“Once you permit those who are convinced of their own superior rightness to censor and silence and suppress those who hold contrary opinions, just at that moment the citadel has been surrendered. For the American citadel is a man. Not man in general. Not man in the abstract. Not the majority of men. But man. That man. His worth. His uniqueness.” – Archibald MacLeish
The biggest problem today – in the West at least – is the egomaniac conceit that, individually, we have the capacity (and the obligation) to parse out the entire bullshit spigot of the institutions created by billions of human beings interacting at the same time 24/7.
Articles from seekingalpha.com by Gary Gordon, retired stock-broker and prolific serial investment bullshit artist:
“The impulse to resolve the ambivalence of good and evil and jump over one’s shadow into absolute positivity is an unthinking Utopia. Liberation from ambivalence is to be free of uncertainty; to be absolutely free is to be absolutely sure of one’s rightness; which is a surrender of free will, which is to be a slave by any other name?” – Jean Beaudrillard (The Intelligence of Evil)
If Gonzos (based on Gonzo Journalists) are the individual, independent rebels against the institutional bell curve, the Nevilles (based on Neville Chamberlain) are the antithesis: guardians of the institutional orthodoxies proliferated throughout the citadel as a spectrum of enablers, apologists, academics, pundits, thought-directors, opinion editors, journalists, civic leaders and other optimistic voices defending the status quo. What makes this class the antithesis is its subordination to a top-down command structure defining the limits of what’s acceptable and its slavish adherence to working within that definition.
Nevilles are not usually part of the ruling class. Instead, they form a distinct class – popularly called the “cathedral” – entrenched, collectively exclusive and self-policing, deindividuated by dint of their subordination to plutocrats and their well-practiced exclusion of potential insurgent personalities (e.g. a Gonzo). Conformist, conventional, conservative, subtle, expert (within a narrow field), replaceable. Replaceable is critical, in the Neville class, because it disempowers any individual tempted to go off-narrative. That individual can be replaced. That individual can be excluded – cancelled – exiled from both the cathedral and the citadel. What sane middle-aged Neville who’s finally risen to respectable salary and status is going to risk their position, reputation and future well-being, for the sake of anything (or anyone) labeled untermensch by their superiors?
Here’s some mainstream Nevilles: