June 8, 2014

The Clerisy — You will submit or else [Darleen Click]

From The Daily Beast. Really

In ways not seen since at least the McCarthy era, Americans are finding themselves increasingly constrained by a rising class—what I call the progressive Clerisy—that accepts no dissent from its basic tenets. Like the First Estate in pre-revolutionary France, the Clerisy increasingly exercises its power to constrain dissenting views, whether on politics, social attitudes or science.

An alliance of upper level bureaucrats and cultural elites, the Clerisy, for for all their concerns about inequality, have thrived, unlike most Americans, in recent years. They also enjoy strong relations with the power structure in Washington, Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Wall Street.

As the modern clerisy has seen its own power grow, even while the middle class shrinks, it has used its influence to enforce a prescribed set of acceptable ideas. On everything from gender and sexual preference to climate change, those who dissent from the official pieties risk punishment. […]

More important still is the bureaucracy’s ability to control society through unelected agencies, something that grew even during Republican administrations, but has achieved unprecedented scale under President Obama. Increasingly, agencies such as the EPA and HUD, seek to shape community development patterns—for example on land use policies —- that traditionally fell under local control. With their power, the agencies have harassed unfriendly conservative organizations, as seen by the IRS, and monitored the populace’s private conversations, seen in the case of the NSA. But to some prominent members of the Clerisy, these power grabs haven’t gone far enough.

Leading figures of the Clerisy, like former Obama budget advisor Peter Orszag and Thomas Friedman, argue that power should shift from naturally contentious elected bodies—subject to pressure from the lower orders—to credentialed “experts” operating in Washington, Brussels or the United Nations. The popular will, according to the Clerisy and its allies, lacks the scientific judgment and societal wisdom to be trusted with power.

Really, the whole Enlightenment thing and the American experiment with a Constitution to restrain The State and secure the rights of individuals?

How quaint.

Why should we ever have experts if we allow people to ignore them?

Posted by Darleen @ 5:48pm
129 comments | Trackback

Comments (129)

  1. If Kotkin has been dipping back into Tocqueville’s account of the old regime and the revolt against it, or maybe Arendt’s adoption of Tocqueville’s insight as a tactic explanation transcribed to the insanity of the annihilation of the European Jews, he doesn’t seem to indicate a warning to the Clerics here, does he? Or am I missing some subtle suggestion that they ought take greater care to actually achieve some substantial good, rather than to simply destroy things while claiming that such destruction is good?

  2. Tactic should read tacit.

  3. Texas Republicans have adopted a party platform that includes support for voluntary psychological “therapy” targeted at converting homosexuals to heterosexuals.

    […]

    The Texas Republicans’ measure states that “We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.”*

    My takeaway from this is that – in ways not seen since at least the McCarthy era, which was many moons ago – Americans are finding themselves *increasingly constrained* by a rising class what is growing stronger by the second – something what I like to call the “Hyper-Progressive Spooky Scary Clerisy” – what accepts NO DISSENTINGS from its basic tenets.

  4. Now if only Texas republicans could destroy national wealth at a place to rival Chicago progressives. So far they’ve only managed about a third what would be necessary to even approach the inventive wealth annihilation the socialists have shown themselves capable of. Since “heath care” and “energy” are already taken, what sector ought they aim at? Sex toys, maybe?

  5. >which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle <

    sounds like evolution you darwin deniers

  6. >which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle <

    the woman's asshole+vagina+ blow job and a baby.

  7. What proggs don’t like, that is not prohibited, must be depicted as mandatory to stir up the low-information pikachus.

    Thus an optional therapy, which Texas Republicans have decided must not be prohibited, is to be portrayed as “Texas Republicans want to force all gays to submit to a ‘cure’!!!!1!!”

  8. hf

    that word salad you just tossed in? Are you for or against choice?

  9. The yellow peril is for the progressive agenda.

  10. >what accepts NO DISSENTINGS from its basic tenets.<

    ask xtains cake makers in colorado

  11. ask “judges” in wisc.

