The most recent news item I posed on the previous page really stuck in my craw, but I at first found myself unable to articulate exactly why. Now
after mulling it a bit, I think it was this line that was galling in particular:
"…Still, the approach we recommend does count as paternalistic, because private and public choice architects are not merely trying to track or
implement people’s choices. Rather, they are self-consciously attempting to move people in directions that will make their lives better. They
I think the above is one of the most incredibly condescending perspectives I've ever seen evidenced by a person or persons in this kind of position.
Because most ideologues or officials at least try to come across as respecting their audiences. Even when they don't respect us deep down, they at
least make a bare-bones attempt
to come across like they are adults talking to other adults. But this quote, on the other hand, shows the
elites not even pretending to speak to the public as equals, or even near-equals.
If you read between the lines, its essentially saying: Look, we aren't going to take you on as an opponant or try to influence your choice in the
traditional sense. Why bother? That would require a level of respect for you that we just don't have. The way we see it, you are more like a toddler,
or perhaps a dumb farm animal too stupid to to know what you really want. We, of course, are superior to you in ethics, intelligence, and general
sophistication, and thus we can read you like an open book. So to save us all time and hassle, just shut up, put this dog collar on, and don't bother
thinking or worrying about what we are doing -- after all you wouldn’t understand it anyway. Just let us "nudge you in the right direction" because
you aren't capable of knowing what you really want, let alone what is good for you.
It's hard to believe that a free society can give rise to public auhority figures who are at so casually at home with such imperious attitudes that
they can just...let it all hang out
like that, without making the barest attempt to sugar-coat their disdain. This type of swaggering pomposity
smells to me like a whiff of something that blew in from the salons of Louis XVI's Versailles or Qing-dynasty China, perhaps. When Aristocrats were
Aristocrats and the little people in rags flopped face-down in the mud when approached by their betters.
Of course, TPTB have always had similar views of us "useless eaters," amplified like whining feedback at the raquet clubs and yacht regattas where the
real game is mutual back-slapping among sociopathic narcissists. But in the past, they were usually careful to keep that kind of open disdain to
campfire chats at Bohemian Grove or lawn parties in the Hamptons. It is a new and unsettling development to see such remarks so casually tossed to the
press. And the saddest thing is they may indeed have a point of sorts: How many people really pay attention to Sunstein and his ilk? Why bother hiding
anymore, when the plasma-screen-and-SSRI-addled eyeballs of Joe Sixpack rarely detach themselves from the flickering image of Honey Boo-Boo long
enough to mull the words of some boring wonk in a suit who uses big words?
And yet...and yet...I know that there are a lot of imbiciles out there, but I also believe in my heart that the American people really are better,
smarter, and stronger than Hollywood and Academia wants to think (and wants to make you
think). America is still full of tough-as-nails
go-getters, and this is what scares the pants off of Sunstein and his ilk late at night. Don't let them tell you otherwise, America. And don't let
them tell you otherwise, ATS. I know we are better than that.
edit on 1/4/2013 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)