Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dictatorship of the professional elite

A. BARTON HINKLE TIMES-DISPATCH COLUMNIST: May 25, 2010
Justice demands equality before the law. Fairness requires evenhandedness. But while equality and evenhandedness are necessary, they are hardly sufficient. […] 
The second thing worth noting is that, while liberals find inequality across race and gender classes invidious, many seem to find nothing wrong with an inequality between the enlightened few and the great unwashed. Large swaths of the knowledge class seem almost wistful about the idea of a dictatorship of the professional elite to oversee the lumpen proletariat.
Hence the English professor who thinks he knows where insurance rates should be set. Hence the architect who has the answer to energy policy. Hence the journalist who thinks he should write the rules for stockbrokers. Hence Woody Allen, musing that it would be good if Barack Obama "could be a dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly." Hence Thomas Friedman contending in The New York Times that one-party autocracy can "have great advantages," when it is "led by a reasonably enlightened group of people."
They mean well, of course. But then so did John C. Calhoun, when he argued that slavery was not a necessary evil but a positive good… Contact A. Barton Hinkle at (804) 649-6627 or bhinkle@timesdispatch.com
C I Issac vijayvaani.com 27 May 2010
He ignored the universal fact that hitherto all accredited works in history are tailor-made [9] to fit the occasion or the interest. […] 9] “… history is what the historian makes”. E. H. Carr, What is History? Harmondsworth, UK, 1977, p 26. [...] 
He was well aware of the drawbacks of our present textual history. “Even the British period is distorted with the object of glorifying British rule and British virtues. Very slowly a more correct perspective is developing. But we need not go to the past to find instances of the manipulation of history to suit particular ends and support one’s own fancies and prejudices. The present is full of this, and if the present, which we have ourselves seen and experienced, can be so distorted, what of the past?” [33]. ... 33] Jawaharlal Nehru, Discovery of India, V [edn], 1948, op cit, pp 76, 77.        
34] “The histories of India that most of us have had to read, chiefly written by Englishmen, are usually long apologies for the panegyrics of British rule and barely veiled contemptuous account of what happened here in the millenniums preceding it”. Ibid.
35] “Many competent historians are at work now, but they often err on the other side and their work is more a meticulous chronicle of facts than living history. But even today it is strange how we suddenly become overwhelmed by tradition and the critical faculties of even intelligent men cease to function. This may partly be due to the nationalism that consumes us in our present subject state. Only when we are politically and economically free will the mind function normally and critically”. Ibid, p 75. The author is a retired Professor of History, and lives in Trivandrum 

No comments:

Post a Comment