Having fled the monstrous Republican political and policy catastrophes he helped to midwife, we once again join Mr. David Brooks far from the scene of his crimes. Today he is spending his priceless New York Times column inches safely behind the Beltway's Wailing Wall, scribbling a desperate prayer that someone with vast resources and magic superpowers will sweep in and undo pretty much everything his Conservative movement has done for the past 50 years.
Of course he doesn't quite say that because saying that would swiftly transform Mr. Brooks from America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual to just another unemployed middle-aged white guy, but judge for yourself:
Since then [1776?] the institutions that arouse the moral lens have withered while the institutions that manipulate incentives — the market and the state — have expanded. Now economic, utilitarian thinking has become the normal way we do social analysis and see the world. We’ve wound up with a society that is less cooperative, less trusting, less effective and less lovely.
By assuming that people are selfish, by prioritizing arrangements based on selfishness, we have encouraged selfish frames of mind. Maybe it’s time to upend classical economics and political science. Maybe it’s time to build institutions that harness people’s natural longing to do good.
OK, David, I'll tell you what. While I continue working on getting your political party and your ideological movement to, y'know, stop destroying my country, I'll get half of my staff going on "upending classical economics and political science" and the other half busy planning "institutions that harness people’s natural longing to do good".
Meanwhile why don't you focus on doing what you do best: reposing your lazy ass in the nearest hammock and drawing a princely salary for opining gassily about how other people can best go about cleaning up your disasters.