Notice the libertarian trope of reflexively dismissing even the need for "top-down planning and organization". Still, his base premise is observably correct -- systems in both the natural kingdom and in the realm of human societal relationships can be observed to have an organically evolving quality unto themselves. The sentient qualities of the individuals will seek out the most advantageous situations for themselves in either type of case. It's just common sense.
It's that sort of thing that confirms my assumption that "American intellectualism" is essentially an oxymoron on the level of "jumbo shrimp". American intellectuals are frequently compromised somewhere along the line, usually as rent-boys for a "think tank" funded by some whackjob Mr. Burns-type gazillionaire. Not only that, Americans themselves typically aren't politically aware enough to have even read any genuine intellectuals. Rush Limbaugh is not an intellectual. Dipshit hagiographers like Peggy Noonan and George Fwill, also not intellectuals. Court stenographers like Woodward and Miller -- not real reporters. (At least Woodward probably didn't fuck Mark Felt, where apparently Judy Miller would suck cock to get the inside scoop on a sack race.)
This is so ridiculous, on multiple levels. First, merely lumping Darwinism in with other "materialist ideologies" does not mitigate its inherent scientific probity. Second, it's a bit ironic that these fields are pejoratively dubbed as "materialist" by filthy-rich pelf-grubbing pseudo-intellectual twaddle-merchants renting themselves out to whoever will have them. Third, which is more "restricting" to "our" imagination -- the adventure of continuous scientific progress, or a collection of metaphorical fables written by Bronze Age Levantine tribesmen, said by its faithful to be absolutely immutable? It is disingenuous to even allow such lies to go unchallenged.
How about just leaving people the hell alone, and letting them figure it out for themselves? Nah, that'd be too easy -- plus, everyone would be doing their own thing, which would be bad for business.
Can it really be that simple? Can it really be all about a means of controlling the bewildered herd?
Was it Chesterton or Burke who said that if men didn't believe in something, they'd believe anything? This is a more politicized iteration of that old saw. It would be nice if these assholes put their money where their mouths always are, but there's more to "regarding human dignity" than grudgingly accepting soup kitchens and holding toy drives once a year. How about the next corporation that guts its employees' pension fund after profiting $4 billion in six months, we make sure that upper management takes it in the shorts with equal force? Or does more money equal more dignity?
Oh, well good thing we have Strauss and Kristol and the rest of the enlightened ones -- who don't really believe it themselves -- to decide for us what "truths" we vulgar proles can and cannot handle. That is repulsive. As much as I beat on people for being suckers -- and most of them are -- the problem is not one of native intelligence. It is a problem of being conditioned to be suckers, by a crappy school system, an indifferent government, and a sensationalist media. People are just stuck on this hamster wheel of sorts, living on road rage and manufactured conflict, repeatedly trying to sate themselves with more useless shit. It's the only way to forget that their real wages stagnate while their cost of living keeps soaring; that they're just a paycheck or two from the streets; that if there's a medical emergency in the family, they're going to be left destitute, whether or not the treatment is successful.
The system has always been broken, because the systems have always revolved (and evolved) around the class who set up the system in the first place. Whether despotism, monarchy, republic, or democracy, there have always been inherent inequities in the system, and thus various mechanisms for dealing with the social fallout. Nationalist and religious mythos -- frequently intertwined -- are what these self-appointed keepers of the flame use to keep the flock docile. They believe they're lying for the Lord, because they genuinely believe that the majority of people need other people (like Kristol and Strauss, coincidentally enough) to look after them. What it boils down to is that they don't think we can take care of ourselves.
The glorious flip side to all that is this -- it's because they're scared shitless of what would happen if people got wise.
(still more to come)