Life under “an immense and tutelary power”

Source: Niskanen Center
by Brink Lindsey

“Given the ongoing marginalization of ordinary workers in the labor market, it is reasonable to assume that their dependence on government for income support will deepen over time. Meanwhile, governments’ ability to track their citizens’ movements, purchases, social connections, and even thoughts and emotions is rapidly improving thanks to the internet, smart phones, and developing AI technologies. Put these two things together – a population dependent upon government as never before, and more legible to and manipulable by government than ever before – and the possibilities for abuse are obvious. Here I want to explore another source of vulnerability to despotism, one noted by conservatives from Burke onwards. And that is the risk of runaway centralizing rationalism.” (09/13/23)