While new iPhones regularly burst forth like gifts from the gods, politics plods along. “Other than Social Security, there are very few 1935 vintage products still in use,” he writes. “Resistance to innovation is a part of the deep structure of politics. In that, it is like any other monopoly. It never goes out of business — despite flooding the market with defective and dangerous products, mistreating its customers, degrading the environment, cooking the books, and engaging in financial shenanigans that would have made Gordon Gekko pale to contemplate.” Hence, it is not U.S. Steel, which was eventually washed away like an imposing sand castle in the surf, but only politics that can claim to be “the eternal corporation.”
The reason for this immortality is simple: The people running the State are never sufficiently willing to contemplate that they are the problem. If a program dedicated to putting the round pegs of humanity into square holes fails, the bureaucrats running it will conclude that the citizens need to be squared off long before it dawns on them that the State should stop treating people like pegs in the first place. Furthermore, in government, failure is an exciting excuse to ask for more funding or more power.
RTWT. I had Thomas Sowell’s A Personal Odyssey lined up next in the nonfiction queue, but I think I’m going to have to get a copy of The End is Near and read it next instead. Kevin Williamson echoes some of the things Bill Whittle has been saying of late, but I have some disagreements with Whittle’s optimism, and it seems Jonah Goldberg has some (albeit minor) disagreements with Williamson. I’m looking forward to the read.