I find that reading something I disagree with is often more beneficial than reading things in agreement. One such case is this paper on “folk activism”. I don’t have a big issue with the paper itself – I simply disagree with the usefulness of the premise.
There’s a lot of libertarian writing on the Web, and I find myself sympathetic with it. Yet I see the libertarian view as an academic exercise, mostly practiced by academics. There are two hard realities which any practical view of the world must accomodate:
- Some people have a strong desire for power and prestige – and some of those people are not overly scrupulous about how they fulfill their desire.
- Half of all people are of below average intelligence, and some are significantly below average.
Combine these two facts and it’s easy to see why some people can and will manipulate others. I have yet to see any political system described that could avoid the aggregation of power, the manipulation of the less blessed, and the institutionalization of affairs to make the condition permanent. Like it or not, that’s the way the world works.