  12. ask “attorney generals” in pa

  13. choice is my favorite i love choice

    what’s a pikachu got if he ain’t got choices?

  14. besides pancake mix

  15. Everybody seems intent on the McCarthy = Progressive Left idea but then those making it believe their own propaganda about the “McCarthy Era” and the revisionist “history” of it.

  16. Since “heath care” and “energy” are already taken, what sector ought they aim at? Sex toys, maybe?

    I thought Operation Choke Point already had that covered.

  17. Just heard Hugh Jackman hosting the Tonys quip that there are two kinds of people in the world — those who believe in Same-Sex Marriage, and those who should mind their own business.

    The shrapnel from my Irony Meter exploding took out an entire shelf of books and a potted plant.

  18. And I had taken out the batteries and everything…

  19. life is also worth living with puppies and white chocolate sauce

  20. to credentialed “experts” operating in Washington, Brussels or the United Nations

    what’s actually kind of weird is that ever since vajajay jarrett’s puppetcunt was elected in 2008, we’ve heard actually very very little about this “united nations” for good or bad

  21. mostly little debbies

  22. for the baracky

    steely dan – kings

  23. Modern kids react to an Apple II w/ lime monochrome monitor.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PF7EpEnglgk#t=393

    It reminds me of me trying to explain to an 11 year old cousin that in high school i listened to “tapes” on a walkman(actually a Sanyo). He could not understand how we put up with it. Songs only play in one order, the thing is heavy, you have to flip the tape, and the batteries run out in four hours. He had me convinced that it must have totally sucked and I was there enjoying it.

  24. Worse are the times when you have to explain to the grandkids about telephone party lines and black and white TV with only three channels.

    If you were LUCKY. If not, you were stuck playing GI Joe with stick and dirt clods wondering who the hell ‘Howdy Doody’ was…

  25. Then there was the time I was explaining to my baby brother that “yes, Paul McCartney actually was in a group before ‘Wings’…”

  26. Yeah I’ve had the whole “So, what’s the big deal? They still have cell phones in the future? Great.” conversation about Star Trek communicators.

    And though I was born in 71 I had a taste of party-line and rotary dial fun (excuse me, could you stay off the line please? We’re expecting an important long distance call tonight. Sorry.) and understood the words “the phone company” VERY differently than people do today.

    And yeah I lived through an era of analog 320×480 interlaced cathode ray tube RF TV’s with VHF and UHF knobs where you fiddle with the antenna and fine tune to clear up the signal and then mess with V-sync and H-sync to adjust the picture position, and have no control over what shows you watched when, no means of recording anything, little means of being sure when they would come on without TV guide, and looking forward to reruns to see stuff you missed before it disappeared possibly forever. You expect to probably NEVER seeing a movie again except Disney stuff after it left the theater chains. I remember being blown away by the idea of renting movies for a VHS machine and even BUYING THEM or recording shows on TV to watch later and lend to friends. CD’s looked like magic when I first got one. My first DVD player was a PC drive in 1998 and my first DVD movie was Mr. Bean in 1999.

  27. I remember my Father’s Aunt Millie calling us kids down to her apartment, announcing that she has COLOR TV!!!.

    -It was a piece of plastic you placed on the TV tube that has three vertical stripes of color – blue, red, green. The Wow Factor lasted about a half-an-hour.

  28. I bought my first music CD in 1996. Only place I could play it at the time was my Windows 95 PC.

    We still have a VHS in service in the family room; the wife wanted to dub the contents of a tape on DVD, so we bought a combo unit made by Magnavox. It’s lasted longer than any of the previous DVD players we’ve used — maybe longer than all of them put together.

  29. In a nation deranged expert fiction is better than commonplace non-expert truth. Until, of course, it isn’t.

    Why has the floor grown so sticky?

  30. Pablo, if she thinks a five-to-one trade is bad racial arithmetic, consider that the one white guy was a misfit and an outcast, while the five brown guys are senior terrorist leaders, highly valued among their troops.

    Talk about devaluing brown people!

