Let Them Eat Cake, But Don’t Let Them Think

In a post-election NY Times editorial (http://nyti.ms/2fTMNd9). Larry Bartels, a Vanderbilt U. professor, proposes that the general body politic of the U.S. couldn’t ever properly understand democracy and therefore, by implication, could never govern themselves properly, and this justifies elite authoritarianism.  This is quite an old idea shared by fascists, racists and class warriors throughout U.S. history and I’m sure elsewhere.

Indeed, the U.S. has always and widely been conceived by its founders and governing elites as an Aryan Brotherhood with a mission to preserve purity in the Teutonic blood that is the fundament of its superiority. James Bradley in The Imperial Cruise provides numerous quotations by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Teddy Roosevelt to this effect. In earlier times, it was politically correct to believe the purity of the Teutonic race must be preserved by the slaughter of subject populations to guard against the chance of contamination by interbreeding if a friendlier policy were pursued. Bradley writes:

One of the “bibles” of American scientific thought in the 19th century was the best-selling book Types of Mankind. Published to acclaim in 1854, it went through twelve printings and was used as a standard textbook into the 20th century. Types of Mankind held that only the White race was civilized and that “wherever in the history of the world the inferior races have been conquered and mixed in with the Caucasians, the latter have sunk into barbarism.” The resulting barbaric races “never can again rise until the present races are exterminated and the Caucasian substituted.”

Bradley also quotes President William Howard Taft, who explained “[t]he masses are ignorant, credulous, and childlike [so] the electoral franchise must be much limited, because the large majority will not, for a long time, be capable of intelligently exercising it.”

These ideas have persisted not only among the American elite for the duration of our history, but also in poor white classes, where idea of the eventual global political victory by their race may appeal as a beacon of redemption for current reduced circumstances. Charles Manson apparently believed so:

“According to …. Vincent Bugliosi, Manson was hoping to spark an apocalyptic race war. It is said that Charlie believed that America’s black population would prevail over whitey, but that, having won the war, the victors would be incapable of governing themselves. And that, alas, is when Charlie and his retinue would emerge from the shadows to take command.”

— David McGowan, The Strange But Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation

This was a lot like Teddy Roosevelt’s secret strategy in Asia described by Bradley. Let the Jap monkeys and the second-tier Aryan Slavs duke it out, and the pure white lines from America would come in to clean up.

It’s extremely sad to hear the echoes of this ignorance from The NY Times, but not so surprising, so I suggest these toxic, exclusivist elite belief systems really need to be consistently targeted in strategies for all-inclusive social enlightenment.


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