Saturday, March 31, 2012

More Steyn

It seems I jumped the gun on the Steyn article as I posted a section before going to the second page.  While reading this, I was nodding so vigorously my neck was in danger of snapping:

"A 2,700-page law is not a “law” by any civilized understanding of the term. Law rests on the principle of equality before it. When a bill is 2,700 pages, there’s no equality: Instead, there’s a hierarchy of privilege micro-regulated by an unelected, unaccountable, unconstrained, unknown, and unnumbered bureaucracy. It’s not just that the legislators who legislate it don’t know what’s in it, nor that the citizens on the receiving end can never hope to understand it, but that even the nation’s most eminent judges acknowledge that it is beyond individual human comprehension. A 2,700-page law is, by definition, an affront to self-government."

Couldn't agree more.  I'd only add that the writing of such a law, the attempt to address a complicated problem in so comprehensive a fashion, is a great example of Oakeshott's rationalism in politics, of which a characteristic was "politics as the crow flies."

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