The Brilliant Higgs

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Writes Paul Gottfried: “I’ve just reread Bob Higgs’s Schlarbaum Address, which is so BRILLIANT that it would require an entire book to answer the questions therein raised. Bob is absolutely correct that ‘liberal democratic’ government is unmistakably oligarchic, that it continues to put its subjects in harm’s way, and that it milks people for money in return for services that it delivers quite badly. But managerial democracy, if polls are to be believed, is also quite popular with most of its subjects. It is also constantly expanding and from what we can judge by the present levels of support for the two parties, the voters are willing to accept more rather than less bureaucratic control over their lives. In a word, there is nothing in the performance of the liberal democratic welfare state that would justify its apparent indispensability in the lives of its subjects. The way the modern state gains this unjustified control is by having its priesthood located in the media, public education, and the two parties create a consensus together with a pseudo-history that allows the power-grab to go on. The democratic regime also systematically weakens all independent alternatives to itself by introducing ‘social and family policies.’ Its oligarchic character works like the communist nomenclatura but more successfully. It manipulates and intimidates for the purpose of applying the principle of equality or, in the American case, fighting discrimination. The mistake made by its neocon-liberal critics, which Bob does not commit, is falsely ascribing noble motives to this process.”

2:00 pm on April 6, 2008