American Royalty

Thursday, March 12th, 2009 9:16 pm by Neal

Thomas Lifson has a great piece at American Thinker on how our modern politicians are following in the footsteps of dictators and kings of yore: they’re living a life of luxury and excess that, through their ruthless power, is reserved for them alone. From The New American Class Structure:

In the old Soviet Union, the ruling elite shopped at different stores, lived in different areas, and enjoyed a life apart, one very different from the lives of ordinary citizens. America is all too rapidly going down the same path. We are at a peculiar moment in history where the top American political leadership excoriates the perquisites of private wealth and power — the luxury retreats, the private jets — while shamelessly helping themselves to unprecedented levels of the same levels of consumption, or more. …

At the top, while America tightens its belt, President Obama jets off on his presidential 747 to take his bride out for Valentine’s Day at a favorite Chicago restaurant. Executives may be scampering to cancel contracts for future private jets, but the 89th Airlift wing at Andrews Air Force Base, in charge of ferrying around political bigwigs, is as busy as a Vegas casino during the bubble.

In China and Japan under Confucian political ideology, sumptuary laws regulated the material goods which members of the ordinary public would be allowed to own. Most famously, silk was reserved for the elite class of mandarins and samurai. The much-despised merchant class faced criminal prosecution if discovered using the wrong type of ceramics or cloth.

In today’s America, the new mandarins of government seem to despise those who accumulate wealth in the private sector almost as much as the Confucians of Asia’s past. Public humiliation in front of Congressional hearings, punitive legislation, and regulatory hell are rained down upon those who seem to trespass on the ground reserved to the higher caste of public officials.

Read the whole thing here.

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