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The world is taking its revenge against elites. When will America's wake up? | Thomas Frank | Opinion | The Guardian

Ordinarily a dealer in witty aphorisms and upper-crust humor, Brooks now wrote a column entitled "Are We On the Path to National Ruin?" in which he speculated darkly about the possibility of fascism in America. "The crack of some abyss opened up for a moment by the end of last week," he wrote. "It's very easy to see this country on a nightmare trajectory."

Brooks-in-despair is a pitiful sight, and one can't help but sympathize. But what's really remarkable about the response to these shocks of people like him has been their inability to acknowledge that their own satisfied white-collar class might be part of the problem. On this they are utterly in denial and whatever the disaster, the answer they give is always ... more of the same. More "innovation". More venture capital. More sharp young global Stanford entrepreneurs. There is no problem that more people like they themselves can't solve.

Consider the New York Times think-piece on the Brexit that ran on 7 July. It mocked the British government for being dominated by a tiny, incestuous circle of friends, but then reassured readers that things simply aren't like that here in the USA: "It's as if President Obama's inner circle consisted almost entirely of his friends, neighbors and fellow Harvard graduates," supposedly an impossibility. I had to read that passage over again and again to understand it, so great was the cognitive dissonance. President Obama's inner circle does consist of his fellow Harvard graduates; encouraging Obama to appoint such people and documenting their adventures in government has been a pundit obsession for years. Applauding Bill Clinton for doing the same with his Rhodes Scholar and Yale Law friends was also once a standard journalistic trope.

by Bernard on Tue Jul 19th, 2016 at 08:40:29 PM EST

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