I'm not in the habit of putting up posts that simply link to other blogs, especially ones that get 100 times the traffic that I do. However like others, I do think that this post over at Rav Harry Maryles' blog does need to get all the attention it can.
In any well organized group there are leaders and there are followers. The danger for an esconced leadership in any community is the development of a sense of entitlement - they lead because they are better, smarter, more capable than their followers. We see this widely throughout the democratic world when a dominant party has won several elections in a row. The politicians cease to become servants of the people but rather come to see the people as their servants.
For many, this is what "Daas Torah" has become in the Chareidi, and to a lesser extent the rest of the frum, world. While it is obvious that those rabbonim who lead the Chareidim are highly intelligent and pious, it seems nowadays that Chareidi followers are expected to relate to their leaders much the way small children relate to their parents. Every move must seek their approval, every initiative must come from them and chas v'shalom you should ever question them or their decisions. While only God Himself is truly perfect, we are so far below these "gedolim" that relative to us they too are infallible. Every doubt is met not with reasoned debate but with the shrill "And who are you to question them!?"
As the guest post at Emes Ve-Emunah notes, the emperical evidence for this model has long ago shattered and it is a smaller and smaller group of people who continue to insist it is viable in its current form. Wisdom and common sense are part of halachic analysis and not limited to a small, cloistered group of men who may or may not believe the rest of their community are too incompetent to participate in decision making. There is also the matter of the recent track record which has shown, as Rav Ginsburg notes in the post, that Daas Baalei Batim has prover superior to Dass Torah on repeated occasions.
Comments on the post are welcome.