Rebuttal of Wilson on Administration Part 3   Leave a comment

Wilson concluded his study, but rest assured, I am not going to conclude mine, because it is important to take a look at where we are today in light of what Wilson was trying to accomplish.

For now, my final snark.

Government is so near us, so much a thing of our daily familiar handling, that we can with difficulty see the need of any philosophical study of it, or the exact points of such study, should be undertaken. We have been on our feet too long to study now the art of walking. We are a practical people, made so apt, so adept in self-government by centuries of experimental drill that we are scarcely any longer capable of perceiving the awkwardness of the particular system we may be using, just because it is so easy for us to use any system.

Self-government is easy for us, so we must make it more difficult. I suspect Wilson is looking at the American system from a European viewpoint. How crude, how grubby the American system appears to be.

So far as administrative functions are concerned, all governments have a strong structural likeness; more than that, if they are to be uniformly useful and efficient, they must have a strong structural likeness. A free man has the same bodily organs, the same executive parts, as the slave, however different may be his motives, his services, his energies.

Pay no attention to the loss of liberty, free man. That rope around your neck is merely meant to guide you on the safe path.

It is abundantly safe nowadays to insist upon this actual likeness of all governments, because these are days when abuses of power are easily exposed and arrested, in countries like our own, by a bold, alert, inquisitive, detective public thought and a sturdy popular self-dependence such as never existed before.

So, looking back over the last 140 years, has it really been easy for us to uncover abuses of power? Has self-dependence been encouraged by administration or damaged by it.

What do you think?

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