Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Powers That Be

Chronicles has put my review of Sean Scallon's Beating the Powers that Be on line. Here is a clip:
After the New Deal and World War II, there was little room in America for the kind of movement that Scallon describes. As the federal government grew, taking over many of the functions of the states, Cold War conformity narrowed the scope of acceptable opinion. On occasion, broad discontent with the status quo bubbled up in the form of presidential campaigns by such candidates as George Wallace and Ross Perot, but Scallon notes a more interesting phenomenon occurring in political movements at lower levels of government. He focuses on three such movements—two in the New England states of Vermont and New Hampshire and a regional movement in the South, where the League of the South seeks to promote the “independence of the South ‘by all honorable means.’” I remain somewhat skeptical of the prospects for success of this last enterprise. Nothing about the quality of political leaders that the South has produced in the last few years, including our sitting president and his immediate predecessor, inspires my confidence (as a Tennessean) in a Southern regime. Decentralization of our monstrously overgrown federal government, however, remains an excellent idea, while dissolution of the Union should be a legitimate topic of discussion, not a hate crime.

1 comment:

Dave Oatney said...

I couldn't agree more. The discussion of secession should not be viewed as treasonous or even as unpatriotic. The idea of secession in a federal system is based on the notion that States are the creators of the federal government and States may abolish their relationship with the thing they have created.