The Third Estate

by Glen Wallace                         January 14, 2021

                                  updated: February 23, 2021

It's been one week since the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.  My thinking is that it was closer in sentiment to the storming of the Bastille in Paris France on July 14, 1789 than it was the march of white nationalists carrying tiki torches in Charlottesville Virginia on August 11, 2017.  While there may have been a handful of white nationalists and neonazis spotted at the protest, there is no evidence that they reflected the sentiment of the hundreds of thousands that descended onto the Capitol complex campus specifically to protest against alleged election fraud.  I was not at the protest, but neither were the mainstream media multimillionaire talking heads that have universally tried to portray and indict the entire protest as a bunch of neonazi racists just because they were able to spot an occasional confederate flag and some antisemitic slogans on a couple shirts worn by protesters inside the Capitol building. 

While the size of the crowd at Trump's inauguration in 2016 may have been greatly overestimated by the Trump team, but accurately assessed as relatively small by the mainstream media, the opposite seems to be the case with the January 6th protest.  While I haven't heard the Trump team touting the size of the protest, I haven't heard the mainstream media either commenting on the massive size, as estimated by those who were there, of the crowd on the campus. It seems as though the mainstream corporate media wants to downplay the reality that the vast majority of folks who were there had nothing to do with neonazis or white nationalism, but rather there is a bubbling sentiment of disenfranchisement that isn't being addressed by the mainstream media and mainstream politicians and the courts.  To write off that sense of disenfranchisement is to ignore a societal current that runs into and against an official state current.  Such clashes should not be ignored both for moral and practical reasons.  Morally, a clash between the currents of society and the state may be a demonstration of a failure on the part of the state to fulfill its obligation to reflect the currents of society, not direct them.  Practically, such clashes may eventually break the levy holding the existing order in place.  While some may want the existing order toppled, doing so may result in, at least for a period, massive disorder.  While bloodless revolutions may occur from time to time, there is no guarantee of one in the event the existing state order were to be toppled.  Instead, in the event of a coup, civil war or revolution, great bloodshed and chaos could easily result.  Anyone calling for a civil war or revolution should recall the premature enthusiasm of the partygoers upon hearing news of war in a scene from the movie 'Gone with the wind.'  So, I don't think anyone wants anything resembling the gruesome reality of either America's first civil war or revolutionary war.  On the same token, it is not just that people shouldn't be pushing for civil war, people also shouldn't be dismissing out of hand the symptoms of a large scale sense of disenfranchisement as evidenced by the DC protest. 

The solution to a pressure cooker's safety release valve popping out isn't to cement the safety valve into place, the solution is to turn the heat down.  But, the mainstream media and most politicians seem to think that solution to the DC protests is to effectively cement the pressure cooker's safety valves in place and just ignore the cooker and hope the problem that caused the valves to pop out in the first place will resolve itself on its own accord.  To turn down the heat on the pressure cooker, the DC protesters concerns need to be addressed, not dismissed. 

Leading up to the French Revolution, there were three estates, or classes; the first estate was the clergy, the second estate was the nobility and the third was everyone else.  Since that time there emerged a couple more identifiable classes or estates.  First, the press was identified as the fourth estate and much more recently, social media has been identified as the fifth estate.  The second estate, the nobility, either inherited or granted by the king or queen land and property.  In the French legislative assembly, each of the three estates had one vote, regardless of how much of the citizenry each estate represented.  The third estate started to become disenchanted as both the peasants and merchants began to realize they were being shortchanged by the first two estates.  While the vast majority of the total citizenry were members of the third estate, they only had one third of the representation in the legislature.  Now, take note that the merchants, capitalists, were part of the same class as the peasant workers.  Fast forward to today, there is an automatic tendency to separate the capitalist merchant class from the working class.  I think that is a mistake.  Today the second estate, the nobility, is effectively the billionaire class and near billionaire class.  Small business owners of today should be included in the same third estate as the working class as was done at the time of the French Revolution.   

Over time, the 2nd estate has managed to take control of the 4th estate, the mainstream media, that the 3rd estate has grown to rely on for assessment of the political class.  And the political class, through legislation and executive order, determines the material state of the 3rd estate.  The 2nd estate, by way of its control over the 4th estate, manipulates the 3rd estate into acting against its interest and instead acts in the interest of the 2nd estate, the billionaire class.  Now, with the emergence of the 5th estate, social media, the 2nd estate is trying desperately to also control the 5th estate as social media has grown to be influential in the minds of the 3rd estate, the 99.9%+ of the population.  That the 5th estate might prove deleterious to the 2nd estate should come as no surprise given the direct access the 3rd estate has had to the 5th estate.  Now, as a result we are seeing in the 2nd estate, in an act of desperation, looking for any excuse to gain control over the 5th estate by censoring and banning anyone from that platform who campaigns and informs in a way that threatens the wealth and power of the 2nd estate.  

Be wary of leftist programs, though, that promise luxury communism at the expense of freedom.  China is currently experimenting with a dangerous form of socialism called the social credit program.  The program is a utilitarian plan to ostensibly sanction citizens engaging in lifestyles deemed counter productive to the common good while crediting citizens engaging in lifestyle choices that allegedly will benefit society as a whole.  The danger is that, even for those deriving materially beneficial credits from the government to the point where they are able to live a life of luxury, they effectively have no freedom to deviate from the lifestyle that brought them that luxury -- they will effectively be kept citizens -- the equivalent of the kept man or woman living a life of luxury, but without any freedom.  Without freedom, what good is luxury?  

For a long time now, the 2nd estate has had control over the 4th estate, relegating dissidents to handing out pamphlets or leaving them at coffee house tables, hoping for others to discover.  Then came along the internet and social media, the 5th estate.  Soon the 2nd estate came to the realization that if it hoped to retain control over the minds and resources of the 3rd estate, it would have to take measures to take over the 5th estate just as it has taken over the 4th estate.  Hence, first came the purchase of social media giants by big tech corporations, then came the censorship of dissident writers and speakers speaking in the interests of the third estate and against the interests of the second estate.  

The first three estates are a bit different in nature from the fourth and fifth estates insofar as the first three represent socioeconomic classes whereas the fourth and fifth estates moreso represent socioeconomic forces reverberating on the politics of the first three estates. 

We could think of the first three estates as being three layers of the earth and the fourth and fifth estates as layers of the atmosphere we look to and interact with for information and ideas used to shape the economic and political structure of the earth. 

The cancel culture might be thought of as being more like a mob than the Jan 6 crowd.  At this point, it has only been people losing their careers or jobs, not their heads.  However, during the reign of terror during the French Revolution, people would lose their heads to the guillotine for merely using politically incorrect terminology when greeting a fellow Parisian.  Some would lose their heads for using the politically incorrect monsieur or madame instead of the politically correct 'citizen.'

What we saw leading up to the revolution was a genuinely free press and we saw what the result was.  And more importantly, today's equivalent of nobility, the billionaire class must have realized long ago the threat a genuine free press was with anyone with a mindset and passion the likes of Marat writing for that free press today.  I also notice the potential danger there with so many today glorifying the reign of terror and the guillotine without even realizing the haphazard use of it even against regular plebs.  When I argue against using the guillotine against today's billionaire class, it mostly falls on deaf ears.  It is as though the plebs want vengeance rather than the ideal society I'm trying to work towards.  I've already laid out some ideas involving, among other ideas, replicating the actions of Sweden involving declaring by fiat a change in ownership of vast swaths of Swedish land from that of the Vatican to that of the Swedish people.  Sweden was able to do that without any heads rolling or even anyone having to go to prison.