Home culture war Left media Trump The Elites are Revolting
Home culture war Left media Trump The Elites are Revolting

The Elites are Revolting

The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox. It will be brought to you by BMW. The German luxury automaker is a key advertiser at GQ. And GQ is the headquarters of the Resistance. That's a vlog by Keith Olbermann who returned from his exile at an ESPN Elba to denounce Trump.

"I am Keith Olbermann," Keith Olbermann barks to the peasants and workers of GQ who are taking a break from reading an article on '$100 Cologne that Smells Like Nothing', "This is the Resistance."

When the underground isn't at GQ (The Most Radical Dress Socks to Wear Right Now), it's at Vanity Fair where Graydon Carter denounces Trump (Donald Trump: A Pillar of Ignorance and Certitude) right above a photo of himself taken by Annie Leibovitz smiling smugly from his skyscraper office.

Maybe the resistance is Reed Hastings, the billionaire CEO of Netflix, who used his wealth catering to the tastes of urban elites, to lobby to raise the taxes of the middle class. Hastings whined that President Trump's moves to protect Americans were "so un-American it pains us all.”

Who are this 'us'? It might be Warren Buffett, Google's Eric Schmidt and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, with whom Hastings had joined to support Hillary Clinton. Or it might be the CEOs of Lyft, Airbnb and Twitter, to name a few, who have jointed the anti-Trump resistance of wealthy elites.

It's no coincidence that the most vocal outcry against President Trump's measures have come from urban elites and the corporations that cater to them. It's easy to spot the class divides in the scoffing at Andrew Puzder, CEO of the company behind Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, getting a cabinet position instead of Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg who had been  tipped for Treasury Secretary by Hillary.

Carl's Jr and its 4 Dollar Real Deal are a world away from Facebook's Gehry designed Menlo Park headquarters. Or as a WWE tournament is from Conde Nast's Manhattan skyscraper.

It's hard to imagine a clearer contrast between coastal elites and the heartland, and between the new economy and the old. On the one side are the glittering cities where workforces of minorities and immigrants do the dirty work behind the slick logos and buzzwords of the new economy. On the other are Rust Belt communities and Southern towns who actually used to make things.

Facebook's top tier geniuses enjoy the services of an executive chef, treadmill workstations and a bike repair shop walled off from East Palo Alto's Latino population and the crime and gang violence. And who works in Facebook's 11 restaurants or actually repairs the bikes in the back room? Or looks through the millions of pictures posted on timelines to screen out spam, pornography and racism?

Behind the illusion of a shiny new future are Mexicans getting paid a few dollars an hour to decide if that Italian Renaissance painting you just shared violates Facebook's content guidelines.

If you live in the world of Facebook, Lyft, Netflix and Airbnb, crowding into airports shouting, "No Borders, No Nations, Stop The Deportations" makes sense. You don't live in a country. You live in one of a number of interchangeable megacities or their bedroom communities. Patriotism is a foreign concept. You have no more attachment to America than you do to Friendster or MySpace. The nation state is an outdated system of social organization that is being replaced by more efficient systems of global governance. The only reason anyone would cling to nations or borders is racism.

The demographic most opposed to President Trump is not a racial minority, but a cultural elite.

This isn't a revolution. The revolutions happened in June in the UK and in November in the US. Brexit and Trump were revolutions. The protests against them are a reaction.

Somewhere along the way the political projects of the left ceased to be revolutionary. The left won. It took control of nations and set about dismantling them. Its social and economic agendas became law. It ruled through a vast interconnected system of the bureaucracy, media, academia, non-profits and corporations. In Europe, democracy nearly vanished. In America, there were still elections, but they didn't matter very much. A Republican president could tinker a little, but he couldn't change things. The left would throw its ritualistic tantrums if he limited abortion funding or invaded Iraq. But around the isolated controversies, everything else would go on moving further to the left.

The left had come to envision its victory as inevitable. Its leaders enjoyed the divine right of kings bestowed on them by historical materialism. And so they couldn't see the revolution coming.

The inevitable elites and their power were overthrown. The little people they had been stepping on stormed the castle. All their pseudoscience had failed to predict it. Suddenly the future no longer belonged to the City or to Palo Alto. And its denizens poured out into the streets to protest.

The protests are taking place in the name of oppressed minorities, but like any dot com logo, that's branding. They are actually an angry reaction by an overthrown elite to a people's revolution.

This isn't really about Muslims. The angry protesters know as little about Islam as they do about rural Iowa. But borders and airports are an important metaphor. President Trump said, "A nation without borders is not a nation." And that's exactly what the left wanted. No borders and no nations.

