In a perfect world there would be no favored groups. Each man would be treated as he deserves based on his ability. Anyone demanding special treatment based on some kind of group identity would simply find that rules and standards are impartial and fair to all.
Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world. Often membership of an identity group confers systematic preferences either explicitly or in practice, as if just by accident or by chance. Of course, these things are not just accidental, they occur because of differing political power or sentiment. They occur because that group is in some sense a ruling group.
Identifying our overlords can be surprisingly hard in practice. Often such groups have media and other sources of information on their side. Frequently they present themselves as victimized, discriminated against, and downtrodden in order to forestall resistance to their power and favored status.
If in doubt run this quick test. If a particular identity group is an honest and true answer to most or all of these five questions then they probably rule over you.
1. Which group is it not safe to criticize?
The first line of defense for a ruling class is to prevent opposition from gathering. Propaganda is one side of this process, relentlessly presenting material that justifies the position of the ruling class. The other side and perhaps the more important side is the suppression of contrary views.
If criticism of a group and its power or pointing out that it occupies such a position meets surprisingly powerful social, legal, and cultural resistance then that group is probably a ruling class.
2. Which group are people keen to change identity to support or join?
The drive for power and dominance is hard-wired into the human mind. Even when the power of a ruling group is denied, people notice. For an individual it is often easier to change to join that group than it is to try to succeed outside the ruling group. Significant numbers of people willing to make big changes to join a group is a pointer to power.
3. Which group is militant about asserting its identity?
People never stop trying to distinguish themselves from others and present themselves in a positive light. If a person finds themselves part of a ruling group then they have an easy way to do this. They need only start emphasizing their membership of that group. It is almost always ruling groups or would be ruling groups which do this.
4. Which group can get away with telling lies?
People and institutions often find that lies are a tempting tool to gain advantage. It is the damage to credibility which limits their capacity to lie. Ruling groups have more power to publicize or suppress the existence of a lie. Consequently members of ruling groups can tell more lies and get away with it.
5. Which group gets institutional or government-mandated preferences?
This one is a rather more obvious point, though much denied. When a group gets power what does it do with it? Among other things it uses that power to demand special treatment from government and from institutions.
So who does rule over us?
Here at Return of Kings we are quite rightly focused on the fact that in western countries all five questions could honestly be answered with some combination of girls, homosexuals, and recently an ever-growing list of other groups who enjoy more exotic forms of sexual misadventure.
However, it is fair to say that these are not the only groups of which it is true. The list of privileged groups is often different in different countries, but a quick check of some prominent groups against the five points is definitely instructive.
A second important take away from this list is that western societies are increasingly characterized by identity group power and identity group conflict. This is the reason why the indicators of rule in the list are becoming more common, more obvious and more severe.
This fact worries me in the abstract because I prefer a society where people are treated on their merits, as individuals. It worries me even more in the less abstract sense that as a reasonably normal, healthy, competent Western male I am increasingly in the position of being ruled over by an ever-growing list of favored groups who hate what I stand for.
Published as a guest post on Return of Kings here