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Red Pill Reading

“Truth is sacred; and if you tell the truth too often nobody will believe it.”-Chesterton
10 January 2017

Veritas et Sapientia-There Is NO “Getting Back To The Constitution”

Mandeville, LA – [Editor’s note: I have met and read Allen Medenhall for years and always thought him brilliant. To use a quote from a book review as “truth and wisdom” might thus seem odd, but Mendenhall’s channeling of the authors (Carey and Frohnnen) is in harmony with what he has written before.M.C.]

“If there is one take-home point from this book, it’s that government is not the instrument through which to facilitate the good, the true, or the beautiful. We should avoid the “new dispensation” that consists in “a government ruled not by formal structures and procedures but by the pursuit of putatively good policy through broad statements of programmatic goals and the exercise of broad discretionary power.” Disempowering the central government may be the obvious counter to this new dispensation, but we’ve been advocating that for decades. In fact, Frohnen and Carey believe that “there can be no simple return to the original dispensation,” which involved “the Framers’ constitutional morality, emphasizing procedure, caution, and restrained defense of one’s institutional prerogatives.” [emphasis mine-M.C.]

With no quick and easy remedy at the ready, Frohnen and Carey encourage something less magnificent and extraordinary: civic participation in local associations and mediating institutions such as “families, unions, clubs, schools, and religious groups,” the kinds of little platoons that struck Alexis de Tocqueville, during his tour of America, as bulwarks against tyranny. “More important than any particular policy,” Frohnen and Carey aver, “is the attitude toward law and policy making that must be recaptured.” Although they suggest that some form of separation or secession may become inevitable, the corrective they envision is rhetorical and discursive. We must, in their view, shape the political discourse through private associations, which, in the aggregate, engender the bottom-up processes of rulemaking that reflect the normative orders of local communities rather than the top-down commands of a faraway, massive, impersonal sovereign.” –  Allen Mendenhall, Our Real Constitution and What Happened To It

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