If you make tangible goods or have a mortgage, you are more likely to want borders and a nation. If on the other hand you deal largely in intangibles, in information, in strings of numbers, in data on global servers and financial transactions around the world, in movies and music, in ideas, then borders are an unreal abstraction. If you get your rides from Uber, your house from Airbnb, your entertainment from Netflix and your dates from Tinder, if you don't actually own anything, and have no plans for a family or anything more permanent than a virtual existence, who needs a nation?

Patriotism is an ideal grounded in real things. Our elites exist in an unreal world filled with unreal things. Their world is based on rapid communications that organizes the world in new ways. They have grown so dazzled by the potential of that organization that they ignore what is underneath.

That metaphor became reality with Brexit and Trump. The country rebelled against the city. People who were in the business of making and doing real things rose up against a virtual economy.

The elites are unable to understand the nationalistic and territorial impulses of either their own citizens or Islamic terrorists. Their strange social-plutocratic fusion of Marxism and technocracy sees it as a problem of sharing the wealth. All the popular uprisings can be put down with a bigger welfare state. Redistribute more of the profits from Facebook to Muslims and Trump voters. Problem solved.

But the problem can't be solved by enlarging the welfare class. It's a gaping cultural chasm.

People need meaning. It is meaning that gives them a sense of worth. The angry leftist reactionaries find meaning in their post-everything world. The shattering of this world has driven them into the streets. And yet they can't grasp that it was the shattering of their world that drove so many working people to vote for Brexit or Trump. They refuse to comprehend that nations have meaning to more people than their post-national world order of interchangeable multicultural megacities does or that most people want something tangible to hold on to even if it requires labor and sacrifice.

It was a war between Davos, Conde Nast, GQ, Soros, MSNBC, Hollywood, Facebook and America. And America won.

The "resistance" is a collection of elites, from actors at award shows to fashion magazines to tech billionaires, decrying a popular revolt against their rule. They are not the resistance. They are dictators in exile. They had their chance to impose their vision on the people. And they lost.

The revolution will not be brought to you by BMW, by a Davos conference, by $100 cologne that smells like nothing or by Facebook lobbying. It will be brought to you by the comeback of America.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.


  1. Anonymous17/2/17

    Great article.I'll be passing this around. Thanks

  2. Anonymous17/2/17

    Elites and unassimilated immigrants have a distinct communality, their lack of allegiance to the country. In the hypothetical situation of a conflict with… let’s say Mexico, whose side would some Jorge Ramos be on? Would he be as reliable as a Turkish bodyguard? hummm, most likely.

  3. Anonymous17/2/17

    What can I say. Absolutely superb again and this essay needs a wide audience.
    We are going to win because when I look at my grandchildren I know that we must. That essays like yours are the seeds that our world needs and that besides them all the worlds of facebook, google and the rest are really nothing at all.
    Dave S

  4. Yes It will not be televised.

  5. Anonymous17/2/17

    Dictators in exile; PBS, NPR, TED, the Professoriat, Brain Trust, Brookings Institute; have taken their superiority so seriously. What could a commoner possibly think or say that hasn't been co-opted by these paragons or intellect?

    We all ask expert doctors, lawyers, etc. for advice. We elect representatives to take our will to government. Fine. Now the dictators are again suffering from runaway hubris. Fine, too.

    A well-born, well-educated, well-connected fledgling has come to believe in his/her intrinsic right to decide for all lessers. It's a heady feeling. Proclaim away; no consequences. Until now.

    The irrepressible Trump catalyzed the release of the coiled spring of American individuality. Fortunately, his management and leadership has launched our healing. May we continue to join and support the revival of the American spirit and civilization!


  6. Infidel17/2/17

    That's one thing I missed until recently. Instead of being grateful to the country that made their lifestyle possible, some of them are greedy traitors, selling the rest of us and the country down the river.

  7. In the end, the cognitive elite forgets the most important thing: they are services. A sustainable (trendy word) service economy subsists on a real economy that actually makes things.

    This is how we have failed our young people -- we have told them in school that all these abstractions are reality. That they are special and unique. It's not real. Nothing's real.

    For a lot of the cognitive elite -- these snobby people who pretend to be part of the proletariat -- the only thing that's real is the knuckle sandwich they need to experience at least once in their pathetic lives. But they're protected by zero-tolerance policies. Everywhere. "Violence is never the answer." Uh-huh. Until it's the only thing you have left.

    Please explain to me how Sheryl Sandburg is qualified to be Treasury Secretary.

