Elitivism, def: A cross between social justice activism and plutocratic self-interest; in other words, an oxymoron for the ages.To the best of my knowledge, this neologism was first coined by Sardonicky way back in 2017 to describe the wealthy Hillary Clinton supporters who abandoned their brunches and displayed their mass "aghastitude" at the election of Donald Trump by taking to the streets in Women's Marches, wearing their pink pussy hats and outdoing themselves in outraged Tweets.
They and their supporters effectively diverted attention away from why Trump had beaten Clinton and the centrist Democratic establishment in the first place. They eschewed self-examination and simply sold the narrative that The Donald had sprung fully formed from a fetid womb full of Deplorables. They also diverted attention from genuine movements for racial, social and economic justice, in many cases subsuming grassroots activists and agitators into their own elitist ranks. They got wall to wall media coverage of their elitivism, especially when they dutifully parroted Hillary's "we wuz robbed" Russiagate narrative, which accused Trump of being a Kremlin plant.
Sudden concern and spontaneous protests for Muslim refugees at the airports and kids in cages at the border and support for Trump's embattled first attorney general and championship of the Trump-tortured torturing CIA, FBI and Pentagon became all the elitivistic rage. Medicare For All? Not so much, because let's face it - their plates were piled way too high with all that rancid Trump-meat to chomp down upon before vomiting it all out, over and over and over again - before feasting upon it anew like the gourmet banquet it really was for them.
Once 2020 finally rolled around, the trendy Pussy Hat Posse sadly was no more, largely because of group in-fighting over who would be in charge of it. But nevertheless, the Elitivists persisted. They and their fellow travelers at the Tippy Top of liberal wealth evolved into a discreet dark money club calling itself the 1630 Fund. As just reported by Politico, which got ahold of its most recent IRS filing, it channeled nearly half a billion dollars in cash and securities into various Democratic Party front groups or fictional "pop-up" outfits for purposes of defeating Trump - while simultaneously and discreetly thwarting Bernie Sanders and his renegade "socialistic" policies.
The 1630 fund is controlled by Arabella Advisors, whose founder and CEO is "serial entrepreneur" Eric Kessler. Coincidentally enough, Kessler is a former Clinton White House appointee who later also controlled the finances of the Clinton Global Initiative.
According to its official IRS disclosure statement, typed out neatly and modestly in ALL CAPS,
1630 is a FUND SEEKING TO PROMOTE CIVIL RIGHTS, SOCIAL ACTION, AND ADVOCACY. ADVOCACY SUPPORTS A BROAD ARRAY OF PROJECTS AND GRANTEES, INCLUDING THOSE WORKING TO ENSURE VOTING ACCESS AND CIVIC PARTICIPATION BY SUPPORTING ELECTION INFRASTRUCTURE; GROUPS ADVOCATING FOR PAY EQUITY, PAID FAMILY LEAVE, AND FAIR TAX POLICY; FIGHTING FOR ACCESS TO HEALTH. FUND FOR CAPACITY BUILDING. CARE FOR ALL AMERICANS; AND ADVOCATING FOR COMMON SENSE GUN REFORM.
I placed the neoliberal buzzwords in bold, just in case you missed their delicate subtlety. Particularly noticeable is the substitution of "access to health" for single payer health care. Also, "pay equity" is not the same thing as increasing the minimum wage.
This 1630 mission statement is a perfect echo of Joe Biden's own campaign promise to his big-money donors, many of whom no doubt donated to the 1630 Fund, that "nothing will fundamentally change." The wealthy financiers of political campaigns invariably get whatever they want. So what if the vast majority of the citizenry wants Medicare For All? The wealthy donor class does not want it.
And it's certainly no accident that minimal paid family leave is still a survivor among the ruins of Biden's Build Back Better cardboard edifice. Why else, to give just one elitivistic example, would DNC-adjacent multimillionaire Meghan Markle, operating under her decidedly anti-democratic title of Duchess of Sussex, be so relentlessly agitating for its passage in a whirlwind media tour?
(My take: both men and women in the service economy are quitting their jobs in droves, so the relative pittance of only four weeks paid time off and subsidized nursery care being offered by the oligarchs will inspire them to keep working in the cause of profits for the few.)
Meanwhile, scrolling through the IRS form of the myriad grantees of the 1630 Fund and attempting to discern their provenance or whether they ever even existed at all would be a full time job.
There are, however, the usual tell-tale clues. One group, "Consumers For Affordable Health Care" in Chicago, ironically received $10,000 in the "social justice" and "civil rights" categories. Remember, proles: when they insist that health care is a human right, it is limited to shopping till you drop for overpriced insurance product that covers nothing. My internet search for this alleged organization yielded no results whatsoever. There is, however, a group by the same name based in Maine.
