Archive for October 20th, 2014


Joel Kotkin on the Cathedral Clerisy:

In “The New Class Conflict,” I describe this alliance as the New Clerisy, which encompasses the media, the academy and the expanding regulatory bureaucracy. This Clerisy already dominates American intellectual and cultural life and increasingly has taken virtual control of key governmental functions, as well as the educations of our young people. […] Although usually somewhat progressive by inclination, the Clerisy actually functions much like the old First Estate in France – the clergy – helping determine the theology, morals and ideals of the broader population. […] Against such established and accumulated power, even a strong November showing by the GOP may have surprisingly little effect. Indeed, even with a Republican in the White House, the Clerisy’s ability to shape perceptions, educate the young and control key regulatory agencies will not much diminish. The elevation of the Clerisy to unprecedented influence may prove this president’s most important “gift” to posterity.

Kotkin throws in some misdirection, towards “Daniel Bell [who 40 years ago] predicted … [the rise to] ‘pre-eminence of the professional and technical class.'” You can judge the credibility of this intellectual genealogy for yourself.

(Link and title stolen from Stirner.)

October 20, 2014admin 16 Comments »
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If you want to break an economy, democracy is the solution you’re looking for. The crucial reference is to this paper (via Cowan), dedicated to the The $42 Trillion Question: Will Rapid Growth in China and India Persist? The economic consequences of socio-political ‘progress’ are spelled out about as clearly as anyone could want:

… nearly every country that experienced a large democratic transition after a period of above-average growth (more than the cross-country average of 2 percent) experienced a sharp deceleration in growth in the 10 years following the democratizing transition. Among 22 countries in which episodes of large democratic transition coincided with above-average growth, all but one (Korea in 1987 with an acceleration of only 0.22 percent) experienced a growth deceleration. The combination of high initial growth and democratic transition seems to make some deceleration all but inevitable. The magnitude of the decelerations was very large: The median deceleration across the 22 countries was 2.99 percent and the average deceleration was 3.53 percent.

The phenomenon of demosclerosis is already theoretically well-grounded. It appears to be a more rapidly-acting poison than even its fiercest critics have acknowledged.

October 20, 2014admin 7 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Democracy