In his classic, The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek gave several reasons why the supporters of centralized government planning, whether it is called socialism, communism, fascism, or "Homeland Security Bureaucracy" are "not likely to be formed by the best but rather by the worst elements of any society." I thought of this recently while observing the TSA goons in action on a busy day at BWI Airport, along with some of their more obnoxious cheerleaders on television. Here's reason #1 from Chapter 10 of The Road to Serfdom (p. 138), entitled "Why the Worst Get on Top":
"[I]t is probably true that, in general, the higher the education and intelligence of individuals become, the more their views and tastes are differentiated and the less likely they are to agree on a particular hierarchy of values. It is a corollary of this that if we wish to find a high degree of uniformity and similarity of outlook, we have to descend to the regions of lower moral and intellectual standards where the more primitive and 'common' instincts and tastes prevail. This does not mean that the majority of people have low moral standards; it merely means that the largest group of people whose values are very similar are the people with low standards. It is, as it were, the lowest common denominator which unites the largest number of people. If a numerous group is needed, strong enough to impose their views on the values of life on all the rest, it will never be those with highly differentiated and developed tastes — it will be those who form the 'mass' in the derogatory sense of the term, the least original and independent, who will be able to put the weight of their numbers behind their particular ideals.
Moreover, tyrants will often "be able to obtain the support of all the docile and gullible, who have no strong convictions of their own but are prepared to accept a ready-made system of values if it is only drummed into their ears sufficiently loudly and frequently."