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The Power Elite (1956) and the JFK Assassination


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In 1956 C. Wright Mills published "The Power Elite". He argued that the United States was controlled not by the mass of its citizens as described by democratic theory, but by a wealthy Anglo-Saxon Protestant elite from Ivy League schools. In a series of caustic reviews, critics denied that there was such an elite.

Two questions: (1) Do you agree in the Power Elite theory? (2) If so, did it play an important role in the cover-up of the assassination of JFK?

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I do believe in a Power Elite,not sure about wealthy protestants though.Governments today are no more than a front for the Establishment.The Military Industrial power brokers.

It seems to me,JFK was killed on the orders of these people.

There exists a small group of people possessing extraordinary wealth which operates at a level that is transparent to the masses. Governments are manipulated by this concentration of wealth and power. Eisenhower warned about it in his farewell address.

The JFK assassination provides a brief glimpse behind the curtain, giving clues about the "power elite" motives, and the use of their assets (politicians, intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, media, ect.) to achieve their desired result.

Politicians and the media are owned by this elite group, and are actively participating in the ongoing coverup.

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Elite groups are everywhere, including the jfk research community.

Your question implies that the cover-up of the JFK assassination is in the past, when , in fact, it continues.

elite - A group of people considered to be the best in a particular society or category, exp because of their power, talent or wealth.

or this definition

An elite in political and sociological theory, is a small group of people who control a disproportionate amount of wealth or political power.

Edited by Mike Rago
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I do believe in a Power Elite,not sure about wealthy protestants though.Governments today are no more than a front for the Establishment.The Military Industrial power brokers.

It seems to me,JFK was killed on the orders of these people.

I agree that religion has little to do with it. C. Wright Mills also underestimated the role of the media in the power elite.

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In 1956 C. Wright Mills published "The Power Elite". He argued that the United States was controlled not by the mass of its citizens as described by democratic theory, but by a wealthy Anglo-Saxon Protestant elite from Ivy League schools. In a series of caustic reviews, critics denied that there was such an elite.

Two questions: (1) Do you agree in the Power Elite theory? (2) If so, did it play an important role in the cover-up of the assassination of JFK?

From another thread:

I noticed that one of the books recommended by that CE1412 flyer was Listen, Yankee by C Wright Mills. In 1956 Mills coined the phrase and wrote The Power Elite, "which describes the relationship between individuals at the pinnacles of political, military, and economic institutions, noting that these people share a common world view.... This power elite has historically dominated the three major sectors of US society: economy, government, and military. Elites circulate from one sector to another, consolidating their power as they go." (Wikipedia) The Power Elite was certainly ahead of its time and remains today somewhat of a classic.

Here is a most interesting article about Mills and Listen Yankee: The Revolution in Cuba that appeared a few years ago in The Nation: http://www.thenation...-c-wright-mills

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I do believe in a Power Elite,not sure about wealthy protestants though.Governments today are no more than a front for the Establishment.The Military Industrial power brokers.

It seems to me,JFK was killed on the orders of these people.

I agree that religion has little to do with it. C. Wright Mills also underestimated the role of the media in the power elite.

"Media manipulation in the U.S. today is more efficient than it was in Nazi Germany, because here we have the pretense that we are getting all the information we want. That misconception prevents people from even looking for the truth." - Mark Crispin Miller

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I do believe in a Power Elite,not sure about wealthy protestants though.Governments today are no more than a front for the Establishment.The Military Industrial power brokers.

It seems to me,JFK was killed on the orders of these people.

I agree that religion has little to do with it. C. Wright Mills also underestimated the role of the media in the power elite.

"Media manipulation in the U.S. today is more efficient than it was in Nazi Germany, because here we have the pretense that we are getting all the information we want. That misconception prevents people from even looking for the truth." - Mark Crispin Miller

I do feel that things have improved since the internet. Mind you, in time, we might find Google just as objectionable as the media barons.

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I do believe in a Power Elite,not sure about wealthy protestants though.Governments today are no more than a front for the Establishment.The Military Industrial power brokers.

It seems to me,JFK was killed on the orders of these people.

