why our elites don’t know what they’re doing

I’ve spoken before about the perplexing problem we have of elites who are not only destroying our civilisation – they will inevitably end by destroying themselves. How on earth can this have happened?
Nassim Taleb has some ideas on this subject in his essay on the “Intellectual-Yet-Idiot” Class
It does seem increasingly obvious that our so-called intellectual elites are quite unable to foresee the consequences of their actions. When their decisions turn out badly they are unable to understand why and, more worryingly, being essentially mediocrities  with no deep understanding their instinct is to deny reality rather than question their own beliefs.
There’s a lively discussion on the topic at Vox Popoli. This discussion raises another fascinating possibility – that high IQ individuals are in fact to a considerable degree excluded from positions of power and influence.
Even a cursory glance at the history of the West over the past century makes it pretty clear  that during this period most western countries have largely been ruled by people who are, to put it mildly, not very bright. Back in the 70s British historian Corelli Barnett pointed out the disastrous consequences of the ineptitude of the British ruling class in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (in his superb book The Collapse of British Power) so the problem is certainly not new.
What is new is that a reasonably large number of ordinary people seem to be slowly realising that they are being ruled by elites who don’t have a clue what they’re doing.
Advertisements

4 comments on “why our elites don’t know what they’re doing

  1. I think you are wrong about this – if it was merely incompetence and ignorance, then why do they keep making the same kind of mistakes (or exactly the same mistakes), again-and-again, and always in the same direction – decade after decade? This is not random, and it is one-sidely resistant to self-correction.

    Clearly this is strategic. The fact that it is self-destructive among those we observe implies that the process is driven by those we do *not* observe.

    If one is a Christian, then the inference is probably that the strategy is demonic in origin.

    If one is not religious and denies the supernatural… aliens, presumably?

  2. dfordoom says:

    I think you are wrong about this – if it was merely incompetence and ignorance, then why do they keep making the same kind of mistakes (or exactly the same mistakes), again-and-again, and always in the same direction – decade after decade?

    What I think we're dealing with is malice combined with incompetence. The aims of these elites are malicious but they're not smart enough to realise that the consequences may not be what they'd anticipated.

    Lenin is a classic example. One of the most evil men who ever lived but also massively incompetent – totally unable to understand that the economic chaos he unleashed might well bring down the very system he wanted to create.

    This is the problem with ideologues. They rely on theory and it doesn't occur to them that their theories may not work in the real world. And they're quite unable to deal with unexpected consequences that their theories don't allow for.

  3. The British upper class was mostly killed off in the First World War (see the book Singled Out) which resulted in a massive reduction in cultural practices as so many upper class women either married down or not at all that the upper class couldn't recover.
    Some could argue it was all part of a big plan to take down the British Empire as it never really recovered, WW2 just sealed its fate.
    You might think they don't know what they're doing, but that's exactly what they want you to think. “Why would Jews support mass immigration of Arabs?” Answer: it's a distraction of the host country financially, emotionally and spiritually. A country that is focused on stopping terrorists on its own doorstep is too busy to see how all the media and banks run by the same group.

  4. dfordoom says:

    The British upper class was mostly killed off in the First World War

    There's some truth to that although Corelli Barnett argues that there was already a problem with an education system for the upper classes that was too narrowly focused on the classics. They simply weren't capable of dealing with the modern industrialised world.

    Britain's economic decline was already beginning prior to the First World War. The fact is that Britain could not afford the crippling costs of maintaining and defending the Empire.

    Mind you the United States played a huge role in the destruction of the British Empire. It was US pressure that forced Britain to abandon its alliance with Japan – an alliance that offered the only hope of keeping the Empire.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s