Sunday, July 18, 2010

You Say You Want A Revolution?

Instapundit has just put up a piece that deserves repeating in its entirety.

WHAT TO DO? In response to this piece by Angelo Codevilla on America’s ruling class, readers wonder what to do. Well, a few things suggest themselves.

First: Mockery. They are very mockable, and they are very thin-skinned. That leads them to erupt in embarrassing ways. Use their sense of entitlement against them.

Second (and related): Transparency. One-party government makes you stupid, and although composed of both Democrats and Republicans the political class is basically its own party, and these people are pretty stupid. Point it out, repeatedly. Use FOIA, ubiquitous videocameras, and other tools to make the stupidity show.

Third: Money. Codevilla writes: “Our ruling class’s agenda is power for itself. While it stakes its claim through intellectual-moral pretense, it holds power by one of the oldest and most prosaic of means: patronage and promises thereof.” The coming budget crisis — already here, really, but still largely denied by the rulers — is an opportunity to defund a lot of this patronage stuff. They’ll try, of course, to cut the muscle and preserve the fat, but that won’t work very well if they’re closely watched (see above). Cut them off in other ways, too. Don’t support the media, nonprofits, and politicians who support them with your money.

Also, make sure that money flows TO things you like: Businesses, alt-media, politicians who aren’t part of the problem, etc. Build up countervailing institutions that don’t depend on the government to survive.

Finally: Don’t act like a subject. Rulers like subjects. Don’t be one. As a famous man once said: Get in their face. Punch back twice as hard. Words for the coming decade?
And do read the Angelo Codevilla piece. It is longish (for an internet bit) but well worth your time.

Update: Instapundit has added to his piece. Go read it. And in the spirit of his additions I too have something to add.

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. - Fredrick Douglas

And further, Mr. Codevilla has written a book:

The Character of Nations: How Politics Makes and Breaks Prosperity, Family, and Civility

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Tom Cuddihy said...

I was struck by this line in the Codevilla piece, " More important, such a serious party would have to attack the ruling class's fundamental claims to its superior intellect and morality in ways that dispirit the target and hearten one's own."

So why don't we make a list of actions that could accomplish this?
The best are ones that hit the leaders and supporters of the Ruling Class in their gut and pocketbook. That's why school choice and ending federal school loans are important, but those currently have broad appeal, so easier targets should be considered.

Here's one: Ending the current heridatry reach of "royalties". By this I mean the everlasting and intrustive "right" the 70-year copyright has become. What was once a "limited time" during which an author, musician, or, lately, a giant mega-corp, could recoup investments and profit from a work or art, has become an endless stream of revenue that never shuts off. So a Disney, for example, can go wherever it wants to go right now because it can be confident that even if its current crop of movies is offensive to the vast majority of American people, it's broader revenue stream is not in any danger of collapse because they can always bring a 70 year old movie like Snow White out of the vault for more revenue.

M. Simon said...

I'd go after moral targets first. Delegitimize. Then hit the money tree.