Benito Mussolini (1883 – 1945) going for a drive with his pet lion cub ‘Ras’, a gift from Aldo Finci.
Daniel Pipes has collected a number of comments on dictators and tyrants, demonstrating the propensity of Western establishment intellectuals to feel, Ã la Chris Matthews, “a thrill running up the leg” when in proximity to power.
Arnold Toynbee, the influential world historian, interviewed the FÃ¼hrer in 1936 and reported being â€˜convinced of his sincerity in desiring peace in Europeâ€™.
Jerome Davis, a famed Yale Divinity School theologian, thought â€˜it would be an error to consider the Soviet leader a willful man who believes in forcing his ideas upon othersâ€™.
John K. Fairbank, Harvardâ€™s dean of American China scholars, asserted that â€˜the Maoist revolution is on the whole the best thing that happened to the Chinese people in centuries,â€™ and concluded that Maoâ€™s China â€˜is much more our friend than our enemy. It is peculiarly self-absorbed and nonaggressive abroad.â€™
Edward Said, a university professor at Columbia, said the Palestinian leader â€˜made the PLO a genuinely representative bodyâ€™.
Richard Falk, a Princeton political scientist, judged that the Iranian ayatollah had created â€˜a new model of popular revolution, based for the most part on non-violent tacticsâ€™. He went on to conclude that â€˜Iran may yet provide us with a desperately needed model of human governance for a third-world countryâ€™.
Acclaimed novelist Norman Mailer flattered his Cuban host with â€˜you were the first and greatest hero to appear in the world since the Second Warâ€¦you are the answer to the argumentâ€¦that revolutions cannot last, that they turn corrupt or total or they eat their own.â€™
University of Chicago historian Bruce Cumings depicts the North Korean dictator as â€˜a homebody who doesnâ€™t socialize much, doesnâ€™t drink much and works at home in his pajamasâ€¦ He most enjoys tinkering with his many music boxes, sitting on the floorâ€¦ He is prudish and shy, and like most Korean fathers, hopelessly devoted to his son.â€™
“The intellectual had become not so much an occupational type as a status type. He was like the medieval cleric, most of whose energies were devoted to separating himself from the mobâ€”which in modern times, in Revelâ€™s phrase, goes under the name of the middle class. â€¦ Moral indignation was the main thing; that, and a certain pattern of consumption. In fact, by the 1960s it was no longer necessary to produce literature, scholarship, or artâ€”or even to be involved in such matters, except as a consumerâ€”in order to qualify as an intellectual. It was only necessary to live la vie intellectuelle. A little brown bread in a bread box, a lapsed pledge card to CORE, a stereo and a record rack full of Coltrane and all the Beatles albums from Revolver on, white walls, a huge Dracaena marginata plant, which is there because all the furniture is so clean-lined and spare that without this piece of frondose tropical Victoriana the room looks empty, a stack of unread New York Review of Books rising up in a surly mound of subscription guilt, the conviction that America is materialistic, repressive, bloated, and deadened by its Silent Majority, which resides in the heartland, three grocery boxes full of pop bottles wedged in behind the refrigerator and destined (one of these days) for the Recycling Center, a small, uncomfortable European carâ€”that pretty well got the job done…”
The elite are supposed to be educated. So why are they so silly?
Ah! There is a clue. That word â€˜educatedâ€™. What does â€˜educatedâ€™ mean today? It doesnâ€™t mean they know a lot about the world. It means they have been injected with the views and assumptions of their teachers. They have been taught by people who themselves have little experience of the real world. They have been indoctrinated with certain ideas. Here are some key ones.
They have been taught that capitalism is inherently bad. It is something to be controlled at every turn by an altruistic government or else reduced to a minimum. Meanwhile the pursuit of equality is good. These are truly astonishing things for educated people to believe when the past 100 years have been a brutal lesson instructing us that the opposite is the case. The pursuit of equality brought the world terror and tens of millions of deaths along with terrible economic failure. In the past 30 years, by contrast, since China and India adopted more pro-capitalist policies, capitalism has caused the biggest reduction in poverty the world has ever known. You may know that, but it is not taught in schools. Schools actually teach that Stalinâ€™s five-year plans were a qualified success! The academic world is overwhelmingly left-wing and the textbooks spin to the left. They distort the facts or omit them.
