The first poll on the flood levy finds opinion heavily polarised on partisan lines, but overall against, 53% disapproving to 39% approving.
A different question on the same poll finds that 64% of respondents believe that universities would be better run by the public sector and 20% believe universities would be better run by the private sector. This dichotomy does not include the public-private hybrid nature of Australian universities as an option.
In the context of the fascinating events in Egypt, Tyler Cowen reminds us of an outstanding book on public opinion, Timur Kuran’s Private Truths, Public Lies. In authoritarian regimes people conceal their true political views, but new dynamics can take over in which more and more people are emboldened to express their opinions. With no real support, in these circumstances regimes can crumble quickly when they lose the will to kill.
An interesting post on the signalling dynamics of cutting communications.
Daniel Bell has died, aged 91. He was on the fringe of early neoconservatism, though he always denied he was one, proclaiming himself to be a socialist in economics, a liberal in politics, and a conservative in culture. His key books were The End of Ideology, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, and The Coming of Post-Industrial Society. He could brilliantly integrate the great thinkers of the past with the trends of the present.
Of the writers I studied when writing my honours thesis on neoconservatism, Bell and Peter Berger impressed me most as intellectuals.
Daniel Bell, RIP.