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A Traitor To His Class

Charles Moore, writing in the Spectator, describes his conservatism: [1]

It is true that I am thrilled by Brexit (assuming it actually happens), somewhat pleased by the defeats of Hillary Clinton and Matteo Renzi, and more interested than horrified by the victory of Donald Trump. On the other hand, I don’t actually like any of the great populist institutions of the age — Mr Trump, Vladimir Putin, Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen, Nigel Farage, Beppe Grillo, the Daily Mail, Breitbart, or the ex-populist, now EU lackey, Alexis Tsipras. Instinctively, I prefer a more establishment style — courteous, gently humorous, inclined to admit error when challenged rather than to shout louder. I admire the Queen. I want archbishops, generals and senior judges to be intimidating (though kindly) people who find it hard to unbend. I am upset that the Speaker no longer wears a wig. There aren’t many traditions I wish to overthrow. I hate politicians tweeting, appearing in dance programmes, or abusing parliamentary privilege to denounce supposed child molesters.

So, if the free world is riven by a battle between the highly educated elites of which I am, I suppose, a part and a bunch of seditious oafs and show-offs, why do I nowadays find myself inclined to the latter? It may sound Marxist to say this, but I do think the elites have constructed a world order which serves their interests, not those of their subject populations.

Read the whole thing to see what he means. [1] I find myself in violent agreement with him. I’m not sure that Sam Gamgee would have voted for Trump, but I’m confident that he would have been a Brexiteer.

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65 Comments To "A Traitor To His Class"

#1 Comment By JonF On December 24, 2016 @ 10:31 am

Re: No, the US (and USSR) became the world’s manufacturing center (and superpower) because World War II completely destroyed existing indistrial capacity in Europe and the Far East

This is often stated, but it’s also untrue. Germany, Japan, the Low Countries, Poland and parts of northern France did suffer great damage– but so did the western USSR. The UK and Italy suffered some damage but neither were “completely destroyed”. Switzerland and most of Scandanavia escaped largely unscathed. As of course did Canada in North America and Australia.

#2 Comment By Heartright On December 24, 2016 @ 10:40 am

On Sam Gamgee going Brexit.

Now, this makes no sense at all in the context of the books.
But in the context of the movies?
Yeah, I guess. Because Sam Gamgee becomes a distinctly evil abusive little SOB in RoTK the movie.

Nostalgia Chick breaks it down.

[2]

Timestamp: 1100 and following.

#3 Comment By Hound of Ulster On December 24, 2016 @ 11:23 am

Harding would have been impeached over Teapot Dome if he hadn’t in office. Coolidge cleaned out his whole cabinet when he took over. In terms of crimes against the Constitution, Nixon takes the prize, but Harding beats him on graft. Trump will have both.

#4 Comment By EngineerScotty On December 24, 2016 @ 12:41 pm

There are at least five Administrations since WW1 (the Great War), more corrupt than that of William Jefferson Clinton: those of Harding, LBJ, Nixon (obviously), St. Ronnie, and W.

#5 Comment By Art Deco On December 24, 2016 @ 2:57 pm

There are at least five Administrations since WW1 (the Great War), more corrupt than that of William Jefferson Clinton: those of Harding, LBJ, Nixon (obviously), St. Ronnie, and W.

Neither W nor RR ran corrupt administrations. There was a great deal of complaint during the Reagan Administration about the ‘sleaze factor’, but even the people making the complaints (e.g. the editors of The New Republic admitted that the accused officials were on the bloc for fairly minor transgressions (e.g. Ed Meese’s conflicts of interest) or for transgressions which took place in other venues (the criminal charges against Raymond Donovan). The Iran-Contra mess concerned not corruption but defiance of Congress.

The complaints about the Nixon Administration concerned abuse of power, not corruption. John Connolly and Maurice Stans were tried on corruption charges and acquitted. If you want to talk abuse of power, you’re going to have to address the current administration, which has gotten away with abuses (at the IRS and the Department of Justice) the Nixon Administration never could have.

LBJ personal and Senate office finances were dirty. I’m not aware anyone else was implicated in that bar his wife.

#6 Comment By Art Deco On December 24, 2016 @ 3:03 pm

I’ve never met anyone who was really in the elite. I don’t have access to those circles. Whether they have roots is a bit conjectural, but their public behavior suggests otherwise.

