The article was first published in Race and the American Prospect in 2005.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, it ought to be obvious that the dominant powers and authorities in the United States and other Western countries are either indifferent to the accelerating racial and cultural dispossession of the historic peoples of America and Europe or are actually in favor of it. Mass immigration imports literally millions of non-white, non-Western aliens into the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe, yet the governments of those nations make no serious effort to halt or restrict it, and cultural elites either decline to notice the transformation immigration causes or openly applaud it. Indeed, as immigration critic Peter Brimelow argued in his 1995 book Alien Nation, the immigration crisis in the United States has a political origin in the 1965 legislation that created it—it is not simply an ineluctable process of history, let alone the product of popular preference, but the result of the decisions and actions of political leaders who either wanted it to occur or who have been unwilling to stop it once it began.
The same is true of such policies as affirmative action, long supported by major universities and corporations as well as by the federal government. In Grutter v. Bollinger, the 2003 Supreme Court ruling that upheld the University of Michigan law school's affirmative action policies, 65 corporations filed amicus curiae briefs endorsing the school's admission policies that discriminate against white applicants. The 1991 Civil Rights Act, a major intensification of affirmative action enforced by the federal government, was also endorsed by large corporations. Not only corporations but also and even more obviously the major political leaders of the country and the major cultural voices either explicitly approve of affirmative action and denounce anyone who opposes it, or refuse to resist or question it.
Similarly, most of the leading authorities in the United States— what is popularly called the "Establishment," including political, media, academic, and business leadership circles—oppose publicly displaying or honoring the Confederate flag and other symbols of the white American heritage (the Custer battlefield at Little Big Horn, the celebration of Columbus Day, the playing of "Dixie," etc.) and support non-white demands for the removal or transformation of such symbols. Large businesses, foundations, and universities are in the forefront of mandatory "sensitivity training," multiculturalist indoctrination, and efforts to portray white racial and cultural identity as a source of pathology, extremism, repression, and violence, and to instill feelings of guilt for white, European, Christian civilization and achievements. Some years ago the Budweiser company sponsored a series of advertisements that helped popularize and legitimize various myths of Afrocentric propaganda, such as the claims that the Semitic Carthaginian general Hannibal, various kings of ancient Egypt, and the last Macedonian queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, were all Negroes—claims known to be preposterously contrary to historical fact. No company of that scale in recent times has ever sponsored analogous ads glorifying the Confederacy or the white exploration and conquest of North America or white contributions to science, scholarship, and letters or any other achievement of whites, even by means of more or less accurate history, let alone by outright lies. In 2000, Wal-Mart and most other large corporate food chains ceased selling a barbecue sauce locally manufactured by South Carolina businessman Maurice Bessinger, on the grounds that Mr. Bessinger's restaurant in Columbia, South Carolina displayed the Confederate flag and distributed pamphlets that supposedly justified Southern slavery. Spokesmen for Wal-Mart claimed that Mr. Bessinger's sauce was dropped because their chain did "not condone slavery in any way"—although at the same time, as Business Week (October 2, 2000) disclosed, Wal-Mart was selling women's apparel known to have been manufactured by slave labor in Communist China.
One could continue indefinitely the catalogue of how large corporations and their executives, the federal and larger state and urban governments and their leaders, and the major academic, intellectual, artistic, entertainment, publishing, and journalistic institutions and personali-ties—the dominant culture of the United States—consistently support anti-white causes and promote the myths, claims, and interests of nonwhites at the expense of whites.
The conventional accusation against the American Establishment from the political left is that it is "racist" and fosters "white supremacy" in order to perpetuate the domination and exploitation of the nonwhite peoples of this country and the world by the largely white ruling class. That accusation is so brazenly contrary to the anti-white policies, rhetoric, and behavior in which the most powerful forces in American society consistently engage that it withstands little scrutiny. By playing on the guilt and fear of establishment leaders, both of which reflect these leaders' shared acceptance of the left's egalitarian values, it is an accusation that serves mainly to push the establishment ever further and faster down the anti-white path than it is normally inclined to go. Fixated on a nineteenth century model of "capitalism," the Marxism from which this accusation derives has managed to miss the realities of twentieth and twenty-first century power that do in fact explain what must be one of the most significant and astonishing truths of human history—that an entire ruling class has abandoned and in effect declared war upon the very population and civilization from which it is itself drawn.
If Marxist theories offer no explanation of the antagonism of the American Establishment to white racial identity, neither does conventional democratic political thought. Mass immigration, affirmative action policies, blatant discrimination against white identity and those who defend it, multiculturalism in education, anti-white brainwashing in sensitivity training, support for non-white (and often anti-white) political and cultural causes, and other manifestations of entrenched antagonism to whites are not the results of democratic majority rule or popular consent. At best, whites accept or "consent to" these onslaughts against them, their material interests, their heritage, and their own psychic identity and integrity because "consent" has been subtly manufactured and shaped by the institutions of the dominant culture. Not a single one of the measures that threaten whites has originated among whites themselves at the popular or grassroots level. Each and every one—mass immigration, the forced busing of the 1970s, the civil rights rulings of the federal courts from the 1950s through today, the affirmative action invented by invisible bureaucrats and upheld by unaccountable courts, the mind control measures that now permeate our schools, workplaces, and media, and the systematic repression and exclusion of those who question or challenge these trends—has originated from and has been imposed and enforced by elites.
Nor does racial blackmail, frequently cited as the reason elites so often collaborate in anti-white policies, offer an adequate explanation. While racial extortionists like Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, and various Hispanic lobbies threaten denunciations of "racism," anti-discrimination lawsuits, demonstrations, boycotts, etc. against institutions that fail to submit to their demands and complaints, the institutions they target possess immense financial resources, legal talents, and political and public relations influence themselves—yet they do virtually nothing to defend themselves against such attacks and support virtually no efforts to counter the legal, political, and cultural conditions that allow the attacks to succeed. It is unlikely that racial blackmail could work as well as it usually seems to do unless its victims were already willing to surrender to it or already inclined to accept its assumptions of guilt.
