Really? Yes, if one aspires to be a scientific sociologist within the ranks of our political elite. This elite “knows” that we, the people, are actually incapable of knowing what is best for ourselves nor how to obtain that best. How will they govern this ungovernable rabble?
Their authoritarian progressivism—at odds with the democratic, pluralistic traditions within liberalism—tends to evoke science, however contested, to justify its authority. The progressives themselves are, in Daniel Bell’s telling phrase, “the priests of the machine.” Their views are fairly uniform and can be seen in “progressive legal theory,” which displaces the seeming plain meaning of the Constitution with constructions derived from the perceived needs of a changing political environment. Belief in affirmative action, environmental justice, health-care reform, and redistribution from the middle class to the poor all find foundation there. More important still is a radical environmental agenda fervently committed to the idea that climate change has a human origin—a kind of secular notion of original sin. But these ideas are not widely shared by most people. The clerisy may see in Obama “reason incarnate,” as George Packer of The New Yorker put it, but the majority of the population remains more concerned about long-term unemployment and a struggling economy than about rising sea levels or the need to maintain racial quotas.
That the Constitution has allowed for 235 years of self governance through “that government of the people, by the people, for the people” is irrelevant to the political elite. So irrelevant that this form of government must “perish from the earth” for the rabble has displayed too many flaws and therefore are too stupid or ignorant to know what is best.
Welcome to the authoritarian progressive world of today. A world that will be ruled by the scientific sociologist elite from their bureaucratic seats of power in academia, government and celebrity politics. That the majority of the people oppose them is merely more proof to them that the people aren’t capable making a right decision. Our original sin is self reliance and that sin begs for authoritarian progressivism. A fancy way of saying that bureaucrats will force you to do that you think wrong.
The phrase “power to the people” has been turned on its head.