Are some people just naturally superior in quantifiable ways? We know some are naturally intelligent, some are naturally dominant, some are naturally driven, it stands to reason that some are naturally all three. Thinking for a moment, I can come up with examples of extremely intelligent peope who never acheived influence in relation to their abilities. Tesla is an obvious example, while he was undeniably a genius inventor, he never acheived financial success even with the backing of Westinghouse while Thomas Edison became a billionaire. Or dominant people who never acheive influence outside of their small personal sphere; athletes are aggressive men who spend their lives in competition, but rarely acheive success outside their sport. Politicians are generally somewhat intelligent (Biden and Quayle are debatable) and driven with plenty of charisma, they would seem to be obvious elites, but the evidence would suggest that they are beholden to a higher level of influence. Is that higher level of influence made up of people who are intelligent, charismatic and driven beyond the norm?
A comment by jwoop66 at guerrillamerica got me thinking about this:
“Jefferson, Hancock, Franklin, Washington et al. were “elites”. Lawyers and landowners. God bless ‘em, however,
but they and their peers were elites. When they felt oppressed, things happened. When “our” elites feel the pain,
THEN the revolution will begin. While it is just us bitching at ourselves on the internet and then waking up to our
Hourly or salary jobs, there will be no change.”
jwoop66 got me wondering if there are any pro-liberty elites today and ,if so, who they might be. I then considered if it was just lucky for us that the elites of that time decided on a decentralised government purely because it aligned with their own best interests. Consider history is the stories of a relatively few powerful people competing against each other. If enough American founders had wanted to install a monarchy (as some did) they could have. They had the power.
‘Such a theory has been presented by Bertrand de Jouvenel. According to his view, states are the outgrowth of natural elites: the natural outcome of voluntary transactions between private property owners is non-egalitarian, hierarchical, and elitist. In every society, a few individuals acquire the status of an elite through talent. Due to superior achievements of wealth, wisdom, and bravery, these individuals come to possess natural authority, and their opinions and judgments enjoy wide-spread respect. Moreover, because of selective mating, marriage, and the laws of civil and genetic inheritance, positions of natural authority are likely to be passed on within a few noble families. It is to the heads of these families with long-established records of superior achievement, farsightedness, and exemplary personal conduct that men turn to with their conflicts and complaints against each other. These leaders of the natural elite act as judges and peacemakers,
often free of charge out of a sense of duty expected of a person of authority or out of concern for civil justice as a privately produced “public good.”‘
This article goes on the say that democratic rule has “proletarianized the elites and has systematically perverted the thinking and judgment of the masses.” I would say that the natural elite’s concept of noblesse oblige (however theoretical it might have been in practice) has been replaced by a mercantilist mindset. The elites do not see the masses as anything more than resources to be exploited. No longer are we “their people” we are “the people” who’s only purpose is to produce, consume and vote. Politics is the most obvious example, off the campaign trail they hobnob with other elites, but at election time they don’t want to be seen as elite because we, the proles, don’t value ability. And we don’t get it. Hillary Clinton chokes down a Pabst at a bowling alley or Romney pretends to relate to somebody with a blue collar and we believe they’re “one of us”. They need our votes, but once in office they do the bidding of their financial backers and all we get is rhetoric.
What we have are political and intellectul classes dependent on support from NGOs, lobby groups and foundations. Limited membership groups who control vast resources through control of government policy. I would propose that these are public faces of the natural elite.
However, I don’t think its quite the two tiered system that I seem to be applying, I think its more like baseball. In baseball you have A, AA, AAA and MLB. The true elites are at the Major League level, and, just like with baseball, there are variations between the relative “eliteness” of individuals. I suspect, too, that most AAA players believe that they are actually in the majors and that there’s some crossover. A major leaguer in business may be AAA in politics.
So where does this leave us, the internet peanut gallery, the Tea Partiers, the Occupiers, the hoi poloi whose oppinions are only peripherally important? Our only strength is numbers, but without a leader, numbers are useless. So, the question remains, are there any pro-liberty elites?