Diagnosing a New Despotism

Diagnosing a New Despotism
(Eskinder Debebe/UN via AP)

Who Rules? is a valuable collection of essays by some of today’s finest conservative thinkers including, among others, James Piereson, John Fonte, and Christopher Buskirk. The nine essays collected by Roger Kimball explore various aspects of a single, unifying theme: the danger posed in our time by the growth of what has been called “totalitarian democracy.”

Nothing could be more important, or more relevant, than the issue of the incursion of the federal government into all aspects of its citizens’ lives, and Kimball has done an outstanding job of selecting essays closely focused on this issue. With a federal workforce of over two million civilians and another 1.3 million serving in the military, and with budget outlays for 2020 of $6.6 trillion at the federal level alone, the United States government has grown far beyond anything imaginable to our Founders. Driven by a dangerous millenarian philosophy that judges every action by an abstract standard of social justice and equality, American society is moving ever closer to despotism.

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