Neither Marxism nor the democratic theory embraced nowadays by both "liberals" and "conservatives" is therefore of much use in understanding why the dominant elites of American and Western society behave as they do. The model that does help explain their behavior derives from what is usually called the "classical theory of elites," developed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by a school of Italian and German sociologists and political scientists, and from the application of that model to twentieth century America, the theory of the managerial revolution as developed by James Burnham.
The Classical Theory of Elites
The classical theory of elites was formulated principally by the social and political theorists Vilfredo Pareto and Gaetano Mosca. It holds that all human societies, at least all above the primitive level, are ruled by organized minorities ("elites" or "ruling classes"), that the majority in any society, even so-called democratic ones, never rules, and that these organized minorities develop out of social-political groups that control what are known as "social forces." The term "social force" is an admittedly vague concept that can include virtually any idea, technique, or institution that exerts social importance—a religion, an ideology, a technology, a weapons system, control of natural resources, etc. As Arthur Livingston, editor of Mosca's classic work, The Ruling Class, explains:
A "social force" is any human activity or perquisite that has a social significance—money, land, military prowess, religion, education, manual labor, science—anything. The concept derives from the necessity of defining and classifying ruling classes. A man rules or a group of men rules when the man or the group is able to control the social forces that, at the given moment in the given society, are essential to the possession and retention of power.
What may be a significant social force in one historical epoch may be an insignificant one in others—for example, the religion of Mithraism in the ancient Roman Empire, which for a time rivaled Christianity but eventually lost out and ceased to be important, or the control of the technology of producing and using iron weapons in the second millennium B.C., which had not been a significant force prior to its invention but became and remained a power-yielding technology around which dominating social groups and conquering societies centered for thousands of years afterwards.
If a social force is efficient at wielding power or control over other people, then the group that controls the social force and other groups with which it is allied will constitute a "ruling class" (Mosca's term) or "elite" (Pareto's term), and classical elite theory assumes that normally a ruling class or elite will exercise power mainly for its own benefits and in its own interests. It should be understood that the control of "the state" or the formal apparatus of government is only one means and the state itself only one instrument by which a ruling class exercises power, and the extent to which a particular ruling class will rely on the state depends on its interests and the kinds of social forces it controls. It will also make use of economic and cultural power based on its control of economic forces, or what Marx called the "instruments of production and exchange" (land, capital, technology, industrial plants, commerce, financial institutions, etc.), as well as cultural forces that essentially regulate the production and dissemination of information, values, and ideas within a society (in pre-modern societies, this means principally religion, but also the production of art, literature, music, scholarship, science, and entertainment through publishing, education, journalism, broadcasting, film, etc.). The power of a ruling class or elite is therefore not merely political power in the narrow sense of control of the formal state, elected and appointive offices, the administrative agencies, and the instruments of force (the armed forces and law enforcement services) but is structural—imbedded in the structure of the society it rules. A ruling class will usually tend to rely on one or another particular segment of the social structure—the state, the economy, or the culture—for holding and exercising power, but those segments are never entirely separate and the particular ones on which it tends to rely will depend on its own interests and beliefs as well as on the level of technological and social development of the society and on the kinds of challenges, problems, and enemies it encounters.
In the process of acquiring and exercising power, the ruling class will reshape the society and culture it dominates in order to buttress, defend, and justify (or "rationalize") its dominance, and the reshaping will reflect what the elite perceives as its group interests. It carries out the reshaping of society first by defining and imposing an ideology, or what Mosca called a "political formula," that justifies its power as right or natural or inevitable. "Ruling classes," Mosca wrote,
do not justify their power exclusively by de facto possession of it, but try to find a moral and legal basis for it, representing it as the logical and necessary consequence of doctrines and beliefs that are generally recognized and accepted.
The ideology or political formula is imbedded in and imposed on the subject society by means of the cultural institutions the ruling class creates and controls, and the articulation and defense of the formula is the main purpose of the culture with respect to the ruling class. But, as Mosca and Pareto both acknowledged, elites typically "really believe in" the ideologies and formulas they espouse. Political formulas are not, Mosca insists, "mere quackeries aptly invented to trick the masses into obedience. Anyone who viewed them in that light would fall into grave error."
The truth is that they answer a real need in man's social nature; and this need, so universally felt, of governing and knowing that one is governed not on the basis of mere material or intellectual force, but on the basis of a moral principle, has beyond any doubt a practical and a real importance.
One of the major differences between the theory of elites and simpleminded conspiracy theories is that the latter almost always postulate hidden groups of conspirators who do not believe in the ideas they use to gull and manipulate the masses. In elite theory, political formulas tend to become ideologies that take on a life of their own and push behavior of their own accord, without conscious or deliberate fraud or calculation of interests by those who accept them.
The theory of elites as formulated by Mosca and Pareto can easily be illustrated by the example of medieval and early modern European and British society. In that society, political, economic, and cultural power was largely in the hands of the feudal and post-feudal aristocracies that controlled the land, which yielded both economic wealth and political and military power through the system of feudalism and institutions derived from feudalism. The power of the European and British aristocracies of this era, from the Middle Ages down to the Industrial Revolution, was mainly based on control of the land, its agricultural wealth, and the cultural and political system that reflected and supported landed power.
The dominant ideology or "political formula" of the period was expressed in the doctrine of what was later called the "Great Chain of Being," a theory of the universe that derived from Plato and justified hierarchy both in nature and society. It is found throughout the literature and thought of the era. Only when the social force of land ownership and the wealth and power it produced was displaced by the rise of a different social force in the form of industrially and commercially based wealth and power in the nineteenth century did the older aristocracies of Europe and Britain begin to decline and be replaced by a new elite, based on industrial, commercial, and financial wealth.
It is a basic tenet of the classical theory of elites that all human societies have elites, that there is really no such thing as political or social equality or "consent of the governed," and that what is called "democracy" in any literal sense is largely an illusion. As James Burnham wrote in describing the role of elites and ruling classes in human society:
From the point of view of the theory of the ruling class, a society is the society of its ruling class. A nation's strength or weakness, its culture, its powers of endurance, its prosperity, its decadence, depend in the first instance upon the nature of its ruling class. More particularly, the way in which to study a nation, to understand it, to predict what will happen to it, requires first of all and primarily an analysis of the ruling class. Political history and political science are thus predominantly the history and science of ruling classes, their origin, development, composition, structure, and changes.
