Monday, July 26, 2010

Oppression by the Army

Alexander Hamilton asked in Federalist 26:

It has been said that the provision which limits the appropriation of money for the support of an army to the period of two years would be unavailing, because the Executive, when once possessed of a force large enough to awe the people into submission, would find resources in that very force sufficient to enable him to dispense with supplies from the acts of the legislature. But the question again recurs, upon what pretense could he be put in possession of a force of that magnitude in time of peace?

Although he couldn't have conceived of it at the time, because he couldn't have conceived of the utter erosion of the Constitution and its sharply-defined limits on Federal power, Mr. Hamilton missed the point. The army that the Executive is using to "awe the people into submission" is not the military army, but the army of bureaucrats and regulators that has been mustered by the Executive Branch over the past several decades, an army which has grown massively, by leaps and bounds, in the past 18 months. Thus, the Executive, aided and abetted by a compliant Congress, seeks to and is achieving its submission of the populace.

Even when they could not foresee the future, the Founding Fathers' wisdom and prescience was formidable.