I agree that religion has little to do with it. C. Wright Mills also underestimated the role of the media in the power elite.

"Media manipulation in the U.S. today is more efficient than it was in Nazi Germany, because here we have the pretense that we are getting all the information we want. That misconception prevents people from even looking for the truth." - Mark Crispin Miller

I do feel that things have improved since the internet. Mind you, in time, we might find Google just as objectionable as the media barons.

The Internet is okay as long as Governments keep their hands of it,sadly,there are signs that they are beginning to take notice that we can find out stuff they don't like.Hence them bringing in various acts to try,"To Protect Us."

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The Internet is okay as long as Governments keep their hands of it,sadly,there are signs that they are beginning to take notice that we can find out stuff they don't like.Hence them bringing in various acts to try,"To Protect Us."

The main information power broker is Google. They only have to take your website out of their database and you are in trouble. Who knows if the CIA and the FBI are involved in these decisions.

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Guest Tom Scully

Speaking of the Rockefellers, I don't think you've come to acknowledge or appreciate the laugh "they" are having at our expense...a case in point.:

Ten years ago, almost to the day.....

http://www.salon.com...ken_whitewater/

Through the length of Bill Clinton's presidency, the press scrounged for details on the arcane Whitewater controversy. Will it do the same for Harken Energy?

By Eric Boehlert Saturday, Jul 13, 2002

....

Just look at three key attorneys who were at the center of the SEC investigation and who, in theory, were on different sides of the issue. They included SEC Chairman Richard Breeden, SEC general counsel James Doty, and Dallas attorney Robert Jordan, who represented both Harken and Bush during the “voluntary” inquiry. To suggest the three lawyers enjoyed a close working relationship with one another, as well as with Bush, would be an understatement.

Breeden has known the senior George Bush for 20 years, and worked with him for nearly 10 before then-president Bush appointed him as SEC chairman. That choice in 1989 surprised many Wall Street experts since Breeden, just 39 at the time, had virtually no firsthand knowledge of the financial markets. “What do we know about Richard Breeden?” Hardwick Simmons, vice-chairman of Shearson Lehman Hutton Inc., asked Business Week at the time. “Not much,” answered the magazine.

A key quality Breeden did possess, however, was Bush loyalty. Breeden was “a devoted admirer of President Bush,” according to a New York Law Journal profile at the time of Breeden’s nomination. (The Journal noted one of Breeden’s three sons shared a Bush family name, Prescott.) One friend told the magazine Breeden’s admiration for Bush was “something of a passion for him,” adding, “He would have done just about anything for the vice president’s chances of becoming president.”.....

http://en.wikipedia....ington_Hardwick

Huntington Reed "Tack" Hardwick (October 15, 1892 – June 26, 1949) was an American football player. He played at the halfback and end positions for Harvard University and was selected as a unanimous first-team All-American in 1914. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.

Family

In December 1913, Hardwick was engaged to Margaret Stone, the daughter of financier Galen Stone of the brokerage firm of Hayden Stone & Co. Stone was a debutante in 1913 and an "enthusiastic follower" of Harvard football.[1]

....In May 1947, his wife died and left an estate valued at $2.8 million to Hardwick and their daughter, Margaret Hardwick Simmons.[2]

http://query.nytimes...755C0A9639C8B63

Published: June 19, 2005

TREADWAY -- Margaret ''Peggy'' Hardwick. Died at her home in Vero Beach, FL, on June 11, 2005, after a short illness. Formerly of Marion, MA, she was born on July 14, 1916, in Brookline, the only child of the late Huntington Reed ''Tack'' Hardwick and Margaret Stone Hardwick. She was the grandchild of Galen Stone, financier and cofounder of Hayden-Stone Company. Mrs. Treadway is survived by her husband, Richard Fowle Treadway; four children: Hardwick Simmons of Katonah, NY;.....

