“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help,’” Ronald Reagan once said, but the 40th president could never have known just how right he was.
At the time it was spoken and forever since, Reagan’s statement has been taken to refer mainly to the excesses of the federal bureaucracy: the shameful, wasteful, pernicious but still rather comical unintended consequences of the administrative state. In hindsight, however, Reagan’s insight foretold something far more ominous, intrusive, and pervasive.
Today, we live in the shadow not merely of incompetent but well-intentioned government do-gooders but an elite expert class. Assured of its own superior intelligence, values, and status, the elected and unelected brethren of this class seek not so much to instruct citizens on how to live their lives but to