  8. D.D.Mao17/2/17

    As witnessed by the Woman's March in January among other recent demonstrations the left has no fixed agenda except to disrupt and discredit Trumps administration. Their mish-mash of multiple faction hordes which can form on a moments notice in front of the Supreme Court with blank signs and markers waiting for who President Trump would nominate so that they could write in the appropriate nominees name. They are made up of black clad paid anarchist who are prone to arson,violence and property destruction supplemented by mush brained progressives who believed Hillary would give them the $15. minimum wage and free college. They feel the election of Donald Trump is a tragic misstep in their 50 plus years of their "Long March" to re-make America. These aren't protest after only 1 month in office. Protest have an objective they laser on like civil rights or the Vietnam War. This is merely RIOTS who's purpose is to overthrow the administration and should be treated as such! This is not to attract new people opposed to President Trump but to hold on to the core radical Progressive left so that they continue their "Long March" after this alleged hiccup in history.

    Yes they are brought to you by the left who either own or run big business. After all these are the same people who make huge donations to the DNC. And the same ones who are discontinuing Trump family products in their establishments. But what we are missing is by the MSM making them out to be the flip side of the Tea Party it adds legitimacy to their ideological empty crusade. The difference between the two couldn't be starker !

  9. Anonymous17/2/17

    Personal independence is the key trait. We who guard our freedom also insist on supporting ourselves economically. The extortion of the denied handout holds no fear for us.

    Conversely, those who rely on the flow of unearned support lack the conviction of their individuality. Why should they presume to question anything from the Brahmins?


  10. Excellent piece. Encourages me in this fight with the elites, who are filling places like NYT with their complaints. I knew they wouldn't be happy with Trump, but I didn't expect such a severe reaction. In these times, we need encouragement, and it won't come from any MSM outlet.

  11. Love the double entendre title!
    That I adore the essay goes without saying.

    1. Anonymous19/2/17

      Captain, captain. The crew is revolting.
      Captain responds: Yes, aren't they?

  12. Wonderful article. I'm actually starting to like Trump. While I don't agree with everything he's done (I mean said especially during the campaign) he seems confident, the perceived arrogance, now seems like a nice blend of confidence and caution in his approach.

    I think more and more people will warm up to him

  13. Premature.

    Nothing is changed yet. The right words are being said in a very long time in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. but the massiveness of the beast is inertia.
    Fix education.
    Destroy the media.
    Eliminate vote fraud. Punish.

  14. Anonymous18/2/17

    But the problem can't be solved by enlarging the welfare class. It's a gaping cultural chasm.
    That is the weakness with the elitist game plan, the welfare state is not sustainable in the long run. When the free stuff runs out the masses will turn on the elites.

  15. To paraphrase a line from a film, "Sir, the elites have always been 'revolting.'"

    And ABSJ nails it too when he says, "A well-born, well-educated, well-connected fledgling has come to believe in his/her intrinsic right to decide for all lessers." Which, curiously enough, was the very mentality that brought on Communism. Who says History does not repeat itself?

    Daniel, thank you for another brilliant article. You should go around giving speeches, my friend. No, really. I am serious.

  16. The elites are revolting, yes, but they're "revolting," too, with their smarmy, noses-in-the-air, obnoxious self-righteousness pronouncements and posturing as the self-anointed Platonic cave guardians. Probably not a one of them has ever cracked open Plato's "Republic."

  17. to the elite liberal whites, the minorities that they "protect" are little more than human pets to them. they are kept slightly better than slaves, but they are slaves nonetheless. the elite liberal whites need these minorities to serve them, and to assuage their white guilt. and having them around also comes in handy for virtue signalling to other elite liberal whites. stomping on the white american underclass is something that is encouraged and enjoyed by elite liberal whites. touting the stereotype that "flyover country" is filled with inbred, gap toothed yokels is the elite's favorite way to silence their opposition.

  18. Many thanks for this. Great article!

  19. Close down Berkeley and its 370 million a year drain on the taxpayer. They are Communists and need to go. The anarchists even try to burn it down, but they have the brain function of celery so that is expected. Hollywood is suddenly realizing no one cares what they think and it's wonderful. Maybe the weight of Meryl Streep's awards that made her speak will crush her plastic surgery world. We don't need them and their walls and mansions and their phony rants. Bet the Oscars will take a beating this year like all the Liberal news channels. They still don't see they got trounced. It's a riot.

  20. Middle America is watching this meltdown by the Left and the cultural elites and thinking President Donald Trump is a very good thing.

  21. The best description of the President's press conference/epic roasting of the media this week?

    "Uh-oh. Dad is pulling the car over. . . ."

