Those are our two choices for a ruling class these days. The trouble is, according to James Kalb , the choices aren’t really much different. The two classes are interdependent, interlocking, and all that. So non-productive and non-therapeutic concerns that make lives virtuous atrophy, having been outed, it seems, as nothing more than forms of repression that undermine maximum preference satisfaction. Does that mean that conservatism—understood as the defense of virtue—is finished? NO! Because the sustainability of any country depends on more virtue than our managerial or cognitive elite will allow. We really do need the personal sacrifice—or, better, the relational personal identities—that form marriages with children, churches, and countries. So managerial liberalism is bound to collapse or be transformed into something more truthful and noble soon eough.

Our friend Bob wants me to critique Kalb’s brief but really dense article. Let me just say: He goes too far. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. He’s not that far off in describing the consensus that dominates our universities, Silicon Valley, libertarian and other think tanks, and the Obama administration. So political correctness is less of a danger to freedom these days than the pseudo-libertarian complacency of our technocratic elite that thinks of itself as a meritocracy based on productivity. Political correctness—diversity, multiculturalism etc.—have been domesticated at that elite’s service.

So read Kalb’s exhilirating extremism—and extremism in defense of liberty is no vice—and let me know what you think.

OBVIOUSLY I CHANGED THE TITLE WITH BRIAN’S COMMENT BELOW IN MIND.

Articles by Peter Lawler

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