From that same article, another horrendous idea making the rounds:
That the Church in Germany is what preoccupies the quondam Holy Office today is shown by two new initiatives: the memorandum signed by the director of the Karl Rahner Academy, Bernd Wacker, and the letter from the Kölner Kercheninitiative…in which they asked the Pope to open the procedure for the election of a bishop to the laity as well. At Christmas, in fact, the conservative Cardinal, Joachim Meisner, will be 80 years old and soon will retire after five years of postponement. Gerhard Müller has made clear that to change the rules of the procedure is not possible…
I’ve got a better idea. Let’s just let the editorial board of the New York Times select bishops. You know, eliminate the middle man.
Of course, this is what I say about democracy in general. I seriously would rather that my enemies in the media directly control the government than that they indirectly control it through brainwashing the populace. I have no problem with the rule of a few per se, and the inevitable devolution of democracy into media rule means that it doesn’t matter whether I have a problem with it or not; it is unavoidable. However, direct rule is preferable to indirect rule–even if we grant that the brainwashing will continue (and it might slack a bit if it were no longer needed for controlling policy)–for three reasons. First, unlike being the power behind the throne, being the recognized ruler comes with recognized responsibility. For decades, we have followed the NYT prescription for social degradation, and it has had many deleterious effects, but no one now thinks to blame our true rulers. Second, recognized rule can only justify itself by some sort of positive appeal to legitimacy or the common good, while indirect power can rely entirely on resentment toward scapegoats, that is, toward the nominal, powerless establishment. Third, if the NYT directly ruled, it could impose things like gay marriage without the complicity of a majority of the populace. Thus, fewer people would damn themselves with the making of each evil law.
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