American Elephants

Bureaucracy and Tyranny. a Diagnosis. by The Elephant's Child
May 13, 2010, 7:11 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Law, Politics | Tags: , ,

“Bureaucracy” is, to many of us — the enemy.  Alex J. Pollock elucidates at the Enterprise Blog at The American Enterprise Institute:

We tend to think of “bureaucracy” as meaning sluggish, complicated, unresponsive paperwork and process. But it has another, more threatening meaning: Rule by the bureaucrats, just as “aristocracy” is rule by the aristocrats—in other words, rule by unelected officers who impose their ideas on you, but cannot be voted out by you or anyone else. Bureaucracy in this sense has an inherent love of power and yearning for authority which cannot be questioned.

Consider the recent activities of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC criticized Goldman Sach’s synthetic CMO deal. Whatever one may think of the merits of the deal, should you be able to disagree with an attack on you by a bureaucracy? Goldman Sachs publicly disagreed. The SEC got the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation. Warren Buffett defended Goldman Sachs. The SEC announced it was investigating inadequate disclosures by Buffett’s company.

Coincidence? Or a message that you will certainly be punished if you dare to disagree with the bureaucrats?

The Founding Fathers well described “swarms of officers sent hither to harass the people.” It is worth pondering how bureaucracy may have inside it a tyranny trying to get out.

Meet Paul A. Rahe, Professor of History and Political Science. by The Elephant's Child
November 30, 2009, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Freedom, History, Politics | Tags: , ,

I frequently recommend the conversations that Peter Robinson has with various guests on the Hoover Institution’s “Uncommon Knowledge.” Paul A. Rahe (pronounced Ray)  is Professor of History and Political Science at Hillsdale College, and holds the Charles O. Lee and Louise K. Lee Chair in the Western Heritage.

Professor Rahe’s  scholarly career has been focused on studying the origins and evolution  of self-government within the West.

In the first chapter of five, Professor Rahe defends his position that President Obama’s health-care proposals “presuppose the administrative state’s assuming a power over our lives that is nothing less than tyrannical.”

In the second chapter, he explains the nanny state.  There is a nanny in all of us, he says, but it’s hard to explain why anyone would choose life under a nanny.

In the subsequent segments, Professor Rahe ranges through Tocqueville, soft despotism and its roots in America, and discusses the inevitably of the all-encompassing welfare state.  And then takes up the question of whether we can recover our liberty.

Each segment is only about 7 minutes long, not much time even in a busy day; but if you are like me, you will find the conversation so fascinating that you can’t stop.

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