Paul Hellmuth, Agent for CIA Funds - JFK Assassination Debate ...

educationforum.ipbhost.com › ... › JFK Assassination Debate

Aug 20, 2007 – Oct 27, 2011 – Active officers include Thomas J Devine, David S Crockett, Jacob F Brown, David B Stone and Hardwick Simmons. Stonetex Oil

Chairman's Award | International Tennis Hall of Fame

www.tennisfame.com › News & EventsAwards

William H.G. FitzGerald, John T. Fogarty, Hardwick Simmons. 1997, Arthur “Bud” Collins, Jr. 1998, Suzanne Ainslie, William E. Phillips & W. Pike Talbert .

Board of Directors | International Tennis Hall of Fame

www.tennisfame.com/about-us/board-of-directors

Founder. · James H. Van Alen*. Life Trustees. · Hon. George H. W. Bush .... 194 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840

.....So what we've got here is Ernie Byfield Sr. and Jr., hosts of Irv Kupcinet in the Pump Room from 1943 to 1960. All three were close to Patrick Hoy, hired away from Byfield in 1960 by Henry Crown as liason between Crown Hilton General Dynamics Arvey, and the Chicago Syndicate's Sidney Korshak and Gus Alex Sam Giancana and Tony Accardo. Kupcinet's co-columnist is life long Jack Ruby friend, Jimmy Colitz.

Ernie Byfield, Jr. joins the army and the OSS, and is the best man in the 1943 wedding of William HG Fitzgerald, later the senior SMOM in the United States. An usher in that wedding, Oliver W. Hammonds, a WWII army intelligence officer, becomes Jack Crichton's co-director in ARABIAN SHIELD DEVELOPMENT CO. Hammonds' brother-in-law is Chase Manhattan bank director and SMOM Robert W. Flowerree with close ties to Loyola U. in New Orleans.

(William H.G.) Fitzgerald was a senior partner at Hornblower & Weeks. The daughter of his partner, Ralph Hornblower, married Dr. Daniel Catlin, the brother-in-law of William H. Quasha's son, Wayne. Fitzgerald's son, Desmond, married Helen Muffie Stone, granddaughter of Godfrey Stillman Rockefeller and daughter of Robert G. Stone, Jr., the Harvard Endowment Fund official who made the large, losing investment in Alan Quasha's Harken Energy, resulting in bailing out George W. Bush's failed oil business activity and positioning Bush as a multimillionaire and viable Texas gubernatorial candidate. Stone, Jr., according to Russ Baker, in his book, Family of Secrets, was rewarded with a directorship at R.S. Reynolds with co-director, Jonathan Bush. Reynold's father was a close friend of Frank Vanderlip, Jr., the godfather of William H. Quasha's daughter, Jill.

Quasha's other son, Alan, the chairman of Harken Energy, had bought out Bush's bankrupt business, Spectrum 7 and invited Bush to join Harken's board. Alan married the daughter of the Nelson Rockefeller owned William Ronan, onetime chairman of the NYC's MTA, and longtime chairman of the Tri-State Port Authority.

Byfield Jr. was married from 1955 until her death in 1970 to Russian noblewoman Valentina Osterman. Valentina's sister Nina married the first cousin and business partner of B. Rionda and George Braga, Placido Ervesun. GHW Bush escorted the daughter of the late Edward Hooker, step-nephew and oil business partner, George DeMohrenschildt down the aisle when she wed B. Rionda Braga's son, Ames.

Byfield, Jr.'s mother, Gladys Rosenthal Tartiere leased her Middleburg, VA estate to JFK from December, 1960 until March, 1963. Byfield, Jr. married Italian countess Diana Masiere in the 1970s. Byfield and Masiere were married nearly thirty years and after his death, Diana Masiere Byfield married Robert S. McNamara in 2004.

My point, Jim, is that these people are so organized and purposeful, intertwined with the Rockefellers, they have the confidence and cynical humor to fool Eric Boehlert into writing what he did ten years ago, quoting Hardwick Simmons, who happens to be the cousin of Robert G. Stone, Jr. and his brother David (the Stone brothers' father was the brother of Hardwick Simmons's grandmother...) and interpreting Simmons's comments as criticism of Bush's appointment of Breeden. All of these people were of the same purpose, to shield the Bushes and Robert G. Stone, Jr. from the fallout of the Harken mess. Quasha was Bush's Harken angel, Vanderlip was the son of the former president of the Rockefeller's National City Bank, and Vanderlip was the godfather of Quasha's sister, Jill.

Look at the Tennis Hall of Fame info. Suzanne Ainslie is married to Macomber protege, Michael Ainslie. A protege of both William and John Macomber was Thomas Devine, a co-director with Hardwick Simmons of the Robert G.Stone, Jr., founded Stonetex. Suzanne Ainslie was Suzanne Hooker Braga, Bush walked her down the aisle for that wedding. Byfield's first wife, the white Russian, was the sister-in-law of Suzanne Braga's father-in-law, B. Rionda Braga's first cousin, Placido Ervesun.. William HG Fitzgerald was senior Knight of Malta in the U.S., he was the father-in-law of Robert G. Stone, Jr;s daughter, Muffie Rockefeller Stone, Fitzgerald's best man was Ernie Byfield, and Fitzgerald was a co-founder of the Atlantic Council with John Macomber. Michael Ainslie's sister-in-law from his prior marriage is also on the Atlantic Council, and is the Chairwoman of Pearson PLC.

This little group, from 1980 until 2009, with a brief interruption of the Whitewater investigation plagued, Clinton years, controlled the world of top tier U.S. politics, with practice at the U.N.and the CIA in the 70's. They are the front folk for the Rockefellers, Whitneys, and Vanderbilts. People such as Henry Crown and Walter Annenberg have been allowed into (or muscled their way) the fold. They merge Harvard and Yale power and influence, and regarded the Kennedys as intruders and unworthy of their achievements.

Edited by Tom Scully
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True,Google are powerful,I often use this search engine for privacy reasons John.Unfortunately enhanced by Google,but it gets rid of a lot of tracking.

https://startpage.com/

This article about being banned by Google is interesting.

http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/when-google-gets-penalties-wrong/

In this way Google are forcing all website owners to sell advertising space via Google.

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In 1956 C. Wright Mills published "The Power Elite". He argued that the United States was controlled not by the mass of its citizens as described by democratic theory, but by a wealthy Anglo-Saxon Protestant elite from Ivy League schools. In a series of caustic reviews, critics denied that there was such an elite.

Two questions: (1) Do you agree in the Power Elite theory? (2) If so, did it play an important role in the cover-up of the assassination of JFK?

http://lewrockwell.com/orig10/marshall16.1.html

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http://www.garynorth.com

Inner Rings: Benefits and Costs

By Gary North

Remnant Review (July 21, 2012)

Of all the passions, the passion for the Inner Ring is most skillful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things. -- C. S. Lewis

I regard C. S. Lewis's essay, "The Inner Ring," as one of the most important short essays ever written. He delivered the speech at King's College, University of London, in 1944.

He delivered this speech to undergraduates. He understood that these young men were likely to be in positions of leadership when they reached middle-age. He understood also that they would be placed under a specific form of temptation at some point in their careers, and perhaps even before he delivered his speech. This form of temptation is the desire to be in the know. He believed that it is a universal desire, and that it begins in an unobtrusive manner. It does not seem to be a threat to an individual's ethics, but he made it clear in his presentation that it is extremely dangerous ethically. He went so far as to say that the desire to be a member of the inner ring is the most effective way that evildoers can persuade normal people to do very evil things.

We know about the desire to be part of an inner ring from a very early age. Children start clubs for the purpose of starting clubs. They want to distinguish themselves from all those others who are outside the club. The desire to be inside rather than outside is an almost universal desire.

Lewis pointed out that certain kinds of organizations must have an inner core of high-performance people. There are people who do certain kinds of work, or have certain kinds of skills, which are not shared by large numbers of people. When a person is involved in an activity which, by the very nature of the activity, excludes the broad mass of humanity, the person who possesses the skill to participate should not hesitate to participate. The distinction between those inside the group and those outside the group is not based on the structure of the organization, but rather on the varying skills that people possess in life.

The essence of the inner ring, he said, is the desire to create exclusivity. As he put it, "your genuine Inner Ring exists for exclusion." He was arguing that any organization that exists strictly for the desire to exclude others is inherently immoral, and it leads to immoral behavior. An individual would be wise, beginning at an early age, to avoid becoming a member of any organization whose fundamental goal in life is to exclude others. This is the oath-bound brotherhood. This is also the unofficial group of insiders who believe that they are truly in the know.

When an individual is approached by someone he believes to be a member of an inner ring, and this individual seems to be inviting him into the inner ring, the person being approached should be extremely wary. The reason he should be wary, Lewis argued, is this: at some point, the person making the offer, or someone in the inner ring, will ask the newcomer to do something that is not quite right. Whatever it is that he is being asked to do is preliminary to other similar requests. As the requests get more and more deviant from the standards of society outside the inner ring, the individual is left increasingly defenseless. He finds it very difficult to say no.

Lewis warned that the ultimate result of this is the transformation of an otherwise honest person into a scoundrel. The scoundrel may be highly successful, or he may go to prison, but he is in either case a scoundrel. A scoundrel is someone who does something that he knows to be immoral, irrespective of the negative effects on both his life and others. The scoundrel is not to be trusted by members of the general community. Why not? Because he does not share their values. He wants only to be trusted by others who participate in the inner ring. But the reality is this: because he is not to be trusted, he will be tempted to do things that he would have known or immoral prior to his membership in the inner ring.

TWO HIERARCHIES

He began his speech by discussing what he called two different systems or hierarchies. One hierarchy is official. It may be printed somewhere. He gave a good example: generals outrank colonels. This is a hierarchy that everybody recognizes as being a hierarchy. It has certain tasks, and there are rules and regulations regarding the implementation of programs and the imposition of sanctions.

What is not always clear at the beginning is the fact that there is a second hierarchy. This hierarchy is unofficial. There is probably no rulebook. People are brought into it, and they may be excluded from it, for reasons that are not clear to the people who are brought in or excluded. They recognize that there is the secondary hierarchy, and this hierarchy seems to have authority that is greater than that possessed by high individuals in the official hierarchy. In other words, the secondary hierarchy, which is unofficial, is in fact more powerful or more influential than the visible hierarchy, which is governed by handbooks or customs that are available to people outside the hierarchy.

Anyone who is interested in the history of conspiracies is alert to the existence of the double hierarchy. But, as Lewis warned, gaining entrance into the invisible hierarchy is always problematic. Some people think they are in, when in fact they have been excluded. He describes it as an onion. You keep peeling off external layers, and eventually nothing is left. At every stage, the individual may believe that he has reached the inner ring. But the system is such so that no one can be sure where the inner ring ends.

There is an element of mystery about the secondary hierarchy. It is mysterious, primarily because people are never quite sure where they are in the hierarchy. People are always off-balance. They think they are in, but they are not sure that they are really in. They think that they have advanced up the chain of command, or what is the same thing, toward the central inner ring. But they are never quite sure. This creates an element of mystery, but it also creates an element of confusion. A person never knows exactly where he stands.

It is in an environment like this that conventional people can be lured into doing exceedingly evil acts. It is this disruption of one's sense of place that is important to the control exercised by members of the inner ring.

In Lewis's book, That Hideous Strength (1946), which is the third novel in the Perlandra trilogy, he has an important scene in which he conveys this sense of disorientation. As part of an initiatory procedure, an individual is placed inside a small room that has been deliberately built in order to confuse the person who is inside. Its angles are slightly off. He is disoriented. This disorientation is basic to breaking down his will to resist.

In that book, the targeted person is being lured by means of a false promise to enter the inner ring. The inner ring is a true conspiracy. The conspiracy is not interested in him; it is interested in his wife. They are using him to get at her.

His wife is also part of an inner circle. This circle is ethically based. It does not exist for the sake of exclusion. But there is an element of secrecy in it, because at least some of the members are aware of the fact that an evil conspiracy wants to destroy the group. Members of this rival conspiracy -- which means "breathing together" -- see themselves as being under assault. They need secrecy in order to continue to operate, but this secrecy is a byproduct of their task. They are seeking to overturn the plans of the conspiracy, but they are organizationally much weaker than the conspiracy.