  31. I can only imagine the struggle Obama, a man of people of color, must have felt as he authorized that trade.

    A man of people of color ? I can only imagine the struggle Mullen, a woman of pallor, must have felt trying to avoid calling Obama black or whatever the PC term du jour is.

    On the subject, what exactly is the difference between “colored people” and “people of color”, and why is one offensive ? Why are white people not considered colored as white is the presence of all colors and black the absence ?

    And before you even begin to think about criticizing this standpoint, remember that anything you say in opposition to this just shows your support of both racism and the GOP.

    I got to thinking about that last line and actually, if you look at some of her other stuff, I am thinking this whole thing is brilliant parody. The comments I am not so sure about.

  32. Talk about devaluing brown people!

    It abhors me to have such a dehumanizing racist as POTUS.

    I am ashamed to be an American. I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.

  33. And how for something considerably more fun and inspiring!

    Notorious Abortionist’s Son Shot Multiple Times Committing Home Invasion

  34. Why are white people not considered colored as white is the presence of all colors and black the absence ?

    (Was trying to crack a joke about “additive” vs. “subtractive” color systems, and “check your pigment”, but it just wasn’t working. Need more coffee…)

  35. eCurmudgeon,

    Good thing, you definitely don’t want to go there, because you would be declared racisss because even though all humans are the same general hue though with variable chroma, lighter is defined as higher value than darker…

  36. Bob,

    That is what I thought, but I was corrected as raaaaacist is apparently the old spelling, and raciss (minimum of 2 esses) is the new.

  37. Well…what do I know: when I talk about ‘hip’ these days I’m referring to hip replacements.

  38. I’m more than a day late to this party, but I have to ask anyway:

    Is there anybody left who doesn’t think he’s a troll?

  39. stop being grumpy it ill suits you

    i’m a super swell guy i will have you know

    i just think this whole clerisy thing is a we lil bit overblown

    you know

    like Sarah Palin and that cancer movie and Taco Bell Waffle Tacos

  40. He aspires to be a troll. He’s only a demi-goblin — a garden gnome on his mother’s side.

  41. *wee* i mean

    a *wee* lil bit overblown

  42. oh for the love of Pete why must you use words to hurt Mr. McGehee?

    we might could be neighbors one day

  43. Zoning laws prohibit sewage pits from being relocated next to human habitation, so I doubt you would ever move into McGehee’s neighborhood. Or any human neighborhood, for that matter.

  44. oh for the love of Pete why must you use words to hurt Mr. McGehee?

    Yeah… bullets are much more fun.

  45. i need to take my sleeping pills and get and early start tomorrow

    so while I’m gone everybody try and be super-nice and when you speak keep it all sweetness and beneficence

    ok see you later

  46. i just think this whole clerisy thing is a we lil bit overblown

    That would because attitudinally, you’re indistinguishable from the clerisy.

    Think of yourself as belonging to the minor orders. You know, like college students were back when the Church ran all the universities.

  47. now you’re just making stuff up

    there *are* no minor orders of this chimerical clerisy cause it’s all just a conceit for making blog posts

    why is it always me what has to explain stuff

  48. Don’t swallow the whole bottle, pleurisyfoot.

  49. Is there anybody left who doesn’t think he’s a troll?

    I have it on good authority he is really either Chelsea Clinton or Cher.

  50. If you’d have said Chastity Bono, I would have believed you.

  51. Ernst, I think Bono the Younger is probably muy mas macho.

  52. i loved cher in moonstruck i just watched that again the other day

    they should make a sequel

  53. Quod erat demonstrandum.

  54. i cried like a baby

    that olympia dukakis she just effing nailed it

    you know what maybe it’s time for a tales of the city marathon

  55. there *are* no minor orders of this chimerical clerisy cause it’s all just a conceit for making blog posts

    Books too.

    today’s left is obsessed with containing and controlling the masses and forcing them to be ruled by their betters. It’s why there is such rage at the Tea Party, no to mention the Little Sisters of the Poor, who dare to resist the sexual revolution and Obama’s contraception mandate. Yet there is a twist: these same liberals now love popular culture, especially the parts of it that tweak (or twerk) bourgeois values. They have also, as Siegel [there’s that book I was talking about] notes, traded in their concept of a “universal consciousness” that needs to be elevated for the racial and gender identity politics of “gentry liberalism.” It’s not a hive mind that needs to be dragged into enlightenment; it’s a bunch of dumb rednecks who need to be forced to celebrate “diversity.” In either case, the goal is heaven on earth, and they will do anything to attain it.

