The Wonkocracy: Why Can't People Be Reasonable and Do What We Say?


An inspiring rant from James Poulos at Forbes (inspired itself by a very uninspiring current round of chatter about Josh Barro, but you don't need the boring context) about the mentality of the American wonkocracy.

Choice excerpts:

The logic of the neoliberal wonkocrat dictates that "government" is this accumulation of authority, this attribution of legitimacy, and the entitlement to implement policy that flows from it. That's what governing means. Oppose that, and you oppose not just "an ideology" or "your partisan opponents" — you oppose governance itself. It's a simple model, really: Be Krugtron the Invincible, follow Krugtron the Invincible, or get out of the way.

These are the sorts of claims that expose themselves to critical appraisal whether there are 5000 or 50 or 5 or zero intransigent Republican lunkheads standing athwart wonkocratism. "The point is not that I have an uncanny ability to be right," Krugman stunningly says; "it's that the other guys have an intense desire to be wrong." That is exactly the point, which would be laid scandalously bare if only those dumbass conservatives wised up long enough to go on political strike. Those obdurate dingbats are a wonkocrat's best friend — they make it possible for people to believe that wonkocrats want to recommend, not command.

Krugman and any other wonkocrats are just lying when they insist that the foundational issue is political bad faith of an "ideological" kind. No matter how real or important that issue is, it will never transcend the really fundamental claim animating and self-justifying the wonkocracy: that, whatever else is the case, they deserve the power to see their policies implemented.

…..the best way to prove a wonkocrat wrong is to let them have their way. Stand clear of the path of progress, and watch how quickly it narrows. Over time, that narrow path will encounter a mountain too high, a sea too deep, or a cliff too sheer to navigate. We cannot all stand clear of the path of progress, alas. Sadly, as we already know all too well, when it fails us, we will always be around to blame.

Read the whole thing.