Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quote of the Day - The more things change edition

This is from twenty years ago:
The basic right-wing populist insight is that we live in a statist country and a statist world dominated by a ruling elite, consisting of a coalition of Big Government, Big Business, and various influential special interest groups. More specifically, the old America of individual liberty, private property, and minimal government has been replaced by a coalition of politicians and bureaucrats allied with, and even dominated by, powerful corporate and Old Money financial elites (e.g., the Rockefellers, the Trilateralists); and the New Class of technocrats and intellectuals, including Ivy League academics and media elites, who constitute the opinion-moulding class in society. In short, we are ruled by an updated, twentieth-century coalition of Throne and Altar, except that this Throne is various big business groups, and the Altar is secular, statist intellectuals, although mixed in with the secularists is a judicious infusion of Social Gospel, mainstream Christians. The ruling class in the State has always needed intellectuals to apologize for their rule and to sucker the masses into subservience, i.e., into paying the taxes and going along with State rule. In the old days, in most societies, a form of priestcraft or State Church constituted the opinion-moulders who apologized for that rule. Now, in a more secular age, we have technocrats, "social scientists," and media intellectuals, who apologize for the State system and staff in the ranks of its bureaucracy.
He diagnoses the problem with the Libertarian approach pretty well, I think.

Via Samizdata.


Aretae said...

The question is whether this analysis understates the conventional libertarian problem.

Reading Mancur Olsen makes one suspect that there's an inevitability of the state-industrial complex...and that nothing short of revolution or exit CAN fix the problem.

FWIW, I think his solutions are (a) naive, and (b) inhumane. But that's more of an aside.

Old NFO said...

He definitely puts classes first in his analysis, but he has always sounded more like a socialist to me.