When I got my Ph.D. in formal political theory, I learned that the politics of large democratic polities today, such as metropolises, states, and nations, are usually aligned along a single “ideological” dimension. (E.g., “left” vs. “right”.) What exactly that dimension is about, however, has varied greatly across times and places. It seems to more result from a game theoretic equilibrium than from a single underlying dimension of choice; the real policy space remains highly dimensional.
I see the current consolidation of elite opinion in the US as something very similar to what happened during Victorian England. Before then, social etiquette and manners never mattered as much in England, and hasn't mattered as much thereafter.
Most of the "opinions" being consolidated right now are really new forms of rules of manners. And nothing gets you socially punished as much as violating these rules of manners publicly. Whether you actually draw the obvious next-step conclusions from any of these opinions are way less important.
How does your theory map onto what happened then?
As to the aftermath of Victorian England, somewhere along the way the British Empire did collapse / or was abandoned, but I don't know if that precedes, coincides or came after the dissipation of the social focus on manners.
The frontier is the edge of control of the dominant society, and expansion into it is the spreading of that dominant society. It's not a relief valve.
Yes he does. He had a post a few weeks back talking about it. I had never understood what he meant by 'Elite' until that post, but it became clear that his view is almost exactly the same as bougeoisie. I suggested 'managerial class' as a less communist sounding term, but it seems 'Elite' has taken over the US libertarians as the term to use.
But this happened in towns long before modern levels of mobility.
This is a really uncharitable reply. Hungary was clearly identified as an instructive *example* of consensus escape. It's not inconceivable, I suppose, that Orban could find allies in Central Europe who have analogous problems with EU mandates. Many voters would agree. A better dismissive reply would be "It won't last."
I haven't read the research about the durability of entrenchment in towns and firms, but one mechanism that may have supported it is the boiling off of dissenters. Sociologists who study the Amish have good data on this. If the people who don't like the way the town/firm runs just leave, the entrenched elite basically rules over only like-minded, willing subjects. Some towns and firms often ride this mechanism to their oblivion.
Obviously, this mechanism can't operate in a globalized ruling class.
Global society is quite different. Towns, firms, and ancient societies were much, much smaller.
> The last ideology question would be: shall we let this ruling class take over?
This is a rhetorical question, right? It seems we're riding this tsunami where we like it or not.
I think one missing aspect of your analysis is that, historically, there was always the relief valve of a new physical frontier. Despite seasteaders' valiant attempts, there is no remaining physical frontier on Earth. Cryptocurrency advocates' dreams of digital frontiers are naïve; those who control the physical realities underneath cryptocurrencies control their destinies.
Let's hope humanity survives well enough to become multi-planetary, at which point we can hope brave frontierspeople will venture out into space and run political and economic experiments at new frontiers.
Until then, it seems we're left to hunker down into a Capcanesque Beautiful Bubble; or, the evolution thereof, a Beautiful Steel Dome.
Agree with the dominating influence of ideology in our modern individual psychology. I like to say that ideology dominates our psychology like inheritance dominates our biology.
Cool like the 'many concentration camps in Xinjiang where local ethnic minorities and dissidents are imprisoned without a trial'?https://www.rfa.org/english...
Seeing one side as bad does not mean the other is good.
The issues are: how global has this become, and how small a group of global elites how strongly constrains what people and policies we can consider.
You sure we don't already having something like that ruling class? Seems like there is a general expectation that leaders and high officials come from a certain class of educated individuals where that education comes from western style universities who instill a certain general set of values and norms.
Look at firms and small towns for how this works today. See who defines for others who/waht are acceptable candidates for leadership and policy positions.
Someone asked this on Hacker News , and I thought it is interesting, so I'd like to bring your attention to it: How do you define the "ruling class"? Is it the same as bourgeoisie?
I fear you are correct about the tendency, and you are obviously right that entrenched power, bullying and corruption are a feature of smaller scale rule, right down to personal relations.
I have long thought that the EU is an empire and has co-opted our watchdogs the news media, who serve the elite and have started to intermarry with them. And of course there are the global treaties and organisations - WTO and all the rest.
Magna Carta, the English Civil War and the 'Glorious Revolution' gave us a political structure that built-in distrust of and opposition to supreme power. Our nationalism, and the recovery of a degree of sovereignty (in the face of the global network), is a campfire glowing in the dark.
Sadly our MPs, especially the Opposition, don't seem to understand their historic role - look at how the Coronavirus Act was refreshed without even a vote. They do not realise that they are a safety valve - as Peter Hitchens notes today:
'Unless at some point the real concerns of normal people find a peaceful, rational and responsible political outlet in countries such as ours, there will be serious trouble thanks to this chasm between what is promised and what actually happens.
'The ugly rise of Donald Trump in the USA is a rather mild and restrained warning of what lies ahead.'https://hitchensblog.mailon...
It's all getting very Star Wars, isn't it!
Though the question, shall we let this ruling class take over? is intuitive to us, it is not to the Chinese.
They have always preferred Confucian Leadership by Being Fabulously Cool.
More fun–and much cheaper–than Roman Rulership by Being Disgustingly Brutal, our preferred mode.