Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Authority Figures

Paul Krugman asks the right questions in his NY Times blog:
Atrios writes about this often, the persistent perception that conservative authority figures are the grownups, the people who know what really works, while the critics are pie-in-the-sky nuts. Yet for the past decade at least, the “grownups” have again and again proved utterly clueless: they told us that it was crazy to blame market manipulation for electricity shortages, to question the case for invading Iraq, to suggest that there was a housing bubble, to doubt that derivatives were making finance safer.

And yet they retain all of their arrogance and some of their prestige. Why?
It is amazing that some people -- those who crave "authority figures" -- are happy to follow assertive idiots (think George Bush, Father Coughlin, Huey Long, Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard, Hitler, Moussilini, etc.), and follow them right over a cliff. It is a wiring defect since we are apes born with a alpha male dominance hierarchy.

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