Dr. Bobb points out an aspect of Publius’ analysis of the political system that bears further scrutiny. Publius says, “Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be, that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self-government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.”
This expresses the notion that the Founders believed that the People are factually capable of ruling themselves in the Republic under consideration. This deep and abiding respect for the intelligence, honesty, honor and patriotism of the People is a component of the national character without which the Founders would never have bothered to create the Republic in the first place. The desire for liberty and self-government using the Republican model of representative government was a nearly universal attribute of the public psyche at the time, given the fact that the former Colonists had just fought a long and bitter war, and spent the blood of their families to secure their right to self-rule.
The problem we face today from Progressivism is the jaundiced view of the Progressives and Socialists that Americans are no longer capable of ruling themselves, that we are no longer smart enough, wise enough, or honorable enough to do what is right and necessary, and therefore we must submit once again to the rule of the elite.
Progressivism is based in the idea that civil government is perfectible, from a scientific and intellectual standpoint. Progressives truly believe that they are better than the rest of us, that they are more intelligent, more wise, better attuned to the “unified will” of the People, and are simply better prepared to guide the nation through the exercise of elitism and precisely the sort of central planning despotism that every megalomanical dictator or junta in history has presumed to be superior to representative self-rule.
What we face today is precisely what Publius dismissed as an impossibility; a new ruling class intent on creating an all-encompassing, ultimately powerful, centralized bureaucratic state comprised of unelected professional and scientific elites who simply know what’s good for us and must shepherd and guide us like children, for our own protection.
The Progressives have accomplished this by an insidious, long-term infection and infiltration of the very centers of power in our government. Like cancer, Progressivism is destroying not only our Republic, but the very will that we, the People have to live in liberty and under representative self rule. The exterior appearance of the Republic remains, but like some undead golem, the internal organs are being rotted away by Progressivism, to be replaced with the cancerous and ultimately fatal disease of the Cult of the State and bureaucratic despotism.
It’s long past time to start the chemotherapy and excise Progressivism.