The Flight From Reality: 13. The Democratic" Elite


Mr. John A. Sparks, a student at Grove City College, assisted with the research for this article.

Dr. Carson is Professor of American History at Grove City College, Pennsylvania. Among his earlier writings in THE FREEMAN were his series on The Fateful Turn and The American Tradition, both of which are now available as books.

There have been strange and in­consistent developments in the movement toward what is billed as democracy in twentieth century America. The phrase that all men are equal has been a rallying cry of professed democrats. They have proclaimed their shock at the ex­istence of distinctions, discrimina­tion, and hierarchies. Leveling has been much in favor among them.

Yet these democrats appear to have developed myopia where cer­tain kinds of distinctions are con­cerned. This is most pronounced where the presidency of the United States is concerned. For example, following the assassina­tion of President Kennedy, and the subsequent events in Dallas, various columnists announced in shocked tones that there was no Federal law providing for the punishment of assassins or mur­derers of a President. Such cases fall under state law. This, the commentators declared, was hard­ly the way things should be. The matter should be corrected by making assaults upon the Presi­dent a Federal crime.

Closely related to this is the employment of an extensive Secret Service to guard the President. Millions of dollars are spent an­nually to this end, and the amount has been recently greatly in­creased. Lengthy lists of potential assassins have been compiled, and a concerted effort is being made to make the list as complete as possible. The men assigned to guard the President are expected to serve as human shields of his body if the occasion warrants such action.

It is not my purpose here to make any evaluation or judg­ment of such actions. They may or may not be justified. However, it would be difficult to do so from a "democratic" or equalitarian standpoint. If all men are equal, what would justify giving more protection to one man than an­other? Why should a guard place himself between the President and an assassin’s bullet? Is it a more heinous crime to kill a Presi­dent than it is to kill anyone else? If not, why should it be made a Federal crime to do so? In short, the attention and care lavished upon the President is hardly in keeping with the democratic ethos.

Here is another anomaly. Su­preme Court decisions are made in the name of democracy and hailed as being "democratic." For example, the famous decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, et. al. was preceded by the following argument, among others, by lawyers for the appel­lants (who were seeking a de­cision for integration of the schools in question):

The importance to our American democracy of the substantive question can hardly be overstated. The question is whether a nation founded on the proposition that "all men are created equal" is honoring its com­mitments to grant "due process of law" and "the equal protection of the laws" to all within its borders when it, or one of its constituent states, confers or denies benefits on the basis of color or race.¹

Mr. Chief Justice Warren, who gave the opinion for a unanimous court, declared: "Compulsory school attendance laws and the great expenditures for education both demonstrate our recognition of the importance of education to our democratic society."²

Again, it is not my purpose to evaluate the decision in question. My concern is with the use of the words "democracy" and "demo­cratic" in connection with it. No branch of the general government is so remote from popular control as is the judiciary. It is the least "democratic" of all the branches. The members of the courts are appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. They have life tenure in their offices, and can only be removed from office by actions taken in both houses of Congress. The special function of the courts is to maintain a gov­ernment of laws, and it was thought by the Founders that they would be more likely to do so if they were not subjected to popular pressures.

Federal court decisions, by their nature, are authoritarian and autocratic. That is, they are sup­posed to be made on the basis of the authority of the Constitution and precedent. They are autocrat­ic in that ordinarily the members of the courts are not answerable to anyone for the decisions that they make. Their powers are not absolute, but they are as near to it as any granted under the Con­stitution. On the face of it, "de­mocracy" is not a word one would associate with the Supreme Court.

