Looking carefully at that which is unseen.

Daily Archives: February 11, 2012

Thinking about: People’s Direction

I’ve always liked the book “The Lonely Crowd,” ever since a sociology professor of mine told me I was the most inner directed person he’d ever met. He sent me off with a “where to find further discussion on the term” direction, and it was one of those “that makes sense!” moments in life.

Well, the book is apparently on David Brooks’ reading list as well:

The Crowd Pleaser.

The problem, though, is that “inner directed” is not, by itself, a virtue – Hitler and Stalin were “inner directed,” I’m sure. If your inner compass points in a direction of socialism and authoritarianism, if your principles tell you that other humans need to be sent to death camps if they do not follow your will, you’re still a hairball (albeit an inner directed one). One can argue which is the greater evil, of course, the guy who joins the firing squad because Those People need to die, or the guy who joins the firing squad because he has no principles except “service to power,” but that’s a different essay.

I’d agree with Mr. Brooks that Obama is likely more inner directed – but when you look at how confused and muddled he gets when he’s “off script,” it strongly suggests that his inner compass points straight to Hell for most libertarians. He’s muddled because he knows he can’t flat out SAY what he believes, but he’s not good at sugar-coating the necessary circumlocutions on the fly, and the majority of Americans – even if not necessarily libertarians – would not be pleased with a flat-out authoritarian socialist regime here.

Got popcorn?