August 29, 2014
The Changing Face of The Establishment

Owen Jones is talking about the establishment, or perhaps rather The Establishment, in Britain, but his description hits home here in the US as well.

The establishment is a shape-shifter, evolving and adapting as needs must. But one thing that distinguishes today’s establishment from earlier incarnations is its sense of triumphalism. The powerful once faced significant threats that kept them in check. But the opponents of our current establishment have, apparently, ceased to exist in any meaningful, organised way. Politicians largely conform to a similar script; once-mighty trade unions are now treated as if they have no legitimate place in political or even public life; and economists and academics who reject establishment ideology have been largely driven out of the intellectual mainstream. The end of the cold war was spun by politicians, intellectuals and the media to signal the death of any alternative to the status quo: “the end of history”, as the US political scientist Francis Fukuyama put it. All this has left the establishment pushing at an open door. Whereas the position of the powerful was once undermined by the advent of democracy, an opposite process is now underway. The establishment is amassing wealth and aggressively annexing power in a way that has no precedent in modern times. After all, there is nothing to stop it.


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Posted by Chuck Dupree at August 29, 2014 12:30 AM
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That was kind of the whole premise of 1984. The Party had noted the continuous cycle of revolution, rise of a new upper class, revolution, ad infinitum, and had figured out methodically how to make it happen once more, then never again. Will they succeed? As Chou-en Lai or somebody supposedly said in a related context, "too early to tell."

Posted by: Tim on August 29, 2014 12:37 PM
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