Saturday, November 28, 2020

the changing nature of the elites

I’ve made the point before that the elites are not as monolithic as is often supposed. A further point that needs to be stressed is that the elites are not static.

The composition of the elites changes constantly. In the 19th century the old landed elites gave way to the new moneyed industrial elites. The 20th century saw the rise of the managerial/technocratic elites, and later the media/entertainment elites. More recently we’ve seen the meteoric rise of the IT elites.

In the mid-20th century the capitalist elites were still largely drawn from the ranks of industrial capitalism. Today they are much more likely to be drawn from the world of financial capitalism.

In the Anglosphere until the 1970s the elites were still predominantly WASP (with a large admixture of Jews in the US). Today that’s not so much the case. The elites of today are also a lot less heterosexual. The immense power of the LGBT lobby is a direct result of massive elite support. While the real capitalist elites (the people with really serious money and power) are still predominantly male the managerial/technocratic and media/entertainment elites are increasingly female.

As the nature and composition of the elite class changes the agenda of the elites changes as well. Or rather the agendas. While the main agenda (holding on to money and power) remains constant there are numerous secondary agendas (feminist, environmentalist, LGBT and Woke agendas). The secondary agendas are in many cases simply useful tools to maintain elite money and power but we should not assume that ideological agendas are not important to at least some elite factions.

Globalism might appear to be one unifying agenda of the elites but globalism means different things to different factions within the elites. Some of the ideologically driven elites might really believe in the internationalist ideals that they publicly espouse but for most of the bureaucratic and political elites in the US (and for the military-industrial complex) globalism just means global American hegemony. And for much of the media/entertainment elites globalism means global American cultural hegemony. For most of the elites (including virtually all of the industrial-financial elites) environmentalism means helping themselves to lots of taxpayers’ money, for some it means power and for some (particularly the the media/entertainment and IT elites) it’s a genuine ideological position.

The elites of today are quite different from the elites of the 1950s, or even the 1980s. And the nature and composition of the elites will continue to change, not necessarily in ways that we can easily predict. And the agendas of the elites will change as well.

2 comments:

  1. What do you think about The Great Reset?

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  2. That 'global American hegemony' is shortly to be reinforced with the final conclusion of Brexit, resulting in the UK becoming even more at the beck and call of the US than hitherto.

    ReplyDelete