Vox Day had something about George Will’s new book. Now, from the Washington
Government needs to get back to basics. The political class, defined broadly to include persons actively engaged in electoral politics and policymaking along with those who report and comment on civic life, is more united by a class characteristic than it is divided by philosophic differences. The characteristic is a tendency to overestimate the importance of public policies, from which the political class derives its sense of importance. This is especially so regarding economic and social inequalities. These, the political class tends to believe, are largely the result of public policies and are therefore susceptible to decisive amelioration by better government actions. In the argument about which is primary, nature or nurture, the former receives an emphatic affirmation from the Founding Fathers’ philosophy. Beneath the myriad patinas of culture, there is a fixed human nature that neither improves nor regresses. What does change for the better is the capacity of certain portions of humanity to improve the legal, institutional and social structures for coping with the constants of human nature. And to do so without diluting America’s foundational commitment to take its bearings from the individual.
America isn’t, or wasn’t… a commitment, a premise, a sensibility, nor a proposition. But, times have changed. Odd, but Will’s ideas – all I’ve seen so far – seem like comments from Rush Limbaugh in the early 90s. I begin to suspect that even then, it was a little late.