The Rancor of Elites Who Have Taken Over Western Culture

by | Mar 17, 2022 |

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Rancor is the calling card of the smart-set. That is, the radicalized and opportunistic, anti-democratic elites who have taken over Western democracies and culture. 

The social/political dog and pony show of the elitist spin doctors who run the administrative state in western democracies is driven by rancor. This is the case, regardless of the different factions of leftism.

While rancor can be manifested in many ways, the most prominent form that exists in Western democracies finds its inspiration in Marxism and its many variants. The ideological rancor that Marxism promotes has been the de facto form of rancor in Western democracies, beginning in the early twentieth century, and which has metastasized into a cancer of the mind and spirit.

However, rancor does not manifest itself overnight. For rancor to become destructive of the self and the lives of others, people must first simmer in resentment. 

Resentment, what the German philosopher of values, Max Scheler, refers to as ressentiment (“a special form of human hate”) is tapped by Marxism in order to create ideological zealots.

To capitalize on rancor, Marxist indoctrination must be made to appeal to young people – poison the well – before they are able to cultivate the ability to think for themselves. Marxist ideologues know that anger and hatred will do the rest.

Contentment

The key is to destroy the human psyche’s ability to enable persons to think for themselves and ultimately attain contentment.

Imagine people who have everything: liberty, wealth, powerful forums to express themselves, and an overall quality of life that not even kings from a previous era enjoyed. That is a fair description of a lot of people in the Western world today. 

Also, imagine people with professional degrees and certificates, (though, not education in the classical sense of the word). These are people who can afford to put life on hiatus for some time, as it were, in order to create a better life for themselves. 

Education has been one of the traditional routes to self-improvement, and by implication, one way to improve society. Ideally, the outcome of compulsive education, common sense tells us, is that people should become well-rounded individuals. This means that truly educated people, in the traditional sense of education, should cultivate good will. This makes sense, given that people who take on life’s contingencies head on – on objective terms and succeed (regardless of formal education) – become self-ruling. Even though, it is fair to say, such people already possess self-discipline to begin with.

Circa 2022, what has become of contentment?  

The bankrupted moral/spiritual state of being of postmodern elites in Western democracies signals a pathology of self-loathing. But why, we ask? These people have everything. 

One answer is that before elites can welcome full-blown rancor, they must first declare war on human reality. 

The road to perdition is often wrought with self-hatred disguised as pride and arrogance. This is especially true and telling of people who exhibit no redeeming qualities, no respect for virtue, and no wisdom about the effects of cardinal sins on the human person.

It is curious that smart-set spin doctors spew vile, politically correct, yet abstract renditions of the word hate, like they own stock in the word. 

On one level, this is merely a pathetic case of projection: the more that leftists decry a negative emotion, the more they embrace and practice it. This is their brilliant public relations cover, they naively believe. This act of false consciousness, to use Marx’s word, is repeated daily by elitists.

On a social/political level, this is also a case of telling a lie many times in the hope that it will become true; until it sticks in the popular psyche as an uncorroborated platitude.

Leftists’ social/political spin doctors have learned much from Marx, in addition to advertising agencies. This makes their quest for political power a postmodern machinery of disinformation that is unprecedented, yet highly effective.

Let us consider another answer to the question, what has become of contentment in the post-industrial, postmodern world? 

Contentment is a virtue because it breeds inner peace, a form of wisdom that takes life on its own terms. Contented people handle daily existence, other people, and the demands of life with deference.

Simply stated, the virtue that is contentment has been turned on its head to signify smugness that feeds itself on self-promotion. In the absence of contentment, self-hatred becomes disguised as disingenuous philanthropy. The key here is egotism and affectation.

Philanthropy, or the perception thereof, whether private or the public relations brand practiced by foundations, creates the impression of fulfillment in attention-seeking people that only other people can provide. How many opportunist academics live to receive grants that do not originate in good will and which have no bearing on the well-being of differentiated persons?  

The problem of conscience that affected leftists face is that because they do not give individual persons the time of day, they instead try to save face by appealing to abstract notions of community. Their arrogance blinds them to their conspicuous fakeness.

Their disdain for individual persons leaves them with no other choice than to rationalize their hatred by embracing causes they hope will have vast public relations appeal. This starts the smart-set on the road to promoting fashionable ideological causes.

The latter is only one of the devastating effects that rancor has on the human person, for rancor ultimately destroys those who practice it. 

Dr. Pedro Blas González

Pedro Blas González is Professor of Philosophy at Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida. 

He earned his doctoral degree in Philosophy at DePaul University in 1995. Dr. González has published extensively on leading Spanish philosophers, such as Ortega y Gasset and Unamuno. His books include Human Existence as Radical Reality: Ortega’s Philosophy of SubjectivityUnamuno: A Lyrical Essay; Ortega’s ‘Revolt of the Masses’ and the Triumph of the New Man; Fragments: Essays in Subjectivity, Individuality and Autonomy;Dreaming in the Cathedral and Fantasia: A Novel.

He published a translation and introduction of José Ortega y Gasset’s last work to appear in English, “Medio siglo de Filosofia” (1951) in Philosophy Today Vol. 42 Issue 2 (Summer 1998). 

His book Philosophical Perspective on Cinema will be published by Lexington Books in May 2022.

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