They’re everywhere. Turn on your television or pick up a paper. Listen to a radio or read the online news. There’s always someone telling us how we should think, and what we should do.
The belief that they know better — that they are superior to the rest of us — permeates every corner of our lives.
A smug presenter backed up by a one-sided panel sniggers at viewers with a dissenting view. The condescending nod while the host listens to a question. Discussion panels and ‘debates’ where everybody agrees with everybody else; no alternate view is countenanced.
Those that disagree with and challenge the ‘consensus’ are considered ignorant or uneducated.
This is the argument that’s been trotted out since Brexit. That the poor old folks didn’t know what they were doing. That somehow, those who grew up under the black cloud shadowing post-Second World War Britain couldn’t comprehend the implications of seeking to regain control of their economy and borders.
Well, that’s what the elites will tell you.
That’s the way society has gone — the megaphone minority blasting away in our ear. The elites who believe their values and opinions are the only ones that matter. Pity the poor taxpayer who picks up the tab.
The international ‘specialist’ who flies in for a couple of days to lecture us on what they think we’re doing wrong. From how farmers should manage their land, the type of energy we should use, through to how to control our borders. How these self-appointed experts love to enlighten the great unwashed.
And it’s not just the big ticket items on the national arena. It happens at the local level as well.
It could be the council dictating something as simple as the colour a homeowner is allowed to paint their fence. Or, how they clad their house.
There’s the local action group. After moving into an area and setting themselves up as they see fit, they seek to restrict who can join them, and what their fellow residents can do.
A paddock that once held a mob of sheep has been subdivided, and then subdivided again. Yet the new owner places a placard on their new fence protesting against any future developments.
The events of yesterday in the US have turned the world on its head. World leaders are struggling to know how to respond, if at all, to Trump’s victory.
While so much of the commentary and analysis by the experts has been about the two personalities involved, the US election results reflect something much more basic than that.
It’s that the ones who do the lifting — that is, those who set their alarms early and go off to work — are tired of subsidising those that are the recipients of the public purse. They’ve had enough of paying for the lifestyles of those who look down on them. This includes the political class who lecture them, and everyone else.
The commentariat are putting their spin on the US election result this morning. Much like Brexit, they’re arguing that the poor uneducated folks didn’t know what they were doing. But they miss the point.
The result is a two-fingered salute to the political elite who sign off on trade agreements with little regard for those that will lose their jobs. It’s a protest against those elected to represent the voters’ interests but rarely, if ever, visit the factory floor.
But it’s not only the political class who left the majority behind. The result also reflects the great chasm that continues to grow between the wealthy elite — Wall Street — and those on the other side. Like Australia, real wages in the US have gone nowhere for years.
The post-GFC world has only pumped more money into the top few percent, while everybody else has been left a long way behind. While the Dow Jones Industrial Index has increased more than two-and-a-half times since the lows of 2009, real wages have barely increased a dime.
Nobody knows how the Trump presidency will play out. I doubt he even knows himself. And as the elites predict, it might turn out to be one of the US’ great follies.
Some are calling the result a swing back to conservatism. But the result illustrates ever so strongly how the so-called ‘silent majority’ are deciding to reclaim the way their lives are governed. It’s a major blow to elitism, and is a trend that will only grow.
For Markets and Money