Friday, December 28, 2012

Jonathan Rauch, Hypocrite

Comes now liberal writer Jonathan Rauch to argue that the one way of doing things is wrong. (H/T Dynamist).
Whenever anyone tells you, 'I've got it right. I've got the one true answer and everyone else is wrong and I'm going to enforce it,' that person is not only a menace to freedom but, more important, a menace to human thriving and human knowledge.
Golly.  Of course, Rauch doesn't mean it with respect to government programs.  He just means that in the university there should be a full and free discussion of ideas and that nobody should be allowed to get away with being "offended" by free speech.

Also, Rauch meanders on to say what a wonderful thing the conversation about gay marriage was, and how it "persuaded" the American people.  As if.  As if the "conversation" about gay issues, like the conversation about race, has not been at every moment about liberal bullying, liberals stigmatizing anyone that disagrees with them as bigots and racists and homophobes.

I wonder how many people in Washington State voted, like me, for gay marriage on the principle of Ben Franklin, that experience keeps a dear school, but they will learn in no other.

If you truly believe  that "the one true answer" is a problem then you have to believe that almost any government program is a disaster.  Because almost any government program says: Look chaps, we've been thrashing around with this problem, everyone going his own way.  Now we need to stop all that and force everyone to do it the same way, our way.

In Government's End, Rauch argued that government was stymied by special interest rent seekers which prevented government from being the flexible problem solver it could be.  But that completely misses the point.  It was 50 years ago that Buchanan and Tullock dissected government in The Calculus of Consent, and showed how the game of forcing others to pay for your pet projects works. Special interests are to government what eggs are to bacon.  As far as the system will allow, special interests will try to game the system to acquire rent.

The only political question, then, is how much do we limit government?  Within those limits, we should understand, it is a special interest feeding frenzy.

When you don't limit the government you get what we have right now, a government barreling to inflation and default.  Why?  Because there is no established limit to how much the government can take, and how much the government can give.

And that's because our ruling class, the educated elite, gets its power from cultivating the resentments and the envies of the average American into well manured, husbanded, and till'd government programs with lots of jobs and power for the ruling class.

So the ruling class, like Jonathan Rauch, can talk a good line about the horrors of the one way, but when it comes to the crunch, they are all in favor of more government, the one forced way for everything.

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