Kenneth Anderson At Volokh: ‘The Fragmenting of the New Class Elites, Or, Downward Mobility’

Full post here.

Anderson has his own theory of the Occupy movements and the recession:

‘In social theory, OWS is best understood not as a populist movement against the bankers, but instead as the breakdown of the New Class into its two increasingly disconnected parts.  The upper tier, the bankers-government bankers-super credentialed elites.  But also the lower tier, those who saw themselves entitled to a white collar job in the Virtue Industries of government and non-profits — the helping professions, the culture industry, the virtueocracies, the industries of therapeutic social control, as Christopher Lasch pointed out in his final book, The Revolt of the Elites.’

I think the definition of liberty here is key.  The “New Class”, on this analysis, would be generally seeking to enshrine positive definitions of liberty as a libertarian might view liberty and liberalism (with individual freedoms eventually threatened by the consequences of political and social order such folks pursue…namely big States and perhaps a big World Government entity).

You can easily think of some Davos types, Bono and other entertainers, various non-profiteers, the right’s boogeyman George Soros and perhaps Al Gore, some advocates for world government,  humanists and cosmopolitans (old and new money) at the top.  Beneath them here at home one could easily think of social workers, community organizers, government nutritionists, environmentalists, unionized teachers, all of whom require the welfare State for their existence (other people’s money taxed and redistributed to them as they pursue their own self-interest and their own conception of the Good and public Good).

All of them, on this analysis, are rent-seekers (and rent-seeking is quite normal, but for these folks it requires a large State or the benefits gained here at home…and other markets abroad).  The problem is there’s no money left at the moment in the public coffers.  This could help explain the protests and many mainstream liberals awkwardly trying to co-opt what they see as a potential populist base for their own political and ideological interests.

Food for thought.

Related On This Site:   Ken Burns makes a good documentary, but he’s also arguing he absolutely needs your tax dollars in service of what he assumes to be a shared definition of the “common good” as he pursues that art.  The market just can’t support it otherwise. From ReasonTV Via Youtube: ‘Ken Burns on PBS Funding, Being a “Yellow-Dog Democrat,” & Missing Walter Cronkite’

Steven Pinker curiously goes Hobbesian and mentions an ‘international Leviathan’:   At Bloggingheads Steven Pinker Discusses War And Thomas Hobbes

A Few Thoughts On Walter Russell Mead At The American Interest: “Why Blue Can’t Save The Inner Cities Part I”

The market will make people better off, but always leaves them wanting more and in a state of spiritual malaise, which invites constant meddling.  Can economic freedom and free markets reconcile the moral depth of progressive big-State human freedom:  Milton Friedman Via Youtube: ‘Responsibility To The Poor’A Few Quotations From F.A. Hayek’s: ‘Why I Am Not A Conservative’A Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty”

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