December 12, 2010

RON RADOSH: TNR And The Crisis Of The American Intellectual. And a related item from Walter Russell Mead.

UPDATE: Kenneth Anderson writes:

And note that the rule of New Class experts, seeking what Telos used to call “the wholly-administered society,” is not a function of greater coherence. It is actually what happens when institutions of ordered liberty falter, and create gaps that the mandarin-experts, replacing democratic legitimacy with technocratic claims of expertise, rush to fill in governance. In that sense, coherence within institutions, in the libertarian and democratic sense, is that which protects against the alternative claims of technocratic, expert — but let’s be real, today merely credentialled — legitimacy that arise when the former lags. I believe that what I have said here is quite consistent with, and indeed required by, Hayek’s political economy.

“Coherence” is a big problem for the United States at this moment, let alone Europe. China has coherence, at this moment, but only of a kind that Thomas Friedman could admire. The task, rather, is how to achieve coherence, “ordered liberty” to use the constitutionalist phrase, in a democracy. Because it is quite certain that less coherence does not automatically equal more democracy, and that more coherence automatically equals less democracy.