MOBI Angelo M. Codevilla ï The Ruling Class PDF ✓ The Ruling PDF or ï

In this profound and incisive work Angelo M Codevilla introduces readers to the Ruling Class the group of bipartisan political elites who run America This Ruling Class educated at prestigious universities and convinced of its own superiority has everything to gain by raising taxes and expanding the reach of government This class maintains that it knows what is best and continually increases its power over every facet of American life from family and marriage to the environment guns and GodIt is becoming increasingly apparent that this Ruling Class does not represent the interests of the majority of Americans who value self rule and the freedom on whose promise America was founded Millions of Americans are now reasserting our right to obey the Constitution not the Ruling Class This desire transcends all organizations and joins independents Republicans and Democrats into The Country Party whose members embody the ideas and habits that made America great The majority of Americans feel that the Ruling Class is demeaning us impoverishing us demoralizing us and want to be rid of it


10 thoughts on “The Ruling Class

  1. says:

    I stay away from the shouters such as Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin Sure they’re right in their conclusions most of the time but the lack of nuanced thought annoys me There are plenty of ways to get easily worked up today without seeking out that don’t offer a corresponding benefit Angelo Codevilla is not a shouter but this is at least a half shouter book as shown by that Limbaugh wrote the Introduction As is the case with most books of conservative woe it has nothing of substance to offer about how to fix the problems it identifies Still it has one interesting insight and one cautionary lesson And I am here to offer the solution to the problem Codevilla talks about It’s not even radicalI chose this book to read as a follow up to Richard Reeves’s Dream Hoarders My review of that book discussed that an American aristocracy has always existed and is natural but that our current aristocracy roughly equivalent to the “upper middle class” on which Reeves focuses is terrible fulfilling none of the duties expected of a normal aristocracy yet doubling down on parasitism I thought that Codevilla’s discussion of the Ruling Class might add additional insight and I was not disappointed though the insight I found was not actually in the book itselfThe frame of this short book is the indisputable fact that the Ruling Class in America is a small minority which has beliefs radically different from the “Country Class” Codevilla seems to use “Country” to mean “the rest of the country” not “rural” but it’s a bit of a confusing moniker not helped by its echoes of Robert Walpole and early eighteenth century English politics which might be deliberate but are never mentioned The Ruling Class corresponds to what conservatives sometimes call the “clerisy” the rotten crust of American society that holds power in government the news and entertainment media academia and big companies and dictates leftist values to the rest of us using its stranglehold on all the levers of power The specific elements that most exercise Codevilla are the Ruling Class’s attempts to destroy the family and remove the education of children from parents the denigration of religious belief and crony capitalism including the TARP bailouts and similar actions—this book was written in 2010 so those were fresh and ongoing but it’s easy enough to create a much longer laundry list The Country Class by contrast is defined broadly without an ideology but “may well be defined in terms of its lack of connection with government” as well as generally speaking by views opposed to the combination of leftist ideology and statist corruption that characterizes the Ruling ClassCodevilla claims that the Country Class represents a “supermajority” I am not so sure this is true and if it is true it is true at such a high level of generality as to be useless That is people answer surveys to the effect they are unhappy with the current party system and with the Ruling Class but at the same time they gladly accept handouts of taxpayer money including Social Security and Medicare along with a vast range of other corruption such as ethanol mandates and squeal at the very idea that their handouts which they earned dammit might be cut Such people may claim to be part of and Codevilla may include them in the Country Class but they are part of the problem not the solution so my guess is that Codevilla’s supermajority doesn’t exist in any practical form when voting happens Political virtue to the extent that it requires any sacrifice at all has not only left the building but is burning rubber for the county lineThat’s the sum of the book ending with a section addressing solutions Those are just some meandering attempts to avoid the conclusion that there are no practical solutions Codevilla implies that he realizes this Basically he mutters that we need a deus ex machina which is true but not very helpful He is reduced to calling for the Country Class “mobilizing itself against the Ruling Class on a principled moral basis—understanding that the system of privileges is dishonest and being willing to dispense with whatever threads of it they hold” Not only is that unlikely given human nature and the decline in virtue but the Ruling Class is happy to have the masses dispense with those threads—it will leave juice for