Political scientist James Meisel argued that an elite must exhibit what he called the "Three C's: Consciousness, Coherence, and Conspiracy." This is a helpful but also perhaps confusing formula, especially its third term. He meant that all the "members of an elite are alert to their group interest or interests; that this alertness is in turn caused or affected by a sense, implicit or explicit, of group or class solidarity; and last, that this solidarity is expressed in a common will to action.” These traits may be said to establish the common identity and unity of the elite or ruling class, but the elite must not only be "alert" to its interests as a group and conscious of itself as a group, but also able to make its interests prevail over those of other, competing groups—i.e., to possess actual power. In other words, the two essential characteristics of an elite/ruling class are what may be called Unity and Dominance—unity in that it needs to cohere around its interests and to agree on what its interests are and (in general) how to pursue them, and dominance in that it must be able to make its interests prevail over those of rival groups.
Many social theorists in the Western world today argue that the kind of unitary ruling class that Mosca and Pareto described is no longer really possible in the kind of advanced industrialized society that prevails in the West and that there are too many competing power centers for unitary elites like the old British and European aristocracies to develop and endure. These theorists mainly support the idea of what they call "strategic elites," a number of different elites within the same society that may control power in certain domains but actually compete with and against each other and through their conflict create what is essentially political freedom. Thus, elites in such institutions as corporations, unions, and government exist but are said to be largely separate and distinct and supposedly compete against each other, as do the different political parties and their elites, as well as other institutions in the economy, politics, and the culture. However, while there are obvious structural differences between contemporary elites today and those of pre-industrial societies, this version of elite theory, often called the "pluralist model," tends to exaggerate the differences among the "strategic elites" and the degree to which they compete or conflict with each other. It also tends to minimize the similarities among "strategic elites" and the common interests they share in excluding from power any groups or social forces with antagonistic interests, ideologies, and agendas. In other words, in my view, the basic error of the "pluralist," or "strategic elite," school is that it underestimates the unity of the American ruling class. Remarks such as George Wallace's line in 1968 that "there's not a dime's worth of difference" between the Republican and Democratic Parties, the term "Republicrat" as a colloquialism for the indistinguishability of the two parties, and the wisecrack that what American politics needs is not a "third party" but a second party all reflect the perception among the politically alienated of the essential unity of the two major political vehicles of the American ruling class.
Moreover, classical elite theory does not deny that different groups and sections within a unitary ruling class can disagree, compete, or conflict with each other, sometimes even to the point of waging civil war. The English Wars of the Roses of the fifteenth century, the English Civil War of the seventeenth century, and indeed the American War for Independence of the late eighteenth century are all instances of violent conflicts that originated and largely remained within the elites of the day. Such conflicts occur when different sections of a unified ruling class come to disagree on what their interests are or on how to pursue them, with the result of social breakdown and internal war.
Although most mainstream social scientists in the United States today would not endorse it, classical elite theory is useful in answering the question "who rules America," and its main application to American society, the theory of the managerial revolution as developed by James Burnham, was concerned to deal with that very question.
The Theory of the Managerial Revolution
Emerging from Marxism in the late 1930s, Burnham formulated the theory of the managerial revolution as an alternative to the Marxist claim that a "capitalist" ruling class held power in the United States and would soon be displaced by a proletarian revolution along Marxist lines. Although Burnham agreed with the Marxists that traditional capitalism and its ruling class were dying and were on the eve of being displaced by a social revolution, he rejected the Marxist claim that the society of the future would be the egalitarian socialism the Marxists predicted. Instead, he argued, the capitalist elite would be replaced by another elite, which he called the "managerial class."
A "manager," in Burnham's sense, is not simply someone who runs or operates an institution on behalf of its owners, which is the sense in which the word is often used today (e.g., the manager of a chain restaurant), nor did he confine the term to what is today usually called "corporate management." Using the hypothetical example of an automobile company, Burnham held that
Certain individuals—the operating executives, production managers, plant superintendents, and their associates—have charge of the actual technical process of producing. It is their job to organize the materials, tools, machines, plant facilities, equipment, and labor in such a way as to turn out the automobiles. These are the individuals whom I call "the managers.”
Technicality, indeed, was the hallmark of the managerial function, and the increase in the technicality of production was the sociological basis of the managerial revolution in the economic organizations of the twentieth century.
There is a combined shift: through changes in the technique of production, the functions of management become more distinctive, more complex, more specialized, and more crucial to the whole process of production, thus serving to set off those who perform these functions as a separate group or class in society; and at the same time those who formerly carried out what functions there were of management, the bourgeoisie [i.e., the old capitalist elite], themselves withdraw from management, so that the difference in function becomes also a difference in the individuals who carry out the function.
A "manager" in Burnham's sense, therefore, is essentially what we would today call a technocrat, someone who uses technical, specialized skills to control and direct an institution, whether or not he actually owns or has a legal right to the possession of the institution. One reason Burnham did not use the term "technocrat" to describe what he meant was that, in the period when he was writing, that word (usually capitalized) already referred to a specific social-political movement (one associated with Howard Scott), though Burnham acknowledged that "the society about which the Technocrats write is quite obviously [a] managerial society, and within it their ‘Technocrats' are quite obviously the managerial ruling class.”
As Burnham used the term "manager," it included "administrators, experts, directing engineers, production executives, propaganda specialists, technocrats" and in general those who possessed the technical skills by which the institutions and organizations of modern society are operated or "managed"—not only the large corporations of the economy but also the increasingly massive governments and political and cultural organizations of the twentieth century: public bureaucracies, mass labor unions, political parties, mass media, financial institutions, universities, foundations, and other organizations that were immense in size, scale, and technical complexity and dwarfed their institutional ancestors of the declining capitalist era. "Management" in the sense of the body of technical and managerial skills that enabled these large, complex organizations to exist and function constituted a "social force," control of which enabled the formation of a new elite.
