The Progressive Clerisy

I wrote about this issue a while back, and just recently read this excellent article by Joel Kotkin speaking to the same, very real and very disturbing phenomenon which is hurting our country. First, a brief history:

“The very term Clerisy first appeared in 1830 in the work of Samuel Coleridge to described the bearers of society’s highest ideals: the intellectuals, pastors, scientists charged with transmitting their privileged knowledge to the less enlightened orders”.  

We see this phenomenon every day in print, on TV, in entertainment, in the digital media, and on the progressive blogs and certainly with the progressives that frequent B4V. Group think rules their world and if you stray from the orthodoxy, there are consequences. One small, but very revealing example was when one of the progressives over at AllPolytics misunderstood a post by a fellow progressive, he responded in a condescending, corrective tone. A response of which led the original poster to quickly clarify his comments. The subsequent response by the “correcting” commentator was priceless – he said, “you’re forgiven”. I had never seen anything quite like it, but it is a real and disconcerting phenomenon that this country must overcome. Joel provides another great example of this phenomenon including the cancellation of recent commence speeches by Condi Rice and Ayaan Ali Hirsi, to name a few.

The concentration of wealth and power is what fuels the Clerisy, and that also is a very real trend despite the flowery rhetoric of Obama’s endless speeches. Joel mentions that the number of federal workers earning more than $150,000/yr has more than doubled since 2007, and since 1990, the number of government workers has grown from approx. 5 million to approx. 20 million, “a growth rate roughly twice the population as a whole”. And while stock values and real estate holdings continue to increase in value and the portfolios of the rich, the country is realizing an historically low labor participation rate and a record number of people on welfare. And what is the response by the ruling elite to the current plight of the proletariat? Is it to tap into the vast reserves of domestic energy resources and ignite a boom of good paying jobs as seen in North Dakota? Is it to build the Keystone pipeline and create many well paying union jobs dotted throughout the interior of the US, and to keep that oil from going to China? Is it to reform the tax code and repatriate trillions of corporate dollars in an effort to encourage domestic corporate expansion and employment? NO! The ruling class answer to what ails the millions of people still looking for work, or of whom have simply given up is to raise the minimum wage to $10.10/hr. That’s what the progressive elite feel that they are worth, and if you oppose this effort, well then there will be consequences. A recent quote by Obama re: the Bergdahl release pretty much sums up the thinking of the ruling elite:

“It was a unanimous decision among my principals in my government and a view that was shared by my– the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And this is something that I would do again and I will continue to do wherever I have an opportunity,”

This current societal phenomenon won’t be easy to defeat, but it must be defeated if we are to ever get back to sensible healthy debates that move our country forward. And this means that we must do everything we can to defeat Hillary Clinton – she is the Queen of the Clerisy.



28 thoughts on “The Progressive Clerisy

  1. Retired Spook June 8, 2014 / 10:52 am

    Cluster, excellent post as well as the linked article. Here’s another interesting article that dovetails with it, and also reinforces the idea that I’ve advanced before that we’re actually watching Atlas Shrugged play out in real time.

  2. Amazona June 8, 2014 / 12:43 pm

    For a good article on the effect of the clerisy on American education and culture, I recommend the following article by Victor Davis Hanson:

    America’s Medieval Universities
    Today’s campus is more reactionary than the objects of its frequent vituperation.

    ”For over two centuries, our superb system of American public and private higher education kept pace with radically changing times and so ensured our prosperity and reinforced democratic pluralism.

    But a funny thing has happened on the way to the 21st century. Colleges that were once our most enlightened and tolerant institutions became America’s dinosaurs.

  3. Amazona June 8, 2014 / 12:51 pm

    Related to the thread post comment “….the country is realizing an historically low labor participation rate and a record number of people on welfare…” here is a blog post on the same topic. (emphasis mine)

    “Senator Jeff Sessions has released a statement that says, “7 Million People Have Left The Workforce Since The President Took Office.” The statement is in response to today’s jobs numbers.

    “Today’s jobs numbers are only enough to tread even with population growth, maintaining unemployment at 6.3 percent. When you include discouraged workers, the unemployment rate doubles to an alarming 12.2 percent. There are still 3.2 million fewer full-time employed persons than there were in 2007,” says Sessions.

