Welcome To The Era Of Warring Elites
Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,
What the Warring Elites don't want us to realize is that a system of transparent competition in which no fiefdom is allowed to become dominant best serves the interests of society at large.
I've been writing about Warring Elites for a long time (since 2007). As I have often noted, historian Michael Grant identified profound political disunity in the ruling class as a key cause of the dissolution of the Roman Empire.
More recently, I've observed that Our Fragmentation Accelerates (December 20, 2019).
Eras of Warring Elites have two key dynamics. One is that the Elites' interests diverge from those of the society as a whole. In expansive eras, the many competing interests within the Elite class find common ground in supporting the status quo, and relegate their turf squabbles to the private club rooms. On the whole, the shared interests of the Elite class align with society at large.
Since I see the global status quo as fundamentally neofeudal, we can say the interests of the Nobility and Peasantry overlap: each class benefits from political and social stability, economic expansion and broad-based distribution of prosperity.
In disintegrative eras, this integrative, shared dynamic breaks down and the interests of the Elite diverge from those of society at large. The competition between neofeudal camps in the Elite class breaks into open conflict, and the result is a profound political disunity of hardened camps fighting to protect their fiefdoms from any diminishment of wealth or power.
This leads not just to political fragmentation but to social fragmentation as the Elite fiefdoms wage a propaganda battle for the hearts and minds of the Technocrat Class and the Peasantry. The propaganda war is not just to establish the traditional us and them divisions in which we are good and they are evil, it's also about cultivating The Plantation of the Mind so that all the neat rows of thoughts and emotions serve the interests of the Plantation Owners. I've discussed this for many years: Colonizing the Plantation of the Mind (August 25, 2010) and Social Media's Plantation of the Mind (May 28, 2020).
Each neofeudal fiefdom hopes we've seen too many movies in which the line between Good and Evil is cartoonishly clear. Each Elite fiefdom seeks to mask its single-minded devotion to its own self-interest behind fine-sounding claims of noble ideals: a Multipolar World (in which we're free to pillage the planet), Freedom of Speech (controlled by us, of course), Decentralized Finance (which just so happens to be owned and controlled by the few) and a vast spectrum of other cover stories for the enrichment of Elite fiefdoms at the expense of society at large.
With the emergence of AI Chatbots, each Warring Fiefdom now has the means to overwhelm the media with billions of automated messages about the good and noble and idealistic goals of our Fiefdom and how the evil Central State is scheming to limit our powers of predation (Central State, Bad, our Fiefdom, Good!) or some rabble of Peasantry threatens our extraction of wealth and our death-grip on power (Nobility-owned Fiefdom, Good, Peasantry, Bad!).
The core message is always the same: increasing our wealth, power, profits and control is good for you, too. You'll all benefit if you help us secure our fiefdom from any threats.
The propaganda is designed to not just colonize our minds but eliminate any urge to ask cui bono, to whose benefit? The single-minded self-interest of each Elite fiefdom must be hidden lest the powerless lower classes start asking if the expansion of one fiefdom's power and control actually benefits society at large or not.
In this no-holds-barred existential struggle for supremacy, Elite fiefdoms will tear down society to weaken any potential resistance. So national interest is cast as Evil, while Multipolar Wonderfulness is Good (now the whole world can finally sing happy songs around the campfire!), any regulatory restraints are Evil while the rigged "free market" is Good (let the "market" which we control choose winners and losers; hey, surprise, we won!). Every fiefdom should be free to pillage without restraint ("Ask your doctor about Euphorestra," etc.).
In the Era of Warring Elites, Everything is Staged (October 22, 2020). The Elite fiefdoms don't care if society and the economy fragment and collapse; they welcome the dissolution of national purpose, civic virtue and shared sacrifice as obstructions to their own limitless greed for more power and control.
In a weakened Nation-State, the fiefdoms will be free to pillage without restraint. If society is an obstruction, they will gladly tear it down with propaganda designed to fragment the Peasantry and undermine any entity which might have the power to restrain their limitless greed. (I discuss the essential roles of national purpose, civic virtue and shared sacrifice in my book Global Crisis, National Renewal.)
Before you buy into a slickly scripted depiction of what needs to be undermined to hasten its collapse, ask to whose benefit? Exactly who benefits from promoting the collapse of this or that? We already know the answer: the Elite fiefdoms who will be free to pillage once any source of resistance has been broken into pieces.
What the Warring Elites don't want us to realize is that a system of transparent competition in which no fiefdom is allowed to become dominant best serves the interests of society at large. Before we tear everything down, ask who will rush to fill the power vacuum with their own self-serving agenda?
In the meantime, "Ask your doctor about Euphorestra."
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