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Saturday, August 6, 2011

At This Juncture

Salute to Utopia
Government by and for the people has always assumed that accommodation is possible.  When accommodation is considered the same as treason, government cannot continue to govern.  If compromise is seen as betrayal, only stalemate is possible.  Somehow the American people have become divided along two political lines.  One would make government an active intervener in economic life; the other would make government a purely political organism with inconsequential economic involvement.  Taxing, spending, and regulating are seen by this side as almost illegitimate acts.  The desire here is for government abstinence from influence in the political economy.  It blames the current downturn in the economy on too much government rather than too little—a debatable position.  Unfortunately there are no ivory towers in which political theory can be tested.  Utopias in the past have been small, short-term rural experiments in which idealists yearned to be free from authority.  Without exception they have neither worked nor lasted.  A utopia based on government’s endless largess is doomed to failure, but so also is a utopia based on the romantic assumption that economics and politics can be separated.

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