    “Since President Obama came into office in 2009, 7.2 million people have left the workforce entirely. One out of every six men aged 25–54 is not working. Employment in this group fell by 72,000 last month, while the number of employed women aged 25–54 fell by 37,000. Meanwhile, the workforce participation rate for women is at its lowest level in 23 years. (“War On Women!!!!!?? Amazona) Median household income is down almost $2,300 from what it was when the President took office. Real wages are lower than they were in 1999. Growth in the first quarter of this year was negative.

    “These numbers are grim and make clear that this economy is nowhere close to performing at an acceptable level.”

  4. Retired Spook June 8, 2014 / 6:44 pm

    The main chink in the armor of the Progressive Clerisy is that their power doesn’t derive from the superiority of their ideas or from the success of their policies. Sooner or later the truth has to rise to the top. They may have indoctrinated a couple generations of Americans, and bribed millions with free stuff, but they haven’t made them deaf and blind.

    • Cluster June 8, 2014 / 9:28 pm

      That is what is so frustrating in my opinion. It’s one thing to be arrogant but good at what you do. It’s another thing completely to be arrogant and incompetent. Their arrogance is exceedingly annoying because of their extreme incompetence.

      • Amazona June 8, 2014 / 9:37 pm

        Think about Thomas Sowell’s observation that an intellectual is someone who produces nothing but ideas—-and it doesn’t matter if the ideas are good or bad, if they work or they don’t. They are ideas, and that is all that matters.

        So when we look at the people you are talking about, the very concept of relating their self-satisfaction to actual accomplishment simply does not compute. The disconnect is so vast, there is just no comprehension of why outcome should be important.

        If you keep this in mind, it explains a lot. People voted for an abject failure because they thought he “tried really hard” to get something positive accomplished, and he had some ideas they liked. This is why they don’t care that he handed nearly a billion dollars to some chums of Michelle, in spite of the fact they had never succeeded at what they were being hired to do, and why they don’t care that they failed again. (And kept the money.)

        It goes all the way down to not keeping score in school sports—–the outcome doesn’t matter as long as everyone tried and had a good time and felt good about themselves. They don’t care if we win in Afghanistan or Iraq because the very concept of prevailing over something, of success,just is not part of their thought processes.

        It’s a whole mindset that is, if you think about it, pretty consistent. And it lets these people feel good about themselves while being total failures.

      • J. R. Babcock (@JRBabcock) June 8, 2014 / 10:40 pm

        It’s a whole mindset that is, if you think about it, pretty consistent. And it lets these people feel good about themselves while being total failures.

        I wonder if there’s a medication for that.

      • Amazona June 9, 2014 / 9:41 am

        For someone caught in this satisfying delusion, two things are necessary to escape. One is a commitment to truth and fact that will overcome the panic that sets in when cherished fantasies and even more cherished beliefs about one’s superiority are challenged, and the other is willingness to step off the cliff to see what happens. The first takes integrity, the second takes courage.

        Many have made the journey, and found it not all that difficult after all, once the original decision to take a peek behind the curtain is made. Yes, losing that smugness is disconcerting, but it’s not the end of the world, and it is quickly replaced by a stronger (because it is based on fact) confidence due to having a philosophy that is not dependent on emotional reactions to emotion triggers.

      • Cluster June 9, 2014 / 10:41 am

        My daughter is the only “former” progressive who I have seen make the transition. In 2008, she was all about Obama. Caught up in the moment and unquestioning of his experience and intentions. Well, she has seen the light. She is dismayed at the lies, incompetence and arrogance of his administration, not too mention the pathetic results. Funny enough though, she still harbors some false constructs of “conservatives” embedded in her through many years of drinking the progressive Kool Aid, but she is slowly coming around.

      • tiredoflibbs June 9, 2014 / 11:38 am

        What is completely HYSTERICAL, is that watty calls Bush the Hapless One.

        And yet on more than one occasion, obame has claimed that he did not know or hear of a problem until he “saw it on the news”. In both cases, these are proven lies from the “one we have been waiting for” and “sort of a god”.