    Let me try and sum up by putting it this way: combine utopianism, snark, arrogance, selective defense of science — that is, defense of science when it agrees with your preformed prejudices — hostility to Western civilization, ignorance of American history, mockery of classical culture, the ability to shift sides to either defend or excoriate the masses depending on whether the people are for or against your unreasonable utopian demands (i.e. your “rights”), a Valley Girl singsong accent, and free-floating rage. Put it all together, have Obama recite an incantation over the stew, and you have a modern liberal. You have Rachel Maddow.

    So maybe I was wrong about that Chastity Bono thing

  56. i blame jon stewart

  57. Jon Stewart is the Clerisy’s version of The 700 Club.

  58. if there were a for reals clerisy i would agree

    but those are just regular old obamawhore fascists

  59. Looks like those swallowed sleeping pills aren’t working.

    Try suppositories, instead.

  60. the thing about Jon Stewart though is, Team R gives him an easy-peasy target-rich environment to exploit

    they should maybe think on maybe not doing that so much going forward

  61. they take awhile to kick in Mr. guins

    but when they do it’s like flipping a switch

    except for last saturday

  62. [T]hey have an almost religious attachment to the Cause. The Left is a religion. It looks away from the obvious sins of its leaders the way earlier generations of churchgoers sometimes averted their gaze from the misdeeds of their own. The Left will abandon the Left around the time the Wahabis abandon Wahabism.

    It is so central to them that life without it would be meaningless. Leaving the Left is like being a man without a country. It is easier to change your passport than to change your friends. As one person put, “If I had to choose between my country and my friends, I hope to have the courage to choose my friends”. The reason people on the Left can’t rebel isn’t because they cannot bring themselves to doubt Obama. It’s because they can’t bring themselves to stop going to cocktail parties.

  63. the right

    it is also a religion

    america sucks america’s ass

  64. In the audience, sure. The clerisy are the ones making the program.

    The very term Clerisy first appeared in 1830 in the work of Samuel Coleridge to described the bearers society’s highest ideals: the intellectuals, pastors, scientists charged with transmitting their privileged knowledge them to the less enlightened orders.

    The rise of today’s Clerisy stems from the growing power and influence of its three main constituent parts: the creative elite of media and entertainment, the academic community, and the high-level government bureaucracy.

  65. Yup. Those Texas Republican h8trz. NOT making you go to the therapist if you don’t want to go. So intolerant.

  66. the thing is

    this is what these retards think is platform-worthy

  67. in 2014

  68. Why do hate health care choice for the mentally ill and/or emotionally disturbed?

  69. i’m just more concerned about existential issues what threaten any remote semblance of life in this country as we have known it

    Texas Republicans on the other hand

  70. Can multitask?

  71. Pikachu delenda est.

  72. Like I said, you could use a good kick in the ass.

  73. *swift*

  74. i’m just more concerned about existential issues what threaten any remote semblance of life in this country as we have known it

    i’m just more concerned about existential issues what threaten any remote semblance of life in this country as i want it to be

    FIFY, as they say, Ms. Bono.

  75. the thing is

    this is what these retards think is platform-worthy

    This is what you California retards think is worthy of having laws banning. Because tolerance and freedom.

  76. commercial fraud in general is pretty much banned here anymore Mr. Pablo

  77. Just as is slavery, for progressive California, only Government is allowed to defraud the public. They own ‘em. They alone get to impose schemes on them all.

