Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The New Authoritarianism by Fred Siegel and Joel Kotkin - City Journal

The New Authoritarianism by Fred Siegel and Joel Kotkin - City Journal

Regarding the administration's reaction to the 2010 election,
Much of the administration’s approach has to do with a change in the nature of liberal politics. Today’s progressives cannot be viewed primarily as pragmatic Truman- or Clinton-style majoritarians. Rather, they resemble the medieval clerical class. Their goal is governmental control over everything from what sort of climate science is permissible to how we choose to live our lives. Many of today’s progressives can be as dogmatic in their beliefs as the most strident evangelical minister or mullah. Like Al Gore declaring the debate over climate change closed, despite the Climategate e-mails and widespread skepticism, the clerisy takes its beliefs as based on absolute truth. Critics lie beyond the pale.

The problem for the clerisy lies in political reality. The country’s largely suburban and increasingly Southern electorate does not see big government as its friend or wise liberal mandarins as the source of its salvation. This sets up a potential political crisis between those who know what’s good and a presumptively ignorant majority. Obama is burdened, says Joe Klein of Time, by governing a “nation of dodos” that is “too dumb to thrive,” as the title of his story puts it, without the guidance of our president. But if the people are too deluded to cooperate, elements in the progressive tradition have a solution: European-style governance by a largely unelected bureaucratic class.
...speaking as a critic beyond the pale, Siegel and Kotkin absolutely on mark here. This isn't going to end well either. Reality's going to crash down hard.


JMP said...

So much of what you are posting rings true, and clearer all the time. I was looking up information in connection with your post on Marcuse and Rugged Individualism when I ran across the terms Totalitarian Democracy and Messianic Democracy. After reading their definitions, I thought "OMG, no wonder when I say liberal and the 'progressives' say liberal, I feel uncomfortable and disconnected; we are talking about different things." I guess as long as the New Authoritarianism is couched in Utopian language people will go along with it? Check out uujeff's post on Can We Build a Utopia, which sounds like a perfect game plan for the New Authoritarianism. http://uujeff.blogspot.com/2012/01/can-we-build-utopia.html
I think I said once before in a comment, that reality always trumps ideology. Your observation that reality is going to crash down hard is being stubbornly ignored by the dreamers.

Bill Baar said...

UU Jeff's post was a perfect example. Thanks much for this comment here.