These mass organizations are far more powerful with respect to society than most of the older, smaller scale, and simpler ones, and within them, managers possess the real power because only they possess the skills by which the new mass organizations can be directed and operated. With respect to corporations in the economy, the stockown-ers, no matter how concentrated their ownership of company stock may be, simply do not and cannot perform the necessary managerial and technical functions on which the corporation depends, unless they make a special effort to acquire the needed managerial skills through education and training, and not all that many stockowners from the old capitalist upper class do so. As business historian Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., who substantiated much of Burnham's analysis of modern managerial corporations, writes, although "wealthy families…are the beneficiaries of managerial capitalism," there is "little evidence that these families make basic decisions concerning the operations of modern capitalistic enterprises and of the economy in which they operate," and "members of the entrepreneurial family rarely became active in top management unless they themselves were trained as professional managers.” As historian Geoffrey Barraclough described the emergence of these new forces in the economy:
The new industrial techniques, unlike the old, necessitated the creation of large-scale undertakings and the concentration of the population in vast urban agglomerations…. The small-scale family businesses, which were typical of the first phase of industrialism, [did not possess] the means to finance the installation of new, more complicated and more expensive machinery [or indeed the skills to manage it on the necessary scale].
But the managers are by no means confined to the corporate elite; those possessing technical and managerial skills are also dominant within the state itself as the managerial bureaucracy and the mass cultural institutions, and thus they become an increasingly unified and dominant class, relying on the same managerial skills and sharing a common perceived interest and a common mentality, worldview, and ideology.
The major common interest that unites the managerial class is its need to extend and perpetuate the demand for the skills and functions on which its power and social rewards depend. The managers pursue that interest by seeking to ensure that the mass organizations they control, which require the skills and functions that only the managers can provide, are preserved and extended. Large corporations must displace and dominate small businesses. A large, centralized, bureaucratic state must displace and dominate small, localized, and decentralized government. Mass media and communications conglomerates and mass universities must displace and dominate smaller, local newspapers, publishers, colleges, and schools. Moreover, the elites that controlled these older and smaller institutions must also be displaced as the ruling class of the larger society and their ideology and cultural values discredited and rejected.
The managerial revolution therefore consists in the protracted social and political process by which the emerging new managerial class displaces the old ruling class of traditional capitalist or bourgeois society. On the institutional level this process consists of the replacement of the constitutionalist parliamentary or congressional form of government favored by the old elite with the new centralized state controlled by the bureaucracy of the new class. The new kind of state that emerges takes on new functions that increasingly require the kind of skills only the managerial bureaucrats and technocrats can provide—economic regulation, social engineering, public welfare, and scientific, administrative, and cultural functions unknown to the older states of the capitalist era. The political elite of the older state—the political class that dominated the elected and appointed offices and their political organizations—is increasingly displaced by the managerial bureaucrats of the new state and the political managers who run the new, far more complicated political parties and organizations. The same kind of institutional displacement occurs in the economy dominated by the mass corporations, which also take on functions unknown to the smaller (or even the larger) firms of the earlier era—"scientific management" of production, highly technical economic projections and development, specialized management of personnel and consumers, as well as social, political, and cultural functions not directly related to their business activities and interests. And much the same process takes place in cultural institutions as mass cultural organizations (universities, foundations, "think tanks") and mass circulation newspapers and magazines displace smaller, locally owned and operated ones and new, nationally organized, highly technical mass media like film and radio and television broadcasting develop.
On the cultural and ideological level the struggle between the ascending managerial ruling class and the declining bourgeois-capitalist class has taken the form of the conflict between what emerged as the principal managerial ideology in the United States and the Western world, which has generally come to be known as "liberalism," and the main ideology of the old capitalist elite, which came to be known as "conservatism." The political fulfillment of the managerial revolution occurred in the early twentieth century, with a strong start under Woodrow Wilson but really culminating under Franklin Roosevelt in the New Deal and World War II era, and the struggle for social power between the new managerial liberalism and the old capitalist conservatism is evident in the political and cultural literature of the mid-century. The advertisements carried by virtually all conservative or right-wing magazines of the 1950s and 1960s were almost always from smaller, locally based, and individually owned and operated enterprises. The ads carried by the liberal or what soon became the "mainstream" magazines of the era were almost always from the Fortune 500 or similar large, managerially controlled companies.
The conservatism of that era emphasized states rights, the power of Congress over that of the presidency, loyalty to and identity with the nation and national interest rather than international or global identities, and the interests of smaller, privately owned and operated companies against larger, managerially controlled corporations. It also championed traditional religious and moral beliefs and institutions, the importance of the patriarchal family and local community, and the value of national, regional, racial, and ethnic identity, as well as the virtues of the capitalist ethic—hard work, frugality, personal honesty and integrity, individual initiative, postponement of gratification.
It is quite true that most businessmen, including the big businessmen of the rising managerial corporations, opposed the New Deal and hated Franklin Roosevelt intensely, but there were also a good many big businessmen even in the New Deal era who supported Roosevelt and the New Deal. Political scientist Thomas Ferguson has identified a section of American business interests that was supportive of the New Deal and the reforms it brought about. This "multinational bloc," as Ferguson calls it, was the core of the emerging managerial elite within the large corporations. It favored lower tariffs, American economic aid to Europe, and conciliation of organized labor; it included capital-intensive rather than labor-intensive industries, companies such as Standard Oil of New Jersey and General Electric that depended on trade with European markets, and international banks. The corporations that composed this "new bloc" were in the vanguard of managerial capitalism and the construction of managerial hegemony:
The newer bloc included many of the largest, most rapidly growing corporations in the economy. Recognized industry leaders with the most sophisticated managements, these concerns embodied the norms of professionalism and scientific advance that in this period fired the imagination of large parts of American society. The largest of them also dominated major American foundations, which were coming to exercise major influence not only on the climate of opinion but on the specific content of American public policy. And, what might be termed the "multinational liberalism" of the internationalists was also aided significantly by the spread of liberal Protestantism; by a newspaper stratification process that brought the free trade organ of international finance, the New York Times, to the top; by the growth of capital-intensive network radio in the dominant Eastern, internationally oriented environment; and by the rise of major news magazines.
