Why are intellectuals hateful of liberty?
During my time in university, I’ve noticed amongst my peers a cult-like attraction to the Democratic party, and complete agreement with its quest for total dominance and power over American political life. I have been puzzled as to why people with such extensive college educations are so aversive to liberty. But today, a thought struck me which makes clear why technical intellectuals are favorable to a State with expansive power. The reasoning, to be short, is purely out of self-interest. In the technically advanced economies of the 21st century, those with technical backgrounds will be in high demand. Furthermore, the corporate managerial state will need personnel to setup the regulatory schemes necessary to create closed markets for politically-connected corporations. These peers are part of America’s future technical elite, and as the power of the state increases, their demand for their skill sets will only increase further and further. By simple supply and demand, their incomes will rise. To the technical intellectual, an increase in state power can only be a good thing.
Oligarchy and the Ottoman Empire
In history, only two governments ever existed in practice: an oligarchy, or a republic. No dictatorship is actually a dictatorship. Even if the potentate has theoretically unlimited power, true power lies with his close advisers and bureaucratic corps. These mandarins have much control over the actions of the dictator, since he relies so heavily on them as eyes, ears, and brains. By scheming and subterfuge, they can erect a “false reality” around the potentate, and can stealthily insert their personal agendas into his menu of policy options. The power wielded by these mandarins increases dramatically with the value and difficulty of their field of expertise.
The Ottoman Empire is a case study of such a government. Theoretically, an Ottoman sultan had absolute power over the entirety of his empire. However, the vast ethnic and linguistic diversity of the empire, covering vast geographic distances, made it impossible to govern all by himself. As such, he was reliant on a corps of ultra-educated bureaucrats to manage local and regional affairs. Second only to the sultan was the Grand Vizier, the chief adviser to the sultan, who also presided over a council of lesser viziers known as the Divan. These men were the sultan’s chief advisers – and power rested with them. Furthermore, other students of elite schools were needed to fill the ranks of the civil service, or serve as officers in the army. These men were the eyes, ears, and paws of the sultan.
America and Totalitarian Technocracy
America today is becoming much like the Ottoman Empire. Instead of a monoculture, our country is breaking apart into ethnic enclaves, which mutually despise each other, and are incapable of self-government. Since electoral government cannot work in a multicultural society, the only effective way to govern is by the fiat of an elite civil service corps, or a “managerial elite.” The vast expansion and growing power of the federal government over the past 50 years has only increased its reliance on technical managers. Furthermore, the American political class is overwhelming composed of lawyers, businessmen, and racial agitators. These men lack the technical skills necessary to understand issues which require intimate mathematical and scientific knowledge. The judiciary is composed of lawyers which fled mathematics and went to law school instead. But there is no escaping the need for technical competence, as judges presiding over patent challenges often require the aid of consultants in order to render judgment. Furthermore, the vastly expanded power of the government gives bureaucrats now the capability to make politically costly mistakes. Men with elite, lengthy scientific educations are necessary to advise the key decision makers. Thus, we see an active state is a boon to the technocratic managerial elite, since this ever-increases the demand for their skill set. Commensurately, they are able to extract more and more income from the taxpayer as compensation.
We will see more and more of this in the coming century, as America’s slide into tyranny accelerates, and the oligarchy that takes its place becomes more and more reliant on a highly-educated, high-IQ, scientific elite. Both the State and the intellectuals benefit from the arrangement, just as the State in ages past benefited from cozy arrangements with the pulpit. The flowchart below is a visualization of the feedback loop.
The Endgame and Death of the Technocratic Class
But what is the endgame? Absolute power corrupts absolutely. As Machiavelli intimated in “The Prince”, the trappings of power can make a ruler feel isolated and paranoia can make him “unbearable.” The intellectual power elite and political class will eventually become fearful of losing their comfy jobs, high incomes, and monstrous power. Paranoia overtakes them, and they begin to see enemies under the shade of every tree. They fear populist uprisings, or bloody retribution from armed revolt. The State and technocratic elite then begin applying their energies to constructing a prison society, as is happening in America and has already happened in Britain. To quash the unrest, the citizenry must feel the absolute dominance of the cognitive-political class breathing down their neck at all times, and feel the boot on their throat even in their dreams. Powerlessness must become inculcated into them; resistance felt to be futile. As Paul Kennedy said in his book “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers”, nations in decline become fearful of domestic enemies and devote more and more of the tax base to “security”. Paranoia is a natural response to the State actors when incontrovertible evidence of their mismanagement reaches the electorate’s attention. They fear being dethroned, and move to quash civil liberties and disable all effective resistance. The people’s theoretical ability to dissolve the government and elect another is only meant to serve as a pacification mechanism. Should the people actually act on their theoretical right to self-government, that voting power would be legislated out of existence before even the first votes were cast. This is assuming of course, the regime permitted honest elections anyways.
But the technocrat becomes his own worst enemy. As I wrote in a previous blog post, great ideas and only cultivated in a rich, moral soil. A prison society hardly provides that environment, as the next generation are bred to be obedient slaves, not capable thinkers. Thus the technocrat tramples out of existence his “next-in-line” to replace him when he retires. With a technical corps of decreasing quality and number, the political class begins to make serious mistakes which either erode public confidence, or decrease the public’s fear in the regime. Once these two entities are extinguished, only then can the people have another chance at erecting a new government which will not treat them as serfs.