One of our commentors stirred something loose from my memory, which I alluded to in my response, but I think I'd be remiss in not sharing in more detail.
From 'The Magician's Nephew'
“‘Rotten?’ said Uncle Andrew with a puzzled look. ‘Oh, I see. You mean that little boys ought to keep their promises. Very true: most right and proper, I'm sure, and I'm very glad you have been taught to do it. But of course you must understand that rules of that sort, however excellent they may be for little boys -- and servants -- and women -- and even people in general, can't possibly be expected to apply to profound students and great thinkers and sages. No, Digory. Men like me, who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from common rules just as we are cut off from common pleasures. Ours, my boy, is a high and lonely destiny.’
As he said this he sighed and looked so grave and noble and mysterious that for a second Digory really thought he was saying something rather fine. But then he remembered the ugly look he had seen on his Uncle's face the moment before Polly had vanished: and all at once he saw through Uncle Andrew's grand words. ‘All it means,’ he thought to himself, ‘is that he thinks he can do anything he likes to get anything he wants.’” (The Magician’s Nephew)
Do you have an Uncle Andrew, or have you met some such Uncles? I wager CS Lewis knew him well. Some of us likely even know an Uncle Andrew lurking within our own selves.
Of course the really interesting question is what happens when the ordinary middle class recognizes how common Uncle Andrew is among their elites. Do they react with a pogrom, or perhaps by making 'strategic default' look small fry?
Are people really getting smarter?
11 hours ago
When I told my fellow student-victims that the teachers were Uncle Andrews, how they reacted depended on how free with punishments that teacher was. If they punished liberally, the reaction was denial. If they punished judiciously, the reaction was agreement.
Hopefully your teachers weren't performing life-threatening experiments on you and your fellows. On the other hand, maybe they were...
"I wager CS Lewis knew him well."
I presume Lewis knew Bertrand Russell. T.S. Eliot, whose wife Russell seduced, called him Mr. Apollinax in a peeved and yet admiring poem. Russell really was a superior individual: lived to be 97, grandson of a Prime Minister, a peer of the realm, mathematician, philosopher, and then, as he aged, an outstandingly fluent journalist. Russell caused a huge commotion by his insistence on trading in wives when he tired of them. It seems strange now that anybody protested, but it was looked down upon then.
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