The Political Class, the Country Class, and the Democratic-Republican Political Class War Against the People of the United States

In the American Spectator, Angelo M. Codevilla has published a lengthy article entitled "America's Ruling Class – And the Perils of Revolution" (link via Memeorandum). Codevilla argues that, over the course of the last hundred-plus years, the American people have become progressively alienated from their government, as the ruling political class has expanded in scope and power, to the benefit of the major party machines and entrenched elites. However, there is a noteworthy contradiction in Codevilla's conceptualization of the political class. The professor begins his essay with a reflection on the bailouts of the banking mafia in 2008:
The public objected immediately, by margins of three or four to one. When this majority discovered that virtually no one in a position of power in either party or with a national voice would take their objections seriously, that decisions about their money were being made in bipartisan backroom deals with interested parties, and that the laws on these matters were being voted by people who had not read them, the term "political class" came into use. . . . Republican and Democratic office holders and their retinues show a similar presumption to dominate and fewer differences in tastes, habits, opinions, and sources of income among one another than between both and the rest of the country. They think, look, and act as a class. [Emphasis added.]
The basis of his argument is thus that the political class is bipartisan in nature. Indeed, how could it be otherwise? The Democratic and Republican parties long ago hijacked the government of the United States and put it to work in the interests of the party machines and their financial benefactors, all of which is serviced by the deluded activists and bureaucrats who do their grunt labor. However, Codevilla goes on to argue that, though this class is bipartisan in nature, the Democratic Party is its primary vehicle:
while most of the voters who call themselves Democrats say that Democratic officials represent them well, only a fourth of the voters who identify themselves as Republicans tell pollsters that Republican officeholders represent them well. Hence officeholders, Democrats and Republicans, gladden the hearts of some one-third of the electorate -- most Democratic voters, plus a few Republicans. This means that Democratic politicians are the ruling class's prime legitimate representatives and that because Republican politicians are supported by only a fourth of their voters while the rest vote for them reluctantly, most are aspirants for a junior role in the ruling class. In short, the ruling class has a party, the Democrats. But some two-thirds of Americans -- a few Democratic voters, most Republican voters, and all independents -- lack a vehicle in electoral politics. Sooner or later, well or badly, that majority's demand for representation will be filled. [Emphasis added.]
According to Codevilla, then, the political class is comprised of the Democratic and Republican parties, but the Democratic Party is the party of the ruling class. Aside from the contradiction involved here, this conclusion is especially weak since one can read those very same poll numbers the other way around. The fact that more Americans have abandoned the Republican Party than the Democratic Party reveals that the Republican Party is now a naked vehicle for the ruling political class precisely because it lacks the political cover provided by popular support. On the other hand, Codevilla likely overestimates popular support for the Democratic Party; and, in any case, given his class-based analysis, should we not conclude that any popular support for the Democratic party is the result of false consciousness?

As Democrats currently hold the presidency and both houses of Congress, it is a trivial point that the Democratic Party is the primary tool and vehicle of the political class. But this is simply arbitrary. In the two-party state, whichever party holds the majority is the primary vehicle and tool of the ruling political class; it provides them with the political cover they need to wage their ongoing war against the people of the United States.

The opposing term in Codevilla's analysis is similarly plagued by contradiction, what he calls the 'country class,' that is, those of us who are not part and parcel of the ruling political class. Recall, of the political class, Codevilla states:
Republican and Democratic office holders and their retinues show a similar presumption to dominate and fewer differences in tastes, habits, opinions, and sources of income among one another than between both and the rest of the country. They think, look, and act as a class.
The professor admits the difficulty of describing the 'country class' at the outset:
Describing America's country class is problematic because it is so heterogeneous. It has no privileged podiums, and speaks with many voices, often inharmonious. It shares above all the desire to be rid of rulers it regards inept and haughty. It defines itself practically in terms of reflexive reaction against the rulers' defining ideas and proclivities . . . While the country class, like the ruling class, includes the professionally accomplished and the mediocre, geniuses and dolts, it is different because of its non-orientation to government and its members' yearning to rule themselves rather than be ruled by others.
In other words, based on the definition of class presented at the outset, the country class does not form a class at all, except insofar as its members are those who are not members of the political class. It is an almost purely reactionary-reactive formation without an active ordering principle, as Cordevilla himself states. How could it be appropriately represented by a party? The professor writes:
Certainly the country class lacks its own political vehicle -- and perhaps the coherence to establish one. In the short term at least, the country class has no alternative but to channel its political efforts through the Republican Party, which is eager for its support. But the Republican Party does not live to represent the country class.
In other words, the "country class" is forever doomed to support a faction of the ruling political class in the mistaken belief that this time around they will not be left in the lurch with a knife in their back. As I wrote back in February, in a post on the Democratic-Republican political class war against the people of the United States:
If someone were to write the definitive political fable of our time, it would likely tell the story of how farm animals formed alliances among themselves in support of the two competing factions from the management at the local slaughterhouse. The most tragic tale would be that of those creatures who knew they were being fattened for a feast, but simply couldn't help themselves every time they were thrown a bone.
Political freedom and independence today begins with freedom and independence from the Democratic-Republican two-party state and duopoly system of government. For the response of country class traitors on both sides of the duopoly divide to Codevilla's piece, see Riehl World View and Outside the Beltway.

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