Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Politics of Envy works kind of like this: People long for the lifestyle other people have, and can't afford it, so they start a political fight to take the wealth needed to achieve that lifestyle away from "them". They are jealous of the rich and try to rob them of their wealth by lobbying the government to take it by force and give them a cut.

Yet, the rich as a class are as able to win the political game as they are able to win the economic one. So, for instance, a tax aimed squarely at rich investors who paid no income tax now hits middle-class families. This gamesmanship is predicated on how much intelligence, artificial or otherwise, the rich can bring to bear on the problem.

As their intelligence increases, the rich are able to capture more regulatory agencies, morally panic the electorate into a War on Drugs, etc. So, given the relationship between verbal intelligence and mental and social maladjustment, who's to say that future increases in mental power won't give us more and more socially maladjusted governments? How do you deal with an entity that is clever enough to enslave you?

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