The Ruling Elite Has Lost the Consent of the Governed
Charles Hugh Smith
Every ruling Elite needs the consent of the governed: even autocracies, dictatorships and corporatocracies ultimately rule with the consent, however grudging, of the governed.
The American ruling Elite has lost the consent of the governed. This reality is being masked by the mainstream media, mouthpiece of the ruling class, which is ceaselessly promoting two false narratives:
1. The “great divide” in American politics is between left and right, Democrat/Republican
2. The ruling Elite has delivered “prosperity” not just to the privileged few but to the unprivileged many they govern.
Both of these assertions are false. The Great Divide in America is between the ruling Elite and the governed that the Elite has stripmined. The ruling Elite is privileged and protected, the governed are unprivileged and unprotected. That’s the divide that counts and the divide that is finally becoming visible to the marginalized, unprivileged class of debt-serfs.
The “prosperity” of the 21st century has flowed solely to the ruling Elite and its army of technocrat toadies, factotums, flunkies, apparatchiks and apologists.The Elite’s army of technocrats and its media apologists have engineered and promoted an endless spew of ginned-up phony statistics (the super-low unemployment rate, etc.) to create the illusion of “growth” and “prosperity” that benefit everyone rather than just the top 5%.
The media is 100% committed to promoting these two false narratives because the jig is up once the bottom 95% wake up to the reality that the ruling Elite has been stripmining them for decades. As I have tirelessly explained, the U.S. economy is not just neoliberal (the code word for maximizing private gain by any means available, including theft, fraud, embezzlement, political fixing, price-fixing, and so on)–it is neofeudal, meaning that it is structurally an updated version of Medieval feudalism in which a top layer of financial-political nobility owns the engines of wealth and governs the marginalized debt-serfs who toil to pay student loans, auto loans, credit cards, mortgages and taxes–all of which benefit the financiers and political grifters.
The media is in a self-referential frenzy to convince us the decision of the century is between unrivaled political grifter Hillary Clinton and financier-cowboy Donald Trump.Both belong to the privileged ruling Elite: both have access to cheap credit, insider information (information asymmetry) and political influence.
The cold truth is the ruling Elite has shredded the social contract by skimming the income/wealth of the unprivileged. The fake-“progressive” pandering apologists of the ruling Elite–Robert Reich, Paul Krugman and the rest of the Keynesian Cargo Cultists–turn a blind eye to the suppression of dissent and the looting the bottom 95% because they have cushy, protected positions as tenured faculty (or equivalent).
They cheerlead for more state-funded bread and circuses for the marginalized rather than demand an end to exploitive privileges of the sort they themselves enjoy.
Consider just three of the unsustainably costly broken systems that enrich the privileged Elite by stripmining the unprivileged: healthcare (a.k.a. sickcarebecause sickness is profitable, prevention is unprofitable), higher education and Imperial over-reach (the National Security State and its partner the privately owned Military-Industrial Complex).
While the unprivileged and unprotected watch their healthcare premiums and co-pays soar year after year, the CEOs of various sickcare cartels skim off tens of millions of dollars annually in pay and stock options.
The system works great if you get a $20 million paycheck. If you get a 30% increase in monthly premiums for fewer actual healthcare services–the system is broken.
If you’re skimming $250,000 as under-assistant dean to the provost for student services (or equivalent) plus gold-plated benefits, higher education is working great. If you’re a student burdened with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt who is receiving a low-quality, essentially worthless “education” from poorly paid graduate students (“adjuncts”) and a handful of online courses that you could get for free or for a low cost outside the university cartel–the system is broken.
If you exit the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, etc. at a cushy managerial rank with a fat pension and lifetime benefits and are hired at a fat salary the next day by a private “defense” contractor–the famous revolving door between a bloated state and a bloated defense industry–the system works great. If you joined the Armed Forces to escape rural poverty and served at the point of the spear somewhere in the Imperial Project–your perspective may well be considerably different.
Unfortunately for the ruling Elite and their army of engorged enablers and apologists, they have already lost the consent of the governed. They have bamboozled, conned and misled the bottom 95% for decades, but their phony facade of political legitimacy and “the rising tide raises all boats” has cracked wide open, and the machinery of oppression, looting and propaganda is now visible to everyone who isn’t being paid to cover their eyes.
Brimming with hubris and self-importance, the ruling Elite and mainstream media cannot believe they have lost the consent of the governed. The disillusioned governed have not fully absorbed this epochal shift of the tides yet, either. They are aware of their own disillusionment and their own declining financial security, but they have yet to grasp that they have, beneath the surface of everyday life, already withdrawn their consent from a self-serving, predatory, parasitic, greedy and ultimately self-destructive ruling Elite.
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