The Codevilla Tapes
The historian of American statecraft and spycraft and conservative political philosopher Angelo Codevilla talks about the Ruling
elite, Jonathan Pollard, and the rise of the techno-surveillance state—and the consequent demise of the American Empire
By David Samuels
October 24, 2019 • 12:00 AM
One of the things that struck me about your original piece was your portrait of the American elite as a single class that seamlessly spans both the Democratic and Republican parties.
Of course, yes. Not in exactly the same way, though; what I said was that the Democrats were the senior partners in the Ruling Class
. The Republicans are the junior partners.
The reason being that the American ruling Class
was built by or under the Democratic Party. First, under Woodrow Wilson and then later under Franklin Roosevelt. It was a ruling class that prized above all its intellectual superiority over the ruled. And that saw itself as the natural carriers of scientific knowledge, as the class that was naturally best able to run society and was therefore entitled to run society.
The Republican members of the ruling class aspire to that sort of intellectual status or reputation. And they have shared a taste of this ruling class. But they are not part of the same party, and as such, are constantly trying to get closer to the senior partners. As the junior members of the ruling class, they are not nearly as tied to government as the Democrats are. And therefore, their elite prerogatives are not safe.