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August 14, 2013

John Kerry: Boy Howdy, This Newfangled Internet Machine Sure Makes It Harder to Govern People

He is right, I suppose, and I guess I shouldn't overread into the remark; and yet I can't help but think, like any nobleman, he rues the day Guttenberg created his cursed invention and made the commoners less pliable and acquiescent than they had been.

He doesn't say this, precisely, but he sure does seem to hint that he misses the days when the oligarchy controlled the facts, the ideas, and The Narrative.

"Iím a student of history, and I love to go back and read a particularly great book like [Henry] Kissingerís book about diplomacy where you think about the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the balance of power and how difficult it was for countries to advance their interests and years and years of wars," Kerry said to a gathering of State Department employees and their families.

"And we sometimes say to ourselves, boy, arenít we lucky," Kerry continued.

"Well, folks," he said, "ever since the end of the Cold War, forces have been unleashed that were tamped down for centuries by dictators, and that was complicated further by this little thing called the internet and the ability of people everywhere to communicate instantaneously and to have more information coming at them in one day than most people can process in months or a year.

"It makes it much harder to govern, makes it much harder to organize people, much harder to find the common interest," said Kerry.

He goes on to speak of a rise in sectarianism and religious extremism and how the world is more complex because of it is so filled with ideas and passions.

Everything he says here is actually right, I think. It's not a particularly interesting or novel idea. (John Kerry has precious few of those.) People have been saying things like this for a long time.

And yet... I don't know. There's a bad taste to it. It's not what he says but what he seems to suggest: A longing for the simplicity of Iron Rule, Official Positions, and Control of Ideas.

Although he seems to be talking about the proliferation of terrorist-friendly ideologies, I can't help but remember the New Class calls the Tea Party "terrorist" every other day.


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posted by Ace at 03:00 PM

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