Elitism Vs Populism
By John 'Birdman' Bryant
An important unresolved question which plagues all manner of 'freedom fighters' is the question of populism vs elitism. At the one extreme are eugenics supporters, who recognize the importance of intelligence in society, and believe that, in a general way, the intelligent and otherwise superior both must and should be dominant in society. The implications of this, of course, are elitist, since high intelligence and similar positive characteristics are the possession of the few rather than the many; and thus the intelligent are the elite whom the eugenics supporters celebrate.
Similar to the eugenics supporters are the white racialists, many of whom cull their philosophy from the fact that the white race is the most successful in history in the sense of being most able to produce happiness and general good. In this sense, then, white racialists consider the white race a sort of elite who should -- and hopefully will -- dominate the planet. This, of course, does not commit the white racialist to having whites themselves ruled by a white elite, tho it would seem to incline them to it.
Another philosophy supporting elitism over populism -- and one which has been more widespread than any other elitist philosophy -- is autocracy, the most important form of which historically has been monarchism, but which finds its modern counterpart in the form of dictatorship and similar constructs. Autocracy, it may be observed, is the most natural form of leadership, since it is based on the respect of peers who follow the leader because they are induced rather than forced to do so. Needless to say, we think of autocracy in negative terms, in part because we think that those who are governed should have some say in how they are governed, and in part because we dislike the threat posed by powerful men who can rule by whim which is unhindered by opposition. These are not necessarily compelling arguments, however; for the autocrat has certain advantages over the democrat, the most important being the motivation to provide for the long- term welfare of his country, as opposed to attaining short-term political advantage.
As opposed to elitism, populism has arisen precisely because of the objections just mentioned: The abuse of power which occurs because that power is not counterbalanced by another significant power; and the unfairness of not allowing those who are governed from governing themselves. Populism was one of the great results of the Enlightenment -- it emerged as the product of the abandonment of 'the divine right of kings' and the adoption of Lockean notions of democracy and freedom so elegantly reflected in the writings of Jefferson and our other Founders.
But democracy -- as populism is often called -- has an important if not fatal flaw: It tends to get hijacked by the wealthy and powerful who bend it to their own ends. This is not, I should add, altogether wrong; for the rich and powerful in some sense deserve to have a major voice in government that lesser men do not: Those who pay the piper the most -- as the rich and powerful often do in the form of taxes -- should be able to call some of the tunes, not only out of fairness, but because the operation of big business impacts the welfare of those who hold jobs, purchase products and the like. The point here is that those who have a stake in government should be the ones to control it, and that control should be in proportion to the stake which they hold. This is not elitism in theory -- anyone, it may be said, can grow up to be president of Microsoft -- but it is elitism in fact, because it will be the elite -- whether measured in terms of IQ, economics, or some other standard of potential or actual achievement -- who will dominate in this sort of context.
But if both elitism and populism have objectionable aspects, what kind of system can minimize these difficulties? I don't think that there is any simple answer to this question, but I do think that there are various procedures which can be helpful, and many of these I have discussed in my book, Handbook of the Coming American Revolution. One of these is the matter just discussed, of according the franchise in proportion to 'stake', ie, in proportion to taxes paid. Another is in eliminating entirely the matter of money in running for office -- something which can be done easily with the system I describe, and which will in addition produce two other major benefits: The elimination of inappropriate influence of the major media, and the allowing of the emergence of 'natural leadership'.
While it would be inappropriate here for a full discussion of things I have already discussed in detail in the Handbook, let me just point out that there are numerous major problems with current electoral politics:
* The politicians must have access to the major media if they are to be elected
* The only way the politicians can have access to the major media is with scads of money, and this makes them beholden to the moneyed interests
* Because media time is expensive, there is no discussion of the real issues, but mostly just soundbites
* The parties are the major funders of candidates, and thus no candidate can make a successful campaign without the backing of a major party
* The parties have been co-opted by their major contributors, and in fact both are pretty much owned by the Jews
* Without strong independent candidates, the real issues will never be discussed
* Voters don't really 'choose' who is elected; they are only allowed to choose between two clones selected by the major parties
From the above points, it is clear that the influence of money and the major media must be broken before electoral politics can work in the way it was intended by the Founders. As stated before, I show how this can be easily and quickly done in the Handbook. And while I did not there address explicitly the question of elitism vs populism, it happens that the system I describe will also resolve that problem in a significant way by giving ordinary people a reasonable shot at political candidacy, while at the same time allowing the emergence of 'natural leadership' in which -- so to speak -- the cream of the crop will rise to the top.
Now in eliminating money (and the influence and media attention it will buy) as the mother's milk of politics, we reap the added benefit of short- circuiting the ability of the media to act as a tool for manipulating the population. While this may not impress ordinary people as important, those of us who are Internet-savvy have seen with our own eyes the blatant and unblushing lies of both omission and commission of which the media are guilty on a daily basis. Furthermore, we have seen the words of Edward Bernays, the 'father of propaganda', who has advanced the notion that it is not merely within the power of the elite to manipulate the minds of the people, but is actually socially beneficial. Tim O'Shea ("The Doors of Perception", describes the situation as follows:
"Stauber describes Bernays' rationale [as]: "the scientific manipulation of public opinion was necessary to overcome chaos and conflict in a democratic society." (Trust Us p 42)
"These early mass persuaders postured themselves as performing a moral service for humanity in general - democracy was too good for people; they needed to be told what to think, because they were incapable of rational thought by themselves. Here's a paragraph from Bernays' Propaganda: "Those who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our lives whether in the sphere of politics or business in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind."
"[As the reader can see, this is a] tad different from Thomas Jefferson's view on the subject:
"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate power of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise that control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not take it from them, but to inform their discretion."
Now, the most important thing to observe about the above quotation is that, even if one agrees that an elite should rule and the people obey, this gives no warrant for the mind manipulation with which Bernays is so taken. In fact, it is clear upon reflection that the reason for mind manipulation a la Bernays is simply to allow the elite to more easily hold onto its power, rather than risk facing a revolt of the peasants in which the elite just might end up on the business end of a pitchfork, as the muscle of the American elite is presently doing at this very moment in Iraq.
But surprising as it may seem, the important thing about creating a fair system of government, where there is an attempt to balance the elitist and populist interests, where the power of money and the mass media are eliminated, and where mind manipulation is not permitted, is not some abstruse ethical or moral claim, but rather the very pragmatic consideration that A FAIR GOVERNMENT IS A STABLE GOVERNMENT. In the long term, governments survive and prosper because their citizens find them at least satisfactory; and a government which makes it a point to be sensitive to its citizens' needs is likely to be protected from a peasants' revolt a lot more effectively than that of an autocrat who criminalizes criticism and disappears dissenters. Beyond that, criticism is therapeutic: Criticism tells you where you are going wrong, and thus nuggets of criticism should be prized as gold rather than rejected as hateful and treasonous. And it is precisely the need for good criticism that populism should be cultivated; for while we need not say 'vox populi, vox dei', we can say that if the elite ignore the criticism from below, they may end up hanging from a rope above.



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