Bacon & Identity-- Homer, Sophocles, Plato

Alex LoCascio alexlocascio at
Fri Feb 19 07:18:48 PST 1999

On Fri, 19 Feb 1999 14:29:30 -0800 Sam Pawlett <epawlett at> writes:
>The key assumption behindPlato's theory and much of liberal and
conservative doctrine is that the
>'ordinary folk' are too stupid to manage their own affairs.

As much as I despise bourgeois elitists, I'm wary of anarchists and populists (and a few Maoists) who fetishize "the people." This sort of thinking ignores the necessity of a class-conscious proletariat and instead refers to "the people" in the abstract, like "the people" constitute a homogenous entity. According to this kind of thinking, "the people" are all-knowing and all-wise, and all of the pointy-headed Marxist intellectuals are standing in the way of progress. Sorry, but that's bullshit. As Leftists, we certainly shouldn't feel contempt for "the average person" (whatever the hell that is), but we should not refer to "the people" in condescending, romantic terms. After all, some of "the people" watch QVC and Jerry Springer, see Mother Teresa in a bun, and give Bill Clinton high approval ratings.

Alex, waiting on a ride that's an hour late...

P.S. according to Hal Draper, Bakunin was a bit of an authoritarian fellow himself...

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