Clerisy - Intelligensia - German Klerisei clergy, from Medieval Latin clericia, from Late Latin clericus cleric
Joel Kotkin is Casandra - that is if Casandra of epic Greek and Roman poetry looked like a dock-worker. Joel Kotkin is a demographer ( studies the great American in his natural habitats: urban, rural and off-the -grid) more concerned with the living and breathing people of his study than the numbers that they represent.
I've been reading Joel Kotkin for years and every trend in population shift with underlying political and culture motor running them has been on the money. Kotkin warned of the rise of the public sector unions, the titanium hand-cuffs of the welfare state, the Marxist control of immigration debate and the K-Street control of government back when Clinton was chasing interns through the cubicles and closets of the West Wing and few so-called political mavericks listened to his dire predictions.
Joel Kotkin clearly explained the gentrification of rust belt America as a signal accomplishment of Progressive hegemony. The Smart Sizing of American cities is more about eliminating ethnic neighborhoods and opening up green-space for the elite than it is about meeting the challenges of a down-sized economy.
Somebody Else's Troubles is the meme of the New Progressive Millennium. The elites have their's - Up Yours, Dude.
The elites are the gated community of discourse and debate. In his latest article published in New Geography reintroduced me to a word that I had forgotten from the time I took Father Charles Rohan, SJ's course on the Revolutions of 1848 at Loyola University in 1973. That word is clerisy. Kotkin offered clerisy in a previous New Geography articles on the eve of Term II Obama -
Like empowered bureaucrats everywhere, the clerisy also sometimes reserves a nice “taste” for themselves, much as the old bishops and upper clergy indulged in luxury and even prohibited pleasures of the flesh. Just look at the lavish payouts accorded to Orszag and Treasury Secretary-designate Jacob Lew, who, after serving in the bureaucracy, make millions off the same Wall Street firms that have so benefited from administration policies.
So who loses in the new order? Certainly unfashionable companies – oil firms, agribusiness concerns, suburban homebuilders — face tougher times from regulators and the mainstream media . But the biggest losers likely will be the small business-oriented middle class. Not surprisingly Main Street, far more than Wall Street, harbors the gravest pessimism about the president’s second term.
These later-day-oligarchs 'wet their beaks' like Don Farnucci and do not countenance any nay-saying. Telling the mass of folks to keep their opinions to themselves, to 'suck it up and salute,' demands a great deal of shovel-ready engineering and Obama's handlers have done just that in less than eight years and they ain't nearly done!
Kotkin is on it.
An alliance of upper level bureaucrats and cultural elites, the Clerisy, for for all their concerns about inequality, have thrived, unlike most Americans, in recent years. They also enjoy strong relations with the power structure in Washington, Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Wall Street.In Chicago, these bearers if society;s highyest ideals are retired terrorits like Billy Ayers and his odious Old Lady, Bernardine Dohrn, Hyde Park/Evanston Mafia Dons like Abner Mikva, the late Dawn Clark Netsch, and the Red Dorain Grey Dr. Quentin Young, The Money - SEIU, Personal PAC Illinois, and Fred Eychaner This is the top of the food chain.
As the modern clerisy has seen its own power grow, even while the middle class shrinks, it has used its influence to enforce a prescribed set of acceptable ideas. On everything from gender and sexual preference to climate change, those who dissent from the official pieties risk punishment.
This power has been seen recently in a host of cancellations of commencement speakers. Just in the past few months Ayaan Hirsi Ali, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, and former UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, have been prevented from speaking by campus virtue squads whose sensibilities they had offended.
The spate of recent cancellation reflect an increasingly overbearing academic culture that promotes speech codes on what is permissible to say and even seeks to provide “trigger warnings” to warn students about the presence of nominally troubling subject matter in readings and discussions so they can avoid the elements of reality they find offensive.
The very term Clerisy first appeared in 1830 in the work of Samuel Coleridge to described the bearers society’s highest ideals: the intellectuals, pastors, scientists charged with transmitting their privileged knowledge them to the less enlightened orders.
The level two elites are the elected officials academics, lawyers and activists, like G. Flint Taylor, Jon Loevy, Locke Bowman Craig Futterman, Thundering Dick Simpson of UICC and Martin Oberman Metra Overlord, the editorial boards and iconic columnists of both Chicago Papers and elected officials who do their biddings.
Third level elites are the qui bono go-alongs - investors, appointees, political debutantes in waiting.
Joel Kotkin warned that the fix was going in years ago with Casandra-like accuracy. Remember, that erasing history and memory itself is essential to Progressive control - they will tell you what the 'right side of history, the climate, the fate of Israel, the minimum wage, the definition of marriage, the homicide rate, the fairness of everything and everything that "just can not wait, because we all have waited too long."
If you differ, you are
- A denier
- A hater
- A Palin
- A Flat-earther
- A Racist
- A Red-neck
- An Idiot
- A Catholic
- A Jew
- A Baptist
Will the Clerisy rule after Obama?
The fact that Republicans continue to maintain considerable power in both Washington and the states suggests that the Clerisy’s power is not yet determinative. And indeed after President Obama leaves office, the Clerisy’s reach may be temporarily diminished, but its ability to set the social and political agenda will likely persist and even grow given their influence to shape perceptions, particularly among the young.
What are you going to do about it, tough guy?