Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Constitution isn't just obsolete: It's completely broken

Francis Fukuyama is releasing a new book describing the dire quagmire of the American republic and what we can do to fix it: Nothing, apparently. Fukuyama is a Fellow with a PhD at a think tank at Stanford University. No, not the Hoover Institute. Fukuyama is miles ahead of the Hoovers, who characteristically pontificate on how great America is and how exceptional it is. Fukuyama has given the matter some deep thought and come to the conclusion that the Constitution isn't just broken, it can't be fixed. In an article in the September/October issue of Foreign affairs, Fukuyama writes:
Political decay...occurs when institutions fail to adapt to changing external circumstances, either out of intellectual rigidities or because of the power of incumbent elites to protect their positions and block change.
And there you have a concise description of what has been happening to the American government for the past 50 years. The entrenched elites (the one percent) have been blocking every attempt being made to share their power with the rest of us. Political decay has set in with a vengeance. Fukuyama goes on:
A combination of intellectual rigidity and the power of entrenched political actors is preventing [American] institutions from being reformed. And there is no guarantee that the situation will change much without a major shock to the political order.
Fukuyama is neither politician (hence incapable of making a decision) nor a diplomat (hence incapable of speaking his mind). He ignores the criticism of Obama's use of executive power. Instead, he argues that the executive branch does not have enough power to do its job and that this lack of power is the source of much recent dysfunction. The United States, he says,
has returned, in certain ways, to being a state of "courts and parties," that is, one in which the courts and legislature have usurped many of the proper functions of the executive, making the operation of government as a whole both incoherent and inefficient.
Readers of Masrizone know how concerned I have been about our decrepit constitution. I am glad to report that one scholar, at least, supports my position.

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