By Larry Elgin
On Sept. 6, 2016, Neal B. Freeman of the National Review published an interview with Angelo Codevilla, the author of “The Ruling Class.” The bottom line was that Dr. Codevilla has concluded that what he has estimated to be two-thirds of the country’s citizens are increasingly falling in with the increasing number of those who intend to vote for Donald J. Trump as president, despite having an opinion that he has significant shortcomings and that they are doing so because of their dissatisfaction, as the “country class,” with the ruling class.
This country class, Codevilla explained, has increasingly grown dissatisfied with the ruling class consisting of the elites in both major parties. This ruling class has as its clients, of whom it wishes to stay in good graces, the media, the educational establishment and the major corporations. As the majority of the public has increasingly grown able to perceive this elitism, it has increasingly grown willing to vote for a candidate, despite perceiving him as having flaws, as a triumph of common sense in realizing that the flawed candidate at least embodies an ability to challenge the even more flawed control and power thirst of the ruling class.
This raises a question: Why, given that the growing numbers of voters in the country class who plan to vote for Trump perceive his flaws, are they still making what they see as an informed decision, nonetheless, to vote for him?
Could it be that we are seeing a majority of the population making an informed decision simply to restore a balance in the body politic, a balance destroyed by the ability of the ruling class to make decisions for the rest of us, as if they knew better than we did what is good for us?
The ability to restore balance in the system of a body was the subject of much study in the last century. One of persons pioneering the study in the human body was Dr. Walter B. Cannon. One of the things he did in his early work was to serve in the field in World War I where he worked directly with soldiers injured by the German use of nerve gas wherein the completeness of their controlling nervous systems had been compromised. Eventually, he became head of the Physiology at Harvard Med. He developed an acute awareness of the ability of the human body to restore its system of control and communication, keeping it in balance even when that system was damaged. When one side of the brain’s two-sided system is damaged, it manages to create new pathways to restore the brain’s balance.
He developed this concept and published it in a popular book in 1932, “The Wisdom of the Body.” In it he popularized a term he coined for this ability of the body to restore its system of control and communication if it were damaged: “homeostasis.”
Dr. Cannon and his concept of homeostasis was a strong influence on another figure who wrote a popular book dealing with communication and control systems. That was MIT’s Norbert Weiner, who wrote “Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and Machine.” In his second edition of this classic, in 1961, he pointed out that any organism, including the larger organism of society, is held together by the possession of means for the acquisition, use, retention and transmission of information. In a society too large for the direct contact of its members, in 1961, he described those means as:
“… the press, both as it concerns books and as it concerns newspapers, the radio, the telephone system, the telegraph, the posts, the theater, the movies, the schools and the church.”
He went on to describe a secondary system of communication imposed upon the intercommunication enabled by these means, a system imposed by a ruling class:
“Besides their intrinsic importance as means of communication, each of these serves other, secondary functions. The newspaper is a vehicle for advertisement and an instrument for the monetary gain of its proprietor, as are also the movies and the radio. The school and the church are not merely refuges for the scholar and the saint: they are the home of the Great Educator and the Bishop. The book that does not earn money for its publisher probably does not get printed and certainly does not get reprinted.”
Thus, Weiner perceived the dominance of the ruling class as aphasia. The question before us now is: When we consider the enormous revolution in communications amongst a majority of the country class since Weiner’s day, is the imbalance in communication and control between the two classes being rectified? Does the advent of and near universal use of personal electronic communication devices through the Internet create an ability among the majority of the people to intercommunicate without dominance by a ruling class? After all, it makes the entirety of humankind, in effect, one gigantic brain. Not just information, but decision-making has become decentralized.
As this presidential election cycle has progressed it has become evident that one major party candidate has been able to reach the decision-making of the majority of the people in such a manner that when that majority intercommunicates among themselves they are able to research and analyze and compare notes through the proliferation of websites, blogs, social media, call-in shows and email in a way never before possible. They are able to research in detail everything a candidate says and does along with the spokespeople for the candidates and to research what they are fed by mass-media openly carrying water for one major party candidate over the other to an extent never before possible.
It is a turning point. One candidate in this election has shown to be masterful in supplying the feedback necessary in a balanced society – a wide system of societal control and communication – and the other has not. The genie is out of the bottle. If Trump is elected, the societal control and communication homeostasis will continue and hold him accountable pending his run for re-election. If Clinton is elected, society’s momentum toward homeostasis will not be accommodated. Conflict between the two classes will increase dramatically.
People have been able, with regard to one candidate, to obtain vast amounts of information, about his history, about what he has said and done in the past and what he is saying and doing in his campaign, and to intercommunicate about him amongst themselves to the point where, knowing his imperfections, they balance information and decide that, despite flaws, he is capable of relatively honest and competent leadership and worthy of their vote. Whereas, with regard to the other candidate, the massive amount of information and the intercommunication about it leads to the conclusion that she is incapable of truth and of leadership in a direction away from continuing unhealthy dominance of the old media by the ruling class.
We are seeing the triumph of Joseph Farah’s new media, a society without aphasia, able to get at and act upon truth.
Larry Elgin is a lawyer in Washington, D.C., who practices before federal and local courts and administrative agencies. He is also an author who publishes articles from time to time on Internet websites and is working on a book concerning the interaction between communications and the Rule of Law. He formerly worked with high-ranking ex-military officers in the non-profit U.S. Defense-American Victory group and with the Constitutional Rule of Law Fund. His email contact for comments on his articles is [email protected].