Thursday, March 21, 2013 35 Comments

Two words for Tyler Cowen and Ilya Somin

The words are ultra vires.  If these effulgent benefactors of humanity at large had received an ordinary 19th-century legal education, they'd already know them.

After USG is finally razed to the ground, the entire Potomac watershed from Vienna to Gaithersburg restored to pristine pre-Columbian conditions, and North America governed by a couple of smart, hard-working guys and a secretary out of a cozy little office in St. Louis, smart high-school kids will still need to be taught about this monster and why we slew it.

When did the contract that was the Constitution become null and void?  Obviously, any contract, once breached, is void - another truth you'd learn in an ordinary 19th-century legal education.  In fact the reality is that a constitution cannot be a contract, for a contract requires an enforcing agency superior to both parties.  Were we still in love with Lockean political theory, we might say that the Sovereign People was the enforcing party and resumed the powers they had contracted away.  But Lockean political theory went into the Potomac with the Washington Monument and now provides a habitat only to the rapidly rebounding and perennially delicious Chesapeake blue crab.

Given that America's Sovereign People, if truly sovereign, took a sweet two centuries and change in asserting that sovereignty, there are as many answers to the question as there were GS-15s in Bethesda.  But we can still evaluate this Constitution as a supposed contract, and at least count the fistulae where Washington nailed it once too often in the tail.  Moreover, since smart high-school kids love compelling simplicities, we can pick one main hole or cloaca maxima, and select it arbitrarily as the orifice through which this national bowel, so often violated beyond nature's nightmare, finally prolapsed beyond repair and tangled permanently round our combat boots.

What is the charge?  The main charge?  The main charge, I assert, is that USG post 1945 breached the Constitution irreparably by operating ultra vires as a world government.

The so-called "international" agencies of this period, like the risible "United Nations," were established by USG and creatures of it.  In fact rather than name, they were merely new tentacles of the State Department, not bound by the archaic restriction to employ only American citizens.  USG's "withdrawal" from the UN was like Russia's "withdrawal" from the Warsaw Pact.  This institution of socialist brotherhood did not mope in exile pining for its founding big brother - but simply ceased to exist.  Obviously.  I mean, obviously in retrospect.

Even what we called our "friends" and "allies" in this "international community" turned out to be no such thing, but rather despicable puppet regimes of foreign nationality but American loyalty.  The great Vattel described this phenomenon with his usual succinctness:
But a people that has passed under the dominion of another is no longer a state, and can no longer avail itself directly of the law of nations. Such were the nations and kingdoms which the Romans rendered subject to their empire; the generality even of those whom they honoured with the name of friends and allies no longer formed real states. Within themselves they were governed by their own laws and magistrates; but without, they were in every thing obliged to follow the orders of Rome; they dared not of themselves either to make war or contract alliances; and could not treat with nations.
Of course these quislings, traitors to their own nations, were not loyal to America, but rather to Washington.  But from the perspective of, say, France, it made no difference:


During the transition our dear puppets kept phoning their masters, in excellent English of course, but could not get an answer.  Sometimes the line would pick up, but emit no English - only a sort of wet scuttling noise, suggestive of the Maryland blue crab with its exquisitely evolved hind paddles.

Bees without a queen are pretty helpless.  It didn't take long for the French and others to get the idea.  As Americans, of course, it's hard to support what they did.  But as Americans, we don't have to.  Besides, France has a pretty long tradition of this kind of thing.  Hot-blooded Latins and all.

But wait - as Americans, why should we mind if Washington conquers the world?  Isn't it awesome, always and everywhere, to rule?

Not at all.  The doctrine of ultra vires exists for a reason.  Every institution, private or public, is chartered to serve the interests and purposes of its beneficiaries.  If it decides it has the right to trade off the interests of those beneficiaries, purportedly for the purpose of serving other beneficiaries to whom it is not contractually responsible, but has decided to love simply out of the goodness of its gigantic and perpetually hemorrhaging heart -

When USG decided it had the right not to serve the people of America, to whom it was exclusively responsible, it set the precedent that it could abuse American interests for any purpose it desired.   And what other precedent could tyranny demand?

USG certainly was never responsible to any other party.  Operating ultra vires as a world government, like any regime it worked assiduously to curry the favor of its foreign subjects.  But how could it possibly be responsible to the mango farmers of Pakistan? 

