The Revolting Elites: Why the Harvey Weinstein Story Is Worse Than You Think
It goes much deeper than one big creep.
Christopher Lasch, in his 1995 book The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy, noted that Rhodes Scholar Robert Reich, ex-President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor, used Hollywood as a prime example of the “wondrously resilient” communities ‘that spring up whenever there is a concentration of ‘creative’ people.
Washington,’ Lasch notes, when modeled on such an idea ‘becomes a parody of Tinseltown; executives take to the airwaves, creating overnight the semblance of political movements; movie stars become political pundits, even presidents; reality and the simulation of reality become more and more difficult to distinguish.’ (38-39)
This alternate reality not only marks Hollywood itself, and Washington, but also the films that it releases. They are increasingly self-referential and immoral. They mark a flight from reality, particularly a moral reality, that is endemic in its own worldview:
“Liberals have always taken the position that democracy can dispense with civic virtue…. it is liberal institutions, not the character of citizens, that makes democracy work. Democracy is a legal system that makes it possible for people to live with their differences… (85)
However, reality can only be held at bay for so long.
In the Hollywood meritocracy, no less than that of Washington, ‘(n)either valor and chivalry nor the code of courtly, romantic love, with which these values are closely associated, has any place in the worldview of the best and brightest…. It thinks of itself as a self-made elite owing its privileges exclusively to its own efforts… The “community” of the best and brightest is a community of contemporaries, in the double sense that its members think of themselves as agelessly youthful and that the mark of this youthfulness is precisely their ability to stay on top of the latest trends.’ (39-40)
Communities like these that ignore moral considerations in their operations, operating in a cesspool of betrayal and ignored exploitation can continue almost endlessly until the bubble bursts, and both the Washington and Hollywood establishment are excluded from being “on top of the latest trends.”
This is precisely what happened with the election of anti-establishment candidate Donald Trump.
And now suddenly the stars from Gwynneth Paltrow to Angelina Jolie are beginning to sing.
“Would the Weinstein story have been published if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency? No, and not because he is a big Democratic fundraiser. It’s because if the story was published during the course of a Hillary Clinton presidency, it wouldn’t have really been about Harvey Weinstein. Harvey would have been seen as a proxy for the president’s husband and it would have embarrassed the president, the first female president.”
The reason it has appeared is that Trump’s election has made Weinstein (and the Hollywood, media, and political establishment) irrelevant to power.
And simply by virtue of being excluded from power, the swamp is being drained.
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