Anti-Elitism and Tyranny

Anti-elitism, as an abstract tenet or populist mantra, fosters anti-intellectualism, which in turn engenders a disregard for historical precedents and precursors — this last, the blindness to precedent, being an indispensable gear in the machine of progressivism.

I have called Trumpism a cult — never meant figuratively. I have written of ten signs of any cult that are all easily applicable to Trumpism. One more sign: willingness to throw everything behind a man whom no serious past thinker or society has ever recommended. Ignorant, devoid of consistent or thoughtful political principles, let alone anything resembling a “philosophy,” incurious, highly motivated by self-aggrandizement, personal gain, and lust for fame. To imagine such a man could be any sort of answer to a political problem, let alone to the looming threat of totalitarianism, is possible only among people who have fallen into a profound contempt toward an undefined “elitism,” which in practice entails an essential distrust of thinking. A thoughtless crowd — a crowd that does not merely lack knowledge, but has long cultivated a hatred of knowers as such, having lost sight of any meaningful distinction between academic pretension and real wisdom — will inevitably choose a stupid path.

Stupid paths lead to dangerous places, and often into boobytraps from which no escape is possible. Hence America today, at the mercy of progressive authoritarianism in all its forms for as far into the future as the eye can see, partly due to the mechanisms of foolish anti-elitism among the nation’s self-described defenders of freedom. 

Will it ever occur to these anti-elitists that they have fallen into the egalitarian trap? — the disbelief in superior men, portrayed as a form of moral righteousness.

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