October 21, 2012
FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION: Obama’s agenda at odds with founders, writes Katherine Kersten in…the Minneapolis Star-Tribune?
And note this:
American intellectuals encountered Germany in the 1870s and 1880s, when thousands of them flocked there to study the new “social sciences” at its universities. Many were dazzled by what they saw as the world’s most advanced and efficient nation, and by the top-down social welfare system Bismarck was building.
They were captivated, too, by the philosophy of Georg W.F. Hegel — a German thinker whose “historical idealism” undergirded the Prussian state. Hegel’s vision of man and the state ran directly counter to the American founders’ classical liberalism. He did not view human rights as inherent in nature, universal, and existing prior to the state. Instead, he maintained that rights “evolve” historically and take different forms at different times and places. The state, in his view, is both the source of rights and the engine of historical progress.
Wilson, like many intellectuals of his generation, was besotted by the progressive vision. He scoffed at Americans’ “blind worship” of their Constitution and the limits it placed on government power. And he was impatient with checks and balances, which he viewed as an irrational obstacle to the policy changes that progress demanded.
He sought to replace our nation’s “limited” Constitution with a “living” Constitution that would “evolve” — under the guidance of far-seeing intellectuals like himself — to tackle the nation’s changing problems. “No living thing can have its organs offset against each other as checks, and live,” he wrote.
Wilson advocated modeling America’s national administration on Bismarck’s Prussia, and envisioned a future, almost limitless expansion of government’s role to guarantee “complete self-development” to all citizens.
Which dovetails nicely into Rick Richman’s recent piece at PJM on Obama and the “Twilight of the Sort-Of Gods.”