  22. Excellent essay!

    I've shared it to Fakebook; now set your watches, how long until those underpaid Mexicans at FB discover it and hide it away....

  23. As for the toffee-nosed millionaires and billionaires: they've long ago worn out their welcome, reading the same dog-eared, grimy script they've used for the last half-century, where it's always Selma in the Sixties, and we're permanently the bad guys, and Nothing Has Changed.

    But tell that to the Americans who see that everything around us HAS changed, to the point that we don't even know our own country any more: who are they kidding? Time to ring down the curtain on these bozos and ride them out of town on a rail, with generous helpings of tar and feathers.

  24. Infidel18/2/17

    I can see now I was lucky to leave the SF Bay Area when I did, just in time. The Progressives are crushing everything. I don't think the good-hearted Classical Liberals who did whatever good was done there even realize for the most part how destructive the Progressive programs are. We had probably the best police-community relationship in any liberal city in the country, which I just found out today the Progressives are actively in the process of wrecking (although I knew of course in a general way it was going on). They have a program teaching the inner city kids not to call 911 in health emergencies (like if shot) because the police might come. Instead some complicated nonsense which I will skip, as you can probably guess the intent.

  25. D.D.Mao18/2/17

    There is nothing new about elites assuming they know best over the public. Liberals now pine that they wish for the good ol'e days of Reagan and "W" while the right pines for old fashion liberals like JFK. Back then JFK was the liberal which the right scorned. As Milton Friedman wrote in "Capitalism and Freedom" in JFK's inauguration speech he said "Ask not what your country can do for you ....ask what you can do for your country." Neither half of the statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. The paternalistic "what your country can do for you" implies that the government is the patron, the citizen the ward, a view that is at odds with the free man's belief in his own responsibility for his own destiny. The organismic "what you can do for your country" implies that government is the master or the diety, the citizen the servant or the votary. To a free man ,the country is a collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them."

    Should there be any wonder concerning this revolt when these are the same elites who make huge donations to the DNC and pull the sale of Trump family products from their establishments simply because they disagree with his politics? Or that these are the same ones who fire CEO's because they made donations to groups supporting legislation against gay rights. Many of these major corporations are either located on or cater to elites on either coast so they feel reasonably safe that their establishment won't feel any repercussions. That perhaps the paid black clad anarchist or the protesters who demand $15. minimum wage or free college will see they sympathize and won't torch their business when they protest. They feel this is their response to this minor hiccup in their 50 + year "Long March" to re-make America with the truth exploited. But as Robert Moses said "It has to be his truth, couched in his words, in the hands of his people and achieved by his methods."

  26. The elites forgot what the United States actually is. It is simply what the name implies: States that united to form a federal republic.The Electoral College system reflects this understanding of our political structure. The elites had a rude awakening last November. Trump won 30 of the 50 states and, of course, we were told how antiquated the Electoral College is by those who presume to know what is best.No doubt, if Hillary had won the College the elites would have had a moment of clarity extolling the genius of the founders.

  27. Anonymous19/2/17

    Not only is this essay superb...so too are the comments! I am SO glad I found this blog.

  28. Awesome read! Yes, the Elites are a huge segment of the resistance. I would add the Gov Bureaucrats, the Academics, the Nonprofit Liberal Complex (Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club and even groups like National Geographic!). They all get funded by Democrats. Wall Street, well they know how to play both sides! Bottom line: Americans want to shake the Establishment, open up the System and steer it towards the middle class, defend basic motions like Nation States, get rid of career logicians and more! Insightful and fun read. Thanks. Carlos Giron, NYC.

  29. Anonymous19/2/17

    It is interesting to note that a newly invigorated economy will line the pockets of those who are actively working against the people trying to make things better.

  30. It has been ever thus but, with ever present media, if you pay attention even the habitually uninformed are getting a whiff of what is going in the background. For a change it comes to the foreground.

  31. So much YELLING about how Trump "offends" them. Byron York has an article at Washington Examiner about how they're planning to use the 25th amendment to take Trump out . . . because he offends them.

    Theres a lot thats offensive in our culture. We're supposed to become inured to it but they want to overturn an election because Trump said something they don't like.

  32. teapartydoc19/2/17

    Not hard to see why the Greeks barred merchants from participation in politics. Maybe if we got rid of the influence of some overly happy merchants of our own.

  33. Can I cite this bloke as being guilty of telling us truth in a way that is original and stunning?
    This therefore is a hate crime and allows for no safe spacing for lefty idiots who`d dare to ban or belittle this might thesis.
    Absolutely brilliant account, especially in its contrasting those of us on Planet Real with the snowflakes who bow the knee only to a Zuckenberg or a Gates, Branson or Soros.
    Knish clearly sets the two mindsets in opposition-and my knowledge of the UberLords makes it clear that Knish has them down to a tee....stunningly good.
    Many of us here like to think of ourselves as writers-and we do OK-but Greenfield on a good day "trumps" nearly anything else that I for one can do.

