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Monday, July 09, 2012



An interesting analogy that I think is pertinent is the idea that I've heard often in recent years as a solution to the black-outs and brown-outs on the power grid. That is, as solar and wind technology become more advanced and affordable, conceivably each home-owner could be online producing power as well as using it, with the two-way meter measuring his net usage or supply off/on the grid. This is sometimes called the "cellular" model akin to the "Borg" of StarTrek fame but without the evil overriding purpose.

That model, I would suggest, whether conceived that way at the time, is most akin politically speaking to the original U.S. Constitution and the structure provided. In other words, the cellular model de-centralizes the "power" yet provides the grid that interconnects all of the elements of the grid. In that sense, the power is dominated by the smallest element, the household. Yet when one household loses its generating power it is supported in the interim by the rest of the grid.

There are limits to the analogy, of course, but it does provide a window into what many of us, whatever the label, see as the overriding problem with the Progressive mentality, whether Republican or Democrat, ie., the expansion of centralized power. And it also conforms quite nicely with the exhortations in Catholic social doctrine, both the solidarity and subsidiarity sides of that teaching.

The real problem, perhaps never to achieve a permanent solution in this world, is in constructing a government that not only is structured in this way (the cellular model) but is also so devoid of the sunshine and lollipops view of human nature as to provide all of the checks and balances so designed to make its corruption almost impossible.

As the U.S. Constitution was constructed, great and unique as that experiment was in human history, there were inherent holes and loopholes that were quickly discovered and exploited, much the way cattle will quickly examine and test a new fence. The ink was not dry on that document before there were public predictions of the manner of its demise.

So whether we are reforming an existing system or governmental structure, or whether we are constructing a new one, any theory or idea that does not take into complete and minute account of the real nature of humanity as we find it, as taught us by the doctrines of the Catholic Church, is doomed to be corrupted and misused by those who can seize power at whatever level and to whatever extent possible.

Perhaps that is cynical. I prefer to think of it as realistic.

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