Now, who was it that said democracy was a lie?

Hi all,

Here is a priceless article that supports some of the basic contentions of General Federalism.

While I have not argued that the citizenry are incompetent, generally speaking, I and most other General Federalists have argued that the proper role of the constituency is to delegate authority, not exercise it. In the “Madisonian” system we inherited here in the United States the Constitution was framed as one that both delegated authority and dually provided avenues for the citizenry to exercise authority through public pressure: politicians are hopelessly compromised by special interests (AKA popular faction) which are in turn supported and run by constituencies. This is the fatal flaw of the Madisonian formulation of federalism. It is playing a key role in the ongoing decline of the United States.

The second mechanism through which a Madisonian federal system allows the constituency to exercise authority is through elections of the Actors exercising powers. While seemingly a necessary component of representative governance, it is in fact only one solution, and a solution that is deeply flawed since it grants authority to exercise political power to the constituency itself.

But the durable and more sound way to check constituency exercise of power, that is, the General Federalist approach, is to separate the party of account for the exercise of political power from the party to account for the delegation of that authority. Under General Federalism an elected body is the body to account for delegating political power to political professionals who are *never* themselves elected, thus rendering them immune to the corrosive effect of the exercise of political power by the constituency through elections which the general constituency is simply incompetent to perform, just as the research cited indicates.

This is a clever solution to Hamilton’s more inclusive view of “separation of powers” in which he understood it as both an intra-governmental concept and a inter-governmental concept; the idea that in addition to balancing the influence of branches within government, the influence of constituencies should be balanced against the influence of political professionals. This last concept is totally lost on most Americans today who have never been taught and have never heard of this concept, despite its central role in Hamiltonian federalism.

– kk

  1. Notes:
    The research was led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University and co-authored by Justin Kruger, formerly of Cornell and now of New York University

  2. archaeopteryx1 said:

    “While I have not argued that the citizenry are incompetent” – vs – “he exercise of political power by the constituency through elections which the general constituency is simply incompetent to perform” — does this mean you now have?

    pax vobiscum,

    • Hey archaeopteryx1,

      Great point. Lets reintroduce the full quote:

      “While I have not argued that the citizenry are incompetent, generally speaking … ”

      So, I am saying that the constituency is not “generally” incompetent, that is, the constituency is not incompetent in all matters of politics, public policy and law. Having said that, they are specifically *not* competent to engage in the day-to-day work of public policy that professional politicians engage in any more than a lawyer is competent to engage in the same skilled work of a construction foreman.

      So, what I am saying is that the general public, having a specialization of labor, is not competent to perform the tasks of professions outside their own. I don’t think of this as a slight or insult at all. We all fit that condition in whatever profession we happen to be talking about.

      – kk

      • archaeopteryx1 said:

        Works for me – I just sensed a flaw in your usually impeccable logic, and felt you needed a chance to clear it up before an actual critic questioned it.

        BTW – currently watching your Dawkins video, and have recommended it to others.

        pax vobiscum,

        • Absolutely, and thanks. I probably could have said that more clearly than I did. Anyway, thanks for plugging the vid, its pretty cool. – kk

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: