In Part II of my latest column at the Tenth Amendment Center I argued that just as governments can’t centrally plan individuals, individuals can’t plan government, and for the same reasons. Planning requires constant variables, which don’t exist in the social sciences, so individuals look for ways around the barriers erected by the state and new market systems and technological progress makes this possible
Government officials are no different, in that they look for ways around the barriers put in place in the form of laws, parliamentary procedure, or constitutions. They gerrymander the whole apparatus by establishing voter districts, party rules, campaign finance laws, and legal codes which are, paradoxically, both complex and vague, all to their favor. Then, after they’ve shaped the entire process and excluded any view point that deviates from Acceptable Opinion, they declare that “the people have spoken,” that “democracy works.”
If on the remote chance that enough Common Folk manage to get around the barriers and come dangerously close to beating the Establishment at its own game, they simply change the rules. Justin Raimondo explains how this process worked for the GOP this go around:
As for the rules governing the political process – they can be changed at a moment’s notice, and bent any which way, in order to facilitate this seizure. Ron Paul’s supporters in the GOP learned that the hard way, as the Romneyites used their control of the party bureaucracy at the state and national levels to retroactively change the rules in order to unseat duly elected Paul delegates. In Maine, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Oregon, Oklahoma, and elsewhere, the party bosses have disenfranchised Paul voters – closing down party caucuses, rejecting as delegates anyone under 50, and calling the cops when all else failed.
Barring something like this, they just ignore the rules, ignore the laws altogether, and do whatever they please.
This is why it’s always interesting when someone describes the changes they would make to the laws or to the constitution if they were put in charge. “If only we had term limits of X number of years on these particular positions,” they say. “There should be a law that says if you’ve been a congressman you have to wait Y number of years before you’re allowed to start lobbying,” they opine.
None of this matters. It will all be trampled and forgotten, assuming these plans are ever adopted by the same government they’re meant to limit in the first place. Arguing over legal minutiae can be an interesting thought experiment, but in practical terms it’s worthless.
Instead, as I suggested yesterday, efforts should be made towards finding ways around the state, rather than co-opting it. Developing alternate sources of media, new and innovative avenues for trading, teaching and learning, developing businesses that can compete with the state for defense services, legal adjudication, transportation and many other parallel institutions are far more productive and enriching.
Oh, and don’t vote.