Policy experts, lawyers, and managers associated with this "bloc" supported and strongly influenced such New Deal reform measures as the Social Security Act, the National Recovery Act, the Wagner Act, free trade policies, and the Glass-Steagall Act.
Like any new elite, the managerial class needed a political formula that expressed and justified its group interests against those of its older rivals in the capitalist elite. What has come to be known as "liberalism" performed that function for the new class, although it has been known under other names as well ("modernism," "progressivism," "humanism," and what Burnham himself called simply "New Dealism”). Managerial liberalism justified the enlargement and centralization of the state under executive rather than congressional leadership, the primacy of the central rather than state and local government, regulation of the economy by the central state, a foreign policy of global interventionism and international organization rather than the nationalism and isolationism favored by the older capitalist class, and the development of a new culture that claimed to be more "progressive," more "liberated," more "humanistic," and more "scientific" and "rational" than the culture defined by the older social and moral codes of traditional capitalism. The managerial ideology also demonized the old elite and its institutions and values as "obsolete," "backward," "repressive," "exploitative," and "narrow-minded."
There was therefore an increasingly significant cultural and ideological schism between the new elite and the old and their respective adherents. The old elite was more or less rooted in traditional social institutions, which both served its material interests and reflected its formulas and values. It passed on its property and wealth, the basis of its power, through inheritance, and therefore it had a strong vested interest in maintaining both property rights and what are today called "family values." The family indeed, as well as the local community, religious and ethnic identities, and the cultural and moral codes that respected and legitimized property, wealth, inheritance, social continuity, the personal virtues that helped people acquire wealth and property, and small governments that lacked the power to threaten these things, all served as power bases for the traditional elite and as major cultural and ideological supports for its interests.
The Managerial Disengagement
This was not the case with the new managerial elites. Depending on the technical skills that enable it to gain and keep power inside mass organizations, the new elite possesses a major structural interest in preserving and extending the organizations it controls and in making sure those organizations are perpetuated. The moral and social bonds of the old elite mean virtually nothing to managers, who are unable to pass on their professional skills to their children in the way that the progeny of the old elite inherited property and position. Hence, managers tend to depend on families far less than the older elite and therefore to value the family and the moral codes that reflect and reinforce it far less also. The culture the managers seek to build places more value on individual achievement and "merit" (defined largely as the ability to acquire and exercise managerial and technical skills) than on family inheritance, on sexual fulfillment than postponement of gratification and the breeding and rearing of children, on social mobility and advancement rather than identification with family, community, race, and nation.
But in addition to the family, the managerial class simply does not need other traditional institutional structures to maintain its power— not the local community, not religion, not traditional cultural and moral codes, not ethnic and racial identities, and not even the nation-state itself. Indeed, such institutions merely get in the way of managerial power. They represent barriers against which the managerial state, corporations, and other mass organizations are always bumping, and the sooner such barriers are leveled, the more reach and power the organizations, and the managerial elites that run them, will acquire. Corporations depending on mass production and mass consumption need a mass market with uniform tastes, values, and living standards that will buy what consumers are told to buy; diverse local, regional, class, and ethnic identities impede the required degree of uniformity. The same is true for the state and the mass obedience it requires and seeks to instill into the population it governs and for the mass cultural organizations and the audiences they manipulate. Journalist David Rieff has pointed to the similarities in interests and worldview between "noted multiculturalist academics," supposedly on the political left, on the one hand, and corporate officers, supposedly on the political right, on the other:
Far from standing in implacable intellectual opposition to each other, both groups see the same racial and gender transformations in the demographic makeup of the United States and of the American work force. That non-white workers will be the key to the twenty-first-century American labor market is a given in most sensible long-range corporate plans. Like the multiculturalists, the business elite is similarly aware of the crucial role of women, and of the need to change the workplace in such a way as to make it more hospitable to them. More generally, both CEOs and Ph.D.'s insist more and more that it is no longer possible to speak in terms of the United States as some fixed, sovereign entity. The world has moved on; capital and labor are mobile; and with each passing year national borders, not to speak of national identities, become less relevant to consciousness or to commerce.
In the 1970s, Zbigniew Brzezinski noted the emergence of what he called "transnational elites" throughout the developed world:
Today we are again witnessing the emergence of transna-tional elites, but now they are composed of international businessmen, scholars, professional men, and public officials. The ties of these new elites cut across national boundaries, their perspectives are not confined by national traditions, and their interests are more functional than national…. The creation of the global information grid, facilitating almost continuous intellectual interaction and the pooling of knowledge, will further enhance the present trend toward international professional elites and toward the emergence of a common scientific language…. This, however, could create a dangerous gap between them and the politically activated masses, whose "nativism"—exploited by more nationalist political leaders—could work against the "cosmopolitan" elites.
The late Christopher Lasch made a similar point about the "managerial and professional elites," though he denied that these elites constituted "a new ruling class":
Their fortunes are tied to enterprises that operate across national boundaries. They are more concerned with the smooth functioning of the system as a whole than with any of its parts. Their loyalties—if the term is not itself anachronistic in this context—are international rather than regional, national, or local. They have more in common with their counterparts in Brussels or Hong Kong than with the masses of Americans not yet plugged into the network of global communications.
And most recently Samuel P. Huntington has discussed and documented in some detail the "denationalization of the elites" into what he calls "Dead Souls" who "abandon commitment to their nation and their fellow citizens and argue the moral superiority of identifying with humanity at large," a trend distinctive of economic elites with a strong material interest in economic globalization as well as of academic and intellectual elites:
Involvement in transnational institutions, networks, and activities not only defines the global elite but also is critical to achieving elite status within nations. Someone whose loyalties, identities, involvements are purely national is less likely to rise to the top in business, academia, the media, the professions, than someone who transcends these limits. Outside politics, those who stay home stay behind.
Long before these writers, however, Burnham himself was quite specific about what he called the "world policy of the managers," their rejection of the sovereign nation-states that had prevailed in the capitalist era as obsolete units that were simply obstacles to their group interests and the needs of the global order they sought to create.
