No Minister

The privilege of wealth

with 8 comments

Some time ago a longtime, regular Leftist blog commentator, “Sanctuary“, dismissed a Chris Trotter blog post by saying that he now understood why so many on the Left regarded Trotter as a man whose time had passed.

I don’t think that’s the case but Trotter certainly suffers increasingly from incoherence.

In one post he’ll blast the Identity Politics and Woke-fest obsessions of the modern Left, lamenting about how the Working Classes are being ignored and the Class War is being lost, see Why We (Don’t) Fight.

Then in another post he’ll gloat about the same thing, Go Woke – Or Go Politically Broke:

By alienating corporate capitalism and making bitter enemies of the mainstream media and universities, the Trumpists are, if they only knew it, corralling their followers into a socio-economic and cultural dead-end.

By shutting themselves out of liberal capitalism’s Emerald City, Trump’s poorly educated munchkins are slamming the door on their own and their children’s best chance for a happy and prosperous future.

In that post he also demonstrated that he should never write about the USA, where a simple-minded repeating of Democrat Party talking points is not sufficient to debate.

You would think that somebody buried in the Old Left would be able to see the obvious, and sometimes Chris does, but not here. For that we have to turn to historian Victor Davis Hanson, writing from deep inside the supposed future of the USA (and the world?), California, who nails the points that Leftists should automatically understand, Wealthy and Woke:

The most privileged CEOs of corporate America—those who sell us everything from soft drinks and sneakers, to professional sports and social media—now jabber to America about its racism, sexism, and assorted sins. The rules of cynical CEO censure are transparent. 

First, the corporation never harangues unless it feels it has more to lose—whether by boycotts, protests, or bad publicity—than it stands to gain in staying neutral and silent. 

Second, class concerns are never mentioned. Bastian is paid about $65,000 for each working day of the year. In a sane world, he might seem a ridiculous voice of the oppressed. 

Third, CEOs never fear offending the conservative silent majority, who are assumed not to boycott or protest.

But it goes further than simple fear and #MeTooism at the corporate executive and Board level. This trait of being lectured about your sins by very privileged people runs across the USA now:

The woke revolution is not a grassroots movement. It is powered by a well-connected and guilt-ridden elite. Yet the religion of Wokeness assumes these high priests deserve exemptions. Their wealth, credentials, contacts, and power ensure none are ever subject to the consequences of their own sermons.

Self-righteous elites rant about carbon footprints, needless border security, defunding the police, gun control, and charter schools. But they rarely forgo their own private jets, third and fourth homes, estate walls, armed security guards, and prep schools. Apparently to rant about “privilege” means the less you need to worry about your own. 

He lists them specifically, demonstrating that “across the USA” is no figure of speech:

Multimillion-dollar NBA stars blast America’s “systemic racism.” They utter not a word about Chinese communist reeducation camps, the destruction of Tibetan culture, or the strangulation of Hong Kong’s democracy. 

Tenured administrators and university presidents pulling down seven-figure salaries are far more likely to virtue signal their universities’ “racism” than are untenured, poorly paid, and part-time lecturers.

The woke media? Its clergy are elite network newsreaders, not so much reporters on the beat. 

The richest in America—the families who own and operate Amazon, Apple, Bloomberg, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft—are the most likely to voice their derision for its unwoke lower- and middle-classes. 

Ditto the multimillionaires of politics—an Al Gore, Dianne Feinstein, John Kerry, or Nancy Pelosi.

The richest celebrity billionaires such as Jay-Z, George Lucas, Paul McCartney, or Oprah Winfrey weigh in a lot about the oppression of a supposedly rigged system they mastered, rarely about the plight of the less-well paid in their own professions.

Even the military are not immune…

The retired and current military who lecture us on the evils of Trump or promise to ferret out “insurrectionists” among the ranks are mostly generals and admirals—and some retired top-brass multimillionaires.

We don’t hear privates, corporals, sergeants, and majors pushing through subsidies for transgendered surgeries or petitions to garrison a quiet Washington with barbed wire and national guardsmen.

