Why Are the ‘Liberal’ Rich Destroying America’s Greatest Cities?


by Roger L. Simon

Two powerful new articles—“The Fall of Los Angeles” by Joel Kotkin and “NYC’s Trinity School bares its unholy leftist hate” by Miranda Devine—illustrate in different ways what most of us have known for some time.

America’s two greatest cities are in drastic decline.

That people are departing them is hardly surprising. The real surprise may be that everybody hasn’t left. And I’m not just talking about the obvious—pervasive homelessness, garbage everywhere, the near-complete lack of public safety, and growing crime approaching dystopia.

I’m talking about something even more obvious and repellent—the rich, often mega-rich, “liberals” and “progressives” who run these cities don’t care if they are run into the ground as long as they look good to themselves and their cronies and no one intrudes on or interrupts their lavish lifestyles.

Like an entire social class of modern Neros, they continue espousing the same policies while their two Romes burn. What’s wrong? Why do they never change? Is it just endless virtue signaling? Don’t you run out of that? How many Teslas can you buy?

Kotkin writes of Los Angeles: “Worse still, conditions in LA today are bordering on the medieval. Anyone visiting some of the most famous districts of urban Los Angeles – notably downtown, Hollywood and Venice Beach – sees clear signs of destitution, including sprawling homeless encampments, vast numbers of people living in vehicles and rampant crime. Last year, a UN official compared conditions on LA’s Skid Row, a poor downtown neighbourhood, to those of Syrian refugee camps. Smash-and-grab thefts at local 7-Elevens and the persistent theft of goods from railyards suggest this is a city that has lost control to the modern version of lawless highwaymen.”

Devine is writing of something more specific but frighteningly indicative of an accepted mindset in her city’s high-minded “liberal” society. It’s horrifying bigotry toward conservative “white boys,” actually wishing they would all be killed. This desire was expressed by one of the teachers at a fancy $61,000 per annum New York private school. Devine highlights the school’s reluctance to own up to the evil inherent in that view, preferring to blame the messenger (i.e., Project Veritas).

She goes to the heart of the peril from this kind of talk:

“They should remember the prophetic words of German pastor Martin Niemöller, an opponent of Adolf Hitler who survived the Dachau concentration camp:

“‘First they came for the communists and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

“‘Then they came for me. And there was no one left to speak out for me.’”

Does this small private school situation justify Devine’s rhetoric? The answer is yes, because the state of our culture resembles nothing more than Germany’s Weimar Republic. L.A. and New York in drastic decline are clear indications of that.

But back to my original question of why the “liberal” rich stand by and let this happen, weirdly, in some senses, encouraging it, while living as most of them do in some kind of cordon sanitaire with the most wealthy having their own security to protect them.

Why, for example, do large portions of L.A.’s mostly affluent homosexual community so adamantly back Karen Bass for mayor in the current race when Bass was, until very recently when the optics started to look terrible, a well-known cheer-leader for Fidel Castro? Don’t they know Castro built concentration camps for gays? Is this a cognitive disorder? Virtue-signaling gone berserk? Hypocrisy gone berserk?

And it’s not just the gay community. It’s all of largely white West Los Angeles lined up behind a woman with a solidly pro-totalitarian background. (The other day she reported she was robbed of two guns—and nothing else—in her house, though she votes against gun rights every time. Go figure.)

No, there’s something more going on here than mere virtue-signaling (although there’s plenty of that). That’s a symptom of a deeper disease.

A few years back (2016) I published the book “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already.” In it, I posited that there was a kind of mental illness in our culture—a moral narcissism—leading people to separate what they said they wanted from the actual results ensuing from what they said. The latter were of little importance and to be disregarded, as long as you said the approved thing initially.

While I’m proud of the book, I underestimated what I wrote then. Moral narcissism is now a full-blown disease in the USA and throughout the world that’s more dangerous and harder to cure than COVID-19. It’s both a mental and spiritual illness. And it’s highly communicable, being taught as “knowledge” or “wisdom” in virtually all our schools.

