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Fearless Girl and the Woke Oligarchs of “1984”

It is a sign of the times when people get this excited over a publicity stunt orchestrated by a transnational advertising corporation for a multi-trillion-dollar Wall Street behemoth.

The Fearless Girl, a bronze statue that mysteriously appeared in front of Wall Street’s famous Charging Bull, is being hailed as a wonderful work of political art in celebration of International Women’s Day. Behind this piece of creative activism is the advertising giant McCann-Erickson, a company that boasts of “award-winning work” for other enlightened superbrands, such as Camel, Nestlé, Bacardi, Mastercard, and Coca Cola. Their client, State Street Global Advisors, is one of the world’s biggest investment management companies, known for multiple lawsuits for its mishandling of pension funds, including a class-action for investing in mortgage-backed securities and other shady debt instruments in the lead-up to the financial crisis. They also have billions invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline.

This is the essence of present-day liberalism: We don’t need to bring an end to a plutocracy that raids people’s savings, kicks families out of their homes, and gets rewarded for bringing the global economy to a screeching halt. Nor do we need to worry about a government that solely represent that class, exporting violence abroad and imposing austerity at home. No, what we need is a more inclusive, diverse oligarchy. This is the same ethos that’s exemplified in the movement spearheaded by female aristocrats in Britain for their right to an obscene inheritance of wealth, land, title, and status that currently goes to their equally undeserving male siblings.

As Shuja Haider of Viewpoint Magazine put it in a recent discussion on Chapo Trap House, while the extent of what the Democratic Party has to offer is simply a diversified ruling elite, this goal has a flip side to it: Liberals would likely be satisfied “if the demographic of poor people was just racially evenly distributed, at the same rate as the general population.” In other words, “Let’s diversify the poor!”

The future world fantasized by centrist Democrats bears an almost comical resemblance to the dystopian class system in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. As the fictional historical account within the story puts it, the totalitarian society of Oceania has a ruling elite that is all the more powerful precisely because its powers and privileges are not explicitly hereditary:

“Nor is there any racial discrimination, or any marked domination of one province by another. Jews, Negroes, South Americans of pure Indian blood are to be found in the highest ranks of the Party, and the administrators of any area are always drawn from the inhabitants of that area. In no part of Oceania do the inhabitants have the feeling that they are a colonial population ruled from a distant capital. – – Its rulers are not held together by blood-ties but by adherence to a common doctrine.”

Rigidly hereditary aristocracies, as the book notes, are often short-lived compared to “adoptive organizations”, like the Catholic Church. This point was not lost on the rulers in Orwell’s novel:

“In the crucial years, the fact that the Party was not a hereditary body did a great deal to neutralize opposition. The older kind of Socialist, who had been trained to fight against something called ‘class privilege’ assumed that what is not hereditary cannot be permanent.”

Like the Inner Party of Oceania, a woke oligarchy will be more acceptable to the masses — as exemplified by our current celebration of Wall Street board rooms that fight for women’s right to raid our pension funds.

[Related article: The Marxists of Goldman Sachs]

(Photo credit: Alex Milan Tracy/Sipa USA)