Does what a majority of ordinary people think matter to the tiny minority of privileged folks who rule without being elected?

I realize that sounds like a rhetorical question, but in theory, we are living in a country with a constitutional government run by elected officials with specifically limited powers, so it always pisses me off to read about immensely powerful agencies which are nowhere mentioned or defined in the Constitution acting as if they have a right to rule and behaving as classical tyrants. Whether it’s the DEA conducting a “global intelligence organization with a reach that extends far beyond narcotics” (whose foreign policy operations now rival the CIA), whether it’s the FDA unilaterally asserting the right to ban whatever sort of drinks it might not like, or whether it’s the alphabet agency item that seems to be getting the lion’s share of attention right now — the FCC’s arbitary assertion (despite warnings) of jurisdiction over the Internet

Not that it makes any difference to these unelected tyrants (and that is not political hyperbole nor a term I use lightly; our revolution was fought over less), but today I read that a majority of Americans actually want the FCC to leave the Internet alone:

American voters believe free market competition will protect Internet users more than government regulation and fear that regulation will be used to push a political agenda.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 21% of Likely U.S. Voters want the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet as it does radio and television. Fifty-four percent (54%) are opposed to such regulation, and 25% are not sure.

Would it be extremist of me to call that a libertarian position?

The reason I’m asking is that I saw a condescending piece in New York Magazine (typifying what many would consider the “concern trolling” style of journalism) which pooh-poohed libertarianism, even asking a snidely condescending rhetorical question in the headline:

The Trouble With Liberty

Libertarians, of both left and right, haven’t been this close to power since 1776. But do we want to live in their world?

Reason’s Radley Balko does a great, detailed job with the piece, noting its barely concealed pretense of objectivity (“a thrashing disguised as a primer”), and says that believing libertarians are crazy seems to be an element of faith among some journalists:

There’s an aesthetic I’ve noticed among some journalists that libertarianism is so crazy and off the rails that it’s okay to step outside the boundaries of decorum and fairness to make sure everyone knows how nuts libertarians really are.


It’s as if ensuring that New York readers fully understand and appreciate libertarianism’s failings was the article’s most important objective–and far too important to let readers come to that conclusion themselves.

In light of poll results like Rasmussen’s latest, I think they may be more afraid than they let on. Hence the us-versus-them rhetorical question in the headline: “do we want to live in their world?”

If the libertarian “they” are over half the country, then perhaps “we” ought to be asking the same question about Them.

Do we want to live in their world?

A good question, even if those are not my words.