I am enjoying a new local lefty blog, rootriversiren.blogspot.com. A recent post about Ann Rand led to this exchange:
Siren: Rand saw a centralized government as an evil thing (and don't ya imagine how being raised in Russia influenced her, I always did). I for one, don't see it as an evil or even a bad thing...but all that depends on the mechanisms for control or regulation.
Downtown Brown: Which of the following persons or people would you like to have their hands on the levers of your "Mechanism". Bernard Madoff? George W Bush?, Michelle Obama? Margaret Sanger? Just curious which one you want to turn our system over to for "Control", and "regulation".
Siren: "We The People" baby boy, of course!
Me: "We The People" and centralized government are incompatible concepts.
Siren: I don't believe that is true. A government of the people, by the people and for the people is still a great concept and a worthy goal. Your point is registered and I shall end the conversation before it becomes unbearably obnoxious. Thank you for playing.
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Notice that the Siren begged out before having to defend her(?) assertion that a Soviet style dictatorship is not an evil thing so long as "mechanisms for control" remain with "we the people." Now this is the lefts fantasy, is it not? A benevolent dictator committed to justice and equality for all. It is a dangerous fantasy that has played out repeatedly and disastrously for millions of people throughout the world.
OK then, why is she wrong? Well for starters, by definition power and influence in centralized governments are, well, centralized in the hands of a few, or, with a dictator, one. Under such governments, again by definition, decentralized/"we the people" government doesn't exist. "We the people" might however be a useful propaganda slogan for the dictator.
So what if we have no power? We finally have selected a good and fair dictator who embodies the virtues of "we the people." Well perhaps, though not at all likely, but once that selection is made, there is no going back. And you will have a succession problem to deal with. Remember, you have chosen a dictator so by definition you have given up what power you have.
It is pure fantasy to believe that it will be the good and the just that will rise to power. Just as pedophiles are drawn to the teaching or preaching professions, the power hungry will be drawn to an empowered government. And the most skilled and most manipulative and the most narcissistic and the one best at consolidating power by whatever means necessary will rise to the top. And haven't we seen this over and over again throughout history to realize that the meek and humble and the just just (just wanted to use just twice in a row for the first time ever, sorry) won't make it to the top.
But alas, even a kind and just dictator would fail to make life wonderful for "we the people." Why? Try this thought experiment. Would New York City be better off today if there was a highly competent NYC food czar with dictatorial powers or with the present, nearly completely decentralized system of food procurement? Would a brilliant, competent, kind and just dictator be able to improve on the impossibly complex and diverse system that unfailingly delivers a mind numbing menu of foods to millions of people every day without anyone in charge. Now that is the true power and brilliance of "we the people" on display.
So if a kind and humble and competent dictator can't improve the food situation in just one American city, he won't be able to control and improve the lives of Americans. This is because the collective genius of "the people" will always exceed the genius of ANY one individual.
And lastly, we have a mechanism already that empowers "we the people." It is our Constitution and it will work if we use it.