France continues to be rocked by a populist uprising against the former golden child Emmanuel Macron and his “green” policies, serving notice to the rest of the First World that their citizenries aren’t going to meekly accept hardships imposed from on-high, whether it be for climate change or other progressive goals. Worth noting here is who elevated Macron to golden-child status in the first place, and the unsurprising commonality those people have with progressives on this side of the Atlantic.

An op-ed by French political writer Anne-Elisabeth Moutet noted that the only people who were pleased by Macron’s progressive policies were

men and women in their 30s and 40s — affluent, well-educated, in competitive jobs, able to afford the crazy rents in places like Paris, Bordeaux or Lyon.

If this description sounds familiar, it is. Not long ago, a study reported that eight percent of Americans consider themselves “progressive activists.” Those 8% are reported as far more likely to be rich, highly educated, and white, compared to the national averages. Where the French progressives cluster in Paris, Bordeaux, and Lyon, ours cluster in San Francisco, New York, DC, et al – all places where they manage to afford “crazy rents” as they cluster in collectiv(ist) scolding of flyover country, red states, and the deplorables who voted for Trump.

When we hear of demands that America decarbonize her economy, with no regard for the cost, we hear it from these present-day Eloi who, in H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, live a “banal live of ease,” while the Morlocks perform the nuts-and-bolts work that keeps the Eloi society functioning.

Our rich, highly-educated progressives won’t feel the sting of higher energy costs the way the working classes would, nor do they suffer from the imposition of their other policies. In New York City, where the public education system continues to fail its young, the more-progressive-than-thou mayor and schools chancellor want to eliminate the testing requirement for the elite public high schools, presumably with the support of New York’s Eloi (who can afford to send their kids to elite private schools, and thus have no fear of diluted academic standards). In several liberal cities, the homeless problem has grown to epidemic levels, but I bet dollars to doughnuts that the wealthiest residents aren’t as plagued by it as the working classes.

Wells’ Eloi are smaller than the Morlocks, thanks to generations of detachment from the physical demands of work. Ours haven’t diverged physically, but they’ve an increasing disconnect from manual skills (few tradespeople number themselves amongst our big-city elite). As well, they have cultural biases against “manliness” (toxic masculinity, anyone?) which some attempt to compensate with crutches such as facial hair, gym routines that emulate physical work, and the lumbersexual look. Many others, though, including the “hipsters,” seem quite content with having the muscle tone of a veal.

The divergence from Wells’ tale lies in the fate of his Eloi vs ours. Whereas his have lost any ability to do anything productive, and are occasionally harvested as food by the Morlocks, ours have managed to seize control of the societal narrative, imposing their will from on high, and convincing a big chunk of the working classes that they know better and should be obeyed.

That obedience has its limits, as the Paris protests demonstrate, and as the American electorate’s thousand-election rejection of the Left demonstrated. Still, that rejection isn’t quite what it might be, since many of today’s Morlocks usually clamor for another Eloi leader even as they reject their current one. Venezuela’s protestors (those that haven’t left) haven’t demanded a reversal of socialism itself so much as someone else to get it right, and the elite there have seized upon that to peddle a narrative that the nation’s collapse has nothing to do with socialism.

Meanwhile, the Eloi here seek to tame their Morlocks, by appeasement (give them more free stuff), disempowerment (trap them in eternal welfare dependence, take their guns away, keep their schools shitty, erect barriers on the economic ladder, harass them into submission via quality-of-life harassment, etc), and misdirection (blame capitalism and the small-government folks for all that ails them).

Where does this end? Will today’s Eloi suffer the fate of Wells’? Will today’s Morlocks descend into misery and brutish thuggery?

The events of Well’s book take place 800,000 years from now. Wells wrote his tale in 1895, the better part of a century before the concept of the technological singularity was formulated, so he can be forgiven for estimating such a long time span for the existence of the human form. Things are happening much more quickly than in Well’s time, both technologically and societally. I suspect most of us alive today will witness some sort of inflection point, where the conflict between the progressive elite vs everyone else finds a new equilibrium. What that will be, not even Nostradamus knows.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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