The Death of the Elite ‘Center’

The false center is not possible.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron lost his majority at the National Assembly. His party currently holds 245 seats in this lower house, while the Right has 150 and the Left 131. Gustavo Petro, a Marxist former M-19 guerrilla fighter, has taken over as the president of Colombia. This replaces Keynesian liberal establishment rule. In the United States, the supposed center between the two parties has been increasingly replaced by antiestablishment groups on both sides.

This is not surprising considering the total destruction of institutional trust across the West. And this destruction of institutional trust was not accidental. It is the natural result that policy elites lie to those they claim to be serving. Our policy elites maintain their support for free markets while simultaneously fighting against free market ideology. They claim that they value traditional faith while fighting to undermine its most fundamental foundations.

Klaus Schwab, the head of the World Economic Forum, supposedly a repository of free market thinking, declares that he and his friends will “serve not only self-interest, but we serve the community”; he then proceeds to leverage economic power on behalf of their preferred ideological outcomes. The result is both an ideological and economic failure.

Take, for example, the Biden administration’s simultaneous demand that oil companies ramp up production and that we completely undermine oil and gas development over the next few years in order to fight global warming. Or, more immediately, take the German attempts to “green” their own economy while quietly outsourcing energy production to Russia—a policy so egregiously stupid that it has now resulted in Germany firing up coal plants again, now that Russia has cut off the oil supply.

On the social front, our institutional elite declare fealty to traditional institutions—church, family, localism—and then simultaneously insist that society remake itself in the most radical possible image. Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker declares her loyalty Catholicism in a sentence in which she also militantly supports abortion on demand. President Joe Biden, however, proclaims his own religion while simultaneously using his Department of Justice to target those states that try to prevent the confusion or mutilation of child based on nonsensical Gender Theory.

Our institution leaders insist on the importance of foreign policy. They tell us we must maintain the international order, but then refuse to accept any consequences. They rail against the Saudi Arabian terror regime and insist that the West must agree to a deal. After that, they visit Saudi Arabia to solicit more oil production. They pledge their support for the Ukrainian government and then make a wishy-washy about offering support or an exit plan if victory is not achieved. They look at Taiwan’s Chinese threat and then teach transgender pronouns to Navy members.

In short, our institutional elites rely on the power of civilizational foundations that long predate them—free markets, religious values, military strength—to prop up failing ideas that undermine those foundations. The result is failure. The Left looks at the prevailing elite consensus and declares it dishonest: If the elites’ principles mattered, they would fight free markets, religious values and military strength. The Right looks at the prevailing elite consensus and feels the same way: If the elites put aside their ideological commitments to leftism, they’d cement our civilizational foundations rather than keep eroding them.

Perhaps the center isn’t holding because it shouldn’t hold. It has tried to enshrine its power by taking both the Left- and the Right. It has no coherent ideology. This false center is being torn apart by centrifugal force. It is divided between those who believe the West’s fundamental institutions and those who want them to be supplanted.


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