    Markets deciding? Bah, markets are evil and might/will make the “wrong” decision. Only an approved government union stooge can make the proper decision as to what is a fraud and what is to be allowed to be sold. They just know things and are smarter than the hoi polloi.

  78. Prosecutions, firings needed to root out corruption at Department of Veterans Affairs, IG testifies

    Not just there, everywhere in the federal government, at least. That would be a “good start” as the old punch line goes.

  79. not exactly Mr. geoff they banned the pray-away-the-gay schemes legislatively with specific legislations what all the congresswhores here voted on

    and then a three judge federal appeals unanimously upheld the law so it’s like a normal old law not something what was imposed by the government union stooges

  80. griefer

    Let’s go through this obsession thing you have with Texas Republicans allowing people to choose how they want to live their lives.

    If you want to hold their choice is foolish, ok. But when you say they should NOT have a choice cuz it interferes with your “Orientation is Fixed, Gender is not” shibboleth, it is pretty transparent you’re just another member of the Leftist cult.

  81. the point remains that when we see Texas Republicans nonchalantly incorporating anti-gay planks into their platform we’re forced to conclude that this Clerisy boogeyman is a wee lil bit overblown

  82. Choice is anti-gay?

    Yep, griefer, look in the mirror and embrace your authoritarianism.

  83. “We want to celebrate diversity, so you will agree with every single one of our whims, and denounce exactly the same things we denounce, or we will PUNISH YOU. For the children!”

  84. you can’t make me

  85. You want what you refuse to others, and you see no problem with that? (That 12-gauge is calling your name. It’s rude of you to ignore it.)

  86. You want what you refuse to others, and you see no problem with that?

    No, Ms. Bono does not, look at the way it acts.

    There is a reason the yellow peril is fixated on childish things (the name, the pikachu, the baby talk, the goofball foods), is that it has not yet reached even an adolescent state of intellectual development. It is the reason that it tries to come on as charming, and yet without much provocation, or when it does not get what it wants, becomes a potty mouth tantrum thrower. Most of the comments from it are disruptions and distractions on the line of flipping the game board over because it is losing, or someone isn’t paying enough attention.

    Compare its general behavior to that of a severely spoiled 6 year old; the jaundiced Ms. Bono wants what it wants, and the hell with anything else.

  87. Well, I have two words for the adherents of such a philosophy: Fuck that.

    Or, in the original Greek: Molon Labe.

  88. all i really want this week is a waffle iron and a bottle of campari Mr. Ausfahrt

  89. Boogie, man.

  90. All that Texans want is to decide their own lives without the fascistic meddling of asshats who think they know better. Too bad for them, though, right, fascist?

    FOR TEH DIVERSITY!

  91. My degree in pop psychology thinks that feets didn’t get enough attention as a child. He comes here for the attention, good, bad and indifferent.

  92. Having choices is anti-progressive, so of course they demand, impel, enForce that we shall all have “THE” one true “Choice” and that one alone, because? Diversity.

    Words, meaning gone higgly-piggly to press their intent on all others.

  93. “happyfeet says June 10, 2014 at 8:56 am”

    Once again, QED.

  94. once again QED pickles

  95. we might could be neighbors one day

    And then I’ll hurt you with lawn equipment instead.

  96. that’s not very neighborly Mr. McGehee

  97. [W]hen we see Texas Republicans nonchalantly incorporating anti-gay planks into their platform we’re forced to conclude that this Clerisy boogeyman is a wee lil bit overblown

    The fact that Kotkin’s Clerisy is secularist and anti-Christian must be why you won’t see it. You certainly seem content to let it do your thinking for you though.

  98. all Kotkin is saying is there’s a bunch of fascists in media and academia and in america’s failshit hyper-fascist bureaucracies

    we already knew this

    he’s just recasting it so anti-gay bigots can cloak themselves in the warm fuzzy footie pajamas of victimhood

    I do not see how this is particularly helpful.

    Team R is so obviously on the losing side of public opinion and Kotkin’s contrived formulation only encourages them to cling cling cling ever more bitterly to their anti-gay hate politics.