A third strange development should be described also. As America has moved closer and closer to what is supposed to be democracy, the tendency has been for more and more power to be concentrated in the central gov­ernment. Local and state govern­ments have yielded up, or had taken from them, many of their governmental functions. In like manner, individuals and volun­tary groups have lost exclusive control of many of their affairs as the general government has un­dertaken to regulate and control them. It is not immediately clear why such a course of development should be styled democratic. If by democracy is meant gov­ernment by the people, it would appear that a counter movement would be more nearly democratic. That is, individuals and groups could better control their affairs and govern themselves at the local level. Local governments are sure­ly more sensitive to the wishes of the electorate than are govern­ments far removed from them. State governments might be ex­pected to reflect more accurately the wishes of their inhabitants than would the Federal govern­ment.

Changing the Meaning

These anomolies can best be cleared up by an understanding that "democracy" is used largely as a word cover for an ideological thrust. Melioristic reformers have been bent upon remaking society along certain lines. They have used the materials at hand to ef­fect their ends. The belief in de­mocracy by Americans was a major constituent element of the materi­als at hand. A new conception of democracy, however, had to be developed and propagated before it could be used in this way. It had to be wrested from its indi­vidualistic context and collectiv­ized. It had to be changed from a means into an end. It had to be instrumented to the purposes of re­form.

It is tempting to charge the re­formers with the cynical manip­ulation of a hallowed concept, with the malicious bending of words to their own ends. It is a temptation, however, that should be resisted. To appearances, at least, reform­ers have quite often been as con­fused as those they were drawing into their confusion. The intellec­tuals who provided the theories of reform were on a flight from reality. They were cut loose from methods of analysis and thought which would have enabled them to think clearly. It may be more accurate to think of them as feel­ing their way to usages of democ­racy that would accord with their ideological aims than to conceive of them as coldly planning lin­guistic coups.

At any rate, the idea of de­mocracy was confused from the outset in the United States. As I have shown, the Jeffersonians and Jacksonians used "government" in an ambiguous sense in order to conceive of themselves as demo­crats. Moreover, there were mysti­cal elements in the conception. Jean Jacques Rousseau is usually credited with, or blamed for, in­truding mystifying elements into the conception of democracy. He introduced the idea of a general will into thought about the mat­ter. This general will was a kind of pseudo-metaphysical concept. It involved the notion that there is a general will in society, that the aim of a society should be to discover this and for individuals to bring themselves into accord with it.

The general will was not simply the wishes of a majority of the electorate; it was that which all would wish for themselves if they but knew what they willed. No method was ever agreed upon for discerning the general will, but here was a fruitful idea that could be used, with variations, by dictators, majoritarians, techno­crats, and assorted democrats. All modern notions of democracy are freighted with mystical and intel­lectually impenetrable conceptions.

Building on Illusions

Reformers took over the exist­ing illusions about democracy in America, and added to them. Per­haps the chief illusion taken over is that the United States is a de­mocracy. This illusion has already been explored in some detail, so it needs only summary treatment here. These United States, taken together, are a constitutional fed­erated republic. Those who govern do so on the basis of the repre­sentative principle. The people do not actually govern, nor has there ever been any reason for supposing that they do. The power and authority of the courts derive from the Constitution, not from any supposed democratic charac­ter of decisions issued by them.

Perhaps the most important il­lusion added by the reformers is that socialism can be democratical­ly achieved. There is some evidence that many reformers believed this in the early years of the move­ment in America. In the late nine­teenth and early twentieth cen­turies much of the effort of re­formers was devoted to making America more democratic. This was particularly true of those known as populists, but it was only to a lesser degree true of the Progressives. The platform of the Populist Party in 1892 called for, among other things, a secret or Australian ballot, the direct elec­tion of Senators, legislation by initiative and referendum, and the limitation of the President to one term in office. To this program the Progressives added and pressed for a provision for the recall of judges. Also, there had been a movement for a long time for fe­male suffrage. The Progressives took up this clamor as a part of their platform. The Bull Moose Party platform in 1912 called for a national presidential primary.

Some major changes were made in consequence of these efforts. The Seventeenth Amendment, rati­fled in 1913, provided for the dir­ect election of Senators. The Nine­teenth Amendment, ratified in 1920, extended the vote to women. Some local governments and states adopted the initiative and ref­erendum procedures for some mat­ters, and a goodly number of states provided for presidential primaries.

