April 10, 2012

Old and moldy...

By Michael Barone, RealClearPolitics - Can Romney Show Voters That Obama Is Out of Date?:

...There is a huge tension between the personalize-your-own-world ethos of the iPod/Facebook generation and the command-and-control, mid-20th-century welfare state programs of the Obama Democrats.

The young are stuck with disproportionate insurance premiums by Obamacare and with student loan debt that can't be discharged in bankruptcy. Some hope. Some change.

Romney needs to make the case that current policy -- what Obama has fallen back on -- is leading to a crash in which government will fail to keep its promises.

He needs to argue that his "opportunity society" means vibrant economic growth that can provide, in ways that can't be precisely predicted, opportunities in which young people can find work that draws on their special talents and interests.

Obama's policies, in contrast, treat individuals as just one cog in a very large machine, designed by supposed experts who don't seem to know what they're doing (see Obamacare, Solyndra). Their supposedly cutting-edge technology (electric cars, passenger rail) is more than a century old.

Romney, potentially strong with the affluent, needs to figure out how to get through to the young. ...

The whole idea of "design by experts" is SO Industrial Age. As is having government acting as the ringmaster of the circus. Did you ever see the movie Dumbo? Remember the Ringmaster cracking his whip while the parade of elephants marches along in a stately line? That's what the Industrial Age was like.

For our time, try to imagine the Ringmaster trying to discipline 10,000 cats...

Posted by John Weidner at April 10, 2012 12:20 PM
Comments

Is "personalize your ethos" same as
"At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

And
"individuals as just one cog in a very large machine"
may be more charitably reworded as
individual as an organic part of the city.

Conservatives may be strong on subsidiarity but they have renounced solidarity. Thus they are or acting as agents of radical libertarianism that is no less destructive than Marxism.

Posted by: Gian at April 10, 2012 8:31 PM

Thus they are or acting as agents of radical libertarianism that is no less destructive than Marxism.
You might want to tell that to the radical libertarians, Gian. They don't seem to have gotten the message that the GOP is working to enact their agenda. They stubbornly refuse to vote Republican.

Posted by: Terru at April 10, 2012 8:50 PM

But GOP is working to enact their agenda. The wars to spread democracy, followed by (US Govt funded) NGO's spreading feminism, homosexual rights, cultural disintegration etc.

Posted by: Gian at April 10, 2012 11:07 PM

Current respectable libertarian academic thinking:

Tyler Cowen: Let's say genetic engineering is possible, which is now not so far off on the major scale, and your daughter were having a daughter, and she asked you "daddy, should I program my daughter so that she's willing to sell her baby and take the money and send it to Haitians to save ten babies in Haiti". Would you recommend to her "yes, you should program the genes of your baby so she's that way"?
Singer: So she's going to sell her baby? What's going to happen to the baby?
Cowen: She's going to sell it to some wealth white couple that's infertile, they live in the Pacific Northwest, they'll take fine care of it, she'll receive $1M and save, say, 30 lives in Haiti. You've recommended that your granddaughter be programmed to act this way. Would you recommend that?
Singer: And so she's going to be happy with that? She's not going to suffer as current people would the pangs of separation from their daughter or the agonies of not knowing what's happened to my daughter? She's going to feel perfectly comfortable with that, and she's going to feel good about the fact that she's helped 30 babies in Haiti to have a decent life? Is that the assumption?
Cowen: We can do it that way, but keep in mind that even if she's unhappy that's outweighed by the 30 Haitian lives which are saved. Either way you want.
Singer: Right, but you're asking me and I'm like normal human beings, I haven't been reprogrammed, so I care about my daughter or my granddaughter, or whoever this is.
Cowen: Ok, she'll be happy.
Singer: Ok, good. Then I think I'm on board with your program.
Cowen: So you would want people to be much more cooperative in this way, if we could manage it in some way that won't wreck their psyches.
Singer: That's right.
Cowen: Do you think people would have a moral obligation to genetically reprogram themselves, or it would just be a nice thing they could do if they felt so inclined?
Singer: I think if we really had a system that was as good as you're saying, would lead to as good consequences, and would leave people happy, that's something they ought to do. Because that would really be a way of making a huge difference to the world. They would be wrong not to take advantage of this, given the benefits it involves and the absence, it seems, as described, of any major drawback

Posted by: Gian at April 10, 2012 11:12 PM

Is "personalize your ethos" same as "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

No. If you had not mis-quoted the article, the answer would be obvious. It reads: "personalize-your-own- WORLD ethos of the iPod/Facebook generation." When I was young I listened to the music the radio station chose to play. And not much else. This was "rule by experts," since the people at the radio station knew far more more about what was happening in music than I could possibly know. Now I can rummage the Internet, combing through literally millions of pieces of music. And put thousands of them on my iPhone, and listen when and where I want. I'm "personalizing my own world." (I'm not young in years, but in spirit I'm younger than many.)

The above-mentioned "rule by experts" is exactly what is at the heart of recent Democratic initiatives, such as Obamacare, or CFPB. They will inevitably fail; they do not fit the Information Age. But it may take time for the truth to sink in.

But imagine some young person with a thousand carefully picked songs on his or her iPod. One day they or a loved-one gets some obscure disease. What will they do? They will ransack the Internet for info and specialists and possible cures. And then, alas, they will discover that they are in conflict with the whole "rule-by-experts" ethos of the programs of big-government liberals. The health bureaucracies will expect them to do what they are told, and obey the "experts."

Then maybe they will wish they had voted for those evil Republicans...

Posted by: John Weidner at April 11, 2012 6:54 PM

'Then maybe they will wish they had voted for those evil Republicans...'

What if they realize it too late. If ObamaCare passes the Supreme Court, it will become so entrenched like every other gov't program that you can't get rid of it. I'm actually thinking we'll end up with a dystopia like the movie 'Children of Men' and, then, we have to start all over again.

Posted by: David at April 11, 2012 9:46 PM

That's what one would normally expect. And it may work out that way.

But I think we are at one of those times when "everything goes by the boards." A sort of new Fall of the Roman Empire. Which will be horrible, of course... but also it will be an opportunity. A lot of things that will fail--that are failing--deserve to fail. Good riddance. It's a big opportunity to speak the truth and re-think, and start over.

When the world passes into a new age, things from the old age linger, often for a long time. But they are doomed.

Posted by: John Weidner at April 11, 2012 10:30 PM

"since the people at the radio station knew far more more about what was happening in music than I could possibly know."

But they truly knew more and perhaps the teens now would have a better music collection if they let the experts pick their music.

Medical care is actually an easy example. Govt really should not have a great role except when the Govt is actually paying for it.

Education is a harder matter. Traditionally, it used to be left to the Church. For the Church is to guide and the State is to restrain.

Do the Catholic schools in America keep to the State-approved syllabus?

Posted by: Gian at April 11, 2012 11:14 PM

Fall of Roman Empire and yet no martyrs.

Do you think that freedom could be have had so cheaply?

Posted by: Gian at April 12, 2012 1:19 AM


David wrote:
I'm actually thinking we'll end up with a dystopia like the movie 'Children of Men' and, then, we have to start all over again.
The movie or the P.D. James book the movie was based on? The two are very different. The never mentioned the word "abortion" but managed to clearly state a strong ethical case against abortion.

Posted by: Terry at April 13, 2012 8:57 PM
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