Get a job in hospital or museum fundraising, and you will meet such people.

As for corporate leadership, that depends on the enterprise. Thomas Golisano’s philanthropy is all over the place in Rochester and Syracuse. So was George Eastman’s.

#7 Comment By Art Deco On December 24, 2016 @ 3:36 pm

Harding would have been impeached over Teapot Dome if he hadn’t in office. Coolidge cleaned out his whole cabinet when he took over. In terms of crimes against the Constitution, Nixon takes the prize, but Harding beats him on graft. Trump will have both.

Coolidge dismissed not a single cabinet secretary in 1923. Three (of 10) were dismissed in 1924, of whom one had no known role in any dirty dealings.

Nixon committed no ‘crimes against the Constitution’. His administration engaged in spying on political opponents through a pick up team of White House aides and campaign employees called the Plumbers Unit. There were some other figures implicated. All told, there were about nine employees of the Committee to Re-Elect the President involved in the first instance along with about eight White House aides. Several others were indicted for obstruction of justice in the aftermath and a couple of others were shnagged on minor process crimes.

#8 Comment By Art Deco On December 24, 2016 @ 3:42 pm

As for Clinton, after nearly a term-long investigation of wide-ranging allegations against him conducted by Independent Counsel Ken Starr, only two charges stuck, one of perjury and one of obstruction of justice, both stemming from his tawdry sexual dalliance with Monica Lewinsky.

Susan McDougal cooled her heels in jail for 18 months rather than testify in front of a grand jury. James McDougal died at a time quite convenient to the Clintons. Jim Guy Tucker was convicted. Webster Hubbell was convicted. Ain’t it amazing the opportunities there are in the consulting business when a disbarred lawyer can clear $800,000 in fees in a matter of monthes ‘ere reporting to the federal pen.

#9 Comment By Art Deco On December 24, 2016 @ 3:44 pm

If someone is capable of noblesse oblige, they deserve to be dispossessed of a good part of their ill-gotten gains.

On what basis do you say their property is ‘ill-gotten’?

#10 Comment By Winston On December 24, 2016 @ 11:03 pm

I do no think he is a traitor to his class. He is a member of the class which has had delusions of British greatness- i.e, Empire nostalgia. The “deplorables” they manipulated will suffer even more as more austerity will be foisted on them.

What economy does England have besides finance led economy (which benefited from being “gateway” ti Europe)? The North Sea oil boost (that made Thatcher look good) is fading.

#11 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 25, 2016 @ 7:52 pm

On what basis do you say their property is ‘ill-gotten’?

Eugene Debs defined wealth as “the savings of many in the hands of one.” There may be specific individual cases where this is not true. I believe individual cases should be carefully considered, but they are, in this case exceptions.

In a subsistence agricultural society, it makes sense to save the largest potatoes for seeding the next crop, eating the smaller ones. Over time, the food supply will increase. In a larger and more complex society, a modest return of 5 percent on capital investment, as a return on deferred gratification, is reasonable.

Beyond the basic capital v. labor syllogism, those who buy low and sell high are robbing their money from those who buy high and sell low. It is a zero sum game.

#12 Comment By Art Deco On December 26, 2016 @ 12:43 pm

Eugene Debs defined wealth as “the savings of many in the hands of one.”

You gonna answer my question? Or is it you fancy talking in riddles is an answer?

#13 Comment By Art Deco On December 26, 2016 @ 12:48 pm

I do no think he is a traitor to his class. He is a member of the class which has had delusions of British greatness- i.e, Empire nostalgia.

The British Empire was great. Now name five individuals who have proposed re-assembling it, and explain how they form part of a ‘class’.

#14 Comment By MULGA On December 28, 2016 @ 11:37 am

[3]
Donald Trump has tied his presidential star irrevocably to Israel. This may well be good for the US. It will finally put the matter of Israel’s importance to the US front and center. Good or bad. His bully boy rushing in to brand the Security Council as evil doers and Israel as the immaculate nation among all other nations, hopefully, will see legitimate debate framed through the prism of what is good for the U.S.

#15 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 30, 2016 @ 1:49 pm

Art Deco, your impulsive one-liners are excellent at providing tempting straw men to knock down. Your delusions that you are somehow rendered powerful and dominant thereby are merely amusing. If you don’t like my answer, offer a credible refutation.