We need a dictator

If you think about it for a bit, basically all political commentary boils down to veiled calls for a dictator. Sometimes the call is highly-veiled, sometimes, it’s not.

Everyone has a plan to solve our problems – no one’s plan is to consult "the People" and do what it wants, whatever that may be. Everyone will speak for the People, but the People has no clue – it’s a worthless oracle.

Mario Rizzo suggests that this is what happens when government gets too big:

This problem is the result of government previously exceeding the limits of the true general-welfare or minimal state and developing, in a case-by-case manner, into an unsustainable welfare-state Leviathan. This is the outgrowth of the “non-ideological” or “pragmatic” approach to policy making: finding specific problems and coming up with specific programs with no thought of the overall world we are producing.

The solution to this problem may now actually require further centralization of power to the executive branch and a diminution of legislative control.

This answer is fine, but in order to keep government small . . . you guessed it . . . you need a dictator.

I think it used to be common knowledge that occasionally, governmental systems need to clean house. The US has found ways to do it in the past. What were Lincoln and FDR if not dictators?

I suspect we’ll find a way to do it again – we need to.

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8 Responses to We need a dictator

  1. B says:

    The problem is that dictators, having no legitimacy, have no incentive to keep government small-what, are their kids and grandkids going to inherit it? Conversely, they have an incentive to increase government’s sphere of influence and size to consolidate their power and maintain it through patronage, creating a cadre of individuals whose power and position come through the dictatorship.

    • Alrenous says:

      Then why don’t you try to figure out how to combine a dictator with legitimacy?

      • Rob says:

        B,

        I disagree that dictators always lack legitimacy. There are certainly parties that do not recognize a given dictator. Examples:

        In multi-ethnic societies like the ones we see in the middle-east, non-represented ethnies do not recognize a dictator from another ethnic group.

        In most 20th century European dictatorships, the nationalist dictators were opposed by communist internationalists.

        During the cold war the American sponsored opposition would oppose the Soviet sponsored dictator and vice-versa.

        In some cases, if dictators are exceptionally corrupt or adopt ruinous economic policies, they may be overthrown – see Egypt.

        However, some dictators live well, have broad support from the prosperous middle class and die peacefully in bed. See Franco, the Chinese Communist Party, etc. There may be some grumbling about specific policies, but that happens under any form of government.

        Much of the “opposition to despots” and “longing for freedom” among populations living in “oppressed” countries is manufactured by foreign governments or journalistic ideologues who feel that the despot is insufficiently cooperative to their interests.

  2. james wilson says:

    That is the root, trunk, and branch of it. Cincinnatus. The great advantage we have is a long practical experience with what worked, and why. It is not about what we failed to learn, but what we failed to remember.

  3. Handle says:

    I was often surprised how often my Liberal friends at school would advocate for something like dictatorial power in order to fix the preoccupation du jour (and only when Democrats are in charge, naturally). Of course Thomas Friedman frequently fantasizes of the President transforming into the Chinese Communist Premiere over USGOV for a day so that Obama can do “what needs to be done” without having to deal with the messy political process or a recalcitrant Republican House.

    Think about the North Korean soldier in the 1940’s fighting his heart out so … so his grandkids could barely eek out their existence as brainwashed slaves in a giant psychotic prison-state. The appeal of dictatorial power being placed in the hands of some kind of wise and benign committee for the sake of the Proletariat didn’t work out quite the way he hoped, but once established, what was anyone going to do about it? Nothing, that’s what.

    I always asked them, “Would you trust me with that power? Because on day-one I’d have to eliminate half the departments you adore just to ensure some possibility of solvency.” Of course the answer is “no” – that’s not the kind of “dictatorship” they want. Everybody wants to rule the world, not have it ruled by somebody with different priorities.

    I wouldn’t trust them to be dictators over me either – at least – not without genuine competitive government, proper incentives, and the real threat of failure and mass-exodus lurking behind every policy decision. Like corporations and their customers.

    But I don’t think we will be able to clean house. More likely it’ll start falling apart, and we’ll have to build an entirely new one if we want to ever see the floors again.

  4. warrenbk says:

    The solution to this problem may now actually require further centralization of power to the executive branch and a diminution of legislative control.

    Quango State

  5. […] focuses on the dangers of Christian ‘slave morality’. Their conclusion is similar: we need a dictator. Someone awesome. Well, we had some of those. Didn’t work well. So ever since progressives […]

  6. Robin Morrison says:

    The problems caused by unwanted side effects of this miraculous and unique epoch in human industry (Enlightenment through now) will almost certainly require more than less authoritarian structures to preserve some kind of peace. And clean drinking water. And enough calories to get by on. And all those mundane so forths that we take for granted simply because for a very few centuries we’ve found ways to extract and process finite resources at an exponentially expanding rate.

    The well will never run dry, oh no.

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