What the elite have been led to believe is that governments make things better. â€˜Market failureâ€™ is taught; â€˜public-sector failureâ€™ is not. In my own area, they are taught that everything was awful in 19th-century Britain until governments came along to save the day with an ever-bigger welfare state. The importance of friendly societies, voluntary hospitals and so on is omitted. It is rubbish â€” left-wing propaganda. But misleading education of this and other kinds rubs off even on those who are not studying history or politics. It comes through in the Times, the Guardian or, in America, the Washington Post or New York Times. In Britain, BBC Radio 4 is the continuation of university propaganda by other means.
I think he overlooks the point that “the elite” is overwhelmingly comprised of the lumpen pseudo-intelligentsia, the incapable-of-critical-thought mass products of elite education, who, armed with those elite credentials, rise via docility, conformity, and a penchant for shit work to occupy positions they are really not qualified to fill.
Just look at Yale President Peter Salovey!
People of his sort are really nihilists, who believe the truth consists of the consensus of the contemporary establishment. People like Salovey feel obliged to treat the Radical Left as their conscience and bow to its demands, because the Left is passionate and people like Salovey are devoid personally of passion for anything but safety and career advancement. Leftists are noisy idealists and consequently must be propitiated, rewarded, and admired.
Conservatives, on the other hand, are infidels and heretics and must be detested and suppressed.
Mstislav Valerianovich Dobuzhinsky, Stavrogin and Verkhovensky on the Bridge
E.M. Oblomov, in City Journal, discusses the rise, and historical parallels, to America’s current treasonous intellectual clerisy.
The most devastating critique of the Russian intelligentsia was mounted by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in a 1974 essay called Educationdom (Obrazovanshchina). Solzhenitsyn traced the sources of the Bolshevik revolution and its cataclysmic aftermath to the vices of the old intelligentsia, which included â€œa sectarian, artificial distancing from the national life,â€ unsuitability for practical work, an obsession with egalitarian social justice that â€œparalyzes the love of and interest in truth,â€ and a â€œtrance-like, inadequate sense of reality.â€ There were other, darker vices, too: â€œfanaticism, deaf to the voice of everyday lifeâ€; a hypnotic faith in its own ideology and intolerance for any other; and the adoption of â€œhatred as a passionate ethical impulse.â€ Worse still for Solzhenitsyn was the intelligentsiaâ€™s fervent rejection of Christianity, replaced by faith in scientific progress and a mankind-worshiping idolatry. This atheism was all-embracing and uncritical in its belief that science is competent to dispose of all religious questions, finally and comprehensively. In Solzhenitsynâ€™s view, the intelligentsia had yielded to the temptation of Dostoevskyâ€™s Grand Inquisitorâ€”may the truth rot, if people are the happier for it. …
If only America could be Communist China for just one day, lamented New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. If only we could be ruled by an all-powerful junta of Harvard professors. Or by a plenary committee of nine eminent jurists.
Of course, mutual antipathy between intellectuals and democracy dates back at least to classical antiquity, when the Athenian assembly put Socrates on trial for corrupting the youth. The Athenian intelligentsia fought back. When Plato produced his blueprint for the ideal Republic, it looked much more like authoritarian Sparta than democratic Athens.
The United States was bound to be at odds with its intellectual class. Unlike Tsarist Russia, with its rigid system of castes and ranks, the United States was from the beginning an egalitarian republic, with no native intelligentsia. In the nineteenth century, Tocqueville found that, â€œthere is no class . . . in America, in which the taste for intellectual pleasures is transmitted with hereditary fortune and leisure and by which the labors of the intellect are held in honor.â€ Tocqueville conceived of the intelligentsia in French terms and identified it with aristocracy. But Americans were doers, not navel-gazers. They lacked a â€œtaste for intellectual pleasuresâ€ but possessed a huge appetite for acquiring practical knowledge.
