Tuesday, March 31, 2020


The latest trend in conservatism: throne 'n' altar fascism! In The Atlantic Adrian Vermeule says that originalism, the rightwing judicial scam that says most of us were never meant to have any more rights than an 18th-century bondservant, has "outlived its utility" and the hip wingnuts are getting into "common-good constitutionalism," which is
based on the principles that government helps direct persons, associations, and society generally toward the common good, and that strong rule in the interest of attaining the common good is entirely legitimate.
And the "common good" is what's good for you, as judged by your betters -- "officials (including, but by no means limited to, judges)" who, in opposition to the "relentless expansion of individualistic autonomy" championed by godless libs, will read "principles" into ""the majestic generalities and ambiguities of the written Constitution" and make you live by them:
Finally, unlike legal liberalism, common-good constitutionalism does not suffer from a horror of political domination and hierarchy, because it sees that law is parental, a wise teacher and an inculcator of good habits. Just authority in rulers can be exercised for the good of subjects, if necessary even against the subjects’ own perceptions of what is best for them—perceptions that may change over time anyway, as the law teaches, habituates, and re-forms them. Subjects will come to thank the ruler whose legal strictures, possibly experienced at first as coercive, encourage subjects to form more authentic desires for the individual and common goods, better habits, and beliefs that better track and promote communal well-being.
Readers of a certain age will remember being taught in school that one of the signal differences between America and Great Britain, and why we kicked them out, was that here we had no "subjects." I guess we don't teach that anymore. I'll go this far with Vermeule: In the interest of the common good, authorities should be permitted to check his basement and crawlspaces for captives.

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