The Age of Disintegration: Political Disunity and Elites At War

Historian Michael Grant identified profound political disunity in the ruling elite as a key cause of the dissolution of the Roman Empire. Grant described this dynamic in his excellent account The Fall of the Roman Empire.

The chapter titles of the book illuminate the complex causes of profound political disunity in the ruling elite:

The Gulfs Between the Classes: a.k.a. soaring income/wealth inequality: check.

The Credibility Gap: The Mainstream Media lauds itself and a self-serving, failing elite: check.

The Partnerships That Failed: the SillyCon Valley tech titans were supposed to “save” the neoliberal elite by managing social media the way the MSM managed broadcast propaganda/”news”: check.

The Groups That Opted Out: nobody “important” noticed those who opted out of the neoliberal Kool-Aid: check.

The Undermining of Effort: if I don’t get my way, I’ll block yours. There is no common ground left.

Is there any doubt about the profound political disunity in America’s ruling elite? I have addressed this many times over the past seven years, most recently a year ago in Profound Political Disunity Is Now Pitting Rising Elites Against Fading Elites (November 24, 2015).

Historian Peter Turchin explores the dynamic of social disintegration in his new book Ages of Discord. The cycle of social disintegration and integration is essentially universal to complex societies–a reality I recently discussed in Ungovernable Nation, Ungovernable Economy (October 11, 2016)

USA 2017-2020: An Ungovernable Nation? (October 10, 2016)

The globalist, neoliberal, neoconservative consensus in the Ruling Elite has splintered, a reality I have described as a splintering of the Deep State, the unelected government that continues on regardless of which party or elected politico is currently in office.

I explored this years ago in Is the Deep State Fracturing into Disunity? (March 14, 2014) and more recently in Could the Deep State Be Sabotaging Hillary? (August 8, 2016), Why the Deep State Is Dumping Hillary (September 26, 2016) and These Blast Points on Hillary’s Campaign… Only The Deep State Is So Precise (October 31, 2016).

What few in the pundit class see is that significant segments of the Deep State view the neo-con neoliberal strategy as an irredeemable failure. But the camp of neoliberals and globalists will not concede defeat and relinquish their hubris-soaked power without a fight.

Indeed, it is clear that this fading sector of the Deep State is now throwing everything in its power at Trump, his appointees, and anyone who dares question the fake-progressive neoliberal neocon narrative.

The neoliberal Deep State’s mouthpiece Foreign Affairs is darkly equating populism (i.e. Trump, Le Pen, et al.) with nascent fascism, the favorite fearmongering slander (along with racism) of the fading, discredited neoliberals.

Slander and managed news–and the slandering of any dissenting narratives as “fake news”, the ultimate irony of a regime that depends on propaganda and collusion for its survival— these are the weapons of a cornered, enraged beast that has lost the narrative battle but which refuses to cede its power or pay-to-play wealth.

In this war of the rising and fading elites, there is no common ground or incentive to compromise. Either the rising Elite’s agenda and narrative are completely destroyed and the globalist neoliberals remain ascendant, or the rising Elite’s narratives and agenda survive the furious onslaught of paid protesters, fake news protesting fake news, and the brainwashed supporters of the Neofeudal, Neo-Colonial pillaging machine known as (in the perfection of doublespeak) “progressive neoliberalism.”

The sad truth is a system of pay-to-play global racketeering that has enriched the top .1% at the expense of the bottom 95% for decades cannot be “progressive” unless the word has been turned on its head. The hubris of the neoliberal “progressives” knows no bounds, and they still cannot quite believe the debt-serfs rebelled against the neoliberals’ benign impoverishment of everyone outside their protected cliques.

The fading elite will render the nation ungovernable rather than concede its power, wealth and global influence. This is the inevitable result of profound political disunity, which arises when The Ruling Elite Has Lost the Consent of the Governed (October 20, 2016).

I recently discussed ungovernability and the loss of the consent of the governed with Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert: (from 12:50)

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  • diogenes

    The top 0.1%, one in a thousand, 160 thousand families among 320 million Americans, does not own the 22% of wealth Smith claims. It holds 28%. And the bottom 90% does not hold 23% of the wealth, as Smith claims; it holds 11%. See my essay The Distribution of Wealth In America, posted elsewhere on this site, for references & discussion. What kind of a “journalist” — what kind of a fool — cites Band of America Merrill Lynch on such a subject straight-faced. Smith must think the readers of Washingtonsblog are really really really stupid. Bogus numbers are a consistent problem with this author. I wonder why.