I read recently of a young Kuwaiti man who developed a great admiration for the US because of the first Gulf War. So he chose to go to college in the States.
Mistake. Inevitably, his American Government class was taught by a doctrinaire left-winger. This was the final exam:
"Dye and Zeigler contend that the Constitution of the United States was not `ordained and established' by `the people' as we have so often been led to believe. They contend instead that it was written by a small educated and wealthy elite in America who were representative of powerful economic and political interests. Analyze the US constitution (original document), and show how its formulation excluded the majority of the people living in America at that time, and how it was dominated by America's elite interest."
Bravely, the student wrote an essay that defended the US Constitution. This, of course, was not an option, or an opinion, his professor had allowed him. The prof refused to grade the essay. Instead he told the student to seek psychotherapy. Indeed, he threatened to go to the Dean of International Admissions and demand this. The student feared his student visa might be revoked.
He contacted the local media.
The professor then filed a complaint with the college’s human rights board, claiming the student had harassed him by talking to the press.
The most disturbing thing in the whole story, to my mind, is the gobsmacking hypocrisy of the professor—claiming the US constitution was elitist while he is a member of the same elite, and himself eager to use his power and privilege to bully any comer. A classic pharisee.
Who really was responsible for the US Constitution? A convention, but all elected by popular vote. That professor might object that suffrage in those days was less universal than it is now: with women and blacks not voting, these people technically represented a minority, only about forty percent of the adult population.
About the same proportion who voted in the recent US midterm elections.
Sketches of the actual delegates, recorded by one of them at the time, may be found here.
Abraham Baldwin: major qualification seems to be that he graduated from Harvard.
Dayton, "a good education."
Dickinson, "a scholar."
Ellsworth, a judge.
Few, a lawyer.
Franklin, "the greatest philosopher of this present age."
Hamilton, "reputed to be a finished scholar."
Houston, a lawyer.
Ingersoll, "well educated in the Classics."
Johnson, "one of the first [in] Classics in America."
King, "good classical as well as legal knowledge."
Livingston , "extensiveness of his education and genius."
Madison, "blends together the profound politician with the scholar."
Morris, lawyer, “acquainted to all the sciences."
Paterson, "a classic, a lawyer."
Pinckney, “intimately acquainted with all species of polite learning."
Cotesworth Pinckney, "very extensive degree of legal knowledge."
Randolph, “all the accomplishments of the Scholar”
Read, lawyer and judge.
Rutledge, “bred to the law.”
Strong, a lawyer.
Williamson, “a gentleman of education.”
Wilson, “among the foremost in legal and political knowledge.”
Wythe, professor of law, College of William and Mary.
That’s 35 apparent members of the educated professional class; out of 53. There seems to be a larger representation of merchants that one would see in the present Congress; but this may simply be due to a relative lack of professionals. When a member is well educated, this is apparently cited as his main qualification to be there. And educated professionals do form the clear majority.
So the professor is a member of the elite class he describes as forming the US Constitution. And, were the Constitutional Convention held today, he might well be a member.
Let’s go a bit further, and acknowledge that the professional class has always been the elite; this has not changed throughout history. Marxism is no more than a smokescreen to conceal this fact. In the French Estates-General, which ruled France before the Revolution, who was the First Estate? No, it was not the big landowners. It was the King plus the clergy, which is to say, at the time, the educated class. The landowners were the Second Estate, the bourgeoisie lumped with the peasants in the Third.
Similarly, in India’s caste system, who was the highest caste? The Brahmins—the educated, priestly, class. Nobles were second, merchants third.
You can trace this all the way back to hunter-gather societies: authority is commonly split between a war chief and a shaman, the latter’s authority based on his knowledge of the tribal lore. Who outranks whom varies.
In the French Revolution, the old clerical profession was simply replaced by a new, secular profession—the lawyers. But the same class remained in charge. In the American Revolution, American lawyers replaced British lawyers. In the Russian Revolution, or the Chinese, the professional class got rid of the landowners and bourgeoisie altogether, not to mention the clergy, and got to rule with no checks, balances, or restraints. No wonder Marxism is most popular among the professional class. It is their ultimate model: absolute power, corrupting absolutely.
The professional, educated class is the elite by simple dictionary definition. Oxford, “1 a group of people regarded as the best in a particular society or organization.” Webster’s, “1. d : a group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence.” Note that the word actually comes from the Middle English for “a person elected to office” (Random House). Who gets elected to office? Overwhelmingly, in Canada or the US or anywhere in Europe, educated professionals.
This makes educated professionals the ruling class: Random House, “the class of people exerting power or authority.” They not only run government and the civil service; they run big business. The decisions in corporations are made by MBAs.
While the old landowning class’s titles have now been banned in many countries, and have no legal standing in most others, the professional class’s titles are preserved, and still enforced by the state. Titles like “Dr.,” “Professor,” P. Eng,” “C.A.” The old landowning class, and the bourgeoisie, may have to go through the same courts as the proletariat or the peasantry; but the professional class has its own courts, and special privileges in others. They are judged by their peers in their professional associations. In the regular courts, they can claim special rights to testify or not to testify. While merchants or capitalists are prohibited by law from meeting together and coordinating their business interests, professionals have the absolute right to do this--and even to have their decisions enforced in the courts. They can fix fees, defend monopolies, restrict competition, discipline dissent.
Let’s look at prestige. Harris has a poll claiming to determine what jobs Americans consider most prestigious. The Top Ten: scientist, doctor, firefighter, teacher, military officer, nurse, police officer, clergy, congressman, engineer. I count seven or eight professions, “congressman” being ambiguous. Two are working class occupations. “Merchant” or “entrepreneur” do not appear.
Again, in any list of the best-paying jobs, the top five are medical specialties.
Having a ruling class is not all that terrible; there are arguments for it. Plato had some in the Republic. But when a ruling class tries to pretend it is not the ruling class—that’s sinister. That speaks of fraud.