The Formation of Public Opinion - Will My Being Ordained Help My Philanthropic Career for the Benefit of Humankind?
When markets fall, hunger stalks the land, and the few make out like bandits - in what language do our leaders respond? The language of moral and civic responsibility to those in need and to the commonweal, or in the cold language of accounting? How did what had been the New Deal become the Raw Deal of Cutting Entitlements - which might be considered rights? Some of these questions are raised in this op ed piece in the NY Times by Theodore Marmor and Jerry Mashaw, but others are not raised. To get to the bottom of it would require a detailed discussion of conservative think tanks, their role in "he said she said" journalism, and the often opaque funding of these tanks. Also of interest would be the role of money in campaign finance, and in lobbying. Also of interest would be the decline of the liberal arts, and the reenvisioning of education as teaching to test imposed by authorities, much like the death penalty, to maintain law and order and profit.
When Roosevelt was challenged to do the right thing, he would say, "You are so right, now go make me do it." In other words, form public opinion.
Walter Lippman argued, per Plato's cave, and Lippman's own experience in publishing and in DC drawing rooms, that public opinion is the opinion of fools and knaves and must be managed by an elite, meeting in safe and closed spaces.
John Dewey replied that the public can be trusted if and only if education prepares them, and the media provide reliable information.
Lippman, as a practical matter, has won this debate. As to the elite, however, my God! And the rabble (demos)? Readily miscued. Funded by those at interest. Most apt in learning hateful untruths and shouting them in public assemblies.
Well, that is nothing to me. My work as a paid liar, and proven sychopant, masquerading as a morals tutor to America's wealthiest families, is going better and better. Once I got the Corleones as Dynastic Wealth Clients, and helped them create their 100 year plan, I have had calls from, hush! Confidentiality is the watchword in these circles; omerta. I flunked the bar exam, so I can't claim attorney client privilige for all the vile things I do for clients, but I do have a certificate of ordination. What happens in Wealth Bondage stays in Wealth Bondage. God wants it that way. Thus, I live a life of service. And your secrets are safe with me. For absolution see my assistant, Simon. Pecunia non olet, as the emperor said of the toilet tax.