No - in its capacity as planetary benefactor, USG could only be utterly irresponsible and autocratic.  In time it probably would have followed the example of Rome and extended the citizenship of the metropolis to the entire empire.  Not that this would have given foreigners any more real authority over "their" government than Americans already enjoyed.  But at least it would have fixed the optics.

And why?  Why this amazing planetary empire?  Ostensibly, we were told, the motive was the benefit of humanity.  What a purpose!  What benefit!  The progressive global leadership that at home produced Clockwork Orange Detroit also gave us Clockwork Orange France, Clockwork Orange South Africa, Clockwork Orange Haiti, Clockwork Orange Syria, etc, etc, etc.  Nor may we forget its earlier patronage of Clockwork Orange Russia and Clockwork Orange ChinaAll told, the murders on USG's tab run well into 9 figures.  Hitler was an amateur and Mao was a cheap local punk.

No, there is a simpler reason.  Washington loved it.  It was not America that got to rule the world, but Washington.  This amazing global empire was responsible neither to Americans, nor to foreigners; neither did it serve the interests of either.  The interests it served were its own.  How fortunate we are that this monster is at the bottom of a river!  Happy the crabs that feast on its corse!  May never drought undrown its bones!  Roll on, great Potomack, roll.  In spring's floods the bricks do tumble, the waterman hears clicks and clacks and smiles broadly as he casts his net.  To trumpets and great pageant the kings are home; the television's dead; the globe exhales in peace at last.

In the mouths of Washington's worm-tongued professors, not all of whom were truly bad people, many of whom later found real meaning and excellence in plumbing, landscaping or driving a cab, the strawman was easily raised that if USG considered only the interests of Americans, it should logically use its planetary dominion to (for example) slaughter the entire population of Brazil for its fresh young transplantable organs.  Not so, because Americans were and are not collectively evil and have no intention of committing any such crime.  Neither will any institution responsible to them.  It is not their interests only that a responsible government is bound to follow, but their purposes. 

In an international capacity, the purpose of a sovereign people - or any other sane sovereign - is to protect their own rights and respect the rights of others, as laid down by Vattel and other great scholars of the classical European international law.  Like so many sound old principles, the good name of international law was perverted by the unspeakable 20th century into a system of transnational domination.  Yet the law of nations is a natural law, and under the rubble it remained true; and shone with the glint of real gold.  And outside the stables, flowed the patient river by.

35 Comments:

Blogger G. M. Palmer said...

This post is valuable for its distinction between "America running the world" and "Washington running the world."

Washington (i.e. USG), in a trend started by the Framers, extended by Washington, and solidified by Lincoln centralized its sovereignty and extended its power. Once its power reached its geographic/ethnic limit it was natural to reach out beyond its borders.

March 21, 2013 at 8:03 AM  
Anonymous nydwracu said...

I can't get the video link from the bus network I'm on, but Toyama Koichi ran for president of America from Japan in 2008 for pretty much this reason, and his campaign video is still on Youtube.

March 21, 2013 at 9:01 AM  
Anonymous jtg said...

"Obviously, any contract, once breached, is void - another truth you'd learn in an ordinary 19th-century legal education."

Sorry, MM, I haven't even finished reading the article, but as a matter of law you're way off. Breaches of some terms (it depends on their type) entitle the other party to damages only (if it's a warranty), whereas others can entitle the other party to rescind (i.e. conditions). This is all C19 stuff (in English contract law, at least). There's no principle that a contract, once, breached, is automatically void.

March 21, 2013 at 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why Dear Sir who shall return Washington to the Swamps?

What power could do this?

You despise them.

Which doesn't matter, they're rising...slowly...a domestic arms race does not bode well for a government that appears [appears...oh so much rests on appearances] to be running out of "manipulated procedural outcomes".

We need a Second Democracy Sir.

And this Demos needs true Tribunes..do look at the History of the last two centuries. Savages or not [I'm one of them - except for being full Irish I came from Mead's Jacksonian Americas Central Casting] ..savages we are, but we damn sure are good at running over anything in our way.

You sound fired up enough, give it a go...I suggest nothing so insulting as stand for Office - LOL.

Second Democracy Mencius.

