The Collapsing Authority of Government, the Press and Academia

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Our public institutions have let us down and are now collapsing before our eyes at an increasing rate. The ideas or “facts” put forth by these crumbling central sources of intellectual authority can no longer be trusted.  But change can be positive and the good news is that newer, more powerfully sophisticated sources of human knowledge are emerging.

 

The economy, markets and knowledge are an increasingly “emergent” phenomenon of which we are all a part. This emergence is coalescing rapidly due to technology (Moore’s law) and the internet (a bewildering array of information and ideas at our fingertips).  F. A. Hayek’s paper The Use of Knowledge in Society, American Economic Review (1945) is regarded as foundational to modern information theory.  Free markets are extraordinarily powerful because they gather and utilize knowledge which is widely dispersed among individuals.  Each person can only have a tiny fraction of the knowledge possessed by all and each is therefore ignorant of how a high functioning society truly works.

 

Former President Obama voiced concern that certain information sources (e.g. Fox News), in his opinion, are undermining our “common baseline of fact”. A common shared knowledge and understanding is desirable but Obama (and the rest of Government, the Press and Academia) have undermined it, thereby destroying the ability of centralized institutions to claim that they are the source of this common baseline of fact.  Those institutions have been advancing a Leftist biased agenda for so long that it is now obvious that they do not have a monopoly on truth, in fact, just the opposite is the case, they continue to try and manufacture truth.

 

In the 1940s, college economics professors were told that they could not assign students readings from economist F. A. Hayek because he was “reactionary.” They said that the superiority of central economic planning was settled and Hayek was a denier. The consensus was unalterable. University Department Chairs claimed that it was intellectually irresponsible to question it. Counter-institutions (conservative think tanks and publications) began forming because the Left had so corrupted the institutions that should be doing the profound thinking needed in our rapidly evolving economy.

 

“Fake news” is the idea of thought pollution, which is intrinsically totalitarian. It implies that there are those who speak the truth and there are those who do not, claiming all those who disagree with central Authorities are enemies of society. There is no ruling class worldview being imposed upon us now because our institutions no longer have the power to do that. “Truth” has been decentralized and now resides among us all. Institutions can no longer tell us how to think, even though they keep trying. But, like a deadbeat restaurant patron trying to put one more on the tab, their credit is no good. Your Estate Planning War Chest is freely networked with others who have sufficient financial assets (secure enough not to make revolting against existing power structures a worldview) along with intellectual honesty, awareness and understanding of what’s really happening in the political economy.

 

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