Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A note to Brad DeLong:
Professional orchestral musicians are talented and bright, and know their place. They're craftsmen and only journeymen at that.
Academics these days are all Platonists with delusions of grandeur.

The professionalization of knowledge, the rule of experts you're so in favor of, has destroyed academia; it's the same thing that's destroyed the press. Men like you are loyal to what that know, not to the questions that need to be asked. The press has known for years that democrats are weak on national security, so they must be. You know what rationality is so it must be what you know.

But the issue isn't knowledge, it's power. Like Bloomberg who wants to be loved but still can't see his way to a genuinely progressive congestion tax, you end by defending your status not your knowledge.
You understand the slippage? Like the cop who steps over the line and says he is the law? You proved it again yesterday.

You've said you're a proud technocrat and defend the rule of technocrats. But Platonist technocrats are what others call fascists.
What would you call a decent but powerful man who thinks he doesn't have to watch himself? And, so if he doesn't have to watch himself, surely no one else does.
You don't understand the rule of law. It's the opposite of everything you stand for. And it's all we have to protect us from people like you. The arrogant and dimly bright.
The last vestiges of modernist authoritarianism are in the academy. I know I was born there.

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