Tuesday, November 19, 2019

In Defense of Popular Governments

The intellectuals assume that a government that enjoys mass support must always be a badly managed dictatorship. But they are  ignoring the fact that the global intellectual class has a long history of supporting dictators, whereas the masses mostly support the political groups which promise to revive the economy, establish the rule of law, and improve quality of life. The worst dictatorships of the last hundred years came to power because of the support of the intellectuals. Hitler lost the election in 1932 (he didn’t have popular support), but he was appointed chancellor in 1933 because the European intellectuals were rooting for him. Lenin was himself an intellectual and his Bolshevik party was supported by many important intellectuals in Europe. On the other hand, the best governments in last hundred years came to power due to mass support—for example, Thatcher, Reagan, and others. A government that enjoys the support of the masses is a better option than a government for which the intellectuals are rooting. The intellectuals think that they know more about politics than the masses, but they don’t. The masses (in some of the advanced democracies) are more politically savvy than the intellectuals.

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