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On The Triumph Of The Administrative State

07 May 2014 @ 20:48

Angelo Codevilla has produced another penetrating short essay on the state of The State.

Entitled Administrating the Decline in American Citizenship, he succinctly describes the way the Liberal Fascist Regime we live under functions day-to-day, underneath the bromides and bluster of the politicians who are it’s figureheads and masters.

The key points Mr. Codevilla makes…

…Americans’ habits of allegiance to government were formed with regard to a government much smaller than today’s—a government defined in practice as well as theory by the Constitution of 1787. Even nowadays, children learn that we are governed by laws made by our elected representatives, executed by presidents or governors and enforced by courts where you may be penalized only by a jury of your peers. That is the Constitution to which all officials swear the oath of office, the America to which we recite the “Pledge of Allegiance.” But that America no longer exists.

We and our children and grandchildren have been subjected to a healthy dose of The Big Lie that our governments at all levels still function as they did before the Left In America began it’s long, destructive march through our institutions.

Hardly any of them do, except, perhaps, for a handful of town governments — so thoroughly has the Left undermined what republican forms of government we were gifted.


Today’s America, ruled over by an administrative state, is ever less different from the rest of the world. Virtually all of the rules by which we live are made, executed, and enforced by administrative agencies — from the IRS to the EPA and countless others — that are responsible only to themselves, to those who appoint them, and to the interest groups with which they are affiliated. Ordinary people have virtually no recourse against them.

And when we seek redress of our grievances, we are either silenced through underhanded maneuvers or deceived by promises that are created with no expectation of being kept or, when we elect persons who support our efforts, said persons are immediately targeted — some for absorption into the Corrupt Establishment Hive or some for the most disgusting and vile libels.

Mr. Codevilla again:

When some 200 paramilitary agents of the Bureau of Land Management dealt with a Nevada rancher using armored cars, took his herd of some 400 cattle, shot his bull, and tasered his son supposedly to collect a million dollars in unpaid grazing fees, few imagined that those cattle had eaten a million dollars’ worth of grass. Everyone who receives a bill from a government agency knows that the agency quickly multiplies that bill with interest and penalties, and that at best, ordinary citizens can argue before a judge (not a jury) only whether the agency followed its own procedures—not whether its judgments were just. Also, the American people’s near-universal experience is that merely pointing out a mistake to the IRS—or to any other agency—likely leads to its finding pretexts for imposing other, even heavier costs on you.

Moreover, no one was surprised to learn that the family of Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader and senior senator from Nevada, stood to benefit from the rancher’s dispossession. Rory Reed, Harry Reid’s son, is brokering the construction of large scale solar energy farms in the area. Some of the land where they are being built contains wildlife which is to be transferred to the land on which the rancher’s cattle have been grazing. The Bureau of Land Management, which decided to clear this particular land of cattle so that the transfer of said wildlife could proceed, is headed by one Neal Kornze, whose career consists exclusively of service to Senator Reed.

Americans are learning the hard way that the modern administrative state serves the powerful at the expense of ordinary citizens. That is why, the peculiarities of the rancher’s dispute notwithstanding, the American people reacted with something like “That, but for the grace of God, could be me.”

The incident at the Bundy Ranch resonated with many in the Producer-Middle Class because we have all experienced the arbitrary, unreasonable, overbearing, and imperious high-hand of the Administrative State many times to varying degrees.  We know the dull and banal sound of The Bureaucracy as it cravenly wields it’s power to make our lives miserable.


Our bipartisan ruling class has barely begun to realize that this popular sense of powerlessness and resentment is a big problem. Thus, a designated defender of the government somewhat gleefully challenged Fox News’ Sean Hannity, and conservatives in general, to support the government’s actions against the rancher as enforcement of the rule of law. The government spokesman could do so only on the basis of confidence that the audience would regard the rule of administrative agencies with the same degree of legitimacy as the rule of law. But that confidence is baseless. Administrative rule is far different from the rule of law, and hasn’t the latter’s legitimacy. This difference in legitimacy is not the latter-day lucubration of certain Americans. You might find interesting Tocqueville’s The Old Regime And The Revolution, which describes in some detail how the French monarchy de-legitimized itself by replacing law with administration.

Here, perhaps, Mr. Codevilla is engaging in a bit of wishful thinking, for too many of our fellow members of the Producer-Middle Class still will by the kind of Big Lie being passed-on by government spokesmen such as the one he mentions.  Granted, the number who will be fooled is decreasing with each passing month.  The question is: will enough of them awaken soon enough to the Truth so that a meaningful resistance can be mounted?  Further: once awakened, will they find the courage to actively resist the Tyrants?

Mr. Codevilla concludes:

Expecting ordinary people to support governmental actions as if they were their own is reasonable only when these actions proceed perceptibly from elections. There is not, nor can there ever be, such a thing as a good citizen in an administrative state. Europe’s experience is showing that at best, such states can expect subjects who are mollified by opportunities to game the system. In Europe, majorities have already turned their backs on their political systems, while growing minorities are looking for ways to undo them. Some kind of breakdown looms.

To avoid following in Europe’s footsteps, we Americans would have to walk back the unaccountable administrative state in which we live. The public’s appetite for this is strong. But both our political parties’ establishments are extraneous to it, vying only to be the administrative state’s administrators.

If the once awakened members of the Producer-Middle Class decide it is too risky to whet their appetites by actively opposing The State and thus resolve to survive by gaming the system [ie: join-in the corruption], then they will wake-up one morning and find themselves chained to The State, unable to breath the life-giving air of Liberty.

The time has come to decide which way you shall live: as Freeman or Serf.

The choice is clear: Slavery or Freedom.

It is also clear that anyone who joins the resistance that is fighting to bring about the downfall of the Administrative State will be declared outside of that ‘acceptable’ society, outside that hollow husk known as ‘The Law’ and, therefore, subject to being hunted down.  You will be declared an Enemy Of The State, an Outlaw.

Might as well live up to the name.  What do you want to do?  Live forever?


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