Professor Glenn Reynolds: Our Ruling Class is a Monoculture
“Repeatedly, we see waves in which something that nobody much cared about suddenly comes to dominate ruling class discourse.”
Professor Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit has started a Substack. In a recent post, he talks about the lack of intellectual diversity in our ruling class:
Thoughts on our ruling class monoculture
Our modern ruling class is peculiar. One of its many peculiarities is its penchant for fads, and what can only be called mass hysteria. Repeatedly, we see waves in which something that nobody much cared about suddenly comes to dominate ruling class discourse. Almost in synchrony, a wide range of institutions begin to talk about it, and to be preoccupied by it, even as every leading figure virtue-signals regarding this subject which, only a month or two previously, hardly any of them even knew about, much less cared about.
There are several factors behind this, but one of the most important, I think, is that our ruling class is a monoculture.
In agriculture, a monoculture exists when just a single variety dominates a crop. “Monoculture has its benefits. The entire system is standard, so there are rarely new production and maintenance processes, and everything is compatible and familiar to users. On the other hand, as banana farmers learned, in a monoculture, all instances are prone to the same set of attacks. If someone or something figures out how to affect just one, the entire system is put at risk.”
In a monoculture, if one plant is vulnerable to a disease or an insect, they all are. Thus diseases or pests can rip through it like nobody’s business. (As John Scalzi observes in one of his books, it’s also why clone armies, popular in science fiction, are a bad idea in reality, as they would be highly vulnerable to engineered diseases.) A uniform population is a high-value target.
This is also why nature fosters genetic diversity. Sexual reproduction is a lot of trouble compared to, say, fission or budding, or even parthenogenesis. Despite its undoubted pleasures, it’s resource-expensive, requiring a search for a mate, possibly competition to mate at all, and risks like sexually transmitted diseases and childbirth, all for a paltry 50% (average) genetic pass-on. Unlike asexual reproduction, which produces a copy of what is, by definition, a successfully reproducing individual, sexual reproduction produces a genetically unique offspring who may turn out to be worse-adapted to the environment than either parent.
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“Repeatedly, we see waves in which something that nobody much cared about suddenly comes to dominate ruling class discourse. Almost in synchrony, a wide range of institutions begin to talk about it, and to be preoccupied by it”
The rest of us have our pet rocks, while the ruling class obsesses over its Fabergé Eggs.
Remember what ruling class treasured its Fabergé Eggs… and what happened to it.
With all respect to The Blogfather, we don’t have a “ruling class” we have a “grifting caste” of “People of The Apparatus.”
We have an infestation of; front-row kids, and main-chance people: parasites created and selected to provision. They really only know that they should always win in comfort. They don’t even see that someone else makes stuff work.
Curious how a “rail disaster” grabs the national Zeitgeist as the impossible contradictions of Federal mostly Screaming-D rail policy are playing out.
“It’s those eeeee-villl capitalists!!!!!”
No mention of the unions’ rejecting the regular-guy Joe administration’s crafted plan. No mention of the sticking issues in the contracts, including crew size and crew down time. (Slimy PR on that one. On top of the issues, all the headlines of “accepted by majority” counted small-membership unions, vs. utter rejection by way more people in a couple larger unions.)
The rail roads are captive to the administration. You can’t run a capital intensive, or highly-regulated business sideways of Teh Authoritah. Whatever they do, they take orders.
The Unions and the operating companies were divided and bought-off with “a pocket full of mumbles, such are promises.” (How’s that “college loan forgiveness” working out? What did y’all spend the money on? Suckers.)
And so it goes…
Another reason for the crazy fads among the “leadership” is that they care very very much about impressing each other with their wonderfulness.. That, after all, is where the big money is.
So much this.^^^^^^
Fads can be extremely profitable for those owning the means of production and/or the distribution channels.
Then there is the breads/circuses aspect of fads. Keep the commoner’s minds off the multitude of scams the mega-wealthy elite class inundates those commoner buffoons with. A few of the common folks are aware of the scams but far too few to alter the ongoing scam that the USA has devolved into.
The Founders, if present, would be furious but helpless. The embedded elites are in charge of all command and control systems; either directly or by proxy. The end is upon us. The New World Order has won. With time the elite-owned one-world government will envelope the Western sphere then hunker down and absorb the Moslems and then the East vs West battle begins. The novel “1984” may be more accurate then ever imagined.