Extending the Electorate

But these populistic devices only partially solved one of the problems of reformers. A wider suffrage did enable them to elect reformers to office—sometimes. Even this was not an unmixed blessing, as reformers were short­ly to learn. The electorate some­times displayed strange tastes. They preferred an experiment in national prohibition to participa­tion in a League of Nations. They preferred a "return to normalcy" to various and sundry redistribu­tionist schemes. Still, reformers could be more readily elected to office when there was a more in­clusive portion of the populace within the electorate. At least, the over-all trends of this century would tend to indicate this.

Nor is the reason far to seek. The more extensive the electorate the more readily can it be swayed by demagoguery. If the property less can vote, they are more apt than those who have property to favor assaults upon it. The less the electorate is restricted to those who have demonstrated practical judgment, the more readily will it adopt or favor impractical schemes.

Centralization of Power

Even so, the major obstacle for social reform was not surmounted. The extension of the suffrage and the adoption of populistic devices did not mean that government would be by the people. There were still the governors and the governed. Indeed, most of the populistic devices—such as the initiative and referendum—, if they had been adopted, would have made socialistic reforms impracti­cal to carry out, if not impossible. Reformers envisaged a planned, controlled, and directed economy. This required the centralization of power, the concentration of au­thority, and centralized direction. Democracy would tend to diffuse power, to locate decision-making with the numerous individuals who compose the electorate, and to make extended concerted action in a particular direction exceed­ingly unlikely.

Moreover, the reconstruction of society is a complicated and deli­cate undertaking. As Fabians (to use the term generically) have con­ceived the matter, it is to be done slowly. This would mean with a tenacity and with eyes fixed on distant goals which few men dem­onstrate. In short, the ordinary run of men cannot direct the gov­ernment in this undertaking. One writer put the matter succinctly some years ago:

The task of the government of a democratic society implies a wisdom and understanding of the compli­cated life of modern societies very far removed from the simple "horse sense" which is sufficient for the running of small and simple democ­racies. It is clear that a modern state can do its job only with a lot of expert help, expert statesmen, ex­pert administrators. We must nowa­days go on and say "expert econo­mists and expert scientists." Perhaps we must go further and say "expert sociologists."3

To state it less obliquely, democ­racy and socialism are antithetical goals. More precisely, democratic means are not suited to the achieve­ment of socialistic ends.

Transforming Means info Ends

Yet the thrust toward the reali­zation of an ideology which should be called socialism has been car­ried on in the name of democracy. Two things were done to make it possible to avoid confronting this anomaly, to keep the name while working for and accepting the substance of something else. First, democracy was transformed into an end. Second, the business of government was increasingly turned over to an elite.

It may be regrettable, but there is nothing particularly unusual about means being transformed into ends. People do it regularly, and in numerous instances. A house is a thing to live in, an automobile a conveyance to get one from one place to another, money a means of acquiring goods. Yet men will quite often treat these as ends in and for them­selves. There may even be some­thing wholesome and preservative in this tendency. Certainly, a house should become a home—something that has value and meaning be­yond its accommodative useful­ness. Things need much care and attention, and it may be that if we think of them only as means we will neglect them.

Voting Becomes an End in Itself Rather than a Means of Choosing

It would hardly be worthy of comment, then, if all that were involved were the transformation of democracy from a means into an end. Any such transformation does, of course, tend to lead away from reality. But the transforma­tion of democracy involved a sec­ond remove from reality. As we have seen, the United States was not a democracy. Insofar as some of the means for governing were democratic, they fitted into a larger pattern of diverse means. The form of government could only be conceived of as democratic, descriptively, by abstracting some methods from the context of American government. Thus, the conception of American democracy was, and is, an abstraction. When it was made into an end, the ab­straction was thingified.