This is Lewis's point about Christianity in general. He sees the Satanic conspiracy as much more self-conscious in its conspiratorial plans than the church ever is. In his great book, The Screwtape Letters, he has a senior demon teach his nephew about ways to delude, confuse, and entrap a particular person who is on the fringes of the church, but who for most of his life has remained out of it. That was pretty much a description of Lewis himself. The senior demon has all kinds of tricks to use that will keep the targeted victim from ever becoming self-conscious about what he is doing, ethically speaking and ecclesiastically speaking.

The very nature of the inner ring weakens an individual's resistance to doing acts of evil. Yet it can also be said, and is said in That Hideous Strength, that members of a closed group of righteous people are also able to do things that they otherwise would not have done. The magnitude of the task calls forth extraordinary efforts that we would otherwise say are beyond the call of duty. Evil men are encouraged to do evil things, and righteous man are encouraged to do righteous things. Participation in a closed group strengthens the willingness to do extraordinary things, whether righteous or unrighteous. He does not make this equally clear in this essay. It is much clearer in That Hideous Strength.

MY EXPERIENCE

One of the advantages that I have had for a long time is that I have had no particular desire to be in anybody else's inner ring. I have operated as a loner long enough, so that I am not dependent psychologically on being a member of a special insiders' group. I can't think of any special insiders' group that I would want to join. I do not remember any time in my life when I wanted to join in inner ring, although this may just be a weakening of my memory.

If there were various inner rings in the junior high school I attended, I must have been unaware of them. Also, I have never been convinced that participation in an inner ring would advance my career in a way that I could not advance it myself, on my own authority, by means of whatever skills I have as an individual. In other words, when I looked at various inner rings, I asked myself the classic question: "What's in it for me?" I never could find anything in the various inner rings that was of any particular advantage to me.

I was involved in campus politics from my senior year in high school through the first semester of my junior year in college. During that four-year period, I wanted to get elected. I was not trying to join an inner ring. I was testing myself. It was a contest to win, not a way to be invited into any inner ring. There were rules for getting into office, and if you met these rules, which meant getting more votes than your opponent, you got in. There was not much there. The victory was more important than the fruits of victory, which were few.

Toward the end of my first semester of my junior year in college, I came to the conclusion that getting elected to something was not going to get me anything of value. I decided it was not worth my time. I have not changed my mind over the last 50 years. I am not a political person. It is possible that I might have become one, but not after my change of mind in the first semester of my junior year in college.

THE INKLINGS

Lewis was a member of an organization called the Inklings. These were skilled writers, mostly of fiction, but also of nonfiction, who got together on a regular basis and read stories to each other. I would have been bored out of my mind by that organization. Yet it included J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of Lord of the Rings. It was obviously a high-powered crew from the point of view of literary skills.

Lewis describes this kind of organization in his essay.

The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it. But if you break it, a surprising result will follow. If in your working hours you make the work your end, you will presently find yourself all unawares inside the only circle in your profession that really matters. You will be one of the sound craftsmen, and other sound craftsmen will know it. This group of craftsmen will by no means coincide with the Inner Ring or the Important People or the People in the Know. It will not shape that professional policy or work up that professional influence which fights for the profession as a whole against the public: nor will it lead to those periodic scandals and crises which the Inner Ring produces. But it will do those things which that profession exists to do and will in the long run be responsible for all the respect which that profession in fact enjoys and which the speeches and advertisements cannot maintain.

And if in your spare time you consort simply with the people you like, you will again find that you have come unawares to a real inside: that you are indeed snug and safe at the centre of something which, seen from without, would look exactly like an Inner Ring. But the difference is that the secrecy is accidental, and its exclusiveness a by-product, and no one was led thither by the lure of the esoteric: for it is only four or five people who like one another meeting to do things that they like. This is friendship. Aristotle placed it among the virtues. It causes perhaps half of all the happiness in the world, and no Inner Ring can ever have it.