If you've been to certain empty shelved shops lately..you'll notice it's a Catchy tune.

VXXC

March 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Mitchell said...

tmp;cku

(too many posts, can't keep up)

March 21, 2013 at 9:48 PM  
Anonymous LB said...

jtg - MM is clearly wrong as a matter of law (Eng 19C c/l), but two points: (1) the breach here would clearly count as a material breach, which renders the contract voidABLE (i.e., the counterparty may void it, and even breach of a warranty only renders it voidable, not void), so under Lockean political theory, right now we're in a period in which the K is voidable, but 'the people' have not yet exercised their right to void it - although under this line of reasoning, one could argue that 'the people' have waived USG's material breach. Then again this is all mythology; (2) conditions don't entitle the other to rescind - simply put, the failure of a condition means that the other's obligation to perform was never triggered.

If you want to argue it's void, here are a few examples - you can say there is a failure of consideration here, or a bilateral mistake, or that the parties are incompetent, or that performance is impossible.

March 21, 2013 at 11:51 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

This post mystifies me.
Did anyone know that at the liberation of Paris at the end of WW2, Charles de Gaulle got whiff of the American government's intention to put a protectorate in place, with American military bases, like Germany enjoyed for so long ? Charles, who was as close to Louis XIV as a French president could get, arranged to get control of French NATIONAL radio (yes, well, there ARE times when centralization can be a great blessing...), and broadcast to his own benefit.
And that's why there was no American protectorate in France post WW2.
It is rather interesting that there are so few French people now aware of the... tremendous altruism of the American government ? post WW2.
So... Charles DE was definitely no boot licker.
France has managed to avoid boot licking, politically, and institutionally, at least, up until and through Jacques Chirac, following whom, Amercan colonization appears to be triumphing.
This post fails to appreciate the political and ideological SYMBIOSIS between the place(s) where the Enlightenment was hatched as an idea, and the.. DISTANT place where it was first put into practice.
One thing which is ignored : the intense pressure to build European unity as a form of protection against continuing war between small, sovereign nations.
European unity has been achieved as economic unity, and not political, essentially due to the aspiration that trade, and economic competition will channel our aggressive impulses in a not bloodthirsty, thus acceptable, manner.
U.S. government is not.. now ruling the world, but... Enlightenment rationalism, and the technology that has arisen from it, have become a new empire, whose power is divided between U.S. and Europe, still, with competition to see who best embodies ? translates ? the Enlightenment (Cartesian..) ideal.
On contracts... based on the WRITTEN word.
In a society where orality dominates, someone's WORD is enough.. and that word is not written.
But once you get the idea that the written word is.. PROOF of anything, well then, there are some serious consequences that arise.
I am sticking in a link for my French speaking friends here.
Enjoy.

http://www.piecesetmaindoeuvre.com/spip.php?page=resume&id_article=413

March 22, 2013 at 2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"that's why there was no American protectorate in France post WW2."

But there was such a protectorate. The US had military bases in France from 1945 to 1967.

Even without the bases, the US enjoyed a protectorate. The US and France had a secret agreement that France would come under the NATO command structure if war with the Soviets broke out.

March 22, 2013 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger C. Van Carter said...

It's funny how the "borders are oppression" crowd fails to notice how similar their stupid arguments are to claims that property is theft.

March 22, 2013 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

Since when did alliances become protectorates ?
Unless you want to maintain that all of Europe is a U.S. protectorate...
That seems a little extravagant to me.
But it is, after all, a question of point of view...
Modern political analysis seems to be in a dismal state when so many subtleties are thrown out the window.
France had American military bases, but in my vague American memory, France had no impediment to rearming the way that Germany had.
But I am definitely no expert on these matters.

March 22, 2013 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger DR said...

"It's funny how the "borders are oppression" crowd fails to notice how similar their stupid arguments are to claims that property is theft"

The problem is that modern states are schizophrenic irresponsible managers of their property. So it's not the same as corporate or individual property which is generally managed in a quite responsible manner.

For example if Frederick the Great was to assume absolute sovereignty of North America tomorrow, I am sure there'd be massive immigration. There probably wouldn't less Central American peasant immigration, particularly of the welfare queen of MS-13 variety. At least not without serious Orwellian monitoring and control.

