Therapeutic Totalitarianism

Paul Gottfried has spent a useful career shining his lantern of truth into the dark corners of America’s political consciousness.  In After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in the Managerial State (1999), he examined the rise and consolidation of centralized managerial regimes across the Western world.  Gottfried documented what should have been obvious to every educated man: Modern mass democracy was characterized not by popular participation or informed consent but by mass socialization, public apathy, and rule by public administrators.  

In Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt, Gottfried examines “the turning of the administrative state . . . away from purely material programs, such as expanded entitlements, toward behavior control.”  This turning, he emphasizes, has not been preceded by any abandonment or shrinking of the welfare state.  The triumphant managerial regime simply assumed an additional mission: the revolutionary transformation of society.  There was no turn to freedom, much less to the right, after the Cold War.  “What actually occurred was that the Left turned in a multicultural direction, toward the ‘Marxist vulgate’ of political correctness”—in other words, cultural Marxism.  

Gottfried is one of the few scholars to notice that the social democratic left won the Cold War.  Neoconservatives...

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