Power is manipulating the masses.

Author:Gottfried, Paul
Position:Response to articles in this issue by Marshall DeRosa, p. 86, and Chris Woltermann, p. 90
 
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Allow me to note what I did not say in After Liberalism (1) or in my rejoinder to Professor Ryn (2) but which some of my critics persist in giving as my view. Never, to my knowledge, have I stated that the managerial regime is the sole or only significant cause for the assaults being made on bourgeois liberalism or for the end of effective self-government. But such a regime has pushed certain developments-state-engineered pluralism, political correctness, and the rooting out of self-identified communities-that are very much with us. Of course state functionaries have not produced these achievements by themselves. The media, liberalized Christianity, an amoral consumerist economy and fatefully positioned minorities who are hostile to the once dominant culture have all assisted in the radicalizing process.

Moreover, what set up the managerial ascendancy in "democratic" government were conditions pointed out in my book, rapid urbanization, demographic shifts, the building of a modem industrial economy, a largely bogus "science of government" and the introduction of a universal franchise overseen by the central state. All of these situations combined to bring forth managerial government and its corresponding framework--mass democracy. Managerial classes have operated in straightforwardly authoritarian societies, but they flourish best when dealing with a formless mass of individuals, held together by the expectation of material security and by appeals to egalitarian ideals. The most desirable thing about mass democratic subjects from the standpoint of managerial rule is that their consent is passive; it is not likely to result in obstacles being placed before those who rule. Managerial democracy is the very antithesis of what the lawgiver Solon hoped that popular government would be for Athenians, when he famousl y enacted a law "disenfranchising one who remains uncommitted when the city is politically divided [atimon einai en stasei medeteras meridos genomenon]." Solon held the opinion that, where citizens are truly members of a political community, "they should not remain indifferent and impervious toward the common good [apathos kai anaisthetos pros to koinon]--but engage themselves on the side of those who they think are acting better and more justly, suffering dangers with others and assisting fellow-citizens, rather than awaiting the victors without any danger to themselves." In the managerial state, by contrast, citizens are expected to...

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