them and their clients and although it removes a means of direct control if people are no longer accepting handouts the Ruling Class doesn’t need it since they hold all the cards including the ability and will to ruin or imprison any member of the Country Class who gets too uppity or who shows signs of causing real problemsOK so this book is not wrong and it doesn’t shout as much as I feared but it told me nothing that everyone paying attention doesn’t already know But I promised both an insight and a lesson The insight I had after reading this book is that our modern post World War II aristocracy is terrible most of all for a reason I failed to clearly identify in my review of Dream Hoarders—the reliance of the aristocracy on government It roughly the upper middle class the “professional management elite” derives the vast majority of its income and its purpose from entanglement with the government It drains the public coffers for its benefit then takes actions to replenish those coffers with money ever money stolen at the point of a gun from those outside the aristocracy They justify this and their own rule with an ideology of government supremacy and control that probably would without further ado cause any of the Founders to grab a pistol and shoot the speaker in the face Other non Western aristocracies have always obtained money from forms of corruption and control of government and a very small segment has done so intermittently in America since the nineteenth century but the size and power of government in all such was vastly smaller than today’s government and they did not derive their purpose from it While he does not offer this insight Codevilla does motion at it when he says in passing of the Ruling Class that “their careers and fortunes depend on government” Without the Cthulhu State tentacled and malevolent the Ruling Class could not subsist since they add no value for anyone and the vast majority have never done an honest day’s work in their lives Without it they would have to get real jobs That is to say our aristocracy is a vampire—and there is only one thing to do with vampiresAnd the cautionary lesson? That is something embedded in this book which the author could not have known It is the fate of the Tea Party movement in Republican politics This book was published at the height of the movement While he does not predict victory for the Tea Party one of Codevilla’s repeated points is that the Republican Party cannot continue as it is because its leaders do not represent the Country Class but rather are members of or are subservient toadies to the Ruling Class The natural conclusion and to Codevilla the necessary conclusion is that either the leadership or the party will be replaced as with the Whigs in the 1850s Whether that is true is not clear—as long as no viable alternative is offered Country Class voters will be forced to stick with the Republican Party and as recently as three years ago that seemed like the fixed future We would get crony capitalism and Jeb Bush and amnesty and all the rest whether we liked our castor oil or not Trump of course has changed things though with what degree of permanence and with what long term effect is totally opaque Not that Trump is ideal for the purpose of reworking the party system but we do not choose the form of our DestructorMy point is that the Tea Party movement a dire threat to both the Ruling Class and the Republican leadership was efficiently and effectively destroyed in less than three years It was a distributed movement with no leading group much less one leading person This was a strength in that it was a real grassroots movement but it was also a weakness in that it made it easy to isolate the members and destroy their cohesion We are told the Internet makes it easy to form new groups which is true although the Lords of Tech now know this and actively try to hamper conservatives in such efforts but when you are organized over the Internet it is also easier to feel alone Knowing this the Tea Party’s Ruling Class opponents combined two extremely powerful weapons—ridicule by the powerful mostly using obscene slang in the mainstream press and entertainment media combined with simple lying For example they managed to embed the idea in non leftist voters that the Tea Party had a racist element That such accusations of racism were complete unalloyed lies yet were easily and successfully spread merely encouraged the Ruling Class Nowhere was this in evidence than in the famous example of several Congressmen claiming that they were subjected to racial epithets while walking through a Tea Party rally a claim disproved by video to which the Congressmen responded by shrieking louder that it was true because they said soThe media acted as the Ruling Class’s Ministry of Truth defending the lies made by other members of the Ruling Class and adding other lies such as claiming that the Tea Party was an astroturf effort They then threw up a cloud of confusion to enable exposed liars to slink away and ensured that the least verbal misstep by any Tea Party affiliated candidate for election was trumpeted around the clock and nationwide while as always hiding any such misstep by leftist candidates And we now know Obama’s government engaged in wide ranging and criminal actions to directly suppress the Tea Party most notably as far as we know since by definition the Ruling Class can control most information flow through the Internal Revenue Service hobbling their activities including by illegally demanding