Who really rules us?

Who ultimately rules the modern West?  I’m always complaining about us being under the thumb of the media/educational establishment/government civil service, but could I be more specific?  The safest way to identify the ruling class is to name some broad group.  Too broad, though, and it ceases to be informative.  If I whisper to the man next to me “It’s the college-educated class that rules us”, he might legitimately think to himself, “Well, of course.  Who else would be running the country?”  On the other hand, a very specific answer makes you sound like a conspiracy nut (and probably makes you be one too).  Try telling someone that America is ruled by the president of Harvard, and see if you’re taken seriously.

Still, of the three pieces of the modern triumvirate–media, academia, government–is it possible for us to identify who leads and who follows?  To me, it seems pretty clear that the media is the ultimate ruler.  Academia may be the idea factory, but it doesn’t decide which ideas get enforced in the nation at large.  Consider this:  the academic elite are all in favor of indoctrinating children in sexual perversion, which is being done nationwide, but they’re also all gung-ho for old-fashioned communism.  As in nationalize all industries, abolish private property, establish the dictatorship of the proletariat communism.  But America is in no danger of having any kind of socialism imposed on us.  Why?  Surely it’s because the newspapermen have decided to push perversion, but not collectivism.  Also, the government exercises pretty direct control over the universities through the latter’s dependence on government funding.  I assure you that obeying the government affects hundreds of academic decisions every day.  Of course, there are limits to how the government will use its power; it would never use its power of the purse to put and end to the “subversive” theorizing going on in the sociology department, for example.  But why is that?  First, because the media has taught public officials that censoring (Leftist) speech is a bad “fascist” thing to do.  Second, because commie professors know that the media would raise a hue and cry if they lost funding for “unAmerican” activity.  So it sort of goes to make my point.

Government and journalism have a very asymmetric relationship.  The ruling understanding of the first amendment is that journalists may attack and manipulate government with impunity, while the government may not retaliate against journalists in any way, even for the most defense of the common good.  It’s a very odd arrangement when one thinks about it.  Of course, few do, since we’ve all had it been drilled in us from a young age (and who did the drilling?) that the “freedom of the press” is a sacred, inviolable principle.  The newspapers’ privileges carry with them no restrictions and no responsibilities, though.  It’s nothing like our “freedom of religion”, which is interpreted to mean that the church’s may do their own thing as long as they do nothing that annoys the government.  (That would be “politics”, and we all know that “religion” and “politics” must never mix–an indirect way of saying that atheists and freemasons must rule over Christians as a matter of constitutional principle.)

And I haven’t even brought up the fact that, to our misfortune, we live in a democracy.  Public opinion rules the government, so ultimate power goes to those who dictate public opinion.  This can only be the monopolists of information, before whom we are all powerless:  the mass media.

Tocqueville thought that freedom of the press was a harmless bit of foolishness, because the newspapers were too diverse and decentralized to form a single entity.  That is certainly no longer the case.  Newspapermen think alike, act alike, believe alike, and the smaller ones take their marching orders from the bigger ones.  So, who rules America?  The editorial board of the New York Times.  God help us.

11 Responses

  1. A few responses:

    Major advertisers obviously have some control over the media. If they yank their ads, the newspapers die.

    Universities in part control the newspapers because they educate and certify future journalists, managers and businessmen for employment. They also form future readers.

    The federal government sets newspaper personnel policy (and thus sets many editorial biases) through the EEOC as part of its Five Point Plan to combat, prevent and “cure” discrimination: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/reports/media/index.html

    See how the EEOC head made an obvious censorship demand to the media & entertainment industry because of Don Imus’ three silly words in 2007: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/4-12-07a.cfm

    (I’d wager the NYC government and the local governments of other media centers have their own officials meddling in the media. Their partners in the lawsuit creation / lawsuit prevention industry also help.)

    We know that businesses, NGOs, government agencies and foreign governments cultivate pet journalists. This is because they recognize the media’s power, but obviously they manipulate the media for the sake of power elsewhere. Isn’t this a sign that the media is the herald, and not the king? Do the most powerful men run the media or manipulate the media?

  2. I think you may be confusing instruments of power with the people who wield those instruments. After all, it’s not the media that controls, but rather the men who control the media.

    It’s not easy to say just who these men are. Some of them are owners, some of them finance the owners, some are editors, some are journalists. Control of the media is not exercised by a sector within the media. It is exercised by an alliance (conspiracy, one might say) of like-minded owners, financiers, editors, and journalists.

    Take an example closer to home. Who runs the university? It’s not “the administration.” It’s a subset of the administration working with a subset of the faculty, the student body, and the alumni.