But there would certainly be an influx of skilled workers, primarily from Asia. For example Chinese electrical engineers almost assuredly increase the total net value of the North American landholdings. I.e. they are human assets, not liabilities.

The fact that massive numbers want to move here without any other incentive other than the right to live here, means that Frederick the Great can acquire human assets at a zero cost basis. Any responsible property and business manager would easily take that deal millions of times over.

Indeed we see that the most reactionary governments on Earth: Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Monaco, Liechtenstein, etc. do in fact have much much higher immigration rates than the United States.

March 22, 2013 at 3:15 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Well now, Cyprusgrad is getting better by the hour. Those capital controls imposed upon the smoldering ruins of Cyprus are in direct conflict with the Russian mafia's newly found desire to pull as much of their money off the island as possible.

Now, technically the surviving Cypriot bankers won't be allowed to approve any withdrawals close to large enough to please the Oligarchs. However, this is Cyprus we're talking about, not Sweden. Down there, rules are meant to be broken. And, surely, the Russian mafia can be persuasive when millions of dollars are on the line, can't they?

Go long Eastern European hitmen and special forces grade sniper rifles, I say!

March 22, 2013 at 5:48 PM  
Anonymous Federico said...

"It's funny how the "borders are oppression" crowd fails to notice how similar their stupid arguments are to claims that property is theft"

The problem is that modern states are schizophrenic irresponsible managers of their property. So it's not the same as corporate or individual property which is generally managed in a quite responsible manner.

For example if Frederick the Great was to assume absolute sovereignty of North America tomorrow, I am sure there'd be massive immigration.


The similarity is in the idea that borders are "unfair", hence a large group of people should act contrary to their economic and hedonic interests in abolishing them.

Property is also "unfair". Why should Bryan Caplan and Tyler Cowen have more money than me, by some arbitrary social convention?

This assumes that polities are a balance of their citizens' interests, and immigration is (among other things) disruptive to the political structure. If instead the state is some czar's "absolute" property, the analysis changes. Of course, Frederick could kill everyone and replace them with Chinese sex slaves—absolute sovereignty. It isn't a very useful Gedankenexperiment.

Moreover, the gist of Cowen and Caplan's argument is that you shouldn't pick and choose. That is the oppression.

March 23, 2013 at 6:15 AM  
Anonymous Alrenous said...

Some contracts don't need an enforcing agency. The enforcement is simply when the counterparty takes its option to void the contract.
Utilities are a good example. If power isn't supplied, then payment also isn't supplied.

The problem here is that one side has popular moral approval for its ability to physically coerce obedience, and the other doesn't.

USG can shut off your power, then come over and shake you down for the money anyway, and almost nobody will see anything wrong with this. At most they'll think it is a bit rude. Were it to sacrifice legitimacy to do so, its physical superiority would be moot.

So I have to wonder what would happen to a constitution which guaranteed the right to personally secede before and above rights such as liberty and property. As, clearly, liberty and property are far too vague to even be worth writing down.

March 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Moreover, the gist of Cowen and Caplan's argument is that you shouldn't pick and choose. That is the oppression.

Do those two fine fellows know not picking and choosing immigrants wisely (they should all be white, FYI) is not compatible with having a fair nation because the third world yokels are not evo-psych adapted to a cultural environment where emphasis is placed on rule of law, respect for property, and not shooting up a 7-11 to steal drug money?

March 23, 2013 at 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Lucius said...

Ah, the heady old days in the model UN when all us white kids gathered in NYC to represent the interests of Zambia better than they ever could. The day we learned ruling the world tastes so sweet. And that the white coeds repping Namibia also like to party.

March 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger TGGP said...

The Constitution can be understood as a contract between states. Contracts between states within a higher enforcing power are nothing new, they are called treaties. And of course individuals can do the same thing under anarchy. See the examples from "Enterprise of Law" or "Law of the Somalis".

March 24, 2013 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

Doh, "without a higher enforcing power" not "within".

March 24, 2013 at 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Since when did alliances become protectorates ?"

If that is true, then why did you describe the US government's relationship with West Germany as a protectorate?

"France had American military bases, but in my vague American memory, France had no impediment to rearming the way that Germany had."

Um, that was not because Germany was a 'protectorate' and France was not. It was because Germany lost World War II.

March 25, 2013 at 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Lord Pete said...

