Governance _ Can Any System Work? Is Human Nature At Fault?

Political systems and economic systems go hand-in-hand. They are two sides of the same coin, sort of speak. For thousands of years the dominant form of governance was the feudal system. In the western world, Europe originally, feudalism gradually gave way to mercantilism, in which the crown gave monopolistic power to certain companies in exchange for supporting the crown financially. Here in America our forefathers fought a revolutionary war to escape from the feudal-mercantilism. Our Founders gave us a constitution that set-off the Great American Experiment in free markets with limited democracy.It failed In the early twentieth century, the theories of Karl Marx were put to the test in Russia. It failed. Later, the trend was toward what we cal Democratic  Socialism, especially in Europe and to a lessor extant here in the US. It is failing.

Victor Davis Hanson has an excellent article at PJ Media where in he describes the implosion taking place in todays socialism or liberalism.

Like a super nova, contemporary liberalism is imploding through its own irreconcilable forces.

I agree with Victor Davis Hanson. Liberalism/socialism is doomed. But, what will take its place?

Thomas Sowell writing for Human Events believes we are heading toward fascism.  To me cronyism, fascism and, mercantilism are all one and the same. Where feudl-mercantilism tended toward monopolies, modern fascism/mercantilism tends toward oligopolies. I agree with Thomas Sowell. I do believe we are headed toward a fascist or mercantilist state.

Kurt Silverfiddle, author of the always thought-provoking Western Hero blog, had this to say in his post titled Free Market Myths:

The problem with businesses and corporations is the rent-seeking relationships they’ve set up with governments at all levels:

(Adam) Smith knew the difference between being sympathetic to the competitive economy—which he called the “system of natural liberty”—and being sympathetic to owners of capital (who might well have acquired it by less-than-kosher means, that is, through political privilege). He knew something about business lobbies.(Sheldon Richman)

Very true, and it’s a distinction we have lost. We should not be “pro business,” we should be pro-free market, and let the capitalists take care of themselves.
I agree with Kurt Silverfiddle. We should want free markets and free markets can only exist under a limited democracy. But, we tried that and it didn’t last. We need to try to understand why. To this humble observer, the American Experiment failed due to faults in human nature. I think it was John Adams that said something to the effect that our constitution could only serve a moral people. ut, we humans are not perfect, are we? We suffer from many faults. There are two character faults that, in my opinion, play a major role in shaping our system of governance: sloth and greed. Sloth leads to socialism and greed leads to monopolies or oligopolies. those two concepts together make for fascism.
We freedom lovers are the most moral people in our society. We are, however, out numbered or out powered by those who suffer from sloth and greed. Maybe a free market limited democracy is an ideal that can not be achieved. Maybe freedom lovers don’t have to be a majority. Look what the socialist accomplished with few in number. Maybe we have to follow the same road map and infiltrate and control the education system and the media and then maybe we can shape political thought with our small numbers.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?
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16 thoughts on “Governance _ Can Any System Work? Is Human Nature At Fault?

  1. It’s been said that capitalism is the worst economic system – except for all the rest. Same with our Republic. It’s the worst political system – except for all the rest. Unfortunately human nature is what it is. We will always desire kings and strongmen. It’s only a matter of time before America – aided and abetted by the media – becomes a dictatorship.

  2. The root of the problem is that the federal government has exceeded its constitutional mandate. We are imperfect people, so of course human nature leads us to do all kinds of bad things. Concentrate too much power in too few hands, and disaster will follow. The founders knew that and set up a system of divided powers, but the progressives knocked down the firewalls and the rats swarmed in.

    Putting power back in the hands of individuals, communities, counties and states would restore some balance. Bad things would still happen, but odds are they would not be of the “too big to fail” variety, but would be rather isolated tragedies that the rest of us could point at and learn from.

    Thanks for the kind mention!

    1. “Putting power back in the hands of individuals, communities, counties and states would restore some balance. Bad things would still happen, but odds are they would not be of the “too big to fail” variety, but would be rather isolated tragedies that the rest of us could point at and learn from.”

