Owing to global and regional wars and revolutions in the last 100 years, the entire world has undergone far-reaching systemic political, social, economic and cultural changes that signal the waning influence of hegemonic elites on society and the evolution of ideology designed to preserve the status quo that never seems to catch up with the speed of societal change, because it looks to the past instead of the present and future.
Once ideas are formalized and become part of an ideology and then adopted by elites interested in institutional conformity, ideas no longer reflect the original purpose of furthering the welfare of the people who embraced them to give their lives meaning and purpose. While ideas as ideology or dogma are useful to forge coalitions intended to preserve the status quo, the absence of authentically reflecting real experiences means the absence of systemic change that conflicts with ideology which invariably evolves into dogma by the hegemonic elites and their followers embracing and conforming by coercion or faith.
Hegemonic elites use ideology to preserve a system and prevent change within the system, change needed to best serve the needs of the vast majority of the population in the present and prepare for the future. Thus ideology rooted in the past invariably works against the present and necessarily reflects the past that hegemonic elites wish to preserve. Like science that always stays dynamic and its conclusions invariably incorporate Einstein’s caveat–”until further notice”–similarly social, economic, and political ideology to remain vibrant and alive in the present, to reflect changing conditions instead of the distant past must remain dynamic.
Modern political economy as articulated by ideology, rooted as Bertrand Russell pointed out in the Liberal theory of politics as a recurrent product of commerce, is used to justify an obsolete system that cyclical crises empirically demonstrate its decadence. Given this inescapable reality, the masses view traditional elites embracing an obsolete ideology with enormous popular skepticism–i.e. very recent public opinion polls indicate in the US 38% have confidence in business elites; the percentages are even lower in other countries.
Although CEB has emerged increasingly influential since the Clinton-Gore administration, the new US administration clearly represents CEB ideology and elites that are essentially technocratic, managerial, and part of the intelligentsia. Though Obama is the first president to be elected at least partly by CEB, and that may be indicative of ideological and political orientation of this group, it remains to be seen whether the broad coalition that includes the CEB will have any sustaining power to elect future presidents, and to formalize an ideology and move into the mainstream as I am confident it will in the next few decades.