Monday, November 22, 2010

A chance encounter

Saturday I happened to run into Reid Buckley at the feed store. We had met only once before, more than a year previous at the same feed store, but he remembered me. I greeted him with the standard “How are you?”. He responded with the more provocative and much more meaningful: “Have you done anything good today?” Caught off guard, (and not known to be quick on my feet) I offered some kind of lame response.

In our short discussion, Mr. Buckley mentioned his new book (due out today on amazon) The Idiocy of Assent and a recent interview he had given about the book. I checked it out and clip these comments of his, which are very much of my own heart. (Bold is my emphasis of what I believe is the most important statement in the interview.)

We have to find out some way to reduce the size of the government without actually attacking any of its agencies. I think the way to do that is to emphasize the policy of subsidiarity. That no public agency should do what a private agency could do better, and that no larger public agency should do what a smaller public agency could do better. That’s the principle of federalism and that’s what, I think, we have to get to.

If we want to have a Department of Energy, this should be through the states, not through the federal government.

The way to do it is to start from the premise that the indispensable social unit in any republic has to be the family and that the family has to be made responsible for its members. In other words, sons and daughters should be responsible for their aging parents. Their parents should be responsible for their sons and daughters.

If any member of that family becomes ill, the other members of that family should be the first people to respond, not the federal government, not even the state.

If someone happens to be so unfortunate as to be completely alone, then we should rely on the church, the community hall, the county, and then — only then — move onto the state in cases of total neglect.

And later …

People who are raised in urban circumstances have very little appreciation of natural beauty. Their aesthetic sense is largely blunted by their upbringing.

There was an example of children raised in New York city, many of whom didn’t know where milk came from and had never seen a live chicken. I think these were serious problems.

Read more: here

Oremus pro invicem!


The Jaracz Family said...

Hooray for subsidiarity!

Bill White said...

Gotta say "Wow!" - running into Reid Buckley at the local feed store! I'm reading the interview now.

Bill White said...

I truly hate to say it, but I think he's right about this: "So if we keep preaching small government to people, our audience will be progressively smaller. And we will end up being on the fringes of politics in the sense that the Rands [the followers of Ayn Rand] still are today."

There's simply no way to return to the Old Republic anymore.

Jim Curley said...

Bill, You and Mr. Buckley are probably correct. I just don't see a way to make even the "modest" reductions Mr. Buckley advocates without something dramatic happening. And if something dramatic happens, it could be enough to return to the Old Republic???


Bill White said...

I fear that if something dramatic happens, it'll be a opportunity for something far worse to come along and snatch whatever power is left.

Jim Curley said...

Certainly I am not hoping for the dramatic, just because the chances for a worse situation is probably much more likely than a better situation.