Soft despotism creates dependents. But it also pushes renegades to a neglected margin — a roadside littered with freedom, and nothing left to lose:
paradoxically, we live in a regime where people are, in some important ways, more on their own than ever. Neither Thiel nor Kachel much resemble serfs. They’re unique individuals, of course, but they shed light on who we find on the side of what often looks like the road to soft-despotic serfdom. What’s more, they suggest how it is that others like them will wind up there.
More, featuring Allan Bloom, Peter Lawler, and George Packer, at Ricochet. Best comment award may be won early:
I’m gonna call this a win for the right in that our loosely attached and alienated person is an idiosyncratically thoughtful billionaire who created wealth through entrepreneurial VC investment and their loosely attached and alienated person is a vagrant who got to spend a few months doing jazz hands in the park.