....except the real power neither resides in nor operates from Washington, but London. (Your designated role is to fund insurgency, bomb kids, and secure Oil and Opium for the Crown)

And lest ye forget, you merely rent the land in which you live, owned still by the Crown..... (no, no, not "Er Maj, but the real Crown)

March 25, 2013 at 4:33 PM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

+1


Lucius said...

Ah, the heady old days in the model UN when all us white kids gathered in NYC to represent the interests of Zambia better than they ever could. The day we learned ruling the world tastes so sweet. And that the white coeds repping Namibia also like to party.

March 25, 2013 at 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Euro2cent said...

(Three short notes)

1)

> Happy the crabs that feast on its corse!

Googled it, realized 'corpse' was meant.

2)

So, USG is a State Department gang, born from the sea foam? The owners of the USA, ("our masters", as the late Gore Vidal used to put it), don't have a leash on the beast?

3)

> (Debra)
> Since when did alliances become protectorates ?

I figure around the time the Athenians were charging the other Greek polities for protection. Or else. ("Else" meaning putting the male population to the sword, and selling the rest into slavery. Yay for democracies.)

People should *really* read the Melian dialogue. That guy Thucydides knew his shit, he used to play for the Athens army.

March 26, 2013 at 3:26 AM  
Blogger Morgan Warstler said...

I've only put myself thru 3 posts here, since interfluidity made it clear I could come fix MM.

The St Louis smart guys and a secretary is of course the obvious outcome, as the relentless demands of productivity gains that is the Internet is trained upon government at every level.

Don't for a moment convince yourselves that the public sector % of labor force isn't on the same arc and path as agriculture and manufacturing.

22M public employees becomes 11M, becomes 5M, becomes 1M because Wealth Transfer - the only actual requirement government apart from operating a title office happens with 0's and 1's, and gets even easier when the US G no longer even cuts atomic checks (see march 1, 2013).

Babysitting the flipped classroom means the babysitter is non union and young and fun - as babysitters ARE, and the video coursework done at home when mom (and dad too when the internet gets done) it is "government sanctioned" by one of the very well paid 1M.

And what's it like to be one of these very well paid 1M who are the SYSOPS of the cloud based government?

Well it is very much like being naked.

Because SYSOPS are paid enuff that they are no longer unionized, and their every bank account and piece of owned property is exposed online for all to see. Their atomic property is likely listed on Ebay al time time, just like everyone elses.

Owning anything atomic that is not also for sale, at some price, just in case someone wants to buy it:

1. is a very strong indicator that you did not buy it - and that's very easy to see - since there's a digital record, and receipt and atomic title property transfer and not just that shows who you bought it from, the serialized digital dollars you bought it with, who you got those serialized digital dollars from, and who they got them from and everyone is contactable and ownership is thus provable, and no longer cares about "possession" you either have the digital atomic receipt and serial digital dollar history to back it up, or you do not own the artifact.

Pure digital money has some very interesting quirks dontcha know?

2. and artifact is the right word here, because owning anything that is not 3D printable, since you can have Very Cheap copies of anything 3D printable, quickly leaves us with historical artifacts of some worth, that aren't destroyed for their material parts, so they can be extruded, sintered, lasered, in a 3D printer. Who's to say that the ancient wooden cuckoo clock from great great grandma, isn't better pulped and processed and used to print "originally mahogany" sunglasses.

http://www.morganwarstler.com/post/35224055375/digital-socialism-atomic-capitalism

So our SYSOPS are naked, and as such cannot be bribed, as they'd be jailed and "unhooked" from the digital cloud, while their past own atomic assets of worth are auctioned and likely extruded as materials.

This is of course the future and it has its quirks, the biggest of which is that the idea of scarcity is evaporating from our notions ancient of economy.

You cannot own the digital, not without harming the very notion of ownership.

And ownership is incredibly important because its how we allot the atoms.

I think MM sadly is either too old or too angry to see the future. Worse, he attract a certain Sailer dead ender segment, that is so worried about the slights to his relative status from brown people, that he doesn't see his status is truly upended ONLY by his inability to master the digital future.

March 26, 2013 at 5:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Professor Moldbug is still in the habit of answering his e-mails? I have some extracurricular questions to ask him, but can't seem to fix his attention (at least, not via moldbug@gmail.com). Perhaps my more fortunate peers may render me assistance? Answers may be supplied in response to this post.