For more than a century after Tocqueville, intellectuals remained at the margins of American society. American elites were industrial and financial, and the nationâ€™s rude and boisterous culture reflected their tastes and preferences. But change was inevitable. New universitiesâ€”notably Johns Hopkins and the University of Chicagoâ€”were being founded along Germanic lines. These were not social clubs for the scions of railroad barons and banking magnates, but factories of pure knowledge. Then, in the 1930s and 1940s, the intelligentsia received a huge boost from an infusion of large numbers of refugees from Nazi Europe, including Viennese philologists with a taste for Proust and Mahler. But it was only after World War II that the American intelligentsia really came into its own. Economic changes were making possible increasingly large returns on investment in university education. The GI Bill exposed ever-larger numbers of Americans to the world of professional intellectuals. And, with the establishment of the Educational Testing Service, the academic elite created a highly efficient engine for sorting Americans according to intellectual ability and channeling them, by means of the university admission system, into different social strata.
More than 70 years of this social sorting have given us a distinctive, insular, and powerful intellectual elite, shaped by the prejudices, anxieties, and affectations of the faculty lounge; separated from the rest by ever-greater social, economic, and cultural distance; and hardening into a self-perpetuating caste. This ruling intelligentsiaâ€”or â€œeducationdom,â€ in Solzhenitsynâ€™s biting formulationâ€”more and more resembles the ruling aristocracy of Tocquevilleâ€™s day:
In an aristocratic people, among whom letters are cultivated, I suppose that intellectual occupations, as well as the affairs of government, are concentrated in a ruling class. The literary as well as the political career is almost entirely confined to this class, or to those nearest to it in rank. These premises suffice for a key to all the rest.
In the New York Times, Tatiana Schlossberg (Caroline Kennedy’s daughter, Y’ 12) explains that if the weather’s getting cooler, that doesn’t mean there isn’t Global Warming. Why, well-educated members of the community of fashion elect can even explain to you that Global Warming actually can cause colder weather!
On Thursday, temperatures on the East Coast are expected to plummet, and some people â€” fellow journalists and weather broadcasters, weâ€™re looking at you â€” may start talking about a â€œpolar vortex.â€
We thought you might want to know what the polar vortex is, and what itâ€™s not.
(And we wanted to pre-empt the inevitable chatter about climate change that usually crops up when the thermometer drops â€” â€œItâ€™s bone-shakingly cold, how could the Earth be warming?â€ Weâ€™ll tell you how.) …
When these cold snaps come, you may hear other people asking,â€ If global warming is supposed to be warming the globe, then why is it so cold?â€
Well, for starters, there is a difference between weather and climate. Climate refers to the long-term averages and trends in atmospheric conditions over large areas, while weather deals with short-term variations, which is what happens when the polar vortex visits your hometown.
And of course, an Arctic blast can still occur in a warmer world. The air that comes down from the North Pole might not be as cold, Ms. Barthold said, but it would still be the product of the same phenomenon.
Some studies suggest that climate change could actually make these frigid waves of Arctic air more common, a result of shrinking sea ice. However, other scientists remain skeptical of this theory.
And the earth is definitely warming: Temperature records show that, by the end of last year, the earthâ€™s surface had warmed by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century. But even though the earthâ€™s surface is warming, scientists say that winter will still exist.
And even if parts of the United States are experiencing unusually cold temperatures, it represents such a small portion of the earthâ€™s surface â€” about 2 percent â€” that it does not mean much in terms of average global temperatures.
So, if, for instance, a senator (perhaps James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma) brandishes a snowball on the floor of the Senate to dispute the validity of climate science when a chill wind blows through Washington, you will know that the unseasonably cold temperatures he is talking about do not mean that global warming is not happening.
