The public policy phantasmagoria: which way reforming man?

There are two completely incompatible refrains to be heard at the nexus of politics and policy. The first voice warns “we need to go slow, account for ‘legitimate grievances,’ address the needs of the people ‘left behind'” etc. Ad nauseum.

The second voice says something like “we need to change many things fast, everything is changing anyway, the minority who object are shrieking irrelevance, there’s a new paradigm” etc. Ad nauseum.

To some extent these incompatible positions represent a divide in the establishment center of politics. To a lesser extent, the second group wants to see the end of popular democracy and the adoption of more technocratic governance.

The second voice will get more of its way than the first because the first voice has little connection to politics and social life. Almost all the people -most particularly left/liberal academics and commentators- who drone about “legitimate grievances” have no link of any sort to the people legitimately aggrieved.

Some part of the ruling class is behind the first voice but the second voice is a near consensus position at the top. For that reason, second voice reforms will go forward and the grievances at issue will probably only get more legitimate. When does a grievance get so legitimate that it actually matters? That’s a trick question.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s