See this postby Charles Murray, Short version: per data collected by the GSS, over the last 35 years, all segments of the white population have moved from center to slightly right of center, except "Intellectual elite", which has moved from center to well left of center,

He's constructed a graphic of this data; the trend is continuous across the entire period, not recent.

Brooks has hit something, but he's missing in several points. Gun control has been unpopular with "the masses" for decades. In this case he reverses cause and effect: the "educated elite" has incurred the contempt of the masses for embracing a policy they loathe, This has been the case with crime issues going back to the 1960s.

Oh, and for those who fantasize that the recent eruption of disaffection is all a Capitalist Plot - the Big Money has been hand-in-glove with the "educated elite" for years, There are lots of left-wing billionaires, from George Soros to Warren Buffett (I could list at least a dozen more). Corporate money loves state intervention - they use it to suppress competition and enrich themselves.

One big reason the Republican Party has failed to deliver anything the dissident masses want (such as immigration enforcement) is that it is dominated by corporate interests.

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I think you're focusing on the more visible culture wars but it's the class war that's important. The "educated-class" as you put it is disappointed in the masses, but this is a prepackaged masses, packaged just as much to spur on more inanity, but also spurring yourself and myself and like minded to disdain.

But the class war is so much bigger, and so obviously directs the culture war simply through the boardroom.

The culture wars are frustrating, but those are mostly good people out there getting riled up by partisan messaging. Personally I'm trying to change to be less drawn in, and to focus on truly class issues, since that's where the real rape is happening. We've been cowed into the cynics belief that it's economically impossible have less poverty, less war, less corruption. But I think that's only true if we've stopped looking for continuously better ways to govern and improve society. Social democracies are a clear improvement on the stock, but how to get the despotic superpowers to conform?

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Perhaps the problem is that you divide the country into "elite" and "educated" against the populace.

Right wing zealots are still "elite" and "educated" By assuming that the engineer is superiour to the plumber, you forget that maintenence is what achieves the rewards after the initial investment is made.

No one likes being talked down to, and pretentious people bore me. As much as I used to enjoy this blog, my toilet and the guy who fixes it is far more important than self-involved intellectuals.

Also, global warming is silly. Global cycles are a much more likely explanation. Sometimes, the earth freezes. Sometimes, it's hot. If you don't like the weather, wait a few million years.

I guess saying that makes me uneducated and standard. Good luck with all that.

P.S. What happened to the other contributors? This site used to be fascinating.

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The modern world has not really made the transition from Custom and Command to Supply and Demand. There will always be a place for custom and command but the market, Adam Smith style, is a powerful medium only things such as the Federal Reserve pervert it... Information Asymmetry is key, and the internet i.e Wikichains is promising but until such thing become effective leaders will be basically bumbling along.

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Exactly correct. This is the simplest explanation. The simplest explanation is usually correct, and in this case it is correct.

Anthropogenic global warning is a good example. It is wrong, it is a forgery, it is a ruinous scam for the whole world, and it is easy to see that it is wrong if you have the slightest inclination to think for yourself and get properly informed about the debate instead of being smugly satisfied with being brainwashed by the main-stream media.

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OK you refute your own argument nicely here, you aknowledged it is a right/privilege issue.

Gay rights = gay marriage

If marriage is reduced to a contractual agreement with no added privileges\rights all will be well.

But for some reason some people is excluded from these rights/priviliges, by the simple reason for what they are.

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I agree it’s the privileges conferred to "those people". Garden variety prejudice.

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There is very little "libertarian techies" case of high visibility but micro-minority. Tech executives is heavily skewed Dem, most left in an increasing left-leaning professional community.

Hedge funds / Finance, definitely socially left, otherwise selfish (doesn't mind regulation/laws/sunsidies if it makes them money or of course bails them out...)

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Well actually, the Hoover administration and their elites was viewed a lot worse than you think... people were seeing communism as an alternative... this was quite an indictment.

FDR came in with bold policies and actions. So even when things were still declining at first he was immensely popular.

Compare to today, FDR came in and swept away a rotten system and people were happy, they knew that things were not going to be okay tomorrow,but there was confidence in a new system that will fix stuff.