One of the members of the inklings was Lewis's older brother, Warnie. He took notes of the meetings. He did not write stories. What he did write, which is rarely mentioned in accounts of the Inklings, were some of the greatest books on Louis XIV that have ever been written. They are readable, and they are very good academically. His most famous book, The Splended Century, was assigned in upper division classes in early modern history at the university I attended. In other words, this was a high-powered book. Yet all he did in the meetings was to take notes, as far as books on the group indicate. He was a man of intellectual capacity at least as great as the other members of the group, at least in the specialized field of late-17th-century French history. He wrote seven books on this. He enjoyed being in the group, but it is not clear that members of the group had a full appreciation of the talent he possessed for writing history. They were literary figures; he was a first-rate historian. It is clear that he was not a member of the group as somebody who expected something special out of the group in relation to his career. The group was not able to provide it.

Lewis warned the listeners against this desire to become part of an inner ring.

My main purpose in this address is simply to convince you that this desire is one of the great permanent mainsprings of human action. It is one of the factors which go to make up the world as we know it--this whole pell-mell of struggle, competition, confusion, graft, disappointment and advertisement, and if it is one of the permanent mainsprings then you may be quite sure of this. Unless you take measures to prevent it, this desire is going to be one of the chief motives of your life, from the first day on which you enter your profession until the day when you are too old to care. That will be the natural thing--the life that will come to you of its own accord. Any other kind of life, if you lead it, will be the result of conscious and continuous effort. If you do nothing about it, if you drift with the stream, you will in fact be an "inner ringer." I don't say you'll be a successful one; that's as may be. But whether by pining and moping outside Rings that you can never enter, or by passing triumphantly further and further in--one way or the other you will be that kind of man.

I have already made it fairly clear that I think it better for you not to be that kind of man.

FROM MERITOCRACY TO INNER RING

Christopher Hayes, a very bright man in his early 30s, has written a piece on the new elite of test-passers. These people get into the best universities. They are very smart, They operate as an inner ring in many cases. But their judgment is flawed. His article is here:

He sees what Lewis saw: these inner rings are dangerous, for they are inherently immoral. The people in them have substituted money or power for ethics. They have been corrupted.

And just as one would suspect, given the fractal nature of inequality at the top, hovering above those who work at big Wall Street firms is an entire world of hedge-fund hotshots, who see themselves as far smarter than the grunts on Wall Street. "There's 100 percent no question that most people on Wall Street, even if they have nice credentials, are generally developmentally disabled," a hedge-fund analyst I'll call Eli told me, only somewhat jokingly, one night over dinner. Hedge funds, according to Eli and his colleagues, are the real deal; the innermost of inner rings. "I was surrounded my whole life by people who took intelligence very seriously," Eli told me. "I went to good schools, I worked at places surrounded by smart people. And until now I've never been at a place that prides itself on having the smartest people and where it's actually true."

That confidence, of course, projects outward, and from it emanates the authority that the financial sector as a whole enjoyed (and in certain circles still enjoys). "At the end of the day," Eli says with a laugh, "America does what Wall Street tells it to do. And whether that's because Wall Street knows best, whether Wall Street is intelligently self-dealing, or whether it has no idea and talks out of its ass, that is the culture in America."

This is the Cult of Smartness at its most pernicious: listen to Wall Street--they've got the smartest minds on the planet.

The British have a phrase for this: "Too smart by half." In the years leading up to World War I, the Roundtable group had lots of these people. They had lots of influence. Within half a century, they had run the British Empire into the ground.

The hot shots on Wall Street did not read Mises's Theory of Money and Credit (1912). In 1963, I did. In late 2006, I knew the economy was headed into a recession in 2007. I said so in print. I am not smarter than all those people. I was merely better read. I had read Mises, who did not trust the state or the central banks. He described how government and fiat money misinform very smart entrepreneurs.

CONCLUSION

The hierarchy we have today will be replaced. It relies on the state too much. The state is going bankrupt. Trusting in it will lead to a disastrous crash.

The elites are self-replicating, as always. They are therefore vulnerable to the effects of their own inbred social systems. They listen only to each other. That is a path to destruction.

Elites are always replaced. They grow overconfident. They believe in their invincibility. Then they overplay their hand.

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