The complex division of labor, the flow of trade and raw materials made possible and demanded by modern technology, were strangled in the network of diverse tariffs, laws, currencies, passports, boundary restrictions, bureaucracies, and independent armies. It has been clear for some while that these were going to be smashed; the only problem was who was going to do it and when.
Hence, the managers will seek to replace sovereign nation-states with new imperial or transnational states (Burnham saw National Socialist Germany, Imperial Japan, and the New Deal United States—mistakenly in the case of the first two—as the "nuclei" of the three managerial "super-states" of the future), and
Everywhere, men will have to line up with one or the other of the super-states of tomorrow. There will not be room for smaller sovereign nations; nor will the less advanced peoples be able to stand up against the might of the metropolitan areas. Of course, polite fictions of independence may be preserved for propaganda purposes; but it is the reality and not the name of sovereignty about which we are talking.
Just as the managerial ruling class rejects independent nationhood and national sovereignty as organizational forms, so it will also reject ideologies such as nationalism that justify and reflect national sovereignty, independence, and identity, as well as any ideology or belief that justifies any particular group identity and loyalty—national, regional, racial, ethnic, cultural, or religious. The managerial class therefore tends to disengage from the nation state as well as from these other identities. Its interests extend across many different nations, races, religions, and cultures and are transnational and supra-national, detached and disengaged from—and actually hostile to—any particular place or group or set of beliefs that supports particular identities.
Hence, the managerial elite has a proclivity toward as well as a material interest in adopting and promoting ideologies of universalism, egalitarianism, cultural relativism, behaviorism, and "blank slate" environmental determinism. As Rieff writes:
If any group has embraced the rallying cry "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western culture's got to go," it is the world business elite…for businessmen, something more is at stake than ideas. Eurocentrism makes no economic sense in a world where, within twenty-five years, the combined gross national product of East Asia will likely be larger than Europe's and twice that of the United States. In such a world, the notion of the primacy of Western culture will only be an impediment to the chief goal of every company: the maximization of profits.
Indeed, the social engineering and social reconstruction policies that have always been closely associated with managerial structures in the state, the economy, and the culture depend on ideological rationalizations that seek to justify the idea that an innate human nature does not exist, that sexual and racial differences are merely "social constructs" and products of the social environment, and that scientifically informed "management" can engineer both human society and human beings themselves. As intellectual historian Donald Atwell Zoll wrote, the environmentalist thesis,
at its simplest level, contended that (1) man's nature and his subsequent behavior was largely, if not totally, determined by his experiences in confronting his immediate environment; and (2) prospects for improving human behavior, social relation-ships, and society in general rested upon "reconstructions" and modifications of his environment as the controlling factor…. On the one hand, the resources of social science were seen as a response to more or less explicit social problems such as crime, poverty, mental illness, or the reform of political institutions. In yet another context, social engineering saw as its object the construction of a model society.
The projects of social reconstruction and social engineering required the managerial and technical skills that the rising elite possessed as well as the vastly increased scale and power of the state they were constructing and controlling for the purpose of realizing these projects. The new managerial elite therefore became closely wedded to the doctrine of social environmentalism as a rationalization of its own role, power, and social rewards in the system it constructed, and this powerful vested interest in environmentalist theory by itself helps account for the persistent strong attachment of the elite to the theory and its applications in social policy.
Academic theorists of environmentalist doctrines such as Lester Frank Ward, Charles Horton Cooley, John Dewey, Franz Boas and his school in anthropology, and behaviorist John B. Watson in psychology were essential ideological architects of the new managerial system of social control. Watson in a famous remark boasted that if you gave him an infant at birth, he could train him to become "any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and, yes, even beggarman and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.” By the end of the 1920s, Watson's behaviorism, wrote sociologist E. Digby Baltzell, "was not only the most fashionable school of psychology in this country but also became the central theory of human nature upon which the great industry of advertising was being built…. Faith in conditioning became the basis of social control in the new manipulative society, composed of citizen comrades in the U.S.S.R. and citizen consumers in the U.S.A.”
Managerial reliance on what is now known to have been pseudosci-ence in state-managed social engineering was paralleled in the managerial economy through "industrial sociology" under the influence of Elton Mayo and reflected, as Daniel Bell wrote, "a change in the outlook of management, parallel to that which is occurring in the culture as a whole, from authority to manipulation as a means of exercising dominion…the older modes of overt coercion are now replaced by psychological per-suasion.” Watson himself, as historian Stuart Ewen noted:
provided psychological avenues by which home life might be supplanted by the stimulation of the senses—a direction toward which business in its advertising was increasingly gravitating. Pleasure that could be achieved by the individual within the home and community was attacked and deem-phasized, as corporate enterprise formulated commoditized sensual gratification.
The ideological reconstruction of American society to suit the needs and interests of the emerging managerial class thus involved a repudiation of the older values, codes, and belief-systems of the old elite and a cultural conflict with those who continued to adhere to them. "Slowly at first, but with increasing momentum in each decade after 1880," wrote Baltzell,
a naturalistic, urban, environmentalist, egalitarian, collectivist, and eventually Democratic ethic finally undermined the Protestant, rural, hereditarian, opportunitarian, individualistic, and Republican ethic which rationalized the Natural Right of the old-stock business-gentleman's rule in America between 1860 and 1929.
The Agenda of Dispossession
The rise to power of the new managerial elite in the United States (and in other Western states as well) in the early and mid-twentieth century and the need of the new elite to formulate a new ideology or political formula and reconstruct society around it provides an explanation of why the dominant authorities in these countries today continue to support the dispossession of whites and the cultural and political destruction of the older American and Western civilization centered on whites and of why they not only fail to resist the anti-white demands of non-whites but actively support and subsidize them. These policies on the part of the new elite are not the result of "decadence" or "guilt" but of the group interests of the elite itself, imbedded in and arising from the structure of their power and position and rationalized in their consciousness by the political formula of managerial liberalism. It is in the interests of the new elite, in other words, to destroy and eradicate the older society and the racial and cultural identities and consciousness associated with it (not race alone, but also virtually any distinctive traditional group identity or bond, cultural, biological, or political). To those ("conservatives") who continue to adhere to the norms of the older society, of course, managerial behavior appears as decadence, degeneracy, cowardice, appeasement, pandering, or guilt, but what is an evil, misguided, or suicidal pathology to the "conservative" forces who are still shaped by the older codes and institutions in fact reflects the interest and the health of the forces centered around the creation and control of the new society. The interests of the managerial elite, in other words, are antagonistic to the survival of the traditional racial and institutional identity of the society it dominates.
