Discourses

James Poulos is very fair-minded in his treatment of Paul Gottfried’s “mixed” review of John Marini’s new book. Gottfried wrote:

According to Marini, “contemporary ideology and politics become intelligible only with reference to a philosophy of history, which originated in the political thought of Kant and Hegel.” As someone who has written on both German philosophy and the administrative state, I am truly puzzled by this statement. Am I supposed to think that German philosophers, who failed to adopt Marini’s view of natural rights, brought about our runaway public administration? Some Progressives like John Dewey read Hegel (and also Kant) but did so selectively in order to confirm what they already believed about “democratic administration.”

Gottfried may have written about the administrative state, but what has he read? Can he really be unaware of the work and influence of leading Progressive thinkers like John Burgess, Richard Ely, Frank Goodnow, or Woodrow Wilson? These are the figures who laid the foundation for administrative government in the United States, and each was explicit about his debts to Hegel. Burgess and Goodnow helped to create the American Political Science Association, establishing the formal discipline of political science in the U.S. on German historicist principles. Each of them had enrolled at universities in Germany specifically to study with Hegelian scholars.

All this is explained in detail by Jaffa students like Charles Kesler and R.J. Pestritto. Perhaps Dr. Gottfried would be less puzzled if he paid more attention to the Claremont Institute “talking points” on this topic.

is a writer living in Washington, D.C. He is a former director of research at the Claremont Institute and a contributor to the American Mind. Previously, he was a speechwriter for the Department of Energy and worked for the Republican Caucus of the California Assembly. He has published articles in the Washington Times, Orange County Register, San Diego Union-Tribune, and National Review.

More Thoughts

discourse

From Pink Police State to Techno-Gnostic Empire

“Our emerging post-privacy order isn’t quite totalitarian, but it’s getting there,” writes Ross Douthat in his latest Sunday column. For years, the Left has been shifting from a theory of justice rooted in the public/private divide to a theory of justice rooted in the divide between what’s in the realm of officialdom and what’s outside…

discourse

The Democrats and the Media, or “The Committee to Re-elect President Trump”

I meant what I said a year ago: “…almost every opportunity the mainstream media has had to moderate or qualify themselves in relation to the Russian collusion narrative has been rejected in favor of all-out attacks. They had better be right. Like most American cultural and civic institutions, the old media is already distrusted by…

discourse

Up From Administration

Must we reconcile ourselves to the federal bureaucracy? Paul Gottfried’s mixed review of Claremont senior fellow John Marini’s summa on unconstitutional government, Unmasking the Administrative State, leaves the reader with the more than sneaking suspicion that the answer is yes. “It represents a dramatic departure from what our federal union was intended to be, and…