This will probably be familiar material to many of you, but it is relatively new to me. I am writing about this only because it is an important fact of which many of us have been kept ignorant.
Mencius Moldbug, as usual informing me about things that my professors should have but didn’t, refers often to the “permanent government”, that is, the civil service. It was an unfamiliar concept to me, so I rummaged around a bit to see what I could find out about it.
They never tell us about this in school. There they present us with a very simple and sensible-sounding procedure that must be gotten through before a new set of shackles can be slapped onto us. Like so much that we were told in school, it isn’t entirely true.
The permanent government is also known as the managerial state. “Theorists Samuel T. Francis and Paul Gottfried say this is an ongoing regime that remains in power, regardless of what political party holds a majority.” Its “power does not depend upon election results”.
The problem with this is that the alphabet soup of government agencies – the FDA, DEA, EPA, DOE, etc. etc. – takes a great deal of power onto itself. Many of the regulations they enforce were never passed by Congress. This means that no one who is answerable to the people was responsible for them. So much for the chief justification of democracy.
Here is an example of why this is a bad thing, in a blog post about British parents who were arrested for babysitting each other’s kids without registering with the government:
I’m not sure that the bureaucrats who drafted the abomination of a piece of legislation anticipated that some purse lipped curtain-twitcher could call state agents down upon a couple of friends looking after each other’s kids. I’m sure the civil servant who wrote it thought that he or she was engaged in a piece of important child-safety legislation. But these laws are so poorly drafted that some shiny-arse draws up guidelines for their implementation which, essentially, become law. And people whose circumstances are not anticipated by the aforementioned shiny-arse, get prosecuted by Ofstead.
Theoretically, Congress and the President could simply abolish these organizations, but I have never heard of even one of them doing so. Indeed, all Reagan did was slow down the increase in the number of civil servants, and yet its denizens still describe his administration as “traumatic”.
To an extent, the permanent government is necessary, but democracies have no remedy when it gets out of control. The only protection citizens have against it is a king who can simply send them all home, as Charles II did with Parliament.