Speaking of Chicago, you can rest assured that the grantee called Higher Ground Production Labs LLC does indeed exist. A subsidiary of Obama, Inc., it netted a whopping $415,530 from the 1630 Fund for its own work in "civil rights advocacy," which includes the very profitable Pod Save America podcast. Its Board of Directors includes corporate executives from the likes of the relentlessly needy Facebook Empire and the Wall Street Nation of megabanks.
Just the titles alone of many of these grantees tell you everything you need to know about them: Future Now Fund, Justice Forward Virginia, Leading Colorado Forward, MoveOn.org (of course), NextGen Climate Action, SWPA Moving Forward, Future Forward, Future Forward Action Fund. and the inevitable Future Now Movement. And we can't leave out those constant "progressive" adjectives. I suppose we should at least be grateful that there is no Fine Folks Fighting For the Future of Folks in this roiling, cloying, incestuous money-churning maelstrom.
It has actually reached the point that the word "progressive" has been rendered meaningless, so long ago was it co-opted by the elitivists as a smokescreen made of the desensitizing fumes of pure heroin propaganda.
"Progress," wrote Albert Camus in the 1940s,"paradoxically can be used to justify conservatism. A draft drawn on confidence in the future, it allows the master to have a clear conscience. The slave and those whose present life is miserable and who can find no consolation in the heavens are assured that at least the future belongs to them. The future is the only kind of property that the masters willingly concede to the slaves."
This whole futurism thing is no longer the "winner" it was when Barack Obama sloganized it as a panacea to cruel austerity. The real activists, such as those rightfully deriding the recent COPs Confab in Glasgow, know full well that there will likely be no healthy future for them. Not that the elected officials of the globe care. The ink was barely dry on the latest aspirational climate "accord" before the Biden administration approved another round of oil and gas-drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.
Any official who can rudely cut off a dying activist's plea for Medicare For All by belligerently retorting : "I'm not for it!" while insisting that he is chock full of empathy for his plight because he, too, has suffered grief, can also ignore and advance the death of an entire planet. Biden's flattery of Ady Barkan as an "inspiration" during a campaign stunt got him everywhere, not least because Barkan's own "lesser evil" endorsement of Status Quo Joe gave cover to other, less-celebrated activists to essentially abandon the Sanders agenda as the only way to defeat Trump.
Barkan duly received a paltry $300 "capacity-building" grant from 1630 for his own PAC last year - which is mostly funded by nurses' unions and the recurring hefty donations from Megan Hull, the daughter of a finance mogul and philanthrocapitalist who lost to Barack Obama in the Illinois Senate primary in 2004. Biden, for his part, broke his promise to Barkan of a public insurance option just as fast as he was indecently able to. He rests his conscience by countering every plea for social justice by one-upping the issue and telling the story of his own family tragedies. That is apparently how he is able to sleep at night. That, and going to Mass.
In a Times article published during the campaign, Biden was praised for showing such performative empathy to a dying man, who despite excellent insurance and the generous support of donors to his PAC, faces a real possibility of dying a bankrupt. If Ady Barkan, of all the tragic figures, can accept Biden, then shame on us if we could not and would not. Or so the attempted gaslighting went.
In the meantime, many a Democratic veal pen espousing one narrow cause or another is hitching its wagon to Barkan's star power. In New York (h/t Jay-Ottawa), there was a special online showing last week of a movie featuring Barkan, a hook to entice people to donate to their individual causes and/or join them on a bus trip to Washington to "greet" returning members of Congress and politely ask them to fight for the last vestiges of the Build Back Better legislation. One of them is called Hand In Hand, the Domestic Employers' Network. You got that right - it's an elitivistic Democratic Party offshoot composed of women who are well-off enough to afford nannies and housekeepers. They are broadcasting the message that since they care about The Help, then so should you. Because the top 10 percent and the working poor are all in this together, of course!
Julia Solow, organizing head of the New York chapter and adherent to Barkan's Be a Hero PAC, has been a frequent guest on Radio Free Kingston, which is owned by Peter Buffett, son of billionaire Warren Buffett. Actually, the younger Buffett has effectively purchased the entire Hudson Valley city of Kingston in a burst of gentrifying philanthrocapitalistic enthusiasm. He is now a gentleman farmer who pays his own Help very well, and attracts a lot of luxury cars to this "revitalized" community, where the eviction rate in the pre-pandemic, pre-moratorium year of 2019 rose by a full third because of drastically higher, unaffordable rents.
So you see, it's not just the 1630 Fund which has bought - actually, usurped - our country and our entire world and is remaking them in its own image under the fig leaf of community activism - and all the while combating one brand of fake news with another brand of fake news.
The modern-day oligarchs are succeeding beyond their wildest dreams. They are succeeding unto death, both ours - and eventually, despite all the concierge health care and space colonization that their money can buy - even theirs.