Compare to today... people know that no-one is going to fix the problems overnight but were is the system that is going to fix stuff EVENTUALLY??

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Of course, when someone says “educated elites”, I generally thing of liberal arts grads in academia, reporters, writers, and various people who pontificate on politics. I don’t think of libertarian techies out in the valley or econ PhDs working at a hedge fund. Do the latter category of people count as “educated elites”?

They certainly belong to the educated elite, but they are nowhere near the top of its hierarchy of status and influence. With the exception of the political influence of professional opinions of economists, these people aren't influencing public opinion and culture in any original way. Their behavior and views merely follow the trends set by people from the former group you mention. (Though of course, this does have the effect of further reinforcing these trends.)

As a striking demonstration of how low business and tech professions stand in the elite status hierarchy, look at the "Bill Gates Retires" humor video. Here is one of the captains of industry, the richest man in the world, and the epitome of wildly successful tech entrepreneurship, making a video whose main purpose appears to be showing off about his social connections with people who enjoy much higher status. (Imagine any of these people trying to increase their status by palling around with Bill Gates!)

As for the country swinging right, I don’t believe it happened over 10 years. I believe it happened since Obama took office, and campaign promises that everyone can have a pony gave way to policy proposals which have costs as well as benefits. (This usually happens with a new president.)

Yes, but if the rightward movement of public opinion over the recent few months is significantly smaller than its entire leftward movement over the last decade, then it likely represents only a transient phenomenon that won't have any lasting influence -- a small downward glitch on a curve that has been going up almost continuously for many decades (if not even longer), regardless of who happens to be holding the elected offices. Making a big deal out of it is missing the forest for a tree.

Of course, if you're specifically interested in analyzing this glitch, it could be an interesting topic; my reaction was to the overblowing of the issue in the media.

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The abiity to enter into contractual arrangements among consenting adults is undisputed. However, legally recognized marriages additionally confer a bundle of privileges, responsibilities and other legal effects, which are unrelated to any contract between the parties. These effects are what's at issue here.

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Reads like gobbledygook to me. The ability of consenting adults to enter a contract is a right granted by the State apparatus; gay people are excluded from that right, how is that not a gay rights issue?

By what mechanism does an exclusive contract between two individuals affect the status of others not involved in the contract (unless you are asserting some perverted common pool resource argument to mate selection)? Are there actually heterosexual marriage advocates? Seems a redundant enterprise given the pervasiveness of hetero marriage.

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Gay rights != gay marriage. Gay marriage might have a lot of merit as a legal fiction devised to extend a bundle of common law rights to same-sex partnerships. Unfortunately, most advocates of gay marriage expressly state that their aim is to give an artificial status boost to same-sex couples. They are remarkably unconcerned about lowering the status of garden-variety, heterosexual marriage; it is no wonder that many advocates of the latter are pushing back.

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My theory: elites are always viewed through a lens of skepticism, and rightfully so. That skepticism becomes validated when (1) occurs, and thus the intensity of skepticism increases, often leading to outright contempt.

Of course, the internet helps transmit such skepticism, and you have a pretty incredible reinforcing system as a result.

To Tomasz point, I think you are very much off the mark. Just recently, gay rights took severe blows in one of the most liberal states in America (California). Secondly, I'm not sure Gay Rights is so much an elitist topic as a left right argument.

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Trouble is, when it comes to the possible ideological positions on most issues, “right wing” is nowadays pretty much a synonym for “unpopular with the educated classes.”

This is quite true. The left has adopted "all smart people agree with us" as part of their tribal identity. This leads people to signal their intelligence by adopting left wing beliefs and a great many educated elites do this.

Of course, when someone says "educated elites", I generally thing of liberal arts grads in academia, reporters, writers, and various people who pontificate on politics. I don't think of libertarian techies out in the valley or econ PhDs working at a hedge fund. Do the latter category of people count as "educated elites"?

As for the country swinging right, I don't believe it happened over 10 years. I believe it happened since Obama took office, and campaign promises that everyone can have a pony gave way to policy proposals which have costs as well as benefits. (This usually happens with a new president.)

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"Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year." is simply not true. Things like gay rights get more popular. I have seen no evidence that it's significant on net.

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