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The Bus Drivers Are Taking Over

March 8th, 2013 - 8:23 pm

The working class IS rising, but we haven’t really noticed.  Yes, some of the geezers in my group remember Lech Walesa, the Polish shipyard worker who led the fight against Communism and eventually became president of his country.  But for the most part, we think of world leaders as well-educated scions of the elite.  Even the “outsiders” from business (think Romney or Berlusconi) or the arts (Havel, for example) come from the “best” schools, and have prestigious degrees on their walls.  Charles Murray looks gloomily at our society, where he sees the elites living together, sending their kids to the same schools together, and then running the country together.

The French, I think, invented this system.  They have special schools, the Grandes Ecoles, that train the elites to run the place.  Historians  of modern France will tell you that the ruling class remained remarkably stable from the mid-eighteenth century right on through the Revolution, the turbulent nineteenth century, and two world wars in the twentieth.

And yet some proletarians penetrate the elite and sometimes dominate it.  Walesa is a prime example, and there are others.

When I read the puff pieces on Tommy Vietor, the just-departed spokesthing for the National Security Council, it struck me that he started his career as a bus driver for Obama in Iowa.   That’s quite a move, from driving a candidate around to holding a plum position in the White House.

Vietor’s not the only bus driver to achieve spectacular upward mobility, nor is America the only place it’s happening.  Look south:  the new acting caudillo of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, was also a bus driver.  And look East:  the heroic Iranian trade-union leader, Mansour Osanloo, rounds out the current group of powerful bus drivers.  No less a pundit than Bernard-Henri Levy has proclaimed him the greatest of a new generation of Iranian democrats seeking to change the nature of the regime in Tehran.  (For that matter, Osanloo’s oppressor, Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, comes from a very poor family, isn’t particularly well-educated, and though he never drove a bus he certainly has lowly origins.)

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Top Rated Comments   
I don't like the tone of this piece.

I would rather any random bus driver be POTUS than Soetoro.

It also implies that the "working class" are somehow less qualified to work in government or run for office than someone with a BA in a liberal arts field.

Nothing could be further from the truth, at least at this moment in history.

In the past, I'd expressed some level of respect for someone with a bachelor's degree from pretty much any institution accredited to present one.

Not anymore.

Functional illiterates and indoctrinated fools are what they produce, and they feel entitled to boot because dammit they worked HARD on their degree in 'diversity communications' and they should earn more than me BECAUSE.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
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Elite is to government, as Titanic is to ship.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The great Eric Hoffer was a longshoreman in San Francisco.

El Salvadorian and Guatemalan bus drivers are routinely shaken down by gangsters for a share of their meager earnings. Hardworking guys who face evil on a daily basis understand the fundamentals of the world in a way that Harvard Graduates never will.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Be careful what you wish for.

There have been some leaders that didn't come from the elites who a conservative would NOT celebrate.

Hitler had humble origins. His father was a failed farmer who had managed to get a job in the customs bureau. His father died when Hitler was in his early teens and his mother passed away a few years later. Hitler was basically a down-and-out starving artist for some years as a young man.

Stalin also came from a very humble background. His father was a shoemaker and notorious drunk who was well known for beating his wife and child relentlessly. Stalin only got some education because his mother was determined that he be an Orthodox priest; he was kicked out of seminary a year before completing his education for his associations with leftist radicals. Stalin worked for 4 months in a legitimate job - an astronomer's assistant - then abandoned that to be a full time revolutionary.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I would vote for Ralph Kramdon, or Archie Bunker over our current Lords.

G K Chesterton " The Secret people" extract:

And a new people takes the land, and still it is not we
They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords
Lords without anger and honour, who dare not carry their swords
They fight by shuffling papers, they have bright dead alien eyes
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs
Their doors are shut in the evening, and they know no songs
We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street
It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first
Our wrath come after Russia's wrath and our wrath be the worst
It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
God's scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best
But we are the people of England, and we have not spoken yet
Smile at us, pay us, pass us, but do not quite forget
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Heres the difference. it takes special inter groups money to get elected in a primary. Then it take even more special insterest groups money to run the general race. IF you're elected in the general, you now are 'owned' by the special interest groups. Then when you trod off to washington, you learn post-haste, you have to sell your sould to still more special interest groups if you want to survive in your new office or in long term politics.

As either president or a legislator, you find that the electoral process and the government is owned and controlled largely by special interest groups.

The U.S. systems are so corrupted you will not soon be seeing some working class Wtatt Earp riding into washinton with guns blazing and clean it all up.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A very different twist, thanks Mr. Ledeen! Having driven a school bus for severa summers, I imagine there is hope for me yet...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You mention that Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s incoming autocrat, drove a bus for the Caracas MTA for ten years. It’s being reported that as a driver, he acquired no small notoriety as holder of the all-time record for not showing up for work and ditto for involvement in the greatest number of traffic smash-ups.

Here’s the reference, a pickup from the Caracas daily El Nuevo Día:

http://www.libertaddigital.com/internacional/latinoamerica/2013-03-09/nicolas-maduro-un-chofer-sin-estudios-que-promete-mano-dura-1276484429/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Over the centuries, the United States has published hundreds of stories of people who came from very modest backgrounds who went on to become leaders and innovators and industry giants.

The national socialist maintains the ideology that big, elite think-tanks produce big, elite thinkers and doers. They may be only half-right. However, given the screeching left turn the institutions have taken over the decades, it's no wonder they only produce highly educated below-average individuals.

To restate it another way, the national socialist does not believe that a person's character, personal drive and desire to succeed, combined with a staunch determination is what results in excellence. They believe that excellence is provided by the government and that the government decides who should have such opportunities.

It's no wonder that it quickly becomes an elitist breeding ground for the jack-wagons that think they are smarter than I am but who cannot answer a detailed question point-by-point. Instead, they tend to speak in generalities and then criticize the listener for being too stupid to understand.

Such has been the case, however for millenia. From Pharaohs to Roman senators, to the elite royalty post middle-ages, etc. It's part of human DNA to want to be better than others.

That better than, however has many facets but general populations tend to forget about the majority of them while focusing only on wealth and lifestyle, along with type or place of education. Ability is often ignored.

Counter to that, the bus depot probably has a couple of people who are adequate at their job, but who would be better suited in a different level of existence, and are quite capable. Meanwhile, said person's "peers" deride them for going to night-school and make fun of the subjects they're learning when they see their textbooks. (Ask me how I know)

Humans are a combination of intellect, ability and means. When you have all three in abundance, you have a fairly unstoppable individual.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A new and different side of Mr Ledeen....wow!....an analyst assessing data that he personally could do without...

Love your site and your posts....appreciate your letting me give my opinion of both...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't like the tone of this piece.

I would rather any random bus driver be POTUS than Soetoro.

It also implies that the "working class" are somehow less qualified to work in government or run for office than someone with a BA in a liberal arts field.

Nothing could be further from the truth, at least at this moment in history.

In the past, I'd expressed some level of respect for someone with a bachelor's degree from pretty much any institution accredited to present one.

Not anymore.

Functional illiterates and indoctrinated fools are what they produce, and they feel entitled to boot because dammit they worked HARD on their degree in 'diversity communications' and they should earn more than me BECAUSE.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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