Monday, April 19, 2010

Knowledge & The Human Condition

The risks of making decisions with incomplete knowledge (there being no other kind) are part of the tragedy of the human condition. However, that has not stopped intellectuals from criticizing the inherent risks that turn out badly in everything from pharmaceutical drugs to military operations -- nor does it stop them from helping create a general atmosphere of unfulfillable expectations in which 'the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to' become a thousand bases for lawsuits. Without some sense of the tragedy of the human condition, it is all too easy to consider anything that goes wrong as being somebody's fault.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jefferson -- On Democracy

Thomas Jefferson:
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."
Do you suppose this is why the Constitution guarantees a "republican" form of government instead of a "democratic" form of government? At least this is a view of democracy that might help us understand why the conceptual foundation of the Constitution is supposed to be a national government, and specifically a legislature, that has only the powers granted to it by We The People and specifically enumerated in the Constitution itself. Unfortunately, the knowledge and wisdom expressed so simply and directly by Jefferson, and I think widely understood by many others of his day, seems to have been lost to many of us, even lost to the constitutional scholars of our day.

Perhaps you would want to pull out your handy dandy copy of the Constitution and see if you can find the enumerated power that was granted to Congress to create a statute popularly called "health care reform."