    The truth is, this is a very fascist moment in history.

    Even the pope is an openly avowed socialist.

    Give me the wiggins it do.

  99. that’s not very neighborly Mr. McGehee

    First you complained about words, now you’re complaining about lawn equipment. Make up your mind, will ya?

  100. The truth is, this is a very fascist moment in history.

    I find your lack of self-awareness unsurprising.

  101. yeah well you would

  102. all Kotkin is saying is there’s a bunch of fascists in media and academia and in america’s failshit hyper-fascist bureaucracies
    we already knew this
    he’s just recasting it so anti-gay bigots can cloak themselves in the warm fuzzy footie pajamas of victimhood

    That drek came from the Kotkin in your head, not the one Darleen linked to. So add moral narcissism to the list of qualities you share with the liberal gentry.

    [A]lthough it pretends (especially to the self) to altruism, moral narcissism is in essence passive aggressive, asserting superiority over the ignorant or “selfish” other. It is elitist, anti-democratic and quote often, consciously or unconsciously, sadistic.

  103. i have to go Mr. Ernst i will talk to you later if the clerisy don’t get you in the meantime

    stay frosty they’re everywhere

  104. Steven Hayward (quoting Gary Lawson), “The Problem of the Administrative State in One Paragraph: *** The [Federal Trade] Commission promulgates substantive rules of conduct. The Commission then considers whether to authorize investigations into whether the Commission’s rules have been violated. If the Commission authorizes an investigation, the investigation is conducted by the Commission, which reports its findings to the Commission. If the Commission thinks that the Commission’s findings warrant an enforcement action, the Commission issues a complaint. The Commission’s complaint that a Commission rule has been violated is then prosecuted by the Commission and adjudicated by the Commission. This Commission adjudication can either take place before the full Commission or before a semi-autonomous Commission administrative law judge. If the Commission chooses to adjudicate before an administrative law judge rather than before the Commission and the decision is adverse to the Commission, the Commission can appeal to the Commission. If the Commission ultimately finds a violation, then, and only then, the affected private party can appeal to an Article III court. But the agency decision, even before the bona fide Article III tribunal, possesses a very strong presumption of correctness on matters both of fact and of law. ***

  105. M. Weber, Politics as Vocation: […] According to his proper vocation, the genuine official — and this is decisive for the evaluation of our former regime — will not engage in politics. Rather, he should engage in impartial ‘administration.’ This also holds for the so called ‘political’ administrator, at least officially, in so far as the raison d’etat, that is, the vital interests of the ruling order, are not in question. Sine ira et studio, ‘without scorn and bias,’ he shall administer his office. Hence, he shall not do precisely what the politician, the leader as well as his following, must always and necessarily do, namely, fight.

    To take a stand, to be passionate — ira et studium – is the politician’s element, and above all the element of the political leader. His conduct is subject to quite a different, indeed, exactly the opposite, principle of responsibility from that of the civil servant. The honor of the civil servant is vested in his ability to execute conscientiously the order of the superior authorities, exactly as if the order agreed with his own conviction. This holds even if the order appears wrong to him and if, despite the civil servant’s remonstrances, the authority insists on the order. Without this moral discipline and self-denial, in the highest sense, the whole apparatus would fall to pieces. The honor of the political leader, of the leading statesman, however, lies precisely in an exclusive personal responsibility for what he does, a responsibility he cannot and must not reject or transfer. It is in the nature of officials of high moral standing to be poor politicians, and above all, in the political sense of the word, to be irresponsible politicians. In this sense, they are politicians of low moral standing, such as we unfortunately have had again and again in leading positions. This is what we have called Beamtenherrschaft [civil-service rule], and truly no spot soils the honor of our officialdom if we reveal what is politically wrong with the system from the standpoint of success. But let us return once more to the types of political figures.

