When I first read Bartels’ piece, I kind of just wrote it off as just another piece in the extensive pundit-class discourse of Liberal Eye-Opening. But then I re-read it. The problem, I realized, isn’t simply that Bartels is telling me what I already know. The piece isn’t useless; indeed, it has multiple effects, precisely to the extent that it tells me what I assumed as given. In telling me something I already know, Bartels’ piece is actually telling me that I never really knew what I thought. At stake in the piece, in other words, is a redistribution of the epistemic in which the kinds of knowledge I possess turn out to be non-knowledges. The real thesis of this piece—which thinks it’s telling us that economic elites have corrupted democratic governance—is that the demos isn’t equipped to know democracy’s destruction. […] But that’s what liberalism is, really: the absorption of the immediacy of a political sense into the studied, slow time of useless intellection, the conflation of taking-time and having-a-(truer-)thought. The bourgeois public sphere, the Parliamentary Blue Book, the parliamentary labyrinth of US congressional procedure, the ballot box, and, sure, contemporary political-scientific methods—all of these liberal forms articulate a slowing of time to a production of thought in the name of optimizing a decision that will never come.