Pessimistic Americana

Joseph Stromberg gives a rather lengthy summary of various people’s complaints about the American regime and soul: The Dark Night of the American Soul. (The title is intended to be ironic, he doesn’t think the American soul ever has a dark night.) It reads a bit like an accumulation of notes, but the accumulation is footnoted and worth having. I liked this quote, among others:

“Since Lincoln’s famous address further called on the living to dedicate themselves to the cause of freedom rather than to freedom itself, this meant that their dedication was not in order to obtain freedom’s immediate effects, but for the sake of political rebirth and immortality.”

On other fronts, a new book is out that seems to give some helpful background on Government by Judiciary: Consent Decree Coup. It’s a new form of government: Public-Interest Law Firm brings suit against Sympathetic Social Service Bureaucracy, and the two work out a consent decree which becomes law when the judge rubber-stamps it. We’ve seen the wonders the system can work here in New York.

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