We just ran a review by Charles Murray of someone else’s book so we figured we’d run a review of Murray’s recent book too.
Cronies are all over. But some of the worst reside in the belly of Leviathan, the federal bureaucracy. This bureaucracy perpetuates itself without reason often and inserts its tentacles into every nook and cranny of life. (Typically extracting wealth from the real economy in the process.) The beast is slowly strangling the spirit (and the economy) of America.
Murray says it’s time for civil disobedience.
Murray’s first section, “Coming to Terms with Where We Stand,” tells the story of how Progressives, chafing at the limited government institutions bequeathed by the Founders, gutted constraints on federal power and unleashed the technocratic Leviathan, staffed by civil servants trained in scientific management and protected from political interference by the independent agency system. This is an oft-cited and depressing history but one that Murray summarizes well.
His second section, “Opening a New Front,” develops his civil disobedience proposal, including the creation of a new group, the Madison Fund, to manage and finance that work and take on some support functions, such as educational and public affairs efforts. The moral case for civil disobedience, he argues, stems from citizens’ growing alienation from a government they feel no longer represents them. A government that has lost our trust, he argues, has lost legitimacy, which justifies civil disobedience.