Well, there is a reason why the latter created the phrase, “Perfumed Princes” during the Vietnam War.

Wokeness is an insurance policy. The louder the damnation of American culture, the more likely a career will be saved or enhanced.

Wokeness is classist and elitist. Those who made or inherited a fortune, got the right degree at the right place, made CEO or four-star rank, live in the right ZIP code, or know the good people, believe they have earned the right to decide what is moral for their inferiors. 

It is all these things, but I think Hanson comes closest with the following comment:

So wokeness is medieval. Sin is not given up as much as atoned for—and excused—through loud confessionals.

[It] is not really about fairness for minorities, the oppressed, and the poor, past or present. It is mostly a self-confessional cult of anointed bullies, and hypocrites of all races and genders, who seek to flex, and increase, their own privilege and power.

Wealth has always been the ultimate privilege, more so than ever nowadays in social circles created by none other than the modern Left. Ultimately this is what the likes of Trotter struggle with, but at least he still struggles. Most Western Left-wing parties caved in to this reality some time ago.

Written by Tom Hunter

April 10, 2021 at 1:12 pm

8 Responses

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  1. For the past 100 years, most political scientists have worked on the assumption that no political party cares more for the welfare of American capitalism than the Republican Party

    He don’t know his history 🙂

    For most of its existence the Republican Party were the progressives – Nixon was a progressive of course, though few recognize that today

    The flip started with FDR but it was LBJ who as Senate Majority leader killed the 1957 Civil Rights Act only to take credit for it in 1964 who more or less completed the process which was only cemented into place when Reagan was elected

    Is funny really the Democrats were the party of the KKK – the last KKK democrat was Senator Robert Byrd who was in office until 2010, though being a Democrat his membership of the Klan was put down to a youthful peccadillo, no Republican would be forgiven so easily


    April 10, 2021 at 6:11 pm

  2. What Chris Trotter doesn’t get is that in the real world Capitalism,. Socialism and Communism are all just manifestations of the same thing

    There are people who take charge and get the cream, others do the grunt work, get the milk and at the bottom are the terminally hopeless who subsist on what the rest discard


    April 10, 2021 at 6:28 pm

  3. Tom,

    Somehow I reckon you have missed the main point of Chris Trotter’s piece. Trotter was pointing out that if the Republicans continued to rely on a Trumpian approach and philosophy, they would find themselves in a smaller and smaller cul de sac. Demographics and public attitudes would be against them. It is worth noting that Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 and 2020, and by a bigger margin in 2020. Obviously I know the presidential election is not dependent on the popular votes, but the shift in the margin arguably points to a trend. In fact the Demss have won the popular vote in the last 4 presidential elections. No wonder the Republicans are obsessed with voting laws. It is the only way they can win.

    I have been of the view for quite some time that because you completely cut yourself from mainstream media you seem to go deep down into rabbit holes. The point you miss about MSM is that it reflects, at a general level, the mainstream perspective including competing points of view. They also have vastly more journalistic resources than any highly focussed and often idiosyncratic blog site.

    Obviously the Republicans are not out for good. They will come back, but it will be in a post Trump form. If Trump contests the next election as the Republican candidate, it is my prediction he will lose.


    April 11, 2021 at 9:24 am

    • Wayne, in regard to the MSM, I generally ignore them as well in order to avoid going down rabbit holes.

      It should be remembered that the media is biased towards punting ‘news’ in a sensational and emotional viewpoint in order to sell their product, therefore they are not objective in their viewpoint. There are plenty of posts that Tom has done that supports that point of view.
      As Craig Lord (ex Auckland mayoral candidate) has said recently,
      ‘Once upon a time the media told you something and it was up to you to decide how you felt about it.
      Nowadays, the media tell you how to feel about it and it’s up you to decide if it happened’.


      April 11, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    • The point you miss about MSM is that it reflects, at a general level, the mainstream perspective including competing points of view. They also have vastly more journalistic resources than any highly focussed and often idiosyncratic blog site.

