Mistaken Notion of the Day

The gravest problem in America today is not government, per se, but the use of government as a sock puppet for an angry, relentless partisan or interest group movement. When those groups seize governments, then the general welfare, as opposed to the welfare of special groups, melts into limp glop. The welfare of the citizens of the several states … is abandoned so that political bosses can kowtow to particular interests.

–Bruce Walker at
American Thinker.

Not that he’s not wrong that the capture of government power by leftist pressure groups is a malum in se. Rather that he’s wrong in implying that the root of the problem is not fundamental to government — as he says — per se.

Government exists to manipulate power. In a notionally free state, the power of government is constantly up for grabs, and will inevitably (however eventually) be grabbed by those whose interests are served by the exercise of government power — as opposed to that of the market, which, while being far greater than that in government, is far more diffuse and difficult of manipulation by discrete, self-selecting individuals.

And might even be said to be impossible of true manipulation without the collusion of government, so perverse is the very attempt.

In the American system, the Constitution designs the nation so that there is a power vacuum at the top. There exist those who have little or no concern for the integrity of the American experiment, and will therefore pervert the government to their own ends. Thus the incremental accretion of power we call the Imperial Presidency. About half the time, these accretions, taken singly, are exposited to We the (Little) People as desiderata. Depending on which wing you flap, you will tend to agree — about half the time. However, you are not meant to notice that the absolute delta — without regard to the sign right or left of the “y” axis — is always positive on that scale. In other words, whether driven by Democrat or Republican designs, the power of government never gets less.

The fault, dear Horatio, lies in ourselves when we practice to use the power of state to ends not meant for the general welfare. This must stop. Now.

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