      I agree, Kurt, but do you honestly see a path that would take us there?

  3. It is interesting that you are now addressing this subject. I have been in arguments with liberals about Fascism, before. They see Fascism as a right wing implementation. The truth is, as you say, that economic and political systems are two sides of the same coin. Fascism is left wing.

    As an economic model, Fascism is left wing, and definitely a cousin of socialism. Also falling on the left wing side are National Socialism and Communism. The originator of Fascism, Benito Mussolini, was a socialist until he strayed from that part of the left wing world and came up with Fascism. That was why Hitler liked Mussolini. Hitler respected Fascism, and considered his Nazi state (national socialism) to be close to Fascism.

    Thomas Sowell has been writing about Fascism, lately. See the link http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2008/02/14/who_is_fascist/page/full/

    Take a look at how Obama has proceeded. It looks like Fascism to me.

    1. Fascism is definitely a left-wing concept. If our country continues on the path that it is on, we will eventually see all means of production in the hands of a relatively few mega-corporations and a highly socialist government. That is fascism!

  4. That is a very interesting and sobering thought Jim. Perhaps man’s own imperfections make it impossible for him to govern himself. If that is the case it is amazing America has held on this long, but I don’t think we will be holding on for too much longer and I agree we are slipping towards a dictatorial state.

    1. I took no pleasure in writung those thoughts, Steve. I think we lasted as long as we did because socialism didn’t come on the scene until the early 1900s. Then after WWII we were in a cold war against communism. Things started changing rapidly in the sixties.

  5. ‘Free markets can only exist under a limited democracy’
    I disagree. Why would it be impossible for a free market of the people to exist under, say, an absolute monarchy? The market could never be entirely free, but it’s far from free today. Why are democracy in the political process and freedom in economic affairs somehow linked?

    As long as government exists in the first place, there can be no true ‘free market’. So my answer to the question in your title would be an emphatic ‘no’. Governance, or any system of government will ultimately end in either stagnation and totalitarian control or total economic collapse.

    But human nature is not at fault. Human nature is just as much social cooperation as it is the desire for power over others. After the curtain falls on liberal democracy, perhaps some of us will move in the direction of true freedom, ie the absence of government. Power and monopoly should not be limited or shared by the people, it should be eliminated.

    1. Welcome to CoF, Gregory. I’m glad you stopped by and took the time to share your thoughts.

      “Why are democracy in the political process and freedom in economic affairs somehow linked?”

      My reasoning for saying fre markets require a limited democracy is for the precise reason you discuss later. The more government there is the less free will be the people and the markets. It has been my experience that under true autocratic governments, like an absolute monarchy, the only fre markets that can exist are “black marlets” and there is always an inherent danger with those.

      From your final comment, I am going to venture a guess that you are a libertarian and shre the libertarian ideal of anarchy. I am an almost libertarian. My opinion, for what that is worth, is the the libertarian anarchy is as utopic idea as the perfect socialist state. Both concepts go against human nature. Having said that, I must admit that at times I wish such a world of no governments and no boubries existed.

  6. One aspect of Democracy is no different from all the other systems that have preceded us, it has the seeds of its own destruction. Each seed is different but complements the others.

    One of these was postulated well by Alex de Tocqueville when he said: “A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.”

  7. Where did it all go wrong? I would say when the Rockefellers started getting kickbacks on their and everyone else’s oil shipments from the railroads. And then you had blowing up your competition and the coverups.

    I believe John Adams said that our system was only designed for a moral people and that a godless and immoral people would go through the Constitution like a whale through a net. (paraphrase)

    Our system is as good as man can get because it is based on teh Holy Scripture. However, when we as a people don’t match up with a basic respect for right and wrong, well, expect all Hell to break loose. I’ve been studying on the New Age and spiritual dimension of these people, and I’ll tell you one thing– everything from the demise of the family to the school system is by design. It didn’t just “happen” that way. Protocols were enlisted and followed in such a way to break the morality of this nation. It’s the ultimate WMD because people loose their very souls!

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