Many things have contributed to the increased prevalence of this disease, including conformity, fear, and greed.

We live in a world of people who proclaim themselves to be good while doing bad, inadvertently or not. The extreme version of this is people like Fidel Castro, but the local versions may ultimately be more insidious because less obviously recognized.

Until we see our greatest cities in this extraordinary state of decline.

And if you’re not living in one of those cities, don’t be smug. This decline, like moral narcissism, is communicable. It already has been—all over the place.

First published in the Epoch Times.

2 Responses

  1. “That people are departing them is hardly surprising. The real surprise may be that everybody hasn’t left. ”

    Manhattan, Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn voted 90% for Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. The other 10% are RINO’s. The city is now Communist in voting and populated by Communists who hate themselves. Why should they leave? They like it this way. Look, if you were brought up anywhere in the US you know that NYC is a Left Wing Extremist city. That is why people move there just like they move to L.A., Chicago, Portland or Seattle. You put up with all the garbage and such because living in NYC makes you feel superior and Woke.

  2. The constitution everybody bows to is too seriously flawed to cope with the modern world. It’s full of escape hatches for the rich and full of obligations without responsibilities for the unfortunates.
    Back in the mid seventies I can remember visiting places like downtown Buffalo or taking a coach tour of Washington D.C and towns along the way.
    I was shocked at how hollowed out and decayed the places looked even then; empty high street stores, desolate factories, remnants of the industrial revolution like tombstones at the side of the highway.
    But on the positive side there was a sense of value for what you bought, a level of service that no one had ever seen back in England and a sense that most were better off than those back in my homeland.

    Not any more! Every city you go to has homeless flotsam and jetsam camping under overpasses or even in front of empty stores on the main streets, with the authorities themselves unable to lift a heavy finger to help.
    Even downtown Bend in Oregon has homeless on the streets.

    A total revamp of the Mental Health Act is needed but do you see it on ANY candidate’s platform?

    Of course, the gleaming hi rises and the suburban affluent HOAs are insulated from all of this by, as you said, private security and by very well paid jobs for the educated class.
    A friend recently spent a few months down in Florida and discovered that most of the underclass down there had to work two or three jobs just to pay the rent and feed themselves … this in the wealthiest country on Earth.

    For these people there’s nothing, no hope and no future , the police are now completely occupied with keeping a lid on the crime in these urban cesspools and laissez-faire attitudes don’t allow them to solve the problems (neither Civic, State nor the Federal governments.)
    The cops have become cynical and, worse, ineffective.

    The lunatic entitleists cry foul every time someone comes up with even a reasonable idea and fire up the malcontents with “donkey simple” rhetoric.

    The respective governments do have the ability (both fiscal and legal) to make inroads into the appalling poverty and homeless scourge in the country but not one single politician has been able to do anything other than talk about how bad it is.

    The US political system is a roll call of eunuchs and carpetbaggers.

    Just a few statistics money wise

    Amazon’s DAILY revenues are $1.2 billion a day (that’s twelve hundred million) and they’ve been one the main factors in closing down main streets. We are asked by charities to think about giving 10% of our income to good causes.. almost forced in the workplace .

    You’ll never see that sort of “noblesse oblige” from the American Oligarchies, they’re too busy protecting their incomes already from what they see as a rapacious government. It’s as easy as pie to get it into a tax haven these days and they all do it with alacrity.
    10% of a company like Amazon’s take would bring in a lot of money (and they’re not even the biggest)

    There’s 300 million cell phones in use in the country, a $5 community charge on each one per month would (in theory) provide enough money to completely solve the homeless problem in EVERY city in the US. And the beauty of it is that nobody could plead that they can’t afford it.

    And I’m not saying let’s give it to them without asking for something back from them in return. But that’s for the social engineers to figure out. They haven’t got the best of track records that’s for sure but some form of National Service could be instituted ( and I don’t mean military service)

    It’s a policy that NO American politician would endorse because they would get vaporised.

    Trouble is, even if you got the money to roll in ,…. finding a crook free enterprise that could run the project would be like chasing smoke.

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