one of their favorite television stars getsrnconvicted or one of the celebrities theyrnhave decided to hate is acquitted. That isrnexactly how the underclass in Americanrnsociety and, indeed, in most societies behaves;rnand as corrupt, degenerate, arrogant,rnand narrow-minded as our rulingrnclass is, most of its members don’t behavernthat way.rnThe point that Mr. Murray seems tornhave missed —and, as insightful as hernusually is, I would suggest his missing itrncomes from being a neoconservative whornis, therefore, on the side of the rulingrnelite, whatever its flaws—is that proletarianizationrnis not so much a behavioral patternrnof the elite as it is a tactic by whichrnthe elite contrives to intensify- and extendrnits domination over the nonelite strata ofrnsociet}’. That brings us back to globalization,rnas well as to the culture of degeneracyrnMr. Eminem represents.rnThe managerial elite t)’pically (thoughrnnot always) exercises power through manipulationrnrather than force, reflectingrnMachiavelli’s foxes rather than lions.rnOne of its instruments of manipulation isrnproletarianization itself, the process bvrnwhich it destroys alternative centers ofrnpower and possible resistance bv underminingrnsocial institutions and traditionalrnpatterns of belief Economically, proletarianizationrntakes the form of organizingrnthe mass labor force into positions of dependencyrn—as workers in mass factoriesrnand offices, members of mass unions,rnand consumers of mass-produced andrnmass-distributed goods and services.rnOnce entwined in such dependency, fewrnworkers are able to mount much resistancernto the policies and directives of thernsystem without being vulnerable to retaliationrn—and most don’t even want to.rnGlobalization is merely a further intensificationrnof economic as well as social proletarianization,rnreducing the labor forcernto further dependency on a foreign economicrnplant over which neither the workersrnnor any other American has control.rnSocially, proletarianization takes thernform of undermining and discipliningrnsuch social iirstitutions as families, neighborhoods,rnlocally autonomous communities,rnschools, religious bodies, and similarrngroups. Tv’pically, the process isrncarried out bv encouraging the growth inrnscale and size of such groups to the pointrnthat they can no longer be disciplined orrnadministered by traditional, personal,rnlocal, and informal procedures; theyrnbecome so large and complicated thatrnthey have to be governed by technicallyrnskilled experts (managers). The samernprocess takes place on the political levelrnthrough the organization of politics inrnmass political parties, local governmentsrnthat are larger and more powerful thanrnmost empires of the past, mass electionsrnthat are virtually meaningless, and the invasionrnof social and private institutions byrnthe centralizing and public organs of thernstate. Once families, neighborhoods,rnchurches, and schools have been so thoroughlyrnenveloped and intimidated byrnstate power, media scrutiny, and economicrndependency that they are unablernto mount even any thought of dissentmuchrnless actual resistance —and thernpopulation has been converted from arncivically active citizenry into a passivernproletarian herd, the edifying culturalrncontributions of Eminem and his colleaguesrnto the heritage of Western civilizationrnare entirely predictable. WhatrnMr. Murray calls the “thug code” becomesrnthe ethic of the mass populationrnthat the dominant minorit’ has subdued:rnTake what you want, respond violentlyrnto anyone who antagonizesrnyou, gloat when you win, despiserncourtesy as weakness, treat womenrnas receptacles, take pride in cheating,rndeceiving, or exploiting successfully.rnObviously, you don’t want to meet someonernwho abides by this code in a dark alley,rnbut you need have no fear of him ifrnyou run into him on a battlefield, in a politicalrncontest, or in a cultural conflict.rnThugs and those who live by their coderncannot be rulers or even serious contestantsrnfor power because they lack the selfdisciplinernrequired to get, use, and keeprnpower; they are h nature slaves, and a rulingrnclass able to induce such codes and behaviorrnin its subject populations need worryrnvery little about being overthrown.rnMr. Murray acknowledges that, as yet,rnonly a “tiny minority” actually lives byrnthe thug code, but he is entirely correctrnin saying that there can be no counterweightrnfrom the ruling elite —not because,rnas he argues, the elite has lost confidencernin its own codes, but because thernelite wants the thug code and proletarianizationrnto prevail, does all it can to encouragernit, and distrusts and hates andrntries to destroy anyone who points thisrnout, resists, or tries to uphold alternativerntraditional codes. The elite, the dominantrnminorit), is the real enemy, and ifrnyou want to reverse proletarianization,rnou must first rid societ}’ of its ruling class.rnWith all due respect to Mr. Murray,rnthis is also something that he perhapsrncannot bring himself to recognize. ,s arnneoconservative, he is committed to therndefense of American society as it is currentiyrnstructured, with only minimal reformsrnon the formal governmental level.rnFor the most part, the neoconservativernmovement has decidedly rejected, andrneven expressed abhorrence for, the paleoconservativernview that American societyrnis decadent, corrupt, and in decline. Paleoeonservativernpolitical strateg}’ has generallyrnbeen willing to consider far morernradical measures than those neocons support:rnthe rejection of the New Deal, therndismantlement of the federal megastate,rnthe withdrawal from Cold War internationalrncommitments and activism, thernrepeal of ci’il-rights legislation, the terminationrnof immigration, etc. Paleoconservativesrnhave espoused either anrnoutright reactionar}’ political strateg)’ byrnwhich the current regime is replaced byrnanother modeled on earlier systems, or arnrevolutionar}’ (or, if you will, counterre’-rnolutionary) strategy, by which a new butrnradically conservative system is constructed.rnNeoconservatives have no interest inrn(and usually considerable fear and dislikernof) both paleo alternatives, and Mr. Murray’srnfinal sentence in his article — “thernsurvival of our culture requires that wernsomehow contrive to get v’eir’ — is as truernas it is unhelpful.rnOf course we need to get well; but ifrnthe dominant minority that controls therngovernment, the econom, and the cultiirernis at the root of the disease, we cannotrnget well until we rid ourselves of therndominant minority. Neoconservatives,rnunwilling and miable to contemplaternsuch radicalism of the right, are left withrnonly a strategy of exhortation: Please,rnplease don’t be so proletarian; pleaserndon’t be racially conscious; please believernin a color-blind society; please actrnlike a good ruling class and not like therngang of t}’rants and criminals that you are.rnAdmittedly, paleoconservatives havernfailed to nrake much progress toward eitherrnreaction or counterrevolution; but atrnleast they see and have constructed a bodyrnof social and political analysis that tries tornmake clear that the incumbent rulingrnclass—and, for the most part, the neoconservativesrnwho make it their business to defendrnthat class and its .system of rule—arernnot the solution, but the problem itself.rnMAY 2001/33rnrnrn