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Vision of the Anointed


Here is Thomas Sowell, talking about The Anointed.

Elitism

Who are the Anointed?

Particularly those who believe that third parties can make better decisions than people can make for themselves. And particularly, when they are those third parties.

The whole idea that certain people know better than everyone else is preposterous. It smacks of elitism, hubris and fascism/socialism. How arrogant do you have to be to think that you alone have all the answers. If your religious, and I’m not, wouldn’t that smack of false prophetism? (Or whatever the phrase might be)

Is there a basic human need for control? The flip side to that is, is there a basic human need to follow, to have a leader?

I think humans do have a need for control or to have someone in control. Maybe it’s a flaw in our hard wiring, or an intended purpose of our Creator. (Note: I’m Atheist but don’t believe I am exactly 100% right in my Atheism) Either way, people want control. If that’s the case, it isn’t hard to see how some people think that they need to be in control and that leads to bad things. History is full of men, some, with good intentions and some with bad ones; all subjugating his fellow-man for some purpose.

One line of reasoning for owning slaves, were that the slaves weren’t civilized and that by enslaving them, the owners were helping them. That line of reasoning falls flat on almost all accounts. I do leave this caveat though, if there could be any benefit, it’s the introduction of new ideas; ie Technology, Education, etc. Now let me be clear, that is not nor will there ever be a “good” reason. The free exchange of ideas, technology should come through voluntary exchange only.

So what is with the notion that some people, the elites, have to show others what to do, for the benefit of the not-so-smart group? That’s essentially what Dr. Sowell is referring to. Sowell and Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek have often used the term, Intellectual, to refer to the elites that want control. As Hayek puts it;

The typical intellectual need be neither (originators of new ideas): he need not posses special knowledge of anything in particular, nor need he even be particularly intelligent, to perform his role as intermediary in the spreading of ideas. What qualifies him for his job is the wide range of subjects on which he can readily talk and write, and a position or habits through which he becomes acquainted with new ideas sooner than those to whom he addresses himself.

The Intellectuals are cross-partisan. They are the spinsters.  The Left and the Right both want control, because control is power. Although I’d argue that control by the Intellectuals is more prevalent in the Left.

The marriage between the Left and socialistic ideals need a whole different post. It’s a big subject that frankly I don’t understand all that well. To me, in my naiveté, used to think that the Left was the party of freedom, free expression and free flow of ideas. I used to think in terms, that it was the Right that wanted to control everyone’s lives, through religion.  I have now come to the conclusion that, my old world view was completely wrong. I’m not afraid to admit it and I don’t hold on to the past. I don’t understand the mentality of people who refuse to stare new information in the face because it might harm their a priori world view. That’s subject for another post all together as well.

There are many avenues of control, they don’t all need to be completely totalitarian, but most of them do lead to totalitarianism. Some want to control the money, these are pure socialists, who through the control of the means of production will control every aspect of the economy. History should have shown by now what happens when socialism takes over. The living standards of the citizenry suffer, both economic and humanitarian. Some modern examples of the failure of socialism are; Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba. It’s not coincidence that these heavily socialized countries have the lowest living standards, the most repressive regimes and have a populace that wants to get out, even if they die trying. These are prime examples of how economic socialism leads to totalitarianism.

What about the Socialism of Thought? The control of what people think by the Intellectuals. What better way to gain control, than to control the language used in a debate. We see it all the time in modern debates. Take Global Warming for example.

We are told by the Left, that we can’t used any information by certain groups, in order to form our opinions. Conveniently, these verboten groups happen to be the opposition to what the Left wants. There is no way to debate if you don’t have an opposition. In essence, they are trying to control your thought process by denying you the “other half” of the argument. Now once you don’t have a differing view point, everyone can and will think exactly the same on that particular subject, like one big collective. Can someone please explain to me how that is not a form of socialism?

The Global Warming debate is one example, but another one is abortion. There is a big ruckus now over Tim Tebow’s commercial during the Superbowl. The Left doesn’t want it aired. They are using any rhetoric they can to try and get it pulled, calling it inaccurate and even anti-choice. I fail to see how an ad, which anyone can choose to watch about a mother who decided not to have an abortion, is anti-choice. The bottom line here is, the Left doesn’t like it, instead of letting the people watch and decide for themselves, they are taking a anti-choice stance by trying to censor the commercial. The Left thinks that they “can make better decisions than people can make for themselves.”

There are many more examples like the two above. What do they all lead to? A socialization of thought; group-think to use another term. The fundamental characteristic is how these third parties try to control what the populace thinks, because those third parties think they know what’s best. The public is just to stupid to think for themselves. They need a leader. They need to be controlled.

