From opposite of obvious, in eye of the storm (10 January 2012).
perhaps it seems obvious that it is in the interests of poor people to have an extremely powerful and pervasive state; perhaps it seems obvious that it is in the interests of rich people to have a tiny powerless state. however, looking at the thing squarely, this is the opposite of obvious. it seems obvious because people keep repeating it or always conceive the terrain this way. but it’s just wackily false with regard to reality. who needs the state more: you know, robert rubin or rodney king? the idea that robert just wants to be left alone while rodney wants to be constantly entwined in police and welfare programs seems rather odd. or: which of these people needs to be left alone, and which coddled or beaten? when the state leaves robert rubin alone, he’ll be broke. when it leaves rodney king alone, he’ll have better brain scans.
now tom frank or corey robin believe that the road to equality is the non-stop growth of a hierachy of power: the state is the representative of the poor. now, what in the world could be the empirical basis for a belief this ridiculous or even contradictory (create equality by distributing power hierarchically)?