Some examples will help to clar­ify this. Voting is a very impor­tant practice within the American system of government. In this way, many of those who govern are chosen. They are limited in their exercise of power by the fact that they must stand for elec­tion from time to time if they are to continue in office. Not only is government limited in this way, but it receives popular consent for action by this device. Nothing should be clearer than that voting is a means for making choices, giving the consent of the elector­ate, and limiting those in power. But it is often treated as an end today. Spot advertisements on ra­dio and television, notices in news­papers, and posters and billboards exhort Americans to vote, though it does not matter for whom they vote. This is to treat voting as if it had meaning in and for itself, as if it were an end, not a means.

The abstraction is taken a step farther when this "democratic" procedure is taken from its gov­ernmental context and extended to the action of voluntary groups. The following actually occurred. Someone rose in a faculty meeting and made a motion that each mem­ber of the faculty should pay a certain amount into a flower fund, this amount to be withheld from the paychecks. The motion was seconded, and after some little discussion the motion was acted upon favorably by the faculty. The action was later nullified when an alert business manager pointed out that the enforcement of this act would be illegal. In fact, the faculty had assumed governmental powers, the powers of taxation.

But, one might object, the pro­cedure was democratic, was it not? It certainly was, but it was not action in accord with the Amer­ican system. If the faculty assumed the powers of taxation, there was no limit to the extent of such powers, no constitutional author­ization, no independent judiciary, no procedure for investigations and hearings, no veto powers to prevent precipitate action. This was an excellent example of the abstraction of procedures from their whole context.

Actually, though, such pseudo-governments do exist in America, and have for some time. Labor unions have been empowered to act as pseudo-governments, with powers of taxation and enforce­ment. Farmers vote restrictions upon themselves and other farm­ers, and indirectly tax all of us. Indeed, elections abound and are apt to occur at any time or place where two or three are gathered together. Some of these are in­nocuous enough, but others turn any assemblage into a lobbying group or pseudo-legislative body. It would be highly unusual for anyone to arise when a vote was proposed and challenge the appro­priateness of the procedure. They are accepted as if they were jus­tified in and for themselves.

Dewey’s Contribution

It may be that men have a tendency to turn means into ends, but this development in democracy was not simply the result of some inclination rooted in human na­ture. It served a purpose. It was promoted and propagated. Re­formers articulated a vision of democracy as a goal or an end. Many men contributed, first and last, to this development but none more consistently and vigorously than John Dewey. Note how, in the following, he makes democracy an end and a goal:

… A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of con­joint communicated experience. The extension in space of the number of individuals who participate in an in­terest so that each has to refer his own action to that of others, and to consider the action of others to give point and direction to his own, is equivalent to the breaking down of those barriers of class, race, and na­tional territory which kept men from perceiving the full import of their activity.4

More,... A society which makes pro­vision for participation in its good of all its members on equal terms and which secures flexible readjust­ment of its institutions through in­teraction of the different forms of associated life is in so far demo­cratic. Such a society must have a type of education which gives in­dividuals a personal interest in so­cial relationships and control, and the habits of mind which secure so­cial changes without introducing disorder.5

In short, democracy is not only an end, but it has an end or aim—social control and social recon­struction.

Emphasis on Quality

In particular, the end of democ­racy has been most often thought of as equality. That is, democracy has often been defined as equality, and programs for providing equal­ity have been described as demo­cratic. One writer described the phenomenon, with obvious approv­al, in this way some years ago:

There is excellent historical and psychological ground for the suppo­sition that democracy, whatever it may mean of fraternity, must at least be an effort to embody equality in action. American modifications made in the democratic form may be interpreted as approach toward or recession from equality. What we have only now been considering in America as expansion of govern­mental regulation, even up to the creation of what has been called "the service state," has been done pri­marily in the name of equality of opportunity. From the "Square Deal" of Roosevelt, through the "New Freedom" of Wilson, up to and into the "New Deal"—this has all been an adventure in equalization. In fact, the general bent of American democ­racy has been the extension of lib­erty in the name of equality for the sake of solidarity.6

One may take issue with his use of "liberty" in connection with these developments, but he has aptly described the animating aim of the programs.