      Amazing. It’s as if Wayne has never read any of my Die MSM, Die series that lists the unending stream of crap reporting churned out by the MSM. Stories that turn out to be flat-out wrong (Russia Collusion); half-truths; outright lies (the supposed “quotes” from the Trump-Georgia phone call) and lost lawsuits (the Covington kids), retractions (1619 project), journalists as Democrat political activists (Kavanaugh coverage), outright double standards on reporting stories, burying stories (Hunter BIden) and on and on.

      I see CBS’s famous (and formerly respected and credible) current affairs show, 60 Minutes got caught the other day editing out an answer from Florida GOP Governor DeSantis so it would seem he did not answer the question when, in the full version, he clearly did. Just outright, bald-faced lying that they got caught doing – and the rest of the MSM treated as a “Not-Story” (editorial privilege doncha’ know).

      Shades of Powerline’s destruction of Dan Rather in 2004 when his huge research staff turned out to be too stupid and too partisan to notice that the anti-Bush documents from the early 1970’s had been forged using MS Word’s font feature. It’s no surprise to me that Rather still does not accept that.

      The Powerline “fact check” was merely one of the early demonstrations that there is more expertise and knowledge across multiple blogs and Internet sites than can be found in a single, traditional MSM source. Of course you don’t go to a single blog: you go to multiple ones and their collective knowledge beats the official “experts” of the MSM.

      Competing POV’s? Resources? What use are resources when they’re all devoted to pushing a single narrative. In any case their resources are falling away along with the number of journalists. My favourite graph.

      Tom Hunter

      April 11, 2021 at 10:22 pm

  4. Tom,

    Presumably you have a graph of television jobs, both broadcast and online. I suspect they have grown a great deal since 1990’s, given there are now many more channels, and much more commentary.

    Yes, newspapers have declined, but the field of journalism has expanded.

    Anyway, i know you have your view of the MSM. It is no t mine. And if it is actually true that you ignore every MSM production, (newspapers, magazines, journals, radio and TV) then I am not surprised at your perspectives.


    April 12, 2021 at 7:50 am

    • It is not ignoring the MSM, in my case Wayne, it is taking everything they say with a huge grain of salt.

      Here is a thing Wayne, you have a gentleman with a long criminal record and a history of violence, psychotic from a drug overdose, fighting police in the middle of a road approaching a busy intersection, should the police restrain him until an ambulance arrives?

      The correct answer depends upon the colour of his skin and that of the senior officer on the scene of course


      April 12, 2021 at 11:00 am

  5. And if it is actually true that you ignore every MSM production, (newspapers, magazines, journals, radio and TV)

    Radio and TV – most certainly. The worst of all. Total shite. Shallow even when they’re not being ideological and partisan. Yes, that includes Fox though I do like Tucker Carlson.

    Newspapers – Yes. They’ve actually got worse.

    magazines, journals – actually NO, although the likes of Newsweek, Time and their modern ilk are MSM so they get the boot for being as shallow and brain-dead as the ones listed above.

    As it happens I read the likes of City Journal, The Claremont Review, AEI Journal, IEEE Spectrum, Reason, and so forth. In other words decidely NON-MSM magazines and journals that write of things about which they are knowledgable and passionate rather than the dreck of Time and their modern online equivalents like Vox. For what it’s worth I do pay attention to The Nation, Mother Jones and a few others like them, although I’ve found Salon and Slate to be seriously over-rated by their Lefty readership.

    Oh – and books. Lots and lots of books, Mr Mapp. Very enlightening they are.

    BTW – although that graph of journalist job losses is just for newspapers there’s no evidence that journalists are doing any better in the other areas of the MSM or more recent Web areas like The Huffington Post and Vox, which have all seen serious layoffs, among others.

    Why it’s as if the public are increasingly turning away from the profession, rather than just one arm of it.

    It’s why even Lefties like Matt Tabbi and Glenn Greenwald have moved to Substack, where they likely earn more money and have the room to go into stories in depth.

    Tom Hunter

    April 12, 2021 at 6:06 pm

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