The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy
Among the many other questions raised by the nebulous concept of greed is why it is a term applied almost exclusively to those who want to earn more money or to keep what they have already earnednever to those wanting to take other peoples money in taxes or to those wishing to live on the largesse dispensed from such taxation. No amount of taxation is ever described as greed on the part of government or the clientele of government.
Extrapolations are the last refuge of a groundless argument.
Failure to use tax money to finance things not liked by the taxpaying public is routinely called censorship. If such terminology were used consistently, virtually all of life would be just one long, unending censorship, as individuals choose whether to buy apples instead of oranges, vacations rather than violins, furniture rather than mutual funds. But of course no such consistency is intended. This strained use of the word censorship appears only selectively, to describe public choices and values at variance with the choices and values of the anointed.
. . ideology. . . is an instrument of power; a defense mechanism against information; a pretext for eluding moral constraints in doing or approving evil with a clean conscience; and finally, a way of banning the criterion of experience, that is, of completely eliminating or indefinitely postponing the pragmatic criteria of success and failure. Jean-François Revel1
In short, numbers are accepted as evidence when they agree with preconceptions, but not when they dont.
Moreover, even in the absence of accumulating personal experience, it was difficult to believe that soaring murder statistics reflected simply better record keeping, since it had always been hard to ignore a dead body.
One of the first things taught in introductory statistics textbooks is that correlation is not causation. It is also one of the first things forgotten.
One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.
Only in the light of this agenda does it make sense that so-called sex education should be advocated to take place throughout the school yearsfrom kindergarten to collegewhen it could not possibly take that much time to teach basic biological or medical information about sex. What takes that long is a constant indoctrination in new attitudes.63
Systemic processes tend to reward people for making decisions that turn out to be rightcreating great resentment among the anointed, who feel themselves entitled to rewards for being articulate, politically active, and morally fervent.
There cannot be a law-abiding society if no one knows in advance what law they are to abide by, but must wait for judges to create ex post facto legal rulings based on evolving standards rather than known rules.
The staunchest conservatives advocate a range of changes which differ in specifics, rather than in number or magnitude, from the changes advocated by those considered liberal change, as such, is simply not a controversial issue. Yet a common practice among the anointed is to declare themselves emphatically, piously, and defiantly in favor of 'change.' Thus those who oppose their particular changes are depicted as being against change in general. It is as if opponents of the equation 2+2=7 were depicted as being against mathematics. Such a tactic might, however, be more politically effective than trying to defend the equation on its own merits.
the very commonness of common sense makes it unlikely to have any appeal to the anointed. How can they be wiser and nobler than everyone else while agreeing with everyone else?
The vision of the anointed is one in which ills as poverty, irresponsible sex, and crime derive primarily from society, rather than from individual choices and behavior. To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by society.
To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by society.
What sense would it make to classify a man as handicapped because he is in a wheelchair today, if he is expected to be walking again in a month, and competing in track meets before the year is out? Yet Americans are generally given 'class' labels on the basis of their transient location in the income stream. If most Americans do not stay in the same broad income bracket for even a decade, their repeatedly changing 'class' makes class itself a nebulous concept. Yet the intelligentsia are habituated, if not addicted, to seeing the world in class terms.