Tuesday, June 28, 2011

States' Rights

I stumbled across an article by Kirkpatrick Sale, writing for Chronicles. He's against "excessive federal power", which "is so overreaching that it is incompetent and inefficient, and it is so corrupt that it is clandestine and uncontrollable."

This federal power, for Sale, constitutes an "assualt on our liberty" and leads to the following:

"The system we confront is, for all its ineptness and misguided flailing, a powerful one and practiced in the ways of advancing its interests. But resistance is the only sane, intelligent, moral, and practical course. And the only agency, the only locus, for that struggle is to be found in the individual American states. It is not to be found in the family, the neighborhood (where such a unit still exists), or even in the so-called transition towns... all too limited, too powerless."

He quotes John Randolph, "And it is the power of the states to extinguish this government at a blow. They have only to refuse to choose members for the [Senate] or refuse to send electors for the President and Vice President, and the thing is done!"

I'd say there was sympathy for that point of view in Texas.



Silverfiddle said...

I don't know how we unwind the federal beast. Those who hold power would have to voluntarily relinquish it. Cincinnatus and George Washington aside, that just doesn't happen.

LSP said...

I have to agree with you Silverfiddle. We can't really imagine a group of people voting themselves out of the power and fortune they've worked so hard to get.

Then again, how long can such a group survive before it dissolves under the weight of its own perverse energies?

Quite some time, probably, which is unfortunate...

All Seeing Eye said...

Surely this is where the US system has the advantage over systems elsewhere - at least in theory SCOTUS gives you an escape valve?

Not available to us Eastpondians, you've got a set of lifetime appointees (therefore not looking to their own re-election or even the continued patronage of those who put them there) who should fight that corner on the side of the People.

That has its downsides of course - you'll be screwed for years if Obama gets back in and there is another vacancy afterwards. The oddball brigade he's put in so far are an indication of future foul play.

But in theory that must be the last bastion against tyranny?

LSP said...

I think that's the theory, ASE.

Similar, in a sense, I suppose, to the old peerage system, but more deliberate and rational.

Then again, there's some who might question the wisdom of entrusting lawyers with that kind of power. Not, of course, that they'd ever abuse it.

Speaking of which, it'll be interesting to see if the Supremes uphold the Commerce Act viz. Obama's Healthcare Mandate. We'll see.