The provision of equality could, and has, become an all embracing goal. When governments are used to do this, they must engage in innumerable activities. Wealth must be more or less redistrib­uted; production and distribution of goods must be directed; prices must be more or less controlled; individuals and groups must be regulated so as to prevent dis­crimination, and so on. Such a goal as actual equality, if it could be achieved, could only be reached by the extended and concentrated effort of those who were acting with the force of an all powerful state. It would require the loca­tion of such power in the hands of men, and it would have to be centrally directed.

Steps toward Control

Several things had now been done to "democracy" by these ab­stracting processes. First, the methods associated with it had been made into ends—voting for the sake of voting, for instance. Second, it had been changed into a substantive goal, more or less divorced from its procedural methods. That is, if "true democ­racy" is equality, the methods of democracy are surely secondary. Third, the achievement of this goal required extensive and ex­tended social reform. Fourth, the reforms required by "democracy” would be themselves "democratic." It follows, then, that whatever has to be done to achieve the goals is "democratic," however far re­moved it may be from democratic procedures.

As a writer observed in an earlier quotation, the effort must be directed by experts—by an elite, if you will. The above is the line of reason, or unreason, by which something so uncongenial to democracy as an elite could be justified. But government by an elite was not only uncongenial to democracy; more important, it was also uncongenial to the Amer­ican way, and to Americans. Americans liked to manage their own affairs, both private and pub­lic. The notion of having their affairs managed by experts might not be expected to be too popular. Still, it has come to pass that an elite increasingly governs, and their responsibility to the popu­lace is often quite indirect, if not nonexistent.

The Theory of an Elite

Elitist ideas have been very prominent in European thought for the past century. As one his­torian says, "The ideal of an elite guiding mankind toward a better life in a new society has played a role" in many social theories. "Marxism had its elite in the Communist Party, and Nietzsche longed for an elite of individualis­tic supermen."7

Perhaps the most extensive theory of an elite set forth was by Vilfredo Pareto in a three-volumned work called A Tract of General Sociology. He held that man is fundamentally irrational—or that most men are—, that he is governed by "residues" and "der­ivations"—residues being, rough­ly, inherited beliefs, and deriva­tives being particular formula­tions from these which serve to motivate behavior and attitudes. An elite could govern through its knowledge of the psychology of the masses. "The main business of this elite must be to manipulate residues through controlling their derivations. Here propaganda came into its own, for the residues were irrational and thus the der­ivations had to appeal to the ir­rational in man… Thus if meat inspection was desired, the ap­peal could not be to civic pride but instead to the fear of death through poisoning."8

America has had no Pareto. The nearest thing to him was probably Thorstein Veblen. Veblen did set forth a theory, or, in the peculiar argot of progressives, a predic­tion, of an elite. His elite was made up of industrial technicians, and when it ruled it would be a technocracy. Veblen held that in­creasingly business was managed and guided by technicians. These had been brought in the service of what he called "absentee own­ers," the holders of corporate stock, and so forth. But he ex­pected that in time they would perceive that these owners con­tributed nothing to production. When they did so, they might be expected to revolt by way of a general strike of technicians and take over the industries. He did not profess to know when it would occur. "But so much seems clear, that the industrial dictatorship of the captain of finance is now held on sufferance of the engineers and is liable at any time to be discon­tinued at their discretion, as a matter of convenience." When they took over, they would admin­ister the industrial system for the benefit of the general welfare, so Veblen thought, not for the profit motive.