The emergence of the managerial elite promotes the dispossession and even the destruction of whites in the United States in two major ways. First, as this essay has tried to argue, it does so directly because the structure of managerial interests and power is in conflict with any strong sense of racial as well as with strong national, religious, or other group identity. These interests, entering into the very mentality of the managerial class, push the leadership of the new society toward the rejection of the racial and cultural fabric of traditional white Western civilization, and the new culture they try to create is one that rejects and denies the value of such identities and values.
Second, however, because the new managerial elite rejects and destroys the mechanisms of the old elite that excluded other ethnic, racial, and religious groups, such groups are often able to permeate the managerial power structure and acquire levels of power unavailable to them in pre-managerial society and to advance their own interests and agendas by means of the managerial instruments of power. These ethnic forces, articulating their own strong racial, ethnic, cultural, or religious consciousness, invoke managerial liberal slogans of "equality," "tolerance," "diversity," etc., to challenge traditional white dominance but increasingly aspire to cultural and political supremacy themselves, excluding whites and rejecting and dismantling the institutional fabric of their society. Kevin MacDonald has documented in immense detail how Jewish groups seeking to advance their own ethnically based agendas have accomplished this, and since a central part of those agendas include the eradication of the historic ethnic, racial, and religious barriers and beliefs that excluded Jews and were perceived as leading to their persecution, the Jewish agenda and that of the managerial elite are in this respect perfectly congruent with each other. Indeed, so prominent have Jews become within the elite (especially its cultural sector) that it is fair to say that Jews within the managerial elite serve as the cultural vanguard of the managerial class, providing ideological justification of its structure and policies, disseminating its ideological formulas to the mass population, formulating and often implementing specific policies, and providing much of the specialized educational training essential to the transmission and perpetuation of the technocratic skills of the elite. In this respect, Jews perform a support function (in this case, a cultural and ideological one rather than tax-collecting or money-lending) for the largely non-Jewish elite similar to those they performed for various European aristocracies in the past (e.g., in early modern Poland). Thus the emergence of "neo-conservatism" in recent decades reflects not only the Jewish interests and identities of its principal formulators and exponents but also, unlike the older conservatism of the pre-managerial elite, the interests of the managerial class as a whole in conserving the new political and cultural order that class has created but rejecting and dismantling the pre-managerial order the older conservatism sought to defend.
The managerial elite, however, also has allied with other ethnic and racial groups, most of which share its interest in eliminating white racial identity and the cultural forces that support it. Like the Jewish allies of the elite and the elite itself, these non-white groups seek to eradicate white racial identity and its institutional expression, but unlike the elite, they also often seek to promote their own racial consciousness and identity. Thus, while explicitly white racial identity is virtually forbidden and strictly punished by the managerial elite, institutions that reflect explicit nonwhite or anti-white identities are tolerated and encouraged. Groups such as the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, the National Council of La Raza ("The Race"), and any number of professional, student, and political organizations, the names, membership, and agendas of which are explicitly racial, are not only tolerated but are often the recipients of millions of dollars in grants and philanthropy from the managerial state and managerial corporations and foundations.
In effect, the alliance between racially conscious non-white forces and the rising managerial elite in the last century represents a managerial partnership with a historical process that originally was entirely separate and different from the managerial revolution, what Lothrop Stoddard called "The Rising Tide of Color," the emergence of racial consciousness and identity and the political aspirations shaped by race among the non-white peoples of the non-Western world and the subordinate non-white populations within the West. What Stoddard was describing is virtually identical to the world-historical process that the late sociologist and historian Robert A. Nisbet called the "racial revolution," the replacement by "color" of "nationality and economic class as the major setting for revolutionary thrust, strategy, tactics, and also philosophy.” While the new elite rejected "white racism" and all vestiges of white racial and cultural identity and heritage in order to displace its rivals in the older elite and to engineer and manage a new, culturally and racially homogenized global social order that reflected its own interests, the non-white racial forces with which it allied rejected white racial supremacy and identity in part to revolt against and overthrow ("liberate" themselves from) white domination (a phase of the racial revolution generally called by the benign label of the "civil rights movement") but in part also to pursue their own racial power and aspirations. While for several decades there appeared to be a conjunction of interests between the elite and its non-white allies in the elimination of all racial identities and consciousness, today, as non-whites increasingly assert their own racial identities, aspirations, and ambitions for power, serious conflicts between the elite and non-white racial movements may occur, and such conflicts may eventually destabilize the managerial elite or even displace it from power as a new social force—non-white racial consciousness and the energies it mobilizes—challenges the social force of the managerial class. As historian Paul Gottfried comments, "Hispanic racialists, Third World patriarchs, and Mexican irredentists will likely eat up the present regime, if given the demographic chance.”
But there is little sign of an emerging white racial identity capable of challenging either the managerial power structure, its anti-white universalist ideology and agenda, or the direct racial threat whites face from non-white and anti-white enemies. The new elite and its non-white allies have weakened or destroyed the belief systems, moral values , cultural legacies, and social bonds and institutions that made whites conscious of who and what they are and sustained within them a determination to survive and prevail. Until such mechanisms can be rebuilt, there appears to be little prospect of whites overcoming or even adequately recognizing the threats and challenges they face today, and those mechanisms cannot be rebuilt as long as the managerial elite remains in power, as long as its universalist and egalitarian ideology remains the dominant political and cultural formula, and as long as the anti-white allies of the elite share power with the elite. What whites must recognize, if they wish to survive at all, is that the forces that have destroyed their civilization are the same forces that rule its ruins and whose rule brought it to ruin. Not until those forces are themselves displaced from power will the whites of the future be able to recover the legacy their ancestors created and left for them.