Apparently the Great Big Brains have understood all this for years. Warmlist, the attempted complete list of all the things caused by Anthropogenic Global Warming, already has listed:
ObamaCare Architect Jonathan Gruber admits Obamacare was passed only because America was intentionally deceived. “…call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever…”
Fox News Megyn Kelly reports on the scandal resulting from Professor Gruber’s remarks, and find that this was not the first time Jonathan Gruber publicly gloated that American voters are “too stupid to understand” how democrats were flimflamming them.
Ian Tuttle observes that no one should be surprised by any of this. Progressives commonly fail to conceal their sense of moral and intellectual superiority based upon being progressive.
Jonathan Gruber is smart. He is an economist. He teaches at MIT. Do you teach at MIT? Of course you donâ€™t. He is also the architect behind Obamacare. He is really, really smart. Did we mention that?
Of course, when you are as smart as Jonathan Gruber, it is difficult to resist the temptation to pull your light out from under the bushel on occasion; thus every once in a while there comes an embarrassing revelation. The conservative group American Commitment recently unearthed one such moment. During an interview at the University of Pennsylvania in October 2013, Gruber revealed that
this bill [the Affordable Care Act] was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO [the Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so itâ€™s written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in â€” you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed. . . . Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass. . . . Look, I wish . . . that we could make it all transparent, but Iâ€™d rather have this law than not.
One could call it an â€œadmissionâ€ or â€œconfession,â€ but Gruber does not seem particularly conflicted. The ends justified the means. That is something the millions of people who have been forced from their insurance plans
When a different economist, Thomas Sowell, quipped that â€œthe road to Hell is paved with Ivy League degrees,â€ he spoke more truth than he realized. Indeed, smart people often have bad policy ideas. But Hell is not about mistakes; itâ€™s about sins. And despite its pragmatic, do-what-works rhetoric, the progressive Left is convinced not only of its own intellectual superiority but of its accompanying moral superiority. Among progressives, stupidity is sin.
Gruberâ€™s comments are a perfect illustration of this belief. The â€œstupidity of the American voter,â€ of which he is obviously disdainful, is not an ignorance of facts. If Obamacare proponents had believed that was the case, they would simply have sought to explain the legislation, trusting that more information would be persuasive. The obfuscation in which they engaged would not have been necessary.
No, Obamacare proponents were certain that Americans could not be persuaded, no matter how much information they absorbed. The voters were incapable of recognizing that Obamacare was in their own best interests â€” or, to put it another way, they were (and remain) morally deficient, a failing impervious to reasoned argument. Their stupidity was a sin, against themselves and each other. Gruber and company were the messiahs they did not know they needed.
The real problem for Democrats is that â€œsmugâ€ isnâ€™t really their strategy; itâ€™s how they emotionally react to their conclusion that their viewpoint is better, more moral, smarter, wiser, fairer, more sensitive, more compassionate, and so on than the opposition. Itâ€™s not a campaign issue; itâ€™s a character issue.
Dan Greenfield (very amusingly) compares the Western elites determination to believe in “the Religion of Peace” with Nigerian email investment opportunities, and finds that the root of those elites’ delusion lies in their determination to pretend that the world we are all living in is the same as the world they desire.
Western elites, who fancy themselves more intelligent and more enlightened than the wise men and prophets of every religion, and who base their entire right to rule on that intelligence and enlightenment, are not in the habit of admitting that they have been played for fools. …
In 1993, Israel cut a land-for-peace deal with a greasy Egyptian bloke named Yasser Arafat. The Cairo-born Arafat would turn his gang of terrorists into a government and police force, and rule over an autonomous territory, in exchange for ending the violence. Clinton smiled beatifically as hands were shaken and a new era of peace was upon us.
The era, however, has yet to show up.
Over two decades of terrorism have not shaken the belief of the American or Israeli establishments in the â€œTwo-State Solutionâ€, which has solved absolutely nothing, except perhaps the problem of how to make the Middle East into an even worse place. As the violence increased and the pathways to peace decreased, American Presidents and Israeli Prime Ministers redoubled their concession offers and their faith in the Two-State Solutionâ€”now an article of faith in most circles. Denial isnâ€™t just a river in Egypt; it also laps at the shores of Tel Aviv, flows out to the English coast and floods cities across Europe.
