Complexity is Knowing that Government Control Must be Better, No Matter What that Pesky Constitution May Say
One of the more maundering sections in the Projo’s recent Tea Party editorial began by looking at the view expressed at many Tea Party events that modern government needs to continue to be consistent with the principles of the founding of America…
They also make frequent reference to getting back to what the nation’s Founders wanted, though it is not at all clear how the Founders would have governed a country that has grown from about 3 million people living in a mostly agrarian nation in 1790 to about 310 million in the highly urban/suburban, technological and multicultural one now. We do know that the Founders supported the right to amend the Constitution as things changed.The connection that the editorial seeks to establish, between simplicity and Constitutionality, is not at all clear. Given that defining and enforcing limits on the power of government has never been a simple problem for any society, it would have been helpful if the editorial board had discussed the specific Constitutional sections they believe to be too simplistic for a “highly urban/suburban, technological and multicultural” nation.
But complexity is anxiety-provoking, while simple slogans are comforting.
Indeed, much modern history has been shaped by human struggles with and against the consequences of contrasting formulations of government. The renowned philosopher and sociologist Raymond Aron described the key contrast in the past two-and-half-centuries as being defined by the difference in the ideas of…
…representative governments restrained by the balance of power, and so called democratic governments invoking the will of the people but rejecting all limits to their authority.Then again, given the Projo editorial board’s steady stream of editorials over the past year declaring the need for more government power over healthcare regardless of the details — and perhaps the Constitutionality — of the the plans that were being proposed, they may feel that the issue has been settled, with the latter view of government described by Aron having won out.
However, those who would feel comfortable with a system where the most important factor limiting a government’s power is that government’s ability to decide for itself when its actions serve true public interests really shouldn’t be congratulating themselves on their ability to deal with complexity.