October 28, 2007

The Left Comes 'Round Right?

Justin Katz

Perhaps owing to a natural affinity for arguments that put the United States in a stumbling-behemoth light, retired ABC leftist, Bristol photographer, and occasional Providence Journal op-ed contributor Jerry Landay makes some points with which I agree:

... Breakdown, [social scientist Leopold Kohr] stated [in the 1950s], is the product of social organs that implode when they grow too vast. They need immense and ever-greater amounts of input — wealth, tax revenues, resources — to sustain and nourish their infrastructures. A point is reached when these demands became too great.

Healthy institutions depend on the free flow of communications, top to bottom and back. Ultimately, with too many layers of bureaucracy increasing separation, communications break down. The gap grows between people and their governments, along with the rupture of essential feedback loops that organizations depend on to deal swiftly with acute needs. Human misery and social upheavals spread, external relations worsen, and wars grow exponentially as a result.

Perhaps Mr. Landay will join me in advocating for a return of governance rights to the states and advocating against the creeping movement toward international government. The problem isn't really layers of bureaucracy or government, per se, but the fact that power increasingly resides at the most remote levels.

In the interest of political harmony, I urge conservatives to resist the urge to explain to folks who begin to come around to conclusions such as Landay's that decreasing size and increasing localization of authority would necessarily result in regions that enforce a social regime completely at odds with their own beliefs. They might decide that being "too big — too much — too many — too late" isn't such a bad thing when its result is the enforcement thereof.