Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It's not just that politicians are giving society the policies it votes for, and thus society has to take the blame for clueless, denialist or incompetent policies but that The kind of person that goes into government or business, and succeeds, is the kind who best understands this social system and can operate the levers of power to advantage and, moreover, the political rat race rewards the apparatchiks who have no other venue for social promotion and the smart and dedicated set just bug off to better careers outside of politics where they can have a life without having to deal with the blockheads.

It's an extreme case of Darwinian selection. The political rat race gets so efficient that it ends up selecting people whose only real skill is the political rat race. That is the point I wanted to see developed in its own diary - unlike the other failures of democracy listed in this diary, this seems to be a structural failure mode of a developed democracy. And I seem to recall that Alexis de Tocqueville may have predicted it, though I have not been able to google the reference.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 1st, 2008 at 04:43:44 AM EST
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