The "Soft Sell" in America

Of course, American reformers did not generally openly advocate government by an elite, or press for the formation of a technoc­racy. Instead, they acclimated Americans to the idea in a more piecemeal fashion, and talked in terms of more congenial ideas. They spoke of leadership, of ex­perts, of civil service, and of pub­lic administration. Americans were, and are, much devoted to things scientific, and it was con­vincing to appeal for experts and technicians in government affairs. Indeed, in the 1920′s, the intro­duction of such methods in gov­ernment was often referred to as being businesslike.

The simplest illustration of the application of these ideas to gov­ernment can be found at the local level of government. The city manager system was a direct out­growth of the idea of having ex­perts govern. The movement for city manager systems got under­way in the early twentieth cen­tury, and was part of the general reform movement led by Progres­sives. The system is well described in the following words by an en­thusiastic advocate:

… A small council is elected at large and chooses a city manager. It may dismiss him but may not con­trol his acts. The manager appoints the necessary city officers and acts for the city in much the same way that the general manager would for an ordinary corporation. He is re­sponsible only to the council manic directors…. The amateur adminis­trator, chosen on political grounds, is displaced by the expert brought in from the outside to manage the city.

Politics is adjourned. At least this is the hope.’°

Without perceiving the irony of it, this writer says: "The return to simplicity is hopeful whatever may be its details. The earliest type of city government in the United States was that of a single body…. Power and responsibil­ity were concentrated…." In short, "In essentials we are now back where we began… ¹¹ He did point out in an earlier para­graph, however, that the city manager system might well be oligarchic. But he seemed mainly concerned that this situation would result from lack of public interest. To which one might re­ply, it is oligarchic, or, more pre­cisely, monarchic, whether the public is interested or not.

City Planning Developed

A corollary movement was the city planning movement. The aim was centralized control of the de­velopment of cities and the draw­ing up and execution of master plans. One advocate stated the aims in this way:

In a big way, city planning is the first conscious recognition of the unity of society. It involves a social­izing of art and beauty and the con­trol of the unrestrained license of the individual. It enlarges the power of the State to include the things men own as well as the men them­selves, and widens the idea of sov­ereignty so as to protect the com­munity from him who abuses the rights of property….¹2

These wonders were to be achieved by expert planners:

City planning involves a new vi­sion of the city. It means a city built by experts, by experts in archi­tecture, in landscape gardening, in engineering, and housing; by stu­dents of health, sanitation, transpor­tation, water, gas, and electricity supply; by a new type of municipal officials who visualize the complex life of a million people as the build­ers of an earlier age visualized an individual home.¹3

Extending the Pattern to the National Level

This vision was, of course, transplanted to the nation as a whole. The idea of governing by an elite of leaders and experts was transferred there also. The President has most often been conceived of as the leader. The constitutional role of the President is considerable, but the office has grown mightily in power and prestige in this century. Theo­dore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wil­son contributed to its stature. Theorists have come forward, too, to proclaim the role of leadership inherent in the office.

The following, written in 1921, exemplifies the tenor of such thought:

Thus the President is the one of­ficial whose position marks him at the present time as the national lead­er. Any man, no matter how obscure he may be to-day, will on the mor­row of his election to this high office step into the blinding radiance of universal scrutiny.

The writer continues:

The legal functions of the Presi­dent’s office are so eminent that he cannot escape the responsibilities of executive action, however much he may be inclined to avoid them. His constitutional powers alone make him the pivot upon which all the administrative machinery operates. He appoints all the heads of depart­ments and may direct their major policies. His power of appointment to all the greater offices is far-reach­ing. He can recommend, shape, and veto legislation…. In short, he is the most potent constitutional func­tionary in the world.14


All these constitutional powers have been vastly augmented by prac­tice and custom. The President to­day can do innumerable things that George Washington or Thomas Jef­ferson would never have dared do even if they had thought of them. The constitutional conception of the President is that of a chief execu­tive, an administrator; custom has added to this conception that of lead­ership, of initiation.¹5

Already, then, the idea of presi­dential leadership had taken shape, an idea which has been used to provide a head for the exercise of centralized authority.