I think this is all due because a lot of people, particularly on the Left, don’t have an appreciation or are plainly ignorant of emergence or spontaneous order. Probably because the Left is full of Keynesians and any mention of Hayek is forbidden. One of the many insights of Hayek’s was the notion that order comes from chaos. It comes from that human need for control. Elinor Ostrom just one the Nobel Prize in Economics for her work on how order will emerge for common pool recourse without the need for government. Of the ignorant group, one only has to look at one of the foremost Leftist Intellectuals, Paul Krugman.

I wasn’t familiar with Ostrom’s work, but even a quick scan shows why she shared the prize: if the goal is to understand the creation of economic institutions, it’s crucial to be aware that there is more variety in institutions, a wider range of strategies that work, than simply the binary divide between individuals and firms.” Paul Krugman

Of course, most the reaction from the Left about Ostrom was more in line with, “the first woman to win” meme. I find that more sexist than anything else. No mention of the person or what she actually did, it was all about that she has a vagina and that’s what counts. Blah!

The main points I wanted to convey here were; Everyone should read Sowell. Anyone that tells you what to think or tries to stifle debate is not a friend of freedom and freedom of thought or speech. Everyone should read Hayek. And finally Paul Krugman is a douche. Far be it for me to deny anyone the pleasures of discovering the asshattery of Krugman on their own. There is a link to his blog on the right. Everyone should have the freedom to read, learn and make up their own mind. Only fascists/socialist want to control what you think!

I’ll leave the rest of Dr. Sowell’s talk for another day.

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  1. Woodhull
    February 4, 2010 at 08:41

    Very well done, ZH! Couldn’t agree w/you more on the lack of “diversity” of thought. This is the heart of the problem of serious debate. And yes, socialism of thought leads to socialism of action — thought, word, deed — left to its own devices and unchallenged by a counter claim, from either side.

    On our need of leadership: Not sure if it’s altogether a bad thing to expect the iconic head of government (the president) to lead, but the missing element today is lead who? Ideally, they should be leading (carrying-out) the desires of those they are leading toward the peoples’ stated goal. Or, at the very least, a good leader’s leadership should provide incentive and vision. The mission is doomed from the start if the leader fails to read the mission statement or goes so rogue that nobody knows where he’s headed or why.

    Framing the question about abortion: It’s very intriguing to me how the so-called “choice” folks have re-marketed their campaign by calling detractors “anti-choice”. Does this sound like corporate marketing to you? “Coke Classic”, “Cola Nuts”, “Uncola”, etc. Rather than allow the opposing side their own view and concomitant language, the “choicers” have framed the debate narrowly within their own language. An excellent example of trying to have full control of the issue.

    The same can be said of the far left (led by Pelosi and others with bo’s nod) that ordinary American’s dissent is “dangerous” and “astroturfing” and they are “teabaggers.” It’s reprehensible for a nation’s leadership to be so partisan they dismiss their own fellow citizens in such vile terms.

    • February 4, 2010 at 21:55

      Thanks.
      Who should lead? that’s the question huh? The “right” leader is hard to come by, more often than not the “right” leaders seem to have done the most harm to society. Remember, El Duce was the “right” guy for the times in Italy. Didn’t work out to well. Same with Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao. They were all viewed as the “right leader” at the time they got into power, otherwise how did they get into power? Personally the right leader is one that doesn’t want to be in the position they are in. Lincoln is a great example. Now I don’t idolize Lincoln like most due. I think he did some really bad things, and he did some good ones. I don’t think he freed the slave for benevolent reasons, but more for tactical reasons. Either way, the decision was the right one and overall I think he was a wonderful man and good leader, but he didn’t want to lead a country divided. The situation made him who he was, not the other way around. I feel that most people looking for the right guy are thinking in terms of the man forming the situation. That has happened plenty of times before…in Russia, Italy, Germany…etc.
      Please if you don’t agree let me know. But thats my opinion. I’m not going to try and shout you down because we might disagree! =)

  2. Woodhull
    February 4, 2010 at 09:08

    It would be interesting to disect the rise of the “America First” organization during the run-up of U.S. involvement in WWII. This would be a case-book example of how divided the country was over the issue of isolationism versus those who saw the need to support Britain against Germany. AF was VERY vocal and run by well-liked and culturally-trusted individuals. And yet, in the end, AF had to finally admit their error when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. AF labeled their opponents war mongers and industrial opportunists. Of course, many industrialists made a lot of money off the war. What is robbed of us in these kinds of debates is the ability to reach any rational conclusions and instead reemphasize, reinforce the ideological chasm existing between the two sides; a chasm that may or may not, in reality, exist. But we never get to discover, because of these jingoistic arguments, just how big (or minor) the true chasm is. And government leadership is, in the end, responsible for fueling or bridging the divide. It may not be in their oath of office or even in our constitution (but I’ll say it), it is their moral obligation to seek common ground rather than blow these arguments up into a “winner take all” scenario. Seeing to the “common welfare” of the people does not mean that the majority of Americans are “happy”, but I believe it does mean not creating or fueling divides in order to conquer them at the ballot box.

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