Our Bankrupt Nomenklatura

Our Bankrupt Nomenklatura, by Victor Davis Hanson.

Take all the signature brand names that the Baby Boomers inherited from prior generations — Harvard, Yale, the New York Times, NPR, CNN, the Oscars, the NFL, the NBA, the FBI, the CIA, the Rockefeller and Ford foundations, and a host of others. And then ask whether they enhanced or diminished such inheritances?

What explains the bankruptcy of the elite?

We have confused credentials with merit — as we learned when Hollywood stars and rich people tried to bribe and buy their mostly lackadaisical children into named schools, eager for the cattle brand BAs and without a care whether their offspring would be well educated.

Graduating from today’s Yale or Harvard law school is not necessarily a sign of achievement, much less legal expertise. Mostly, entrance into heralded schools is a reminder of past good prep school grades and test scores winning admittance — or using some sort of old-boy, networking, athletic, or affirmative action pull.

Being a “senior” official at some alphabet government agency also means little any more outside of the nomenklatura. Academia, the media, and entertainment industries are likewise supposedly meritocratic without being based on demonstrable worth. Otherwise, why would college graduates know so little, the media so often report fantasies as truth, and Hollywood focus on poor remakes? …

A country over $22 trillion in debt, with an open border, an existential conflict with China, and a West in cultural and demographic decline, for two years was told falsely that Donald Trump supposedly knew of a meeting in advance at Trump Tower, that James Comey would supposedly testify that he never told Trump he was not under investigation, and that Trump would soon be indicted, resign, or impeached. The amount of elite energy spent replaying the embarrassing progressive 2016 loss and trying to abort the Trump presidency before the 2020 election, remember, was the product of our best and brightest, the top echelon of our law enforcement and intelligence communities, and our most esteemed political and media elite.

To paraphrase an assessment found in Tacitus’s Agricola, the current American nomenklatura has all but ruined our institutions and branded all that success.