    This is why Marxism is wrong. Power doesn’t reside with the capitalists or the proletariat, but rather with an alliance between some capitalists and some of the proletariat.

    The reason for this, I think, is that control requires “full spectrum” power. Every social sector has it own instrument of power, and control requires mastery of all the instruments.

    A successful conspiracy is a “regime.”

  3. Hello Oct7,

    These are good points. Thank you. It’s very hard to really tell who the driver is. For example, these anti-discrimination laws wouldn’t exist without media agitating for them, for example, by stirring up panics over wholly imaginary “racism” epidemics. The media also elected the legislators who appoint EEOC personnel (through the intermediary of telling the public who to vote for). I doubt that there could ever be a law censoring the media in a way it didn’t already want to censor itself. On the other hand, media-academia-government are so closely tied that it’s hard to prove that the newspapers are really the initiators, as I’ve alleged.

  4. Here’s a thought experiment. Suppose the three powers were to break off over a serious disagreement, so that one could only influence the others through fear rather than common belief. This would be an unstable situation. Soon, the most powerful of the three would vanquish and remake the other two. Which of the three would that be.

    Certainly not the universities. These have no power except what the government or the media gives them. Deciding on the other two is more difficult. The government has its monopoly on physical force. That’s a pretty big card to be holding, but the State does have some constraints on how it uses its power. The populace has been taught to regard certain state actions as illegitimate, so much so that the legitimacy of a regime that did them would be held in question. The media has its monopoly on public opinion formation. This is a powerful force, and it has no restrictions on how it uses it. (How would the public know if the media were abusing its power? Who would tell them?) The weakness of the media’s power is that it operates more slowly. The newspapers and television can make the public believe anything, but it takes them a while to do this, sometimes as long as a decade. That might give the State time to act.

  5. Hello JMsmith,

    I would be happy to have my ideas refined. By “the media” I of course mean journalists, in particular ruling journalists. I had always assumed that it was the editors who are the ruling journalists, but perhaps it would be better to modify that to say that the media is run by the editors and owners of the New York Times. Of course, that’s conspiracy-mongering, but if I say that America is ruled by a coalition of like-minded leading figures from every sector of society, I wouldn’t really be saying much, since that’s always true.

  6. Yes, I suppose what I wrote is a bit like saying that the elite is the elite. But I think it may help us refine the question this way. We are governed by this multi-faceted elite, but which facet of the elite controls the other facets? It’s the opinion-forming Clerisy, comprising elite academics and journalists, who produce what Maurice Cowling calls “higher journalism.” No matter what anyone else does, this Clerisy decides what it means. The military can drop a bomb; the Clerisy determines whether it was a Liberating Bomb or an Oppressing Bomb.

  7. I think JMsmith has it right. Occupational titles are just the wrong kind of answer to a question like “who rules?”. When the British ruled India, it was the British who ruled India. When the Mongols ruled China, it was the Mongols who ruled China, at least for a while. When the commies ruled Russia, it was the commies who ruled Russia.

    Good answers to the question can be ethnic groups, social classes, ideological cadres, and probably other groupings I’m not thinking of. At its founding, the US was ruled by Freemasons, an ideological grouping. I can’t put my hand on a cite, but for a century membership was a de facto requirement to be an officer in the army, for example. To be fair, the Masons were in coalition with Puritans. Today, the US is ruled by Those Who Shall Not Be Named, with an assist from the remnants of the Masons and Puritans.

    I am baffled by your phobia of conspiracy-mongering. Power attracts conspiracies like cow flop attracts flies.

  8. ” The newspapers and television can make the public believe anything, but it takes them a while to do this, sometimes as long as a decade. That might give the State time to act.”

    Didn’t Nixon, in his famous exchange with Billy Graham, express the opinion that he was essentially powerless against the media? Is something as amorphous as the civil service capable of concerted action against it?

  9. The anti-discrimination laws in the U.S. exist because of Jewish lawyers. Jews didn’t want European-Americans to be able to legally exclude them. When a black client sued for discrimination in the past, it was often Jewish lawyers representing that black person. Those jewish lawyers were using that black person as a front for their own concerns.

  10. James Kalb noted that liberalism rules by pretending not to rule, making it hard to zero in on who rules.

    I think it’s the devil. Everyone already identified are just the devil’s ministers doing the devil’s work. It’s why these disparate groups are suspiciously on the same page.

  11. […] is a need to overthrow this (necessary) discrimination by a perpetual revolution. The State is often accountable to these informally established […]

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