      • Amazona June 9, 2014 / 12:41 pm

        “….Funny enough though, she still harbors some false constructs of “conservatives” embedded in her through many years of drinking the progressive Kool Aid”

        But this is a key component of the Left’s strategy—-they can’t generate support for their actual political philosophy, to get people to vote FOR them, so they have to depend on getting people so distrustful and hostile to the Right they vote AGAINST it.

        This is why I am so adamant about separating social issues from political issues, because social issues are emotion-based and therefore easier to manipulate—-Spook’s story about his daughter is an example of that. But political issues—–that is, how best to govern the country—–are objective, and can be discussed among people who can’t find common ground on social issues.

        This will also rob the Left of their biggest weapon—-the ability to twist people’s perceptions by putting everything into an emotion-based context—-and burden them with the impossible, or convincing people that a political system that has never succeeded at anything but creating nations of despair and ruin is the best way to run this country.

  5. Retired Spook June 9, 2014 / 11:03 am

    Although it wasn’t always that way, the vast majority of people I talk to about politics are Conservatives. Some have always been Conservatives, and some, like Amazona, are former Liberals. I’ve also had some eye-opening discussions lately with an elderly German immigrant and a middle-aged Czech immigrant. For most of my adult life, particularly from my late 30’s on, I’ve been, as most of you who’ve been here a while know, a political and news junkie. I used to thrive on discussions, not just about politics, but about political solutions to problems — what works, what doesn’t, what never has. It didn’t matter whether the person I was talking to was a Conservative or a Liberal; the debate was almost always about who had the best solution to any given problem, and there was generally respect for each other’s position. I disagreed with both Bushes and Clinton on a number of policies; I even disagree with Reagan on a few things, but I never had any sense that any of them was trying to transform the country into something it was never intended to be.

    The entire country has been drifting leftward for most of my life, but the entire mood of the country has changed in the last 5 years like no other time with the possible exception of the mid-60’s. Liberals, with whom I used to have marvelous discussions, now look at me as a potential domestic terrorist. I’m accused of being racist, sexist and homophobic simply for not agreeing with them, even though my views on those topics haven’t changed — if anything, they’ve moderated. The Left has been wildly successful in creating straw men in each of those areas that have appealed, in particular, to the two most recent generations of voting age, and in particular, to women. When we visited my 44-year-old daughter and her family the Christmas after the 2012 election, the topic of the election came up, and my daughter made the flip comment that Romney had lost because of the GOP war on women. I asked if she could elaborate on that, and she said millions of women believed that a President Romney would ban abortion for sure and most likely contraception as well. I asked her if she believed that, and after a long pause, she admitted that she didn’t. I asked why she thought millions of women believed that, and she had no answer. I submit that it was mostly young, single women who believed this, and that one need look no farther than our educational system for the origin of this belief, an educational system that is increasingly teaching our children what to think instead of how to think. I don’t know if conservative thought can be re-established in our education system, or even reach parity with liberal thought, but, if it isn’t, then we’re in for some long, dark days ahead.

    • Cluster June 9, 2014 / 11:39 am

      Excellent post, and it’s hard to believe that some people actually thought Romney could, or even would, ban contraception. Even more hard to believe is that that was their big single issue that they voted on. Talk about a dumbed down populace.

      Here’s another small example of the left’s increasing intolerance. I have a “progressive” acquaintance on Facebook here in AZ who posted that he thought it was indignant of Americans to expect others to learn English, while we as Americans don’t bother to learn their language. Some gal responded to him saying that if they come here to America, they should learn the language to which he took great exception to. He castigated her saying that she was bigoted and asked her if she had forgotten that she too had ancestors that came here, to which she simply responded that that was her opinion and that she didn’t want to argue. He wouldn’t let it alone, telling her that her position was weak, indefensible the fact that she didn’t want to argue was proof positive of that. The left will no longer accept opinions that they don’t agree with – that’s where we have gotten to in a very short time.

