Friday, June 04, 2010

The Danger Of A Government
With Unlimited Power

by George F. Will - June 3rd, 2010 - Washington Post

Today, government finds the limitless power of dispensing not in Madison's Constitution of limited government but in Wilson's theory that the Constitution actually frees government from limitations. The liberating -- for government -- idea is that the Constitution is a "living," evolving document. Wilson's Constitution is an emancipation proclamation for government, empowering it to regulate all human activities in order to treat all human desires as needs and hence as rights. Unlimited power is entailed by what Voegeli calls government's "right to discover new rights."

"Liberalism's protean understanding of rights," he says, "complicates and ultimately dooms the idea of a principled refusal to elevate any benefit that we would like people to enjoy to the status of an inviolable right." Needs breed rights to have the needs addressed, to the point that Lyndon Johnson, an FDR protege, promised that government would provide Americans with "purpose" and "meaning."

What I find ironic is the pretentious belief by progressives that this is somehow something new and original. In truth, every single evil government going back to the time of kings, or even further back to the time of tribal chiefs, was established with the idea that the purpose of government was to rule so that everyone got their fair share. Yet no matter what premise was used to justify the power, those who got power found that they deserved a bigger share and they could take whatever they wanted. Soon the rich could not provide enough for the rulers to meet all needs and they would then take from the middle class. Soon they would take from the poor. This was not based on the concept of their creating more wealth but in the importance of the rulers being fairly compensated for their superior power.

Progressive, or more accurately socialist, ideology is no different. Those who wish to govern delude themselves as much as they delude the suckers who put them in to power. Or at least they pretend to. The truth is that evil starts as soon as the rulers find out that they have run out of "other people's money".


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