« Sacks on life after virtue | Main | Public goods & world government »

October 22, 2007

Comments

dearieme

Yes, but perhaps we choose people who are happy to isolate themselves, who have spent much of their adult lives isolated from the world. Having seen how our former PM, the Loathsome Wee Twat, sought out the company of the rich and famous, do you really suppose he had ever enjoyed the company of the ordinary?

cityunslicker

but surely our great leader of today is seeking to rectify this by his munificent granting of citizen juries?

Slightly more seriously, who says ordinary people have a clue about what needs to be done?

Remember Churchill's quote about time spent in an average voter...

Chris Williams

Whoa, there. What's so modern about the politics of personality? Ever hear of aristocracy and monarchy?

dearieme

It's not so much about having a clue about what's to be done, as about understanding the world partly by learning to see it through their eyes. Since much of the knowledge that you need is tacit and distributed, you are cutting yourself off from it by isolating yourself.

Blissex

«Slightly more seriously, who says ordinary people have a clue about what needs to be done?»

Well, this assumes that «needs to be done» is somehow something that is uncontroversial, that a capable, well informed manager can just figure it out and then do it. In other word, New Labour managerialism, or the eternal Whitehall "we know better as we went to Oxbridge and «hoi polloi» didn't". Politics as efficientism.

«Remember Churchill's quote about time spent in an average voter...»

No surprise there, as Churchill was exactly in the "we know better" tradition.

But hey, the country belongs to the average voter, and if the average voter, as a co-owner of a large condo called "this green and pleasant island" can't be bother to pay attention to its running, they deserve the consequences.

The two essential (and more or less sufficient) conditions for a country to be happy and prosperous are for the elites to feel they are in the same boat as the majority, and for the masses to be vigilant and participate in public life to some significant degree.

Conversely a ruling class with assets and lives in the Bahamas and sullen, uninterested citizens are a sure recipe for disaster.

My metaphor of human society is that of a group hunt for bison or whatever: to get a good catch the leaders *and* the others need to care and to be somewhat fair to each other, or else the bisons will not be found or will escape, ...

The comments to this entry are closed.

blogs I like

Blog powered by Typepad