The Citadel

From capitalistManifesto

"To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens the moment they put foot in our country would be nothing less than to admit the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty." - Alexander Hamilton
"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

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If Gonzos are the individual, independent rebels against the institutional bell curve, the Nevilles 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. The Nevilles are not 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?

  1. John Seely Brown, academic, optimist
  2. Steven Pinker, academic, idealist
  3. Meredith L. Patterson - Technocrat Computer Scientist Scifi Writer