Prof. Codevilla hits another one out of the park

Prof. Angelo Codevilla is one of the most insightful, erudite and profound commenters on events in these United States.  He’s produced many outstanding articles that express the reality we’re all experiencing, and place it in the context of US history, law and politics.

He’s just produced another masterpiece titled “Revolution 2020“.  It’s long, and not easy reading – but it puts our current situation into the perspective of recent history, and shows precisely how we’ve got here and where things are likely to go from here.  Indispensable reading for any informed person, IMHO.

Here are a few excerpts from his very long article.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

Understanding what drives the revolution that is destroying the American republic gives insight into how the 2020 election’s results may impact its course. Its practical question—who rules?—is historically familiar. But any revolution’s quarrels and stakes obscure the question: to what end? Our revolution is by the ruling class—a revolution from above. Crushing obstacles to its growing oligarchic rule is the proximate purpose.

But the logic that drives the revolution aims at civilization itself.

. . .

In America as everywhere else, government regulation of business meant the twains’ coalescence. From the very first, the blurring of lines between public and private—the focus of government on distributing tasks and rewards—shifted decision-making from citizens who merely vote to the administrative system’s “stakeholders.” … In America, however, this oligarchy fit Aristotle’s (or Marx’s) mostly economic criteria only superficially … it became ever clearer that membership in the U.S. ruling class depends primarily on sharing the right socio-political opinions.

. . .

America’s growing oligarchy, however, always had a moralistic, puritan streak that indicts dissenters as bad people. More and more, America’s ruling class, shaped and serviced by an increasingly uniform pretend-meritocratic educational system, claimed for itself monopoly access to truth and goodness, and made moral as well as technical-intellectual contempt for the rest of Americans into their identity’s chief element. That, along with administrative and material power, made our ruling class the gatekeeper to all manner of goods.

Progressivism’s foundational proposition—that the American way of life suffers from excessive freedom and insufficient latitude for experts to lead each into doing what is best for all—is the intellectual basis of the oligarchy’s ever-increasing size, wealth, and power … the Progressive critique adds a moral basis: the American people’s indulgence of their preferences—private ease and comfort, focus on families, religious observance, patriotism—has made for every secular sin imaginable: racism, sexism, greed, etc. Because most Americans are racist, sexist, un-appreciative of real virtue or refinement (these are somehow rolled together), because these Americans resist knuckling under to their betters, America is a sick society that needs to be punished and to have its noxious freedoms reformed.

. . .

Race (and sex, etc.) is yet another set of excuses for transferring power to the ruling class. The oligarchy is no more concerned about race than it is about education, or environmentalism, or sex, or anything else. It is about yet more discretionary power in the hands of its members, for whom not all blacks (or women, or whatevers) are to be advantaged—only the ones who serve ruling class purposes.

. . .

In short, the Progressive ruling class’s intensifying efforts to oppress those they imagine to be their inferiors is not reversible. It is far less a choice of policy than it is the consequence of its awakening to its own identity—awakening to the powers and privileges to which they imagine their superior worth entitles them. It is awakening to its deep resentment—indeed, to hate—for whoever does not submit preemptively.

Let there be no doubt: the ruling class’s focus on Donald Trump has been incidental. America’s potentates do not fear one pudgy orange-haired septuagenarian. They fear the millions of Americans whom they loathe, who voted for Trump, who gave his party control of House and Senate, and who will surely vote for folks these potentates really should fear.

. . .

The ruling class use of COVID-19 is medical nonsense. But the “lockdowns” made perfect political sense because they disadvantaged primarily the sort of people who vote conservative. The lockdowns also made ordinary people more economically dependent on government, while enriching those best connected with it.

Most remarkable has been the unbroken consistency with which every part of the ruling class’s entourage joined the campaign while piggybacking its own priorities to it—to the complaisance of all the others. That is the meaning of “intersectionality.” Teachers’ unions, for example, conditioned returning to the classroom on the government banning charter schools; Black Lives Matter (BLM) claimed that “White Racism” must be treated as another public health menace. All other components supported them. All signified solidarity by demanding that all Americans wear masks outdoors, and that those who don’t be jailed. Meanwhile, they insisted that persons convicted of rape, robbery, and murder be released. The world turned upside down.

. . .

In 2020, the ruling class imposes itself by Democratic officials’ arbitrary regulations as well as by all manner of corporate restrictions on dissent. Demanding that people apologize for their whiteness and show other signs of submission on pain of being fired have become routine. In 2016 it would have been difficult to imagine the 2020 level of ruling class presumption, virulence and violence. In 2020, violent bands roam America’s cities with official complaisance, acting as the ruling class’s officious enforcers of powers without logical end.

Thus, acting in the name of public health and social justice, the ruling class effectively repealed the Constitution and the laws of the United States. Freedom of religion? Filling churches and synagogues, celebrating baptisms, weddings and funerals can now land you in jail. Freedom of speech? On the contrary. You may now be punished for failing to declare what is ordered of you, even if you don’t believe it, or even for failing to attend a political re-education session or by not showing due deference therein. Freedom of assembly? Only for those on the ruling class side. Property? If you forcibly defend it against the mob, Democrat-controlled states will jail you. They will also prosecute you for defending your life.

None of this was done by laws passed by elected representatives. All was done by all manner of officials’ and bureaucrats’ edicts, and discretionary actions supported by the media and corporations. Leaderless, the American people by and large obeyed a regime that had become an oligarchy served by thousands of its clients, eager to hurt opponents financially, socially, and physically.

. . .

Donald Trump’s reelection would reduce the intersectionals’ confidence a bit and give the Right side of American life a bit more leeway as it chooses new leadership. In this slightly calmer atmosphere, the beginning of the 2024 election cycle would open a host of possibilities.

But it would not end our revolution any more than the ruling class’s victory would. The revolution’s essentials would remain and its logic would continue to unfold. The ruling class, having failed peaceably and hence firmly to establish oligarchy, remains pressed by the deplorables on one side and its chosen intersectional instruments on the other. It dares not try dismounting the tiger it rides.

. . .

Donald Trump having vaccinated the deplorables against what Theodore Roosevelt used to call “the unbridled tongue and the unready hand,” candidates for leadership of the Right side of American life will have to present themselves by actually leading their fellow Deplorables effectively to resist and reverse what officious and official policy by potentates high and low are doing, and have done, to foul so much of American life.

There’s more at the link.

I highly recommend making enough time to read all of Prof. Codevilla’s long and insightful article.  It’s not easy going, and requires that one engage with what he says rather than just skim through it.  However, I think it’s well worth the effort to do so.  He puts our entire political, social and cultural morass into perspective, and gives us clear insight into our options going forward.



  1. The remarkable thing about his essay is how closely it tracks the fictionalized version in Kurt Schlicter's novels Peoples Republic and Indian Country.

  2. Thank you for linking this. Prof. Codevilla lays out a very grim scenario. I wish I knew more people who would actually take the time to read it. I know a lot of folks who keep saying that all the riots, the masking, and lockdowns will go away after the election. My gut tells me otherwise. This essay confirms what what my gut has been feeling. I feared our nation is sick to the death. Maybe it's already gone.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *