it’s plain to see. That 25%, at least, of Republican voters say they believe that the world is run by Satan worshiping pedophiles is a huge step forward.

    The question is can they effect change, real change, before they unleash another virus or the possibility that the vaccine has a kill switch in it that will cause mass casualties? “If” the vaccine is a weapon then they will find themselves in even deeper trouble cause the people who won’t take it are much more likely to hate them in the first place and at some point a spark will be lit, I have no idea what or when, and mass murder will commence.

    Many who are not too deep in it but involved will wish they had not been because at this point no one will care. Either they were not involved or they were and will get the rope.

    And BTW the whole ufo nonsense is just a bunch of guys flying around in a “inertia drive” craft that pushes against the inertia of the universe instead of expelling matter. The Air Force should run a crash program to make one of these, put a super fast high velocity gun on it and blast these f–kers to hell and back.

    No one and I mean no one will believe these are invading aliens. Invading aliens would be far more technologically advanced and we would never see them at all.

    They would have us believe that aliens come all the way across the galaxy to anal probe people and cut the anuses out of cows. Sure…

  9. Bomag says:

    “I can’t say I know what’s going on as there’s so much disinformation… The internet has opened up the truth like never before and they are losing control.”

    I’d say the disinformation is winning. The internet has opened up a venue for truth dropping; but it has amplified the ability to repeat lies and swamp the debate.

  10. Sam J. says:

    Bomag says, “I’d say the disinformation is winning.”

    Completely wrong. A state of not knowing the truth is far different, and better, from what we had before when we thought we knew the truth and it was wrong.

    When you think you know the truth and it is all lies you can not be prompted to correct what is wrong. When you know things are wrong, even if you are not sure exactly what the path is, you can start to make decisions that lead you to where you wish to be.

    We are there.

    They are failing.

    An example, some 25% or so of the Republican voters believe that the world is run by satan worshiping pedophiles. While this may not be true. The J–s may have pretended to be satanist so that anyone talking about their perversions would not be taken seriously now even their lies can be believed because they’ve screwed up so bad(who knows maybe they are).

    Their lies also have become so blatant that everyone knows they are lying because…they have no other mental skill set. A large number of them or at least these that run things are psychopaths and they can not judge the metal make up of people accurately as they are not people they are human animals. Their mental make up is exactly the same as humans were before civilization because it’s obvious you can’t have civilization run by psychopaths or actually animals. Just like each lion territory doesn’t have room for many lions. Their mental make up doesn’t allow for it.

    If everything you do is built on lies eventually the lies catch up with you.

    Even when they tell the partial truth about other groups of people,”Vatican runs everything”, “Queen of England runs everything”, etc. in reality they are outing a little bit of truth about how corrupt another group of evil psychopaths are and if you look they ALWAYS tie into whatever evil is afoot. Hence the phrase “Every Single Time”.

    Since they have screwed up so bad they are outing most everyone that is with them to try and push the truth back in the box. All these that they push forward to repeat their lies eventually become burnt because they say one thing and do another. Eventually most people will think like me because there’s only so many people they can push put there to repeat their lies until people realize who is the ringleader of the whole operation.

    Now they are trying to do something drastic to forestall this, UFO’s, vax, but this is not working. I don’t know the exact numbers but a link said 37% of Americans have taken the vax. If this vax is a kill shot by causing cytokine storm or other ill effects there’s going to be a lot of super pissed people and they are not going to be able to cover this up. The mere fact that that many people do not trust them is big indicator. Probably why they are rolling out the UFO’s.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if UFO’s nuked a few cities but since all their supporters live in cities this will not help them in the end.

Leave a Reply