- Steven Greenhouse and Jonathan D. Glater, "Companies See Court Ruling As Support for Diversity," New York Times, June 24, 2003. ↩︎
- Arthur Livingston, "Introduction," in Gaetano Mosca, The Ruling Class (Elementi di Scienza Politica), ed. and rev. by Arthur Livingston, trans. by Hannah D. Kahn (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1939), p. xix. ↩︎
- Mosca, The Ruling Class, p. 70. ↩︎
- Ibid., p. 71. ↩︎
- The definitive account remains Arthur O. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1936). See also E.M.W. Tillyard, The Elizabethan World Picture (New York: Macmillan, 1944) and Lawrence Stone, The Crisis of the Aristocracy, 1558-1640 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965), chapter 3 passim, for its use by the ruling class of Elizabethan England. ↩︎
- James Burnham, The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom (New York: John Day Company, 1943), pp. 91-92. This book remains probably the best introduction to the classical theory of elites. ↩︎
- James H. Meisel, The Myth of the Ruling Class: Gaetano Mosca and the "Elite” (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 1962), p. 4. See also Geraint Parry, Political Elites (New York: Praeger, 1970), pp. 31ff., for the "unity" of an elite. ↩︎
- Suzanne Keller, Beyond the Ruling Class: Strategic Elites in Modern Society (New York: Random House, 1963), is a classic expression of the theory of strategic elites. See also Arnold M. Rose, The Power Structure: Political Process in American Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967). ↩︎
- James Burnham, The Managerial Revolution: What Is Happening in the World (1941; reprint ed., Bloomington, Ind.: University of Indiana Press, 1960), p. 82. ↩︎
- Ibid. ↩︎
- Ibid., p. 203; for the "technocracy" movement of Howard Scott, see Daniel Bell, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting (New York: Basic Books, 1973), p. 349, n. 8. ↩︎
- Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977), p. 584, n. 3, and p. 491. ↩︎
- Geoffrey Barraclough, An Introduction to Contemporary History (Baltimore, Md.: Penguin Books, 1964), pp. 50-51. ↩︎
- Thomas Ferguson, "Industrial Conflict and the Coming of the New Deal: The Triumph of Multinational Liberalism in America," in Steve Fraser and Gary Gerstle, eds., The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order, 1930-1980 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989), p. 9. Ferguson sees the conflict over the New Deal as being centered in Morgan (anti-Roosevelt) vs. Rockefeller (pro-Roosevelt) groups. ↩︎
- Burnham, Managerial Revolution, pp. 196ff. ↩︎
- The managerial need for uniformity might seem to contradict the current cant about "diversity" and its benefits (usually unspecified), but "diversity" is mainly a slogan for the eradication of white identity and is seldom invoked to challenge non-white identity. "Diversity" as practiced is thus entirely consistent with the uniformity of economic, cultural, political, and psychological and personal mentality and behavior that managerial hegemony demands and enforces. ↩︎
- David Rieff, "Multiculturalism's Silent Partner," Harper’s (August, 1993), pp. 66-67; Rieff of course approves of the phenomenon he is describing. ↩︎
- Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Age (1970; reprint ed., New York: Penguin Books, 1976), p. 59. ↩︎
- Christopher Lasch, The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy (New York: W.W. Norton, 1995), pp. 34-35. ↩︎
- Samuel P. Huntington, Who Are We? The Cultural Core of American National Identity (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004), pp. 267 and 263-72 passim. ↩︎
- Burnham, Managerial Revolution, p. 173. ↩︎
- Ibid., p. 181; "mistakenly" because Burnham at the time (1940) believed Germany and Japan would be victorious in World War II. The existence of such managerial regimes as those of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and their use of ideologies of extreme racial hegemony and nationalism suggests that not all forms of managerial dominance are necessarily wedded to ideologies of universalism, egalitarianism, and environmentalist determinism. But of course Germany and Japan lost the war, and the form of managerial power they represented did not survive, raising the possibility that their brief existence may have been merely an anomaly. ↩︎
- Rieff, Harper’s, pp. 68-69; "maximization of profits" may be the major specific goal of corporate managers, but for the elite in general the major consideration, as with any ruling class, is perpetuation of power and position. ↩︎
- Donald Atwell Zoll, Twentieth Century Political Philosophy (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1974), p. 80. ↩︎
- Quoted in Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (New York: Viking, 2002), p. 19. This book helps expose the ideological and pseudoscientific roots of environmentalist theory. See also Carl N. Degler, In Search of Human Nature: The Decline and Revival of Darwinism in American Social Thought (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), especially chapter 8, for the political and ideological motivations of environmentalist social theory. ↩︎
- E. Digby Baltzell, The Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy and Caste in America (New York: Random House, 1964), p. 270. ↩︎
- Daniel Bell, The End of Ideology (Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1960), p. 244. ↩︎
- Stuart Ewen, Captains of Consciousness: Advertising and the Social Roots of the Consumer Culture (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1976), p. 83. ↩︎
- Baltzell, The Protestant Establishment, p. 158. ↩︎
- Kevin MacDonald, A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism As a Group Evolutionary Strategy, Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism, and The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1994, 1998, and 1998), especially the last volume. The first volume, chapter 5 and pp. 121-123, discusses the alliance between Ashkenazi Jews and the early modern Polish nobility, and see also MacDonald's essay in this volume; see also Benjamin Ginsberg, The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), pp. 11ff. for similar Jewish-gentile elite alliances. ↩︎
- On the managerial functions of neo-conservatism, see my essay "Neoconservatism and the Managerial Revolution," in Samuel Francis, Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 1993), pp. 95-117. In recent years, neo-conservatives have tended to reflect Jewish and Zionist interests far more than they do the general interests of the managerial class. ↩︎
- Robert Nisbet, The Social Philosophers: Community and Conflict in Western Thought (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1973), p. 306. ↩︎
- Paul Edward Gottfried, Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt: Toward a Secular Theocracy (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 2002), p. 147. ↩︎