Thank you very much,
A. Heinleinian

March 26, 2013 at 7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


@MorganW @508

Such eloquence, such bombast. And for what? to convince us tha one day pigs will fly, the waters will flow upstream, and the Sun surely shall rise in the West.

"So our SYSOPS are naked, and as such cannot be bribed, as they'd be jailed and "unhooked" from the digital cloud, while their past own atomic assets of worth are auctioned and likely extruded as materials."

By the left bare bussom of Marianne, what a floater in the punchbowl, EmDub...

The Popish Sauromatian

March 26, 2013 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Mitchell said...

Morgan Warstler said

"since interfluidity made it clear I could come fix MM"

What? What does that mean? I know interfluidity is a blog, and MM is probably Mencius Moldbug, but what does that statement mean? One blog made it clear you could "fix" another blog?

March 26, 2013 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Morgan Warstler said...

Popish, I'm just telling ya what comes. There's literally nothing for public employees to do. I've been as sure about appified govt for as long as I've been sure about streaming video replacing TV, music labels die, retailers crumble... look over at manufacturing and agriculture...

There is one basic arc of tech, its predictable, know what is easy, predicting when is the killer.

You'd be a FOOL to go long on public sector growing and not delivering productivity gans.

This month, the US Treasury doesn't send checks.. clearing the way for both closing USPS and purely digital money... which makes theft far far harder.

We got 30K SocSec teleservice reps who no longer have any calls coming in. And when one does come in, the citizens will be happiest if they can call at midnight on Christmas as the ambulance carts off their dead husband - and guess what a nice college educated mommy in jammies answer the call and truly empathizes for 20 minutes - cost? $6 (see liveops.com)

------

Look, I'm not into racists, and I'm not into nihilists. I'm used to figuring out solution, hacks to problem after problem, iteration after iteration...

And let's get this straight there's $1TRILLION per year we don't have to spend on publis employees, and that addsup to $200B in new tech revenue.

And you know who'e ready to be full blown libertarian for $200B in new annual revenues?

Half the readership of of reddit, and 100% of YCombinator, and thats all you need to move the mountain.

Half America already wants to cut public sector, they just don't know how.

Look, go read my plan to solve MM's labor crisis from a week ago... if I don't have it FIXED you point out why, otherwise, let's look at the real trends of history, and trust the way America does safety net is gonna be alot more Cowboy and Calvin and lot less French Chavez, cause we're smarter than the french and chavez, and we havent played half the cards we gots in our sleeve.

http://www.morganwarstler.com/post/44789487956/guaranteed-income-auction-the-unemployed

please give it a deep and charitable read, add to it, its the future.

March 26, 2013 at 5:08 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

The nature of the USG beast is a unique construct that has never existed before in history, except in the more advanced metastasized form of the European Union. Europe is only ahead of us because they started the 20th century 18 years earlier than America - 1914 in the case of Europe and 1932 for us.

In both cases, the Western liberal elite differs from every previous form of government because the Civil Service is the government. For every other form of state in Western history, all governments had bureaucratic agencies that served either a single Monarch or a collection of oligarchs. The Roman civil service obeyed the will of the Emperor. Or, if the Emperor was nuts and/or stupid, the civil service obeyed whoever the Emperor's sponsors behind the throne were. The same Sovereign-civil service relationship holds for all pre-20th century governments, from Ancient Egypt to Soviet Russia.

In the case of USG and the EU, we are bearing witness to the worst type of government of all - bureaucratic dictatorship, a system of goverment has no sovereign executive (except in purely figleaf form as Jean Monnet openly stated would be the case during the interwar years). Instead the bureaucracy runs the government from perches where they cannot be held accountable for the their actions and where no single agency or ruler has control over what the civil service does. Whatever you may say about Communist Russia, nobody can say the KGB and various Bolshevik party organs were doing anything the high leadership did not approve of.

What the West has is worse than Communism - we have an unelected, crackpot bureaucracy that creates problems in order to justify more bureaucracy to fix problems they are created or made worse.

March 26, 2013 at 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There's literally nothing for public employees to do."

You don't get it. It has always been true that most public employees have little or nothing to do.

