Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dynasties And Establishmentarianism

     Today’s bit of mandatory reading issues from a Bernie Sanders supporter who advocates voting for Trump. The heart of his argument:

     Either a Bush or a Clinton has been in power for 20 out of the 28 years since 1989, or 71 percent of the time. Electing Mrs. Clinton would increase this to 24 out of 32 years, or 75 percent of the time. Thomas Jefferson warned about dynastic rule in a 1786 letter to George Washington in which he wrote, “An hereditary aristocracy…will change the form of our governments from the best to the worst in the world.” Those who support Hillary Clinton seem to forget, everything else aside, that a vote for Hillary will be a vote for dynastic rule. This cannot be the sort of change for America that I believe Bernie supporters really want.

     A political establishment will always gravitate toward the formation of political dynasties. The tendency has only recently become visible in American politics, even though we had political families (e.g., the Adamses and the Harrisons) from the founding of the nation. Dynasties are inherently “conservative” in the original sense. A political order dominated by an Establishment will naturally funnel its benefits toward its insiders, and a cohesive family will be a more efficient conservator of those benefits than an individual. Such a dynasty will automatically be inclined to preserve the status quo, the environment in which it rose and thrives.

     Does that seem obvious, Gentle Reader? If so, then why have so many Americans overlooked it for so many decades?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Overlooked to some extent yes. Been kept in the dark by the complicit media, yes. When someone does report on the families at the top of the oligarchy it is easy to see the dynasties that hold sway and intermingle in politics, 'news' media, entertainment, 'charities' and businesses in general. Alas, the Fifth Estate has again failed in their duty. The fact they are part of the establishment is I'm sure no small factor in this failure. Add to it that many who run the media or are its stars can and do live their lives in an echo chamber and here we are in 2016.
Not all tyrants are politicians.