Monday, March 26, 2007

Hereditary Power: The Solution to Party Politics

On his blog, Peter Hitchens writes the following:

Jeff Pollitt writes to say that he cannot go along with 'hereditary power'. Well, first, he does already go along with it because as he rightly points out, in the USA (which he appears to admire as a pure democracy) and also Britain (despite heavy socialistic taxes) people are allowed to inherit from their parents, which is the foundation of private property, which is the foundation of freedom. If there were no inheritance, and no private property, everything would be subject to the state.

Wealth, private or commercial, is one of the main sources of power in any society, especially free ones. If it can be inherited, then so can power. So I cannot really see his principled objection. If he objects to unelected people exercising power, what about the USA's unelected but immensely potent Supreme Court? And why is it so wonderful to have an elected President as head of state? When Richard Nixon was in office, and asking his subordinates to do illegal acts, they had no recourse except to quit, and decided that was more than their jobs were worth. In Britain, where an unelected Monarch is the head of state, and we have a neutral civil service and armed forces, officials, judges, soldiers and policemen are all obliged to refuse unlawful orders from ministers or anyone else. Mixing up party politics with the headship of state is a definite disadvantage. You'll have to do better than this, Mr Pollitt. It's no good just saying "I don't like it because I don't like it".

Go Peter!

1 comment:

Calvinist sojourner said...

hey bro, I miss seeing you around. It is good seeing your blog.