Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The experiments of intellectuals...

...can be rightly cited as one of the major forces for poverty, despair, and political unrest.

Throughout history, we find examples of intellectuals who provide positivistic counsel to policymakers, officials, monarchs, and executives. The dogmatic nature of this top-down, autocratic governance takes different forms, but the mechanism remains the same.

An intellectual "bubble" forms, and, regardless of where this "new" concept originates on the political spectrum, it is suddenly discovered that concentration of power in a few individuals and institutions who are trusted to make the "correct" decisions as advocates of the public good (as opposed to their private gain) has disastrous effects for the majority of people who comprise the electorate/proletariat/worker class/etc.

Again, the mechanism remains the same. Concentration of power and the overconfidence that comes with it are the main culprits for the collective misery of Billions of people. This concentration can originate in ideas (which are relatively inexpensive to reproduce), physical coercion (much more expensive, but physical threats are extremely effective), or a combination of the two (the Orwellian approach).

Capitalism is the best system, producing the greatest wealth and the "most fair" distribution of assets. But no economic system can exist in a vacuum. This is what libertarians cannot understand; the self interested pursuit of power by those who are in governance positions (and ALL human societies REQUIRE governance or power structures to exist) are unavoidable.

And so we have this grand European experiment. The road to hell is paved with Good intentions, and, taking this religious tenor a bit further, the battle between "Plato's Republic" and Augustine's "City of God" grows more intense by the day. In my opinion, the narrative of the fallability of man will be revisited in Europe once again. Tying together such disparate cultures with economic strings alone, with top-down policy instead of organic measures (open travel, a common language) that take decades to accomplish was doomed to fail just as surely as Sparta.

1 comment:

Chad said...

The road to good intentions is not only paved with good intentions, it is also littered with finger pointing and results evasion. the unintended consequences of good intentions are usually not ever attriubted appropriately to those who govern by good intentions. Politcal power is corrupting and that is why small government must be demanded - otherwise, those involved in big government will begin to selfishly take from those who they govern.

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