    Since the time of the constitutional state, and definitely since democracy has been established, the ‘demagogue’ has been the typical political leader in the Occident. The distasteful flavor of the word must not make us forget that not Cleon but Pericles was the first to bear the name of demagogue. In contrast to the offices of ancient democracy that were filled by lot, Pericles led the sovereign Ecclesia of the demos of Athens as a supreme strategist holding the only elective office or without holding any office at all. Modern demagoguery also makes use of oratory, even to a tremendous extent, if one considers the election speeches a modern candidate has to deliver. But the use of the printed word is more enduring. The political publicist, and above all the journalist, is nowadays the most important representative of the demagogic species.

  106. Verdict first, trial afterwards, huh?

  107. Evolutionary dead-enders are the future! The science is settled! You’re on the wrong side of history! The arc of history is long and it bends like the many dicks a man must suck! Etcetera!

  108. Maybe I’m misunderstanding the point you’re trying to make here, but it seems to me that Weber in the quoted passage is arguing for the superiority of the Hohenzollern Reich over the Weimar Republic.

    Didn’t Arendt characterize a latter manifestation of that ” honor of the civil servant … vested in his ability to execute conscientiously the order of the superior authorities, exactly as if the order agreed with his own conviction” as “the banality of evil”?

  109. “. . . [ ]understanding the point you’re trying to make here. . .”

    It might be useful (in very brief) to look to the contrast with our times, or to put that another way, to see “. . . the whole apparatus would fall to pieces” as a thing accomplishéd, to revert to the pronunciation of Handel’s Messiah.

    We live in a time where the “civil” service has run amok, and our primary politician runs as distantly far from “responsibility” just as fast as his pusillanimous feet will carry him, all the while continuing the fight to make war on his own society.

  110. Imagine if they were running over us in an orderly fashion, efficiently and dispassionately executing Obama’s will.

    This is why the whole Bismarkian social welfare administrative regulatory state apparatus is incompatible with republican governance.

  111. executing Obama’s will.

    Could be I’m interpreting wrongly, but I actually think Weber intends by “. . . in so far as the raison d’etat, that is, the vital interests of the ruling order, are not in question” the Constitution of the United States, and not any substitution for it the “will” of some oafish pip-squeak the like of our ClownDisaster.

  112. But I have to say, I think it would help my ability to interpret him greatly if I do finish reading his essay.

  113. [reading] . . . a couple of times, or maybe three or four, come to think on it.

  114. All of that is qualified by the parenthetical “— and this is decisive for the evaluation of our former [my emphasis] regime — ” i.e., the Kaiserreich.

    Max Weber is no friend of Republicanism, is what I’m saying.

  115. That’s fine. Still, regarding our struggle with ethics in politics or even especially ethics in what appears to be (certainly for Weber) a necessary bureaucracy in the governance of any possible modern state, large business enterprise, etc., will we on that account be unable to learn anything from him?

  116. Depends on what we mean by anything, doesn’t it. I mean, I’m sure we can learn something about marriage from Larry King, but he wouldn’t be my go-to guy.

  117. In any event, I seem to remember Bloom placing Weber squarely in that continental philosophical tradition that was alien to our native Enlightenment tradition.

  118. Depends on what we mean by anything, doesn’t it?

    Ah, that’s an interpretation of a devil, I think, and not a serious political thinker who, though he may not have hold of perfect knowledge of everything, is presumed to have hold of no limited knowledge of anything. Or to put that another way by my lights, that you have no interest in looking to see, because you have already decided that the answer is “no”.

  119. In the case of our nation, “the vital interests of;” the actual ruling order, the (believes itself to be) influencing order, the bureaucracy, and the press, are running headlong into the fact that Obama is only about Obama’s own self-perceived interests of the given day. The bureaucracy and the press can’t keep up with the constant changes to the narrative. And the ruling/ influencing orders are seeing the wheels of the bus bearing down.

    None of them have any interest in the vital interests of the nation at large believing that nothing they do will ever sink the “ship of state.” In that they are wrong and have not yet realized that that sinking is what our president is intent on doing. It is the only thing that shines faintly through his chaos of words and actions.

    I (still) hope he fails.

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