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They Had a Dream: Rule By Experts

President Obama Laughs with Aides on Air Force One

They wanted their chance, and they got it. They had it…

For The Weekly Standard, Noemie Emery writes: They had a dream. For almost a hundred years now, the famed academic-artistic-and-punditry industrial complex has dreamed of a government run by their kind of people (i.e., nature’s noblemen), whose intelligence, wit, and refined sensibilities would bring us a heaven on earth. Their keen intellects would cut through the WELL.v19-36.June2_.Emery_.ObamacareSigningclutter as mere mortals’ couldn’t. They would lift up the wretched, oppressed by cruel forces. Above all, they would counter the greed of the merchants, the limited views of the business community, and the ignorance of the conformist and dim middle class.

They blew it. They’re done.

Out of sorts and out of office after 1828, when power passed from the Adamses to the children of burghers and immigrants, they had begun to strike back by the 1920s, led by the likes of George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, H. L. Mencken, Herbert Croly, and Sinclair Lewis. Their stock in trade was their belief in themselves, and their contempt for the way the middle class thought, lived, and made and spent money: Commerce was crude, consumption was vulgar, and industry, which employed millions and improved the lives of many more people, too gross and/or grubby for words.41C7HuowRFL._SL110_

[Order Noemie Emery‘s book Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families from Amazon.com]

“For the American critics of mass culture, it was the good times of the 1920s, not the depression of the 1930s, 41eaIef4eCL._SL110_that proved terrifying,” says Fred Siegel, whose book The Revolt Against the Masses  describes and eviscerates this group and its aspirations.

[The Revolt Against the Masses is also available from Amazon.com]

In their dream world, “intellectuals, as well as poet-leaders, experts, and social scientists such as themselves would lead the regime,” as Siegel tells us. “It was thus a crucial imperative to constrain the conventional and often corrupt politics of middle-class capitalists so that these far-seeing leaders might obtain the recognition and power that was only their due. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] “We Used Up All The Weird”: Author P.J. ORourke Talks About ‘The Baby Boom’

Featuring the author P. J. O’Rourke, H. L. Mencken Research Fellow, Cato Institute; with introductory remarks by David Boaz, Executive Vice President, Cato Institute.

“We’re often silly, and we’re spoiled by any measure of history…At the same time we made the world a better place — just not necessarily in the ways we set out to.”

— Author P. J. O’Rourke

In his first book of all new, previously unpublished material since 2007, best-selling humorist P. J. O’Rourke bab-boom-imgturns his lens on his fellow post-war babies. In “The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way” O’Rourke draws on his own experiences and leads readers on a candid, laugh-out-loud journey through the circumstances and events that shaped a generation.

[Get P.J.’s book The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way” (And It Wasn’t My Fault) (And I’ll Never Do It Again) at Amazon]

At this Cato Book Forum, he will tackle the big, broad problems stemming from the generation that, for better or worse, changed everything.

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The Gentrification of the American Left

McGovern&co

Opiate of the Elites

VINCENT J. CANNATO writes:  After the 2012 election, Mitt Romney’s loss prompted questions about the future of conservatism. A year later, the ongoing drama of Obamacare’s failures has seen similar concerns voiced regarding the future of liberalism. So what, exactly, do we mean when we talk about “liberalism”? Conservatives used to equate it with the New Deal and Great Society, with the social and cultural liberalism of the late 1960s mixed in. Recently, conservatives have dug deeper and found a different foundation for modern liberalism: the Progressive movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

[Order Jonah Goldberg‘s Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning from Amazon]

The assault on progressivism started with the writings of people associated with the Claremont Institute, like political scientist Ronald Pestritto, and reached a wider audience with Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism (2007). These writers explain how “progressives” turned away from older notions of individualism and believed that the Constitution was an increasingly archaic document in a modern industrial world. Progressives looked admiringly at Germany and other strong European states and built up an increasingly unaccountable administrative state to run the federal government. According to the Claremont school, liberalism does not consist of the stereotypically touchy-feely brand of politics we usually associate with it. Rather, it is more a corporatist alliance of big government and big business than a movement for reform and social justice.

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