Inequality among men is as natural as breathing or eating. Understanding this truism will generally save a person about 90% of the frustration that they would otherwise feel towards human societies and political systems. Never in the history of mankind – not even in the most hopelessly utopian of efforts by social levelers – has this natural inequality ever truly been overcome.
The natural outcome of these inequalities (and I am speaking here within national and cultural bodies, not of relations between them) is that elites will always arise. Within nations, aristocracies will always occur for a variety of reasons. Even within democratic systems, Robert Michel’s Iron Law of Oligarchy will operate, ensuring that a leadership caste rises to the top to effectively dominate the politics and social system within a nation or political subunit. Looking to classical history, we see that even in places and at times when rampant democratization took place (e.g. Athens from ~525 – 350 BC, late Republican Rome), the initiative for these efforts arose not from the demos themselves, but from popular (and generally aristocratic) leaders who wielded the people as a weapon for gaining political power. Let us not forget the Cleisthenes, whose reform of the Athenian constitution set that city on course for direct democracy, was of the aristocratic Alcmaeonid family; Julius Caesar and other late Republican leaders of the populares came from aristocratic senatorial families.
No less a democrat than Thomas Jefferson himself said, “There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talent.” Though Jefferson was (obviously) a vigourous opponent of formal aristocracy, his statement is nevertheless true, and explains why aristocracies – elites within societies – originate.
Aristocracies generally originate and evolve during periods in which a society is expanding and growing, and thus needs the expansion of its leadership caste. It is during these periods that “new blood,” generally demonstrating a mix of intelligence, talent, and audacity, is given the opportunity to assert itself and join the previous hereditary elite, if such already exists or hasn’t been overthrown (in which case, the “new blood” replaces the old). This nobility is generally made up of those with the courage, cunning, skills, and enterprise to seize opportunities that present themselves and to motivate men to follow them to glory. This is, in a nutshell, pretty much the story for the establishment of the feudal aristocracies that evolved out of the Germanic conquests of western Europe after Rome fell. In many cases, petty chieftains or enterprising warriors were able to establish themselves in the new lands and initiate dynasties that lasted, in some cases, for centuries before being absorbed into the growing medieval nation-states. The Counts of Anjou, for instance, established a county that produced many illustrious members, such as Fulk III (the Black). Indeed, the great duchies, counties, and baronies largely began as statelets carved out by the ancestors of those whose names we are more familiar with from medieval history. At least at the times they gained power, aristocrats were true to their titles – they were the best and the brightest in their societies.
However, we need not think of aristocracy solely in the sense of hereditary nobles bearing titles and coats of arms. Even nations in the West which have more robust republican or democratic traditions and which either decimated or else consciously avoided the older-style hereditary aristocracy (such as France and the United States, respectively), still possess elites who have risen to the top of the political and social systems in place. In our systems, these elites generally rise through a combination of statesmanship, education and scholarship, and juridical capabilities, though not a few have entered the “democratic” aristocracies through prowess in warfare and their natural leadership abilities. In these cases, membership tends to be more fluid and less hereditary, though the presence of multigeneration American political clans from the Adamses to the Kennedies and Bushes shows this to not always be the case.
The problem with aristocracies is that they tend to become decadent and degenerate. To them often applies quite well the plaintive words of Horace,
“Time corrupts all. What has it not made worse?
Our grandfathers sired feebler children; theirs
Were weaker still – ourselves; and now our curse
Must be to breed even more degenerate heirs.”
This most closely applies to hereditary aristocracies whose membership is much more closed to new blood, as the European aristocracy became. Not only do the morals and the capabilities of such lines tend to degenerate, but very often their genetics do as well – witness Charles II, the last Habsburg king of Spain, a man who could barely chew his own food because of the extreme genetic deformity of his jaw and who was virtually ignored by his own advisors and regents. So-called “democratic” aristocracies are not immune to this degeneration; however, their degeneracy tends to take on an institutional and systematic form, rather than familial and personal. What degenerates is not necessarily the individual members, but the “aristocratical system” set into place by the ruling class.
As an aristocratic system degenerates, its members become more and more unworthy of the position to which heredity or connexions have placed them. This is certainly the case with the present “elite” which we see in the United States and other Western nations. Traditionally, the democratic elites in the Western nations that adopted some form of republicanism or parliamentary democracy in the 18th and 19th centuries were – despite the “democratic” nature of their systems – genuine elites. Those who really rose to the top in terms of esteem and respectability were men who genuinely had the best interests of their nations at heart, and who had the statesmanship, education, and intelligence to guide their respective ships of state. Unfortunately, this aristocratic system degenerated as well, and led to the present crop of “elites” have now completely broken with this tradition.
Starting in the late 1960s, these “elites” (which we would identify today as the “progressives” and other left-liberals who largely dominate the political, media, educational, and other culture-driving institutions) began their Gramscian “long march through the institutions”. Through the intervening decades, they were able to usurp control over these from the traditional elites who guided them previously.
This “elite,” however, is fundamentally different from the earlier aristocracy which guided our politics and institutions. Membership in the current progressive elite is not derived from ability, intelligence, a genuine classical education in the humanities, or the ability to learn and apply the law. Rather, membership in this group is centered about one thing – adherence to (or at least submission to) the progressive ideology. The more closely a progressive holds to the doctrinaire ideology of socialism, communism, and cultural marxism, the more successful they will be. While earlier elites were typically characterized by such things as martial virtue, statesmanship, and classical education, the present progressive “elites” do not embody any of these traits. Indeed, the typical progressive is diametrically opposite to these.
Progressives are, to put it frankly, stupid and unlettered people. While they like to think of themselves as “educated” (and may indeed possess multiple degrees from educational institutions, degrees which they could only “earn” because other progressives were in power to grant these to them), the average progressive is grossly ignorant about a wide range of topics that are vitally important to the possession of true leadership abilities. Progressives, by virtue of their transnational and globalist leanings, cannot by definition be “statesmen,” since that term necessarily implies devotion to the guidance of a nation-state. In many cases, progressives are actively hostile toward the military, cultural, and political success of the nations over which they exercise influence.
As a result, we must recognize that these progressive “elites” are a wholly and completely unnatural phenomenon. Natural aristocracy is based on the inequalities of abilities, intelligence, daring, and other qualities that exist between different people, and which allow those who possess them to rise to the top, if they will exercise these natural advantages. Because claims to elite status made by progressives rely solely on unthinking subordination to an artificial ideology, their “aristocracy” is also artificial. This aristocracy exists because it tries to bend reality to meet the demands of ideology, rather than the other way around. This explains why, in places dominated by these progressive elites, so many stupid, unworthy, and outright ridiculous people nevertheless rise to the top in the system. This amply explains how people like Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel and others like them end up where they are today.
These people are wholly unworthy of their “elite” status. At least on a subconscious level, this is widely recognized, and it explains why there is so much growing opposition to them in just the last few years. Having reached the point where they are so ridiculous that their unnaturalness can no longer be ignored, a backlash appears to be in the offing. Will the impending Trumpening of the United States represent the beginning of the end for the current progressive, transnational, globalist, anti-western “elite”? The rise of the nationalists all across Europe, as well, suggests that the end may be nearing for the elite status of the progressives. Now is the time for those on the broad alt-Right to prepare themselves to emerge as the new aristocracy that replaces the old, much as the German chieftains replaced Roman senators all across Gaul, Spain, Italy, and Britain fifteen centuries ago. We are the new blood, and now may well be our time.