donor lists so they could harass other involved citizens a tactic brought to its logical conclusion in Wisconsin with armed nighttime SWAT raids on conservative donors Rather than being jailed for decades as they should be the IRS staff involved were promoted and have never been punished in any way although a kabuki dance of pretend outrage was conducted by Republicans in Congress and by Trump as well Such effective attacks combined with the fragmentation inherent to all leaderless groups quickly destroyed the Tea PartyAs a side note such attacks might not have destroyed a leftist group in the exact same position The Tea Party did not offer a transcendent ideology as the Left always offers its acolytes which makes it harder to survive attacks For the most part conservatives just want to live their lives not obtain meaning from politics one reason that leftists always pursue their enemies in a way foreign to conservatives—you only have to look at how Communists were never punished for their heinous crimes after the fall of Communism but any authoritarian rightist government that falls has its members none of whom committed any crime equivalent to Communism’s pursued to the ends of the earthSo there are the insight and the lesson But I have a solution to the problem of the Ruling Class What is the goal of any solution? To erode their power We now realize that their power and importance revolves around and grows in sympathetic symbiosis with the government We have seen we can’t vote them out of power or cut government as such But what if we simply made it less appealing to be involved with government changing nothing else?As I suggested in my review of What Washington Gets Wrong rustication is the answer In brief no element of the federal government other than the President and a core staff Congress and a skeleton staff and the Supreme Court should be allowed to have its headquarters located or than two percent of its staff and contractors combined live or work within three hundred miles of Washington New York Chicago San Francisco or Los Angeles Instead each element of government should be scattered in numerous small satellite offices randomly and evenly geographically distributed around the country including Alaska and Guam with only a small percentage in any metropolitan area with than say 250000 people and the majority in metropolitan areas of less than 50000 people Office space should be mostly “C” grade with a fraction of “B” grade Any existing office buildings owned by the government should be sold immediately In these days of electronic communication there is no downside to efficiency as a result—in fact efficiency should go up as the Ruling Class is able to focus on work not on the distractions that the Capitol of Panem offers They will actually get a raise because their pay will be worth in places with a lower cost of living Much could be developed along these lines such as placing similar restrictions on lobbyists and businesses that receive government dollars placing a ten or fifteen year absolute bar on being employed directly or indirectly in any capacity with government after leaving government employ and making it a condition of employment that all children of the government employee attend public schools But you get the idea—the Ruling Class will have less reason to be involved with government and they will start to get real jobsIn the current environment which I expect to change but that is another discussion this is much less of a pipe dream than would be say a reactionary reworking of the entire government In fact you might be able to get a new political party formed behind this program Most people would regard this as a common sense reform and a legitimate and long overdue reaction to overweening government dominance Critically they would not see it as a threat to their own turn at the trough Certainly the Ruling Class that is to say millions of those whose only role and purpose in their careers and lives comes from leeching off the taxpayers would howl That would include the leaders of both the Democrats and Republicans They wouldn’t have any good arguments though Nobody is getting hurt in the least Nobody would even lose his job Members of the Ruling Class who didn’t want to move could simply find private sector jobs anywhere they wanted Government spending as far as delivery of services would not decline at all The poorer areas of the country would benefit as federal dollars were spent on them No longer would counties contiguous to Washington DC constitute seven of the top ten richest counties in America—they would quickly become among the poorest which would be all to the good especially since we could skip repairing the Metro Perhaps the best way to accomplish this would be a constitutional amendment to ensure no future backsliding and I think that with the right leadership this might be possible though maybe only through the Article V convention method And once underway this program would build on itself since as the Ruling Class’s power eroded it would become easier to erode furtherThis wouldn’t restore virtue to America Codevilla motions at the heart of the matter when he says in passing “resistance to that rule of the Ruling Class must deal with secularism’s intellectual and moral core This lies beyond the boundaries of politics as the term is commonly understood” True enough but we can get the party started and with a little bit of luck it’ll turn into the kind of party that improves the nation as a whole You’re welcome