Ask a Eurocrat for the time of day and heâ€™ll calculate how much to charge you for the subsidies to the artisanal clock farmers that it will take to answer that question. Ask him about Islamic integration and he will instantly tell you that everything is going smoothly and the problems only exist in the minds of a few bigots and the pages of a few sensationalized tabloids.
Muslim integration into Europe is going swimmingly, much like the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the Arab Spring. Itâ€™s going like a house on fire, not to mention a bus, a lot of cars and two towers on fireâ€”on the other side of the Atlantic. Whatever problems there are, as with the peace process and the spring process, are undoubtedly the fault of someone who isnâ€™t a Muslim. …
Most people project their own desires and motivations on to others. Americans assumed that Muslims just wanted democracy, free enterprise and apple pie. Muslims assume that Americans are conspiring to destroy them through a byzantine series of plots and conspiracies, because that is what they would do in our placeâ€¦ and that is what they are trying to do.
Noemie Emerie describes how the Progressive elite found the champion of their dreams, marched into power, but then wildly overreached.
They had a dream. For almost a hundred years now, the famed academic-artistic-and-punditry industrial complex has dreamed of a government run by their kind of people (i.e., natureâ€™s noblemen), whose intelligence, wit, and refined sensibilities would bring us a heaven on earth. Their keen intellects would cut through the clutter as mere mortalsâ€™ couldnâ€™t. They would lift up the wretched, oppressed by cruel forces. Above all, they would counter the greed of the merchants, the limited views of the business community, and the ignorance of the conformist and dim middle class.
Out of sorts and out of office after 1828, when power passed from the Adamses to the children of burghers and immigrants, they had begun to strike back by the 1920s, led by the likes of George Bernard Shaw, H.â€‰G. Wells, H.â€‰L. Mencken, Herbert Croly, and Sinclair Lewis. Their stock in trade was their belief in themselves, and their contempt for the way the middle class thought, lived, and made and spent money: Commerce was crude, consumption was vulgar, and industry, which employed millions and improved the lives of many more people, too gross and/or grubby for words. â€œFor the American critics of mass culture, it was the good times of the 1920s, not the depression of the 1930s, that proved terrifying,â€ says Fred Siegel, whose book The Revolt Against the Masses describes and eviscerates this group and its aspirations. In their dream world, â€œintellectuals, as well as poet-leaders, experts, and social scientists such as themselves would lead the regime,â€ as Siegel tells us. â€œIt was thus a crucial imperative to constrain the conventional and often corrupt politics of middle-class capitalists so that these far-seeing leaders might obtain the recognition and power that was only their due.â€ …
[T]he elites had to wait for the man of their dreams.
When they found him, he was a rare breed: a genuine African American (his father was Kenyan) who thought and talked like the academics on both sides of his family, a product of the faculty lounge who dabbled in urban/race politics, a man who could speak to both ends of the liberalsâ€™ up-and-down coalition, and a would-be transformer of our public life whose quiet voice and low-key demeanor conveyed â€œmoderationâ€ in all that he spoke and did. Best of all, he was the person whom the two branches of the liberal kingdomâ€”the academics and journalistsâ€”wanted to be, a man who shared their sensibilities and their views of the good and the beautiful. This was the chance of a lifetime to shape the world to their measure. He and they were the ones they were waiting for, and with him, they longed for transcendent achievements. But in the event they were undone by the three things Siegel had pegged as their signature weaknesses: They had too much belief in the brilliance of experts, they were completely dismissive of public opinion, and they had a contempt for the great middle class.