      • Amazona June 9, 2014 / 12:28 pm

        Cluster, this Lib is full of BS. My grandparents all came here from different countries, or at least two did and two were first-generation Americans. The languages involved were Czech, Russian and German, and all learned English. I have often mentioned here the many foreigners I got to know when I lived near a resort area, and each and every one of them spoke English and knew when they applied for their work visas that they would have to speak English here.

        I asked each of them, at different times, how I would be answered if I were to go to Argentina, El Salvador, Peru, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, or Portugal and demand that the signs be written in English, I be allowed to take all government tests (such as drivers license tests) in English, that hospitals have English-speaking doctors and translators, and so on. And every single person said I would treated as if I were crazy.

        It is not arrogant to expect people here to speak English. Tourists—that’s different. There is no problem in trying to sort out tourist issues in a combination of sign language and dictionary references and bits and pieces of different languages. But when a person makes the decision to make this country his home, he has to accept the fact that he will have to be able to function in our language.

        I have never understood the Left’s determination to erode our language. In Colorado a few years ago, after we had accommodated people from Mexico by printing some forms in Spanish, we had an influx of refugees from Thailand and Viet Nam, someone pointed out that if we were to be accused of discrimination if we did not print forms and documents in every language of every nation represented here we would have no defense, and the cost would break us. To avoid being called out for discrimination, and possibly sued, we would have to print documents in Spanish, Viet Namese, Thai, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, etc. So a move was made to pass a law stating that English is the official language of Colorado.

        The Left leaped upon this and within a day or so had lied about the bill, restating it as the “English ONLY” bill. To this day they call it this. People were freaked out, calling in to radio stations to ask if Abuela would be arrested for speaking Spanish to her children in the grocery store. Would it be legal to speak their own language in their homes if no one heard them? It was a vicious vicious lie, spread to terrify people, and it was concocted specifically to generate a false image of the Right as the new Gestapo. But now that the political aspect of this has faded a little, the Left is still hung up on acting as if having a national language is something evil and arrogant and discriminatory.

        There has never been an “English ONLY” law proposed, nationally or in any state. Ever. This is a vicious lie, told by people who know it is a lie but who like the taste of it and know it can be used to stir up fear and resentment. If the Left is successful in making it possible for non-citizens to vote, this is a guaranteed vote-shifter.

      • Amazona June 9, 2014 / 12:35 pm

        I think the most toxic thing about this determination of the Left to keep this country divided into discrete (NOT “discreet”—look it up…) groups, preferably all distrusting each other and at the very least not able to communicate with each other, is that the inability to speak English well is the one thing that will isolate these people from the ladders leading upward to better jobs and better lives.

        The Left is brilliant at acting to keep the poor poor, while assuring them they are working to help them better their lives. They keep them linguistically isolated and therefore unemployable, they keep them distrustful of “the rich” so their resentments keep them from understanding that it is “the rich” who have jobs for them if they can only speak well enough to do the work and have some basic skills, they dole out subsistence-level incomes to keep them dependent and locked in the barrios and the plantations while assuring them that the world outside these prisons without walls is just too dangerous for them because it is full of angry while bigots, and so on.

        The two-faced nature of the Left is quite visible from the outside, and then it is so blatantly obvious it is hard to understand why it is not seen, or at least not scorned, by those supporting it.

      • Cluster June 9, 2014 / 1:09 pm

        The Left is brilliant at acting to keep the poor poor, while assuring them they are working to help them better their lives.

        No truer words have ever been said.

      • Retired Spook June 9, 2014 / 12:52 pm

        The Left is brilliant at acting to keep the poor poor, while assuring them they are working to help them better their lives.

        SPOT ON!! I still have to think that, at some point, the proverbial light bulb is going to light in enough minds, and a multitude of those stranded on the bottom rung of the ladder are going to rise up and shout, “this isn’t working”.

        The two-faced nature of the Left is quite visible from the outside, and then it is so blatantly obvious it is hard to understand why it is not seen, or at least not scorned, by those supporting it.

        The fact that that question has been asked countless times of the Lefties who have posted here without a single honest answer tells you everything you need to know, at least about those who have volunteered to be spokespeople for the Left.

      • Amazona June 9, 2014 / 10:45 pm

        “…a multitude of those stranded on the bottom rung of the ladder are going to rise up and shout, “this isn’t working”….”

