The anti-elite rhetoric is potent throughout America. Following Biden's election victory, these powerful elites will continue to circulate and dominate government, writes Noel Yaxley. 

Donald Trump won the 2016 U.S election in part due to a wholesale rejection against what many political commentators call the establishment elites. But what is the elite?

In contemporary political discourse, the elites tend to refer to the upper middle classes: otherwise known as the chattering classes. These tend to comprise the civil service, academia, the political class and the media. One need only mention Trump's daily diatribe against CNN -which he dubbed 'the fake news media' – to witness his distrust and general hatred of the mainstream media. They have after all, been diametrically opposed to his presidency since day one, selectively misquoting him and attributing close to every known slander under the sun towards him.

The term 'elite' can trace its inception to the work of 19th and early 20th century Italian sociologist Vilfredo Pareto. The key to understanding society and more importantly power according to Pareto was to examine the governing elite. Pareto argued that elites always rule. The minority will always come to dominate the majority. According to Pareto, historical examples prove that one elite will always replace another. Or in Pareto's own words a theory that he called the "circulation of elites."

To define the elite, Pareto used the original etymological derivation from Latin – meaning the best. When the current elite declines, a new set emerges either through assimilation or revolution.

Focusing on the work of his predecessor Niccolò Machiavelli, Pareto argued there were two versions of elites: foxes and lions. Foxes are those who are cunning and uncomfortable with force and lions who are more traditional and conservative and tend to exhibit a strong personality. These two are opposing forces – yet both have relative strengths and weaknesses. And in a manner that partially resembles Hegel's theory of dialectical idealism they stand in opposition to each other until a new elite forms.

In western liberal democracies, foxes have, for years, tended to dominate global politics. That is, until Donald Trump and his unique strength of character, leadership and personality meant a new type of elite was in power.

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Contemporary foxes favour globalisation and an interconnected open liberal world.

So it should come as no surprise that the new advisor to Biden's Environmental Protection Agency, Michael McCabe was a former consultant to DuPont: head of a $130 billion transnational corporation that lobbied to deregulate environmental standards. Or that his new Pentagon team, aka "the Biden war-room" consists of people funded by the arms industry. One third of this team worked for organisations that received funding from arms manufacturers.

One of his potential picks for a foreign policy position is Barack Obama's former U.S ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. Rice, who sat on the board at Netflix was instrumental in the U.S intervention in the Libyan civil war which culminated in the horror that occurred in Benghazi. According to Dave DeCamp, editor of AntiWar.com "With a Biden administration, we can expect a continuation of the Middle East wars and possible escalations in places like Syria."

It would appear to be business as usual for the elites. This time, the fox is far more forceful.

According to analysis by The Wall Street Journal, at least forty former lobbyists are on his 'transition task force' These include executives from Lyft, Amazon, Capital One, Uber, Visa and J.P Morgan. According to Biden his transition team "reflect the values and priorities of the incoming administration."

During a 2007 campaign event Biden said "Lobbyists aren't bad people, special-interest groups are not bad people, but guess what? They are corrosive." So I find it hard to believe that this is part of what the left's 'grassroots' #resistance movement wanted?

Whilst I am acutely aware that Trump rammed the White House full of lobbyists, need I remind the reader that this is supposed to be the anti-war, anti-monopoly left.

So one capitalist is replaced by another? It's just the circulation of the elites in action. Whether lion or fox, who cares when the Democrats get what they want?

13 votes

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