Re-post: “Time to Give Up or Time to Fight On?”

“Lincoln’s argument was that either slavery is right or freedom is right, and that the country couldn’t long stand if it was divided on which was so. There was an argument that slavery should be allowed to spread and be protected as a good thing, and there was an argument that slavery violated America’s principles and should be kept from spreading. There’s almost an exact parallel today, because the people who founded our country believed and wrote—and established a Constitution to provide—that there must never be unlimited rule by any man or group of men over other men. And our government is getting to a place where it threatens to become limitless…”

In his introduction to The City and Man, Leo Strauss writes this:  “However much the power of the West may have declined, however great the dangers to the West may be, that decline, that danger, nay, the defeat, even the destruction of the West would not necessarily prove that the West is in a crisis: the West could go down in honor, certain of its purpose. The crisis of the West consists in the West’s having become uncertain of its purpose.”

“It is certainly true that the vast majority of our nation’s elites today— those who welcome the results of yesterday’s [November 2012 US ] election—are creatures of modern historicist thought, which explicitly rejects the kind of objective principles—equality under God, inalienable rights—on which America was founded. According to modern historicism, the only objective truth is that one can’t know an objective truth. President Obama embraces this view in no uncertain terms in his book The Audacity of Hope: “Implicit . . . in the very idea of ordered liberty,” he writes, is “a rejection of absolute truth, the infallibility of any idea or ideology or theology or ‘ism,’ any tyrannical consistency that might lock future generations into a single unalterable course . . . .” So much for individual rights and limited government…”

“This view, which drives modern liberalism or Progressivism, has been on the ascendant. But remember when you quote Strauss that his works were intended to constitute a revival of the West. The West is heavily besieged from within, but it’s not dead. We are obviously a house divided right now, and I think it’s safe to say that conditions are going to get significantly worse before they get better…the principles of that animate our government today, which are antithetical to the principles of the American Founding, lead to policies that cannot work, will not work, and result in obvious injustices. That is weakness, and that provides cause for hope. But by the way, there is a parallel with the great twentieth century tyrannies: The modern bureaucratic form of government cannot remain accountable to the people, so in the fullness of time it will become despotic. That’s not the intention of anybody who runs it today, or at least not very many people. But that is its direction.”

“The experts who run the modern bureaucratic state think they are architects of a perfectly rational society. They think of themselves as scientists, and of the running of government as something more like science—the science of administration—than politics. They think they can coordinate society comprehensively so that no one is left out. That’s why they think of their work as something good and as something high. The problem is that what they are trying to do defies human nature—the human nature that led James Madison to write famously that men are not angels, and that led the Framers of the Constitution to divide government in order to limit government—and so what these experts are doing will ultimately lead to despotism…”

“…explaining the problem of the modern bureaucratic state. This form of government proceeds by rules, and rules upon rules, and compliance with those rules becomes a key activity of the entire nation. That results in bureaucracy, and in the inefficiencies of bureaucracy. Constitutional government, on the other hand, proceeds by clearly stated laws. Not grasping this is an important failure of conservative statesmen today. … Laws are passed by elected (and thus accountable) representatives, they cover everybody equally, and we can all participate in their enforcement because they are easy to understand. Not one of those three things is true of the regulations imposed by independent boards such as those established under Obamacare and Dodd-Frank.” ~ Larry P. Arnn, President of Hillsdale College. December, 2012.http://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/file/archives/pdf/2012_12_Imprimis.pdf

About budbromley

Life sciences executive, retired
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