In the prior thread, I think we may have, through byzantine passageways of dispute, yet managed to make some progress toward clarity of disagreement.
One commenter has told me that rule-by-the-few is “here to stay,” with overtones to the effect that it is idle to argue against it; and another commenter has as good as told me that rule-by-the-few, far from merely being a fact to face, is a positive good in some areas, including health care.
The form of this rule-by-the-few will take is surely managerial or technocratic; rulership by the few experts or soi disant experts. We will all be covered with another set of regulations and officialdom. A new army of public clerks will be placed in authority over us; or, to be more precise, over the already extant army of private clerks placed in authority over our doctors. Among them — because in any army of men you will find such villains — will flitter a few ambitious tyrants and an abundance of crooks and fools.
Now I happen to think the managerial state is here to stay as well. I might have a more pronounced sense that the managerial experience is near the sunset of its days than my interlocutors (derivatives markets are giving an augury of doom right now), but we can agree that it is for now a simply fact to face.
Another area where some progress has been made, I like to think, concerns the particulars of the philosophical language of universal or natural rights — that language’s particular inadequacies.
Health is too precarious a thing to go around promising people as a right, arising from nature, vouchsafed against the community by the state. We might as well demand that every state receive the same amount of rainfall; may as well ask the Supreme Court to stop the drought or the floods in the South.
There is not yet the power in man, much less in his art of government, to insure that all our diagnoses will be right, or that none of our doctors shall ever be weary or hungover or distracted. We have yet to conquer misfortune.
So set that “rights” language aside. Repose in the language of justice — even social justice, if it will placate the liberals (though no one has ever heard of a non-social justice).
In light, not or rights but of justice, let us consider two questions: (a) has the establishment of the managerial state comprised an advance for justice? and (b) should we on those grounds continue to favor the replacement of democratic or self-governing or rule-by-the-many forms with managerial, plutocratic, rule-by-the-few forms?