Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Leviathan state is alive and well ...

… anarchristian: "Power Tends to Corrupt": A Reputation-Making Book. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

At the end of Part One, Lazarski asks: "Are not current Western governments aspiring to display the same fondness for specialist, experts, and jurists; a similar faith in rational schemes; and a corresponding disregard for moral considerations, much as did the enlightened government of ancient regime" that Acton excoriated (102)? To ask this rhetorical question is to answer it. The theoreticians of the modern welfare-warfare state do not recognize any limits to their scope of action. They are all Machiavellians now, out or closeted. But while this may make Acton a prophet, it does not recommend him as a political pathfinder, an estate to which he did not in any case aspire. Power is a moral hazard, he warned in so many words, so let's limit it. Let's try to have a "mature democracy," as they do in America. Easier said than done, for as Acton well knew, the battle is primarily against the libido dominandi, the insidious "enemy within."

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