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What is this fight all about?

June 29, 2010

A couple of Fridays ago I wrote a post entitled “Why are we doing this?“, a statement of the goals of the Tea Party movement which anyone who has attended more than one rally or is involved with a local Tea Party group understands, at its core, is fiscal responsibility on the part of a limited government.

The core problem is that our government has become a government of the elites and for the elites with enough bones thrown around to make a majority of the population either subservient or dependent on government handouts. This Aristotle called Oligarchy, an unjust form of government. The corresponding just form is Aristocracy, in which the elites rule not on their own behalf but on the behalf of all. Many on the left who call themselves Progressives believe that’s exactly what they are doing. They think they are smarter than the rest of us and can rule on our behalf better than we can rule ourselves. They tell us they are bringing us justice.

They are wrong, of course. Our country was founded on the principle that the people, through democratically elected representatives, can and ought to rule themselves. James Surowiecki, in The Wisdom of Crowds, convincingly makes the case that crowds are always more right than the most expert of experts. Trust the people, with some safeguards against mob rule, and you have the principle behind the Constitution.

Long before Surowiecki wrote his book Plato, in The Republic, sets up a form of government in which the wisest rule by common consent; in The Statesman he admits  that this is just an illusion and ultimately relies on a Nocturnal Council to rule in secret. Does that remind you of the midnight votes in the Senate? Plato, history shows, was wrong; Aristotle was right. The Founders studied Plato and Aristotle and others in a depth unknown today. In the 1940s, Friedrick von Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom, in which he convincingly proves yet again that rule by experts doesn’t work. His book was extremely popular in the early 1950s, even being reprinted by Readers’ Digest. When Glenn Beck mentioned it earlier this month, it shot to #1 on Amazon’s best seller list. Today it is still #7.

In short, neither form of rule by the few works as well as a true republic in which the interests of all are balanced. Hayek shows that even Aristotle’s just form of government by the few is fated to become unjust.

The fight, then, is about who is going to rule this country: the people or the political class? Will this country remain, as Lincoln said, a government of the people, by the people and for the people? Or will it be the rule over the people by the self-appointed elites? Talk about “the failed policies of the last eight years”! They are pushing the failed policies of recorded history.

This fight is all about the re-founding of America on its original principles. We may not look like the America of 1787, but the principles are the same.

  1. June 29, 2010 12:12 pm

    Good stuff. Personally, I’d avoid quoting a constitutionally ripping statist like Lincoln. He’s the most over rated prez in US history.

  2. June 30, 2010 7:27 am

    I could certainly have left his name out but he did say it well, he wrote it himself and he didn’t use a teleprompter.

    I understand what you’re saying about Lincoln but for me personally, the current Occupant is the most over rated prez in US history.

    • June 30, 2010 11:52 am

      LOL, Al. Maybe I blocked out current annointed one as a mental defense mechanism. In the alternative, I didn’t think there was any remaining rating of him to underrate. But I see your point is well taken as anything other than Zero would be too high.

      Is it just me, or do you agree that this four year terms is going agonizingly slow. No joke, it seems like the slowest passage of time in my entire life.

      • June 30, 2010 8:21 pm

        In one sense slow, but in another I can’t believe it’s July already.

  3. June 30, 2010 9:00 pm

    Yes it’s already July, Al, but the year is only 2010.

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