  34. Great article. More truth from Daniel that I know keeps the liberals awake at night. LOL

  35. Love the title! It reminds me of an old Wizard of Id comic in which a messenger runs in to tell the King that "The peasants are revolting!" Under his breath, the king replies, "You can say that again." I totally agree that the elites are revolting people with no sense of what's right and wrong. Long live the peasants!

  36. They don't want their ideas to rule. Trump was gay-friendly long before Barack and Hillary were, and talked early in his campaign about what good work Planned Parenthood does, and how taxing the very rich was going to help. They want their _tribe_ to rule, and are frightened when another tribe holds the reins. They are afraid they will now receive what they have been dishing out. They will, but it will be muted, as the Deplorables are basically polite and decent people. Yet look how even a taste of the whip, such as someone like Milo brings, sends the Chosen into panic. They have a thousand Milos, but thought that was only fair. He's pretty boring and average by their standard, really.

  37. Infidel20/2/17

    The Double Entendre looks better each time I see it.

  38. Anonymous20/2/17

    For a very long while I have called them Condé Nasty magazines. Cancelled most of them long ago despite the fact I work in fashion (a gay and lefty mafia). When it became more than snide remarks and all their rags went full leftist Obama fanclub mode, I had to quit buying them. Long bevre they launched the Trump hatefest. I have a few copies form after 9-11 and immediately Vogue launched the assault on Israel articles (Doctors w/o Borders pro paleswine edition) and then the Assad fan club issue. One can easily see the photos of adoration, halos included of OBlamer and HRC in triumphant joy and the pics of Mc Cain and his wife stark, harshly lit, not retouched, purposely ugly poses. Had to say BYE BYE to many former friends who chose to remain in the all hate all the time nevertrump mode. I now care less b/c we won and others saw what I knew, it becomes easier every day to ignore and marginalize them.

  39. Anonymous20/2/17

    For a very long while I have called them Condé Nasty magazines. Cancelled most of them long ago despite the fact I work in fashion (a gay and lefty mafia). When it became more than snide remarks and all their rags went full leftist Obama fanclub mode, I had to quit buying them. Long bevre they launched the Trump hatefest. I have a few copies form after 9-11 and immediately Vogue launched the assault on Israel articles (Doctors w/o Borders pro paleswine edition) and then the Assad fan club issue. One can easily see the photos of adoration, halos included of OBlamer and HRC in triumphant joy and the pics of Mc Cain and his wife stark, harshly lit, not retouched, purposely ugly poses. Had to say BYE BYE to many former friends who chose to remain in the all hate all the time nevertrump mode. I now care less b/c we won and others saw what I knew, it becomes easier every day to ignore and marginalize them.

  40. Anonymous20/2/17

    Great minds think alike:

  41. Anonymous20/2/17

    Smoke and mirrors and easy shortcuts. Chaining stereotypes does not make an articulate reflection.
    So basically you are saying that half of the US population is the Elite and the other half is...what?

  42. Yes good. great article.

  43. There is so much good writing with good analysis, I don't read the good Sultan often enough.

  44. What amazes me is the left didn't see their demise coming. I read a little article yesterday about how Meryl Streep and Robert Redford are making a movie together, like people will go, "Oh, I can't wait." They won't go unless they do a remake of Bridges Of Madison County with Redford as the lead, and then bring in Eastwood dressed like Dirty Harry while he utters one of his famous lines and blows them both away. That would be a movie worth seeing. Other than that, Hollywood has literally bashed half their audience. Redford once said that any white person who didn't like Obama as President was a racist. Then, his career went down the tubes and will continue to go down the tubes. No one cares what these idiots think.

  45. Infidel10/3/17

    The elites have convinced themselves that they are smarter, you can see that in Nate Silver's latest, trying to explain what went wrong with their election predictions, all through the article is the assumption that the leftists have higher IQ, have more college degrees, etc., which proves they are smarter.


    While it is insulting, it also illustrates the group-think that has overtaken colleges, driving out alternative viewpoints. Also it is contrary to my own experience, many people with advanced degrees are mind-bogglingly stupid when it comes to logic and critical thinking. There are very few people who are really worthy of being considered highly intelligent, a college degree isn't enough.

    Not to mention that the left has been denigrating the IQ test for decades, now they embrace it?


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