In one of his first “Future History” stories, “The Roads Must Roll“, RAH posits a rebellion of transportation workers who proclaim the “functionalist” revolution. As wiki observes, the rebellion “advances the idea that one’s status and level of material reward in a society must and should depend on the functions one performs for that society.”
Of course, we know that things don’t necessarily work out that way in real life — Kardashians, anyone? — and as Heinlein observes, society can fall apart in the absence of any one of a large number of labor specialties.The Heinleinian functionalist, however, it (surprise!) certain that his specialized labor is the keystone, and demands exaltation accordingly. That functionalist dream continues, and one way in which it persists is in the belief that a certain group of “top men” can effectively run a utopian world
This brings us to Shannon Love at Chicago Boyz, who argues that leftism is what happens when “intellectuals” attempt to claim the top of that functionalist pyramid:
In a society and polity based around state coercion, “intellectuals” have more power and status so intellectuals fantasize about changing contemporary society to one in which state coercion plays a much greater role. That is why leftists always argue for greater state involvement in every facet of life (except sex). The greater the power of the state, the greater the power of those who manipulate the state. All leftist ideology has been an ever-shifting set of rationalizations intended to persuade non-intellectuals to invest more power in the state and thereby elevate the power and status of the intellectuals.
Give it a look.