The Leading Role in Society is granted to the Social Elite Because of its Ideological Connection with Popular Belief System


Science and technology have empowered and amplified the ancient lusts for war, violence and death… Freud warned that if we could not regulate and contain these urges, human beings would, as the Stoics predicted, consume themselves in a vast conflagration… Our first inclination, Freud noted correctly, is not to love one another as brothers and sisters but to “satisfy [our] aggressiveness on [our fellow human being], to exploit his capacity for work without compensation, to use him sexually without his consent, to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and to kill him.”… We can learn to live with, regulate and control our inner tensions and conflicts… The alternative, as Freud knew, is self-destruction.

Chris Hedges, “The Science of Genocide”

Towards the end of 2008, a research group studying trends in tuberculosis epidemics in Eastern Europe over the last few decades made their main results public. Having analyzed data from more than 20 states, the researchers from Cambridge and Yale established a clear correlation between loans made to these states by the IMF and the rise in cases of tuberculosis – once the loans stop, the TB epidemics recede. The explanation for this apparently weird correlation is simple: the condition for getting IMF loans is that the recipient state has to introduce “financial discipline”, i.e., reduce public spending; and the first victim of measures destined to reestablish “financial health” is health itself, in other words, spending on public health services. The space then opens up for Western humanitarians to bemoan the catastrophic condition of the medical services in these countries and to offer help in the form of charity.

Slavoj Zizek, “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce”, Verso, 2009, p. 81

We all come from religious psychology – we are children of passionate beliefs which contradict unpleasant facts and boring rational thinking and usurp hope with a magic touch of theological rod. We are hooked on (religious and ideological) beliefs because historically it’s the only thing we could rely on in a hostile natural and social environment. Without beliefs we couldn’t psychologically survive in the factual world. It’s not surprising that the social elites were establishing itself as representatives of mass beliefs and justified their power position over populations by promoting and guarding the existing beliefs. Social elites’ incredible power is based not only on their factual power (via the army, police and secret service at their disposal) but on the prestige of the dominant beliefs held by concrete populations.

By observing three politico-economic systems: Communist Russia (1917 – 1990), Nazi Germany (1933 – 1945) and US in 21st century, we see among many dissimilarities and similarities one curious basic structural similarity – it is the fact that the ideological elites in all three countries impressively dominate the secular governments, that government is transformed into of the ideological elite’s servant and tool.

For most Soviet citizens the Communist Party was what for most Russian Christians before the revolution was the Orthodox Church with its Synod, what for majority of Germans was the Nazi worldview, and what for many in US today is the American shining rich with their ideological belief in the sacred magic of money (the belief in money as God – in money with power of God!) Today, the presidential candidate of money/profit Mitt Romney overwhelmingly leads Obama in the polls among the white males without college education. It is like the Soviet Russians’ belief in the god of communism and like Germans’ belief (during Nazi time) in the super-human power and glory of the Arian race. In all three cases it is a belief in a super-human (magic) power of ideological idol which is able to save us from our precarious life and dangerous (natural and social) environment.

For our American financial elite money is a fetish incarnating ultimate wisdom, power and glory! It is exactly how communism and Third Reich were perceived by Russians and Germans correspondingly! The intensity of the belief is a form of appeal to super-human powers – an unconscious attempt to stimulate their response. But belief in a certain collective (religious and political) ideology is accumulating on the top of the social hierarchy. Members of Soviet Politburo – the inspired theocrats of communism were promoting and enforcing communist belief in their country and abroad by tireless propaganda efforts. The nucleus of belief in Nazi ideology was the decision-makers within the Nazi party. And finally, the main believers in the magic power of money in US today, those who are dedicated to money/profit more than to life itself are the leaders and enthusiasts of the American financial elite and global corporations who propagandize their religion of money through mass media (including right wing hate-talk shows). The basic reason why the Soviet communist party, Nazi party and the American financial elite were or are successful is that their beliefs (communism, racial superiority and superiority of money as a tool of power and glory, correspondingly) reflect the pop-beliefs or/and proto-beliefs of the population, the proclivity of the majority to believe in a particular (and not just any) fetishes.

To effectively dominate other people it’s not enough to have direct power (to command, order and punish). You need mediation between your power and people you dominate – some symbols of commonality between the rulers and the ruled that will make people identify with you and trust you. The power of the elite is always rooted in the country’s dominant beliefs and in people’s unconscious predispositions for certain beliefs. The socio-political elite found a way to stabilize its dominant position by making collective beliefs and proto-beliefs the ruling ideology. In a way, the members of the elite are resourceful readers of population’s collective unconscious – they give it linguistic and ideological form. And in the process of doing it they as if promise the ordinary people satisfaction of their megalomania according to the formula: yield before our and your own belief in the super-human power on our side and you will be stronger than your own individual destiny and ahead of other people and nations. Socio-political elites are so successful because the masses intuitively perceive them as the “anthropological” incarnation of pop-beliefs (in American case, yearning to have the power to possess, own and consume). Some people among the Occupy movement justly feel that they are unfairly banished from participating in the money/power game. They didn’t expect that after the democratic decades of allowed relative prosperity they will be thrown to the gutter by the rich roaches, crotches, preachers, butchers and poachers. But it was doomed to happen and to return back (to avoid the forced martyr-hood imposed on the population by the wealthy in the name of their fetish of wealth) will not be easy.