Viewing the Anointed
a case study
You all know Thomas Sowell’s notion, expressed in his book The Vision of the Anointed, that there are three classes in America: the Anointed, the Benighted, and the Mascots.
Yeah, yeah, you might say. A little over the top, old chap.
So let me tell you a little story, told to me by a faithful liberal acquaintance as a kind of biblical parable.
Xe and xir non-profit board were visiting Charlottesville, Virginia for a board meeting and got to meet all kinds of right-thinking liberals. So they got to hear all about the neo-Nazis at the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally in 2017. And got to talk to black groups and the threat they faced from the protestors and their hateful ideology. You can get a more complete — but still very liberal — report on the Unite The Right rally at La Wik.
This narrative perfectly enacts Sowell’s notion. There are the Anointed, come to Charlottesville for an important meeting reflecting xir status and community leadership and involvement. There are the Benighted neo-Nazis (and all the other white supremacists). And there are the black Mascots, of whom the Anointed are the noble protectors.
President Biden’s Soul of America speech in Philadelphia last week attacking MAGA Republicans fits exactly into the liberal narrative of We Anointed, you Benighted, and the poor helpless Mascots. Or, if you prefer, We Allies fighting for the Oppressed Peoples against Them White Oppressors.
What struck me, listening to the liberal acquaintance’s narrative on Charlottesville, is how complete and seamless it is. It is a glorious thing to be a pirate king, sang The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance. It is also a glorious thing to be a liberal board member in these United States and not just know, but be completely confirmed in your lived experience that you are on the side, not of the angels, but the arc of history, and that everything else is the work of the Enemy.
It’s actually scary. It also explains the ruling-class reaction to Trump and Charlottesville. It cannot be that the century of the rule of the educated class is over and we are entering the Autumn of the Liberal Ages. And not just cannot be, but unthinkable, impossible, “inconceivable,” anti-science, disinformation, misinformation, and everything else you can think or feel.
For suppose that Republicans win Congress in November with a 40-seat gain in the House. Suppose that Trump or DeSantis wins the presidency in 2024.
What does my liberal acquaintance do then, poor thing? Well, we know. It’s the Russians. It’s a stolen election. It’s the triumph of Ultra-MAGA, semi-fascist, neo-Nazism, and if you care for the Soul of America you will support AntiFa in their mostly peaceful protest against the Enemy Nazis.
Now I believe that we are inexorably moving out of the era of the ruling class of the educated, by the educated, and for the educated. And we are slowly moving to an era that is anchored in the ordinary Commoner middle class and their ordinary lives, with a ruling class yet to be decided.
But remember: you liberal acquaintances have No Idea about such a future.