From the beginning, they made it clear that the Obama regime would be different from all others that had come before. The damaged economy was the critical issue, but the creation of jobs took a back seat to boutique left-wing causes. The stimulus, costing more than a trillion dollars, came and went leaving nothing behind it, unlike the spending of FDRâ€™s era, which at least for a while gave jobs to real people, and left behind things like bridges and dams and parks. â€œClimate changeâ€ had become an obsession, symbolized by the refusal to act on the Keystone pipeline proposal, which would have created jobs in Middle America, but which Obamaâ€™s Hollywood backers denounced as unclean.
But nothing did so much as the historic, transcendent health care proposal to contradict David Brooksâ€™s contention, in the summer of 2009, that the president â€œsees himself as a Burkeanâ€ and â€œunderstands complexity and the organic nature of change.â€ Social Security had been large, but made no change in the structure of government, and the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 (signed by Bill Clinton at the Republicansâ€™ urging) was based on successful experiments at the state level conducted by governors of both parties. The Affordable Care Act looked for advice to academics, not governors, and proposed the state takeover of an industrial complex responsible for one-sixth of the gross national product based not on what had been proved to work through experience, but on what some intellectuals had guessed might work. If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, this camel was a 2,801-page non-bestseller filled with labyrinthine riddles that nobody seemed to know how to solve. To insure approximately 18 million out of 300-plus million Americans (they confessed the plan would still leave 20 million uninsured), they proposed to spend trillions on a reengineering of the entire system that would in time cause 80 to 100 million of the currently insured to lose and to seek new insurance.
Claire Shipman (wife to Obama press Secretary Jay Carney) is co-author of a book coming out (apparently grounding self-help career advice for women in junk science) and her promotional campaign includes just about the puffiest puff piece that anyone’s ever seen in Washington Mom.
Tout le monde is twittering about the piece this morning, gleefully mocking the supposed perfection of the successful couple’s home and family life.
Does something about this portrait of the WH press secretary’s family seem, I don’t know, stagey and overly polished? Somehow I imagine the shoot wrapping and the crew breaking set (“okay, you clean up the carefully strewn blueberries, I’ll start Photoshopping in the bookcases, tell them they can change back into regular clothes.”)
The cherished and framed Soviet propaganda posters in the kitchen shot did not go unremarked. But what really brought the house down was the photo below featuring Photoshopped evidence of the mouthpiece of the smart people’s book collection. The duplication of the kid’s finger was particularly admired. Twitter 1Twitter 2
Some years ago, one broilingly hot July day, I was in New Haven going to the air-conditioned Sterling Memorial Library to do some research for a writing project.
Beside the front entrance steps, a colored Yale maintenance staff employee was working in the hot sun, perspiration pouring down his face, chipping out the aged mortar from between sandstone blocks in preparation for re-pointing them. It was a nasty job, picking out the old cement using a small sledgehammer and a cold chisel, and it was an exponentially nastier job when performed in 100+ degree weather under a bright sun.
As I approached, I couldn’t help noticing that the entire crowd of typically left-wing, conspicuously socially conscious liberals passing directly past the maintenance guy were utterly oblivious to his predicament and to his very existence. He might as well have been a potted plant or a steel trashcan standing beside the library’s elaborate oaken doors for all the attention he was receiving.
I also could not help but perceive that that workman was aware of how thoroughly he was being ignored (and implicitly despised). He was doing a man’s work, a difficult, painstaking, and unpleasant job under extraordinarily adverse conditions. Being only human, he naturally desired some kind of fraternal sympathy from his fellow man, and some recognition that he was doing an unusually tough job under unusually bad conditions. It was impossible not to see that finding himself invisible, divided from the dozens of fellow representatives of humanity passing with a few feet of him by barriers of class as obdurate and inflexible as the stones he was working on, was bitterly alienating and insulting. He was holding himself with an air of resentment, and I could see him muttering angrily to himself under his breath.
So I deliberately slowed, and paused next to him, and said: “It is sure a hot day to be doing that kind of work!” “Sho’ is,” he responded smiling happily and taking a moment to pull out his handkerchief and wipe his face. “Damn hot.” I nodded in the direction of the passing faculty and students. “Some people don’t know what a day’s work is like.” I said, and he laughed appreciatively.
