It’s perhaps a bit mean to liken the hapless Harvard law professor and senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren to that other Warren, Kitty — the brothel owner from George Bernard Shaw’s “Mrs. Warren’s Profession,” described by the playwright as “a genial and fairly presentable old blackguard of a woman.” Elizabeth Warren is, after all, rather WASPish in her demeanor, almost prim, despite her risible faux Native American identity pretensions.
Nevertheless, when I read the latest of the endless revelations about Warren — that she was making scads of cash ‘flipping’ foreclosed homes in Oklahoma (!) — I thought immediately of the Shavian masterpiece and also of Moliere and Aristophanes.
Elizabeth Warren is a character from classical comedy. She is Il Dottore, the pompous and finally empty-headed blowhard professor from the “Commedia dell’Arte.”
The pathetic hypocrisy of Warren — who rails against predatory banks and foreclosures while profiting from the same (not to mention pretending she’s an Indian) — is obvious enough, reminiscent of Eliot Spitzer busting escort networks and John Edwards preaching about the “two Americas.”
But there’s more to it — a way in which Elizabeth Warren’s profession is strangely close to Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s. Just as the prostitute’s aim is to mislead and provide illusory comfort through instant gratification — phony love, if you will — Warren and her ilk create false images of concern for the poor and the downtrodden to sooth their consciences while preserving the status quo. (“I’m an Indian, too,” in the words of Irving Berlin.)
This is the essence of modern liberalism, whose object is to deceive the self or others — hopefully both — for personal gain in money and status. It is neither liberal, nor progressive in any intelligible definition of the words, and entirely reactionary. But it has succeeded to a great degree in gulling itself and others, even as the global economy goes into free-fall from its very policies.
It gets worse, however. As modern liberalism bleeds into leftist socialism, it begins to border on the perverse. Elites imposing their views on the masses evolves into a more than slightly sadomasochistic societal relationship, turning increasingly sinister as it becomes increasingly nonconsensual (socialism into communism). As I wrote earlier, leftism is just a massive form of social sadism that leads to the totalitarian state.
Elizabeth Warren and similar “liberals” are the sometimes witting, sometimes unwitting, aides de camp in this transformation. They know what’s best for us to such a degree that they are exempt from their own nostrums as well as from the results of their actions.
Warren can be an Indian if she wishes; she can exploit bank foreclosures, if she wishes. Eliot Spitzer can bust hookers while employing them and end up with a television show. Who knows? Elizabeth may end up with her own reality show now, her own version of “Flip This House” called “Flip This Tepee.”
It’s their profession — modern liberalism. They can be capitalists while the rest of us rot under taxes and government regulation. Socialism for thee but not for me.
And it pays better than the original Mrs. Warren’s. You can even get tenure at Harvard, no questions asked. Just check the right identity square. No one will know. And if they suspect, they can’t prove anything. After all, ancestors.com only goes so far.