Sunday, September 23, 2012

Give us a King

I have not read the book called Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic by Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule. According to reviews, Posner summarises the book in the following word.

The Madisonian system of separation of powers has eroded beyond recognition and been replaced with a system of executive primacy (which others have called the “imperial presidency”) in which Congress and the courts play only a marginal role. Most scholars who have recognized this development have called for a return to the Madisonian system, but we believe that the rise of the executive has resulted from a recognition among political elites that only a powerful executive can address the economic and security challenges of modern times.
Most people want government to foster security and prosperity and the administrative state best serves those ends because it became evident to people that they benefit from having most policy being made at the federal level … making them willing to give up that kind of fine-grain choice in return for the benefits that you get from having a very powerful government and a very powerful president.
This seems to be a good description of the American system, but the idea is as old as Samuel. He understood that when people stop trusting in God, they are willing to give up freedom and pay punishing taxes in return for security and prosperity. Posner and Vermeule’s theory is a modern form of the cry to Samuel.
Appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have (1 Sam 8:5).

1 comment:

August said...

We already have lost freedom and pay punishing taxes. Some of us trust God; some of us don't, but anyone of a certain intellectual level no longer trusts this god called democracy.
A king has at least some incentive to maintain and improve the nation, if for no other reason than to pass it on to his heir. So, that incentive could lead to a king providing more freedom than the bureaucrats provide us. Our current leaders have a limited time in which to take- so they take everything and take out massive amounts of debt in our name so that they can then go do whatever it is they want.
The biblical verse is not apt here, because moving from the modern state to a monarchy would tend to be a step toward smaller government- the opposite of pre-monarchy Israel's step toward a larger government. I'd like the freedom of a pre-monarchy Israel, too, but we've got to understand what constitutes a step in the right direction versus what doesn't.