Doing things is not the purpose of employing government workers.

Employing government workers is the purpose of employing government workers.

March 27, 2013 at 6:53 AM  
Blogger Morgan Warstler said...

"You don't get it."

Yeah I get it. I'm just sure what happens.

The UAW proved it. Look what happened to new GM worker wages.

Public employees don't care if there are less public employees in future, they just want paid their pensions.

March 27, 2013 at 11:53 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

It has always been true that most public employees have little or nothing to do.

This has only been true since the development of professional and independent civil service in the mid-19th century. The independence of the Civil Service, btw, is why both the American and EU systems are FUBAR: Severing the bureaucracy from responsibility to other, more accountable, government organs has created a rogue bureaucracy running the West into the ground.

In previous eras, the bureaucrats, including those of the hard revolutionary left, were simple functionaries of higher ups and the chain of command was easy to trace back to a root command, whether the root command ultimately was Julius Caesar, Louis XIV, or Joe Stalin.

Today, the professional technocrat class of the Cathedral is in charge of the government.

March 27, 2013 at 8:40 PM  
Anonymous failed child prodigy said...

Giving soviet bureaucracy as an example of efficiency or accountability or anything else that is good is utterly misguided.

As for one man regimes, I guess ukrainian farmers wished public servants didn't have to follow orders to the letter. Large bureaucracies can do a lot of harm and inefficiency is not the worst of it by far.

March 28, 2013 at 12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has only been true since the development of professional and independent civil service in the mid-19th century.

LOL are you kidding? You seriously think the bureaucrats appointed under the spoils system "did something"?

All the "professionalization" of the civil service did was divorce the vote bank full of useless drones from the party system.

March 28, 2013 at 3:58 AM  
Anonymous 1715 said...

Giving soviet bureaucracy as an example of efficiency or accountability or anything else that is good is utterly misguided.

Saying Communist Russia's civil service was less insane than the post-WWI mainstream Western left's one does not mean Communist Russia's system was good. Relative to USG and the European Union, it is true though - how many of the 1917 Bolsheviks fighting in Moscow's Revolution Square were crazy enough to think blacks had the same mental potential as whites?

As for one man regimes, I guess ukrainian farmers wished public servants didn't have to follow orders to the letter.

You don't think the EPA or European Commission are capable of something as bad or worse than the Ukrainian famine?

Look at the joy with which the EU just smashed Cyprus' economy. And the EU doesn't even have a loyal army (yet). What the EU has done to Southern Europe through, so far at least, non-military measures would already be considered an act of full scale war by any sane sovereign actor before the 20th century. Imagine what unaccountable professional bureaucrats could do if they if they could kill as freely as Stalin, and not merely isolated squashings like Ruby Ridge and Waco.

You seriously think the bureaucrats appointed under the spoils system "did something"?

First of all, I was referring to ALL pre-Professional Civil Service governments of the past, not just Gilded Age America.

There was corruption in the spoils system, but it was your typical patron corruption which is older than First Dynasty Egypt. Still, civil services as seen under Imperial Rome, Imperial Britain, and post Civil War America have achieved desireable governmental result.

But the level of corruption and destruction modern dictatorial bureaucracy has achieved is unprecedented in human history and exceeds the criminality of Communist Russia because there is literally NOTHING the Western left has done which is good. The Communists at least were good at promoting the high arts.

The fact the death toll hasn't reached Stalin/Hitler proportions is only because the bureaucratic dictators do not have absolute power yet as there power is gained slowly, one regulation at a time.

All the "professionalization" of the civil service did was divorce the vote bank full of useless drones from the party system.

Yes, and it's proven a disaster. The civil service has transformed into a rogue fourth branch of government that can't be reined in by executive power.

See the interwar writings of Jean Monnet, the professional bureaucrat left in Europe as well as the American progressives wanted to create government agencies that couldn't be held to account to either the plebians or the aristocrats.

This is the reason the post-WWII WASPs switched from Coolidge conservatism to Wilsonian liberalism - they, as the elite, could no longer control the government through corporate cronyism, so they had to sign up with the New Deal bureaucracy to get at the controls of the ship of state.

March 28, 2013 at 7:13 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

1715 was me. It seems I typed part of a captcha in the name textbox.

March 28, 2013 at 7:14 PM  

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