Experts Turned Bureaucrats

The President was to be as­sisted, of course, by numerous scientists, social scientists, ex­perts, and technologists. Charles A. Beard made what well may be the classical argument for the use of technologists in 1930. Arg­uing in the manner of the his­toricist, he maintained that con­ditions of life had changed in America. The major source of these changes had been techno­logical innovations. In consequence of these, according to him, gov­ernmental functions had been greatly augmented. He declared,

Under the pressure of new forces, government itself has become an eco­nomic and technical business on a large scale. It comes into daily con­tact with all industries, sciences and arts. As a purchaser of goods…, operator of battleships, arsenals, canals and wireless stations…, regulator of railways, telegraph lines and other means of transportation and communication, it must com­mand… competence equal to that of corporation managers….16

Thus, he concluded, "Few indeed are the duties of government in this age which can be discharged with a mere equipment of historic morals and common sense." 17

The matter is not one for des­pair, however. "Fortunately, in introducing these bewildering complexities into government, technology has brought with it a procedure helpful in solving the problems it has created: namely, the scientific method…. Though undoubtedly limited in its appli­cation, the scientific method prom­ises to work a revolution in pol­itics no less significant than that wrought in society at large by mechanics." ¹8 The mechanics of the scientific method in govern­ment would be, of course, experts turned bureaucrats.

Democratic Reform

We now have the key for solving the problems originally posed in this article. Namely, how could the Supreme Court make "demo­cratic" decisions? How could pro­ponents of democracy and equality promote a privileged position for the President? How could cen­tralized government be advanced in the name of democracy? On the face of it, these are incongruities. An explanation has been made, however, and it remains only to sum it up. Democracy was trans­formed into an end. As an end, government was to act to realize it. All actions that have as their end the effecting of democracy are then democratic. Thus, how­ever autocratic the exercise of authority by the Supreme Court, if it helps to realize an equality of condition, it is "democratic." The realization of "democracy” requires central direction; hence, a leader. The President is that leader in the United States, and his protection becomes important because of his essential role in bringing about democracy. In this way, too, an elite could become "democratic" because of its neces­sity to the bringing about of sub­stantive democracy.

More broadly, "democracy" was instrumented for social reform. Indeed, social reform was justified because it was supposed to bring about democracy. Thus, men have yielded up the control of many of their affairs in the name of de­mocracy. Local governments have lost many of their prerogatives in the name of democracy. An ubiquitous bureaucracy makes numerous rules and regulations affecting the lives and liberties of Americans. But it is staffed by a "democratic" elite.

The next article in this series will have to do with "Capturing the Hearts of Men."

Back Issues and Binders

Back issues of THE FREEMAN, since October 1964 when this Flight From Reality series commenced, are available at 20 cents a copy. Also avail­able at $2.50 each are the 12-rod, blue Leatherlex FREEMAN binders.

Foot Notes

1 Quoted in Benjamin M. Ziegler, ed., Desegregation and the Supreme Court (Boston: D. C. Heath, 19581, p. 68.

2 Ibid., p. 78.

3 A. D. Lindsay, The Modern Demo­cratic State (London: Oxford University Press, 1943), p. 267.

4 John Dewey, Democracy and Educa­tion (New York: Macmillan, 1916), p. 101.

5 Ibid., p. 115.

6 T. V. Smith, The Democratic Tradi­tion in America (New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1941), p. 17.

7 George L. Mosse, The Culture of Western Europe (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1961), p. 293.

8 Ibid., p. 295.

9 Thorstein Veblen, The Engineers and the Price System (New York: Vik­ing, 1921), p. 82.

¹º Lindsay Rogers, "Government by City Managers," World’s Work, XLIV (September, 1922), 519.

11 Ibid., p. 524.

12 Frederick C. Howe, "The Remaking of the American City


October 1965

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December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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