Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Health Care, Media Bias, Politics, Progressives, The Constitution, Unemployment | Tags: Election 2016, Historicism, Voting Blocs
The picture in the post below of the young man holding a homemade sign saying “DEPORT FASHISOM!” was pretty typical. He probably has no idea what fascism is. One of the biggest problems of the Left is that they believe their own propaganda.
Lots of very big words flung around: populism, illiberalism, misogyny, historicism, positivism and of course, the inevitable and constant “racism,” that offer nothing in the way of understanding. John Marini offered some real understanding in the Claremont Review of Books. The piece is long, and I had to look up the big words, but it’s worth your time and provides real food for thought.
Since the end of the Cold War, American leaders have understood their offices in terms of global and administrative rule, rather than political rule on behalf of the American people and the sovereignty of the American nation. Yet those offices were established on the foundation of the moral authority of the people and their Constitution. Once elected or appointed, politicians and bureaucrats have utilized their will, in both domestic and foreign policy, in an unrestrained manner on behalf of bureaucratic rule. They govern on the implicit premise of elections as plebiscites, but it is no longer clear who confers the legitimacy of an electoral mandate. Bureaucratic rule has become so pervasive that it is no longer clear that government is legitimized by the consent of the governed. Rather it is the consent of the various national—and often international—social, economic, political, and cultural interest groups that determine the outcome of elections. True political rule requires, at a minimum, the participation of citizens in their own rule, even if not in government itself. But this is possible only when people understand themselves as citizens and when the regime recognizes them as citizens. This requires distinguishing American citizens from all others and identifying them as one people.
American elections have increasingly been framed by Washington professionals. Social scientists, media pundits, and policy professionals may tilt liberal or conservative and may differ in their party preferences, but they are united in their dependence upon intellectual authority, derived from empirical science and its methodology, in their understanding of politics and economics. At the same time, historicism or (critical theory) has established itself as the closest thing to a public philosophy when it comes to understanding history, society, and culture. Applied to elections, the empirical method required that politics be understood in terms of measurable and quantifiable aggregates. This proved compatible with the positivist understanding of law and interest group liberalism. Critical post-modern theory established personal autonomy and group diversity as central to what is morally defensible in terms of public policy. As a result, political partisanship and analysis has focused on race, class, gender, and other such demographics, to provide the kind of information that has become central to the shaping and predicting of elections and to legitimize dividing the electorate into categories that came to be understood in moral terms. Consequently, political campaigns have made a science of dividing the electorate into groups and reassembling them as voting blocs committed to specific policies and issues denominated by the demographic categories themselves. This strategy requires the systematic mobilization of animosity to ensure participation by identifying and magnifying what it is that must be opposed.
Do read the whole thing. Mr. Trump has brought in a great assortment of free market experts for advice as he works on filling out his cabinet and advisory team.
Here’s an astonishing fact about the expansion of the administrative state. President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council numbered 25 people. Barack Obama’s National Security Council is over 400 people.
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