It only took a few seconds, but I’d managed to give him the sense of human solidarity he obviously needed, while reassuring him that at least one passerby recognized the nature and cost of his personal contribution to physical survival of the University.
Anthony Esolen, who teaches English at Providence College, is also the kind of guy who has doubtless worked with his hands, and who is therefore capable of perceiving the yawning chasm between professoriate and the proletariat, between the people in America who actually work up a sweat and the members of the community of fashion elite who call all the shots.
We professors at Providence College have for two years now been working in the midst of invisible men, men… who in these times are almost as insane and as morally blinkered as the professors they serve. The men have built a large and handsome Center for the Humanities, out of brick and stone. They have had to transform a hill and a parking lot to get the project started. They have turned an old field into a new facility for soccer, field hockey, and track, complete with bleachers and a press house, and eighty foot tall lights for events at night. They have laid hundreds of yards of concrete pathways. They have cleared out a useless hill thicketed with scrub trees and made it into a decorative border for the campus. They have built temporary parking lots and torn them out again and replaced them with sod. They have dug out stumps and planted trees. They have worked with jackhammers, drills, chisels, backhoes, saws, scaffolding, trowels, wheelbarrows, sledges, and the indispensable hands, arms, legs, shoulders, and back. They have done all this while remaining as quiet and unobtrusive as they could be.
They work hard, at work that takes its toll on their bodies, in all seasons and in all but the filthiest weather. Yet I doubt that the feminist professor â€“ and most professors are feminist â€“ gives them a passing thought. Without men like them, we would have nothing; nothing to eat, no metal for our cars, no bricks, no stone, no wooden planks, no houses, no roads, no public buildings, no clean running water, nothing. They do work that is more than desirable. It is absolutely necessary. I teach English poetry; that is not necessary. I will not trouble to discuss sociology, feminist or otherwise.
We might be apt to shrug and say, â€œWhat of it? They are well paid,â€ and some of them are. Some of them are not, but then, donâ€™t college graduates deserve to make more money than workers on the land, of the land, and under the land? And they do have the vote, donâ€™t they? Everyone gets one vote, and that makes everyone equal.
Well, no, it doesnâ€™t, no more than if everyone enjoyed the privilege of spitting once into a national spittoon. We are looking for equality as men, so that we can say what Mr. Morgan said. And the common laborers enjoy no such thing. They have virtually no influence over what their children are taught in school, and how. Their sons are regularly badgered for being boys, and bullied into ingesting drugs to conform their boyish natures to the ideal of mannerly servility. They are not pillars of their communities, because there are no more communities; there are political abstractions called â€œtownsâ€ and â€œcities,â€ whose leaders take their cultural instructions from the media and from the national government, and who themselves are less and less likely to have grease under their fingernails or freckles of carbon in their faces. They are not the masters in their own homes; the effeminate vices peddled by their â€œbettersâ€ have seen to that. They are likely to have fathered children out of wedlock, or to have been divorced, sometimes with good cause, far more often without. They ingest the poisons peddled by mass entertainment. Their sons surf the internet for porn, get fat, wear their pants around their thighs so as to look like dwarfs stretched on a rack, canâ€™t dig a post-hole or sing a hymn, and are given comic books in school instead of Moby-Dick. Our need for these fathers is total, yet their authority is minuscule even in their own localities, and their influence upon national politics is zero.
If such men ever took it into their heads to strike, not against the owner of the coal mine, but against their masters in the media, the classrooms, the board rooms, the state capitols, and Washington, who knows what might happen? We might have a republic again. But Iâ€™m not holding my breath. A John Dickinson, mild-tempered though he was, would be at a loss for words to fathom the depth of our servility, both moral and political. What, after all, were a couple of pence on a bag of tea, compared with thousands of unread pages managing every facet of medical treatment for three hundred million people? Slaves do sometimes rise up. Pampered slaves, never.