Elitism vs. Snobbery
This past week, the NATO summit — am I alone in having to stifle a chortle every time we hear of today’s global “ruling class” labeling any of their champagne-and-empty-talking-points soirées a summit? — was turned upside down in a manner most typical of our social-media-infested age. Several VIPs (aka halfwits) were caught on video mocking Donald Trump in his absence.
The comical cadre included, in starring roles, Justin “Pretty Boy Blackface” Trudeau, Emmanuel “Pee in my flower pot” Macron, Boris “Bedhead by Andre’s” Johnson, and, apparently in attendance to represent Europe’s inbred minority, Princess “Which one is she again?” Anne.
Here, from the Guardian, is the “story,” including the not-so-candid camera conversation led by Canada’s karaoke “Day-O” champion cum social justice warrior prince:
First of all, Justin Trudeau mocking another elected leader for seeking publicity is quite amusing, given that his entire political career to date has been nothing but one long publicity stunt, owing both its success and its tiresome longevity to Canada’s penchant for being, as one analyst perfectly said it during a failed Quebec separatist referendum decades ago, the only country that can stage a popular uprising in defense of the status quo.
Secondly, I am struck, though not surprised, by the ease with which everyone, regardless of tribe, blithely accepts the sheer gossipy nature of this whole story, which ought to be deeply offensive to everyone for its underlying implication: There is no longer any such thing as private behavior or private conversation. Everything is “on the record,” in the sense of being a quasi-public performance, regardless of intentions or context. There is a closed circuit or smartphone camera everywhere you go, ready to capture your every facial expression, hand gesture, or whispered remark. Our lives — all of our lives, whether at your office water cooler, your favorite coffee shop, or in the “halls of power” — are effectively reality television, potentially tomorrow’s internet sensation, fodder for the world’s callous amusement, self-righteous judgment, or political posturing. The principles of modern political existence, exemplified by this surreptitious view of world leaders chatting casually at a globalist pub night, and a natural extension of the defining premises and practices of modern compulsory schooling, are as evil as they are ubiquitous and simple: You must never be alone; your life is not your own; what you do and say belongs to everyone, and acquires significance only as part of the mélange of “social communication,” i.e., the obliteration of the individual.
But what is perhaps most disturbing in this non-story that became an international incident, with Trump, his ego damaged, storming out of the “summit” to make sure everyone knew he was every bit as small as his mockers (except for his hands, which are famously smaller), is the reaction of Trump’s detractors. In short, their response to the schoolyard silliness of Trudeau, Macron, and the rest of the globalist children, was to cite this footage, gleefully, as proof-positive that Trump is a global laughingstock.
“See,” they cheered all over the internet, “these world leaders all think Trump is a joke!”
Yes, they do. And they also think you are a joke. And they are at least as right about you as they are about Trump. They are so pleased to have played the ultimate prank on all of us, raising themselves, in all their dull insignificance, to positions of prominence and ersatz power in the political vacuum left by our foolish, collective abdication of self-governing sovereignty. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are eating them all for lunch; meanwhile, they — these puny corporate progressive props — are clinking glasses to celebrate their superiority to the absent colleague whose nation is the only reason any of their nations still exist.
To revel in this video as evidence against Trump is to accept the presumption of the video’s stars, namely that they are the elite, the higher men, and therefore qualified to pass dismissive judgment on anyone they wish.
This is one of those cases of democracy exposing itself. Private citizens exalt these weak, paltry “leaders” in order to score meaningless gotcha points against another tribe in the optical illusion of modern democratic politics. On the other hand, on another day, the same people leaping to cite these NATO giggle-fest participants as authorities on another man’s worth would be objecting, in good egalitarian fashion, to being ruled by “elitists.”
Wrong on all counts. These non-entities are not the elite. The elite — that is, the best of us — truly ought to have a hand on the tiller. Is that not what any rational person would wish, were we not all indoctrinated to deny the reality of differences in human intelligence, virtue, and wisdom? Was that not the premise behind the founding of the modern constitutional republic — to allow the wise to have a permanent role in the structures and developments of civic life, as a constant buffer against pure rule by the crowd, i.e., democracy?
Thanks to generations of progressive egalitarian training, however, we now unthinkingly deny the very possibility of what used to be called the spiritual aristocracy — that is, a hierarchy of human souls, determined by the standard of human nature — in favor of embracing the rule of those who merely act superior. In other words, we have rejected the respect due to a true elite in favor of a popular idolatry of mere snobs. When voting citizens of an ostensibly free country are using such royal nothings as Justin Trudeau, and even less-than-nothings like Princess Anne, as a cudgel with which to bash an elected American president, you can be certain modernity has completely inverted itself, from the age of the rights of man and the rule of reason to an age of deference to climbing careerism and silver-spoon-wielding snottiness.
And this, of course, is why there is a Trump presidency. Idol worship grounded in a complete lack of standards, and admiration based on nothing more substantial than fame and money, is the apt fallout of the progressive age. Spit at people long enough, and they will spit back. This is our collective fate: a playground spitting contest between factions that both believe they are the independent-minded ones, because their cardboard idols are better than the other side’s. Meanwhile, the behind-the-scenes orchestrators of this well-regulated animal farm war smile all the way to the bank of perpetual vainglory.