        ….and they, and those who aren’t even ON the ladder, will be told that Whitey won’t let them get on the ladder.

        When they point to someone like Thomas Sowell or Allen West or Condoleeza Rice or any other highly successful black people (Vernon Jordan!) and ask how THEY made it to the top, there will be an excuse. And when the audience is the white-guilt crowd, their successes will be attributed to the racism of Affirmative Action.

        They will never admit that when a person of any color is competitive with his or her peers, can speak equally well, has training for some profession or trade, has ambition and the will to succeed, color is not a disqualifier. And they for damned sure will not admit that their political philosophy is dependent on keeping these people down, and is an utter failure when it comes to economic progress.

    • M. Noonan June 10, 2014 / 1:34 pm


      I hear ya, brother – after all, I’m a death-penalty-opponent and, also, not exactly enamored of the thing we call capitalism these days…but to our liberals it doesn’t matter that they might have some common ground to work with me on…unless I am 100% with them, I am an enemy, and to be destroyed. While you are right that the past five years have seen an increasing intensity on this, I think it really does go back a long ways. The left has always used the political smear as a tactic and always sought to divide people up in to mutually hating groups.

      This has merely become stronger as the left has come to know that their policies, as such, are rejected by solid majorities of Americans. They have to sow division, hatred and fear as this is the only means to keep the majority from uniting against them.

    • M. Noonan June 10, 2014 / 3:00 pm

      Technically, yes; in actuality, no – because there never will be 67 votes in the United States Senate to convict. Democrats know they are stuck with him no matter what he does. He’s our first African-American President and if Democrats ever turned on him, they’d lose the African-American vote.

  6. GMB June 10, 2014 / 8:52 pm

    Not wanting to put up a fight on one of the social issues, illegal immigration, just got stooge number 2 mr cantor, tossed out on his ass.


    • Amazona June 10, 2014 / 11:12 pm

      The mistake is in letting this be recast as a “social issue” when in fact it is a legal issue and a national defense issue. We let the Left play the tune—in this case a heartwrenching sob story—-and we let them define it while we dance to it.

    • Retired Spook June 10, 2014 / 11:24 pm

      What’s interesting is that Brat beat Cantor by over 11 points while being outspent 50 – 1. The first time a sitting majority leader has ever been defeated in a primary.

      • M. Noonan June 11, 2014 / 12:01 am

        It certainly was a surprise, wasn’t it? I didn’t see it coming, at all – and I actually think Cantor a good guy. But it turns out that helping to engineer debt increases and making noises about passing amnesty is a bit of kryptonite for GOPers. Cantor should have fought harder against Obama – and put border security first in priority, making it clear that without Obama signing a separate, border security bill, first, there would be no movement on a bill to provide anything like amnesty.

        What this does mean is that the rumors of a GOP move on amnesty post-primary season in 2014 are dead as a doornail…and while Obama is almost certain to move ahead with pen-and-phone efforts to enact amnesty, red and purple State Democrats will also run screaming away from such things.

      • GMB June 11, 2014 / 4:06 am

        Spin it guys. Spin it any way you want. stooge number 2’s internal polling was probably right, up to the point he started in heavy with the dReaming. You can call it anything you want. The only reason the progtards can spin those wheels is because there are those who will give them traction.

        One less right now, one more in a couple of weeks. Yeah, TEA is dead.

      • Retired Spook June 11, 2014 / 9:22 am

        One less right now, one more in a couple of weeks. Yeah, TEA is dead.

        GMB, our local Tea Party is small — probably 50-75 regulars. The group in the county to the west of us is somewhat larger. Together we were instrumental in defeating 2 state legislators who had supported Common Core and had reneged on their campaign promise to support a traditional marriage amendment. Both went down in double digit flames. Both races were nothing more than good, old-fashioned, grass roots boots on the ground. Not bad for an essentially leaderless movement, but we have the truth on our side, and, as the saying goes, the truth has no agenda and doesn’t need a majority to prevail.

      • Amazona June 11, 2014 / 9:24 am

        “Spin it guys. Spin it any way you want.”

        ????????????? Who’s “spinning”?

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