  2. says:

    I really appreciated this It explains an awful lot I read the original article in The American Spectator then order the expanded version in the book form and read it again Great stuff If you want to understand the roiled events of the next several years get and master this book


  3. says:

    Just not my cup of teaparty


  4. says:

    The actual text of this book is only 87 pages so you really DO have time to read it It would be so worth your investment Why? because it will reward you with the sweet gift of CLARITY Who does not feel disoriented and disheartened at the current state of affairs? To read Codevilla is to feel restored to reality Now that is worth a couple hours turning pagesCodevilla augments his 87 pages with the texts of The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution We the People must assert the governing framework of these brief documents because as Codevilla observes it has become conventional wisdom among our Ruling Class that they may transcend the Constitution while pretending allegiance to it p42 When I read the Trent Lott quote on p74 As soon as they get here we need to co opt them I thought of Junior Senator Marco Rubio's career disaster in joining the gang of 8 amnesty bill I hope Rubio will recognize how he was played and double down on Constitutional principles in a future leadership career He should read this book It is interesting in this day of the Trump revolution that in this 2010 book Codevilla predicted a constituent rebellion among Republican voters is inevitable He warns the Ruling Class that run the Republican party will have a rude awakening p75 if they continue to govern like Liberal Democrats Codevilla closes his text with a search through history for how a Constitutional reformation could be successful If he had a recommendation I didn't find it I take his precautions about what would NOT work in the long run But I wish he had take a few pages to explore one of the books in his bibliography The Roots of American Order by Russell Kirk 1974 He summarizes Kirk argues that American Order is grounded in certain permanent institutions beliefs and characteristics of Americans that TO RESTORE LIBERTY to its rightful place in society we must STRENGTHEN THE FOUNDATIONS on which it is built the habits of heart and mind that make or madecsm America exceptional p142


  5. says:

    This book nails it The problem in Washington isn't a Democrat problem or Republican problem it is a Ruling Class problem The Ruling Class as the author so ably defines them are detached from the lives of the average American the Country Class They rule from on highThe Ruling Class is keener to reform the American peoples' family and spiritual lives than their economic and civic ones The baker forced to bake cakes for a wedding anyone?As government burrows further and further into the lives of the people it will awaken the Country Class we can see this happening in American right now People are tired of being told how to live But as Codevilla writes Does the Country Class really want to rule itself or is it just whining for milder taskmasters? We've seen this before from the Declaration of Independence all experience hath shown that mankind are disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed Do we have the courage as the Founders did?The County Class' greatest difficulty will be to enable a revolution to take place without imposing itAre we up to the task?


  6. says:

    Codevilla turned a popular essay from a few months ago into a longer treatise The essay is excellent and the book is slightly better because it allows a fuller treatment of the issues at hand Unfortunately it seemed a bit rushed to the publisher because it could have really used material than is there The book is excellent in its analysis of the two classes in American public life at odds with one another Codevilla shows that it is a bigger matter than red states versus blue states We are in a battle of progressive versus traditionalists The ruling elite in our country believe they know what's best for us and are imposing their way of life upon the rest of us while the country class desires freedom and independence of thought and action This is perhaps the best treatment of the issues that I've read and deserves a wide audience Unfortunately it also deserves a much longer book than 87 pages


  7. says:

    Concise elucidating brilliant The Ruling Class is a great book easy to read and one of the handful I would eagerly recommend to anyone looking to understand what's really going on beyond the specific issues headlines As is so often the case the truth is easily discerned once all of the detritus misdirection and distractions are cleared out of the way and Codevilla has done an artful job of clearly presenting what's behind all of the modern American political chaos This book is a quick read chock full of profound depth It points the finger at the heart of the problem in American politics to wit the cool kids' table and does a fantastic job of prescribing a remedy


  8. says:

    This short book that should have been longer and descriptive But for its length it makes the case that modern American politics is not simply between Democrats and Republicans but a difficult battle between the Ruling Class and Country Class The Ruling Class sees an ever growing Government as the future while the Country Class has faith in God family and the Constitution It can be hard for some to grasp that Ruling Class Republicans despise primaries and would rather lose a general election if a Ruling Class Republican loses the primary to a Country Class challenger I have seen that very thing happen in several US Senate races


  9. says:

    This book does a lot in a short page count even including the Declaration of Independence and Constitution Codevilla summarizes two divergent philosophies of government into Ruling Class and Country Class and one of the best distinctions made in the book is that both Democrats and Republicans can belong to the Ruling Class those that think they big govt can and should dominate and control the lives of others through legislation He also provides a decent bibliography for those wanting to chase down some footnotes and particular issues


  10. says:

    If not for the author's credentials I'd feel like I just read something by Jesse Ventura It's almost like you could put illuminati in place of Ruling Class Nonetheless it's a thought provoking read Probably the best thing about it is that it forced me to read the Declaration of Ineependence and The Constitution