The institutionalization of the American government poses the greatest modern threat to individualism, self-reliance, and states’ rights. For more than 200 years, we’ve experienced the hideous and unprecedented rise in the power and scope of our federal government, and most of it can be seen in the dramatic increase in bureaucracy.
With the rise of each institution, there comes the requisite expansion of personnel, administration, regulations, funding, and–the stipulation that should trouble patriots most of all–the centralization of power.
Early in our nation’s history, we were warned in general terms that the growth of government and the unbound power of institutions was something to be feared. Thomas Jefferson, the chief architect of the American blueprint, most of all recognized the resultant confiscatory powers of a centralized administrative state.
But the warnings against the creation of institutional government are not limited to the Founding alone; contemporary conservatives, inspired by America’s Founders, issue their own warnings as well.
Big government inevitably drives an upward distribution of wealth to those whose wealth, confidence and sophistication enable them to manipulate government. – George Will
Contemporary conservatives have long acknowledged Ronald Reagan as this generation’s progenitor of conservative thought. It was Reagan who famously declared: “Government is the problem.” His humorous anecdotal descriptions of an out-of-control centralized administrative state convey the dark side of a Leviathan allowed to grow unchecked.
Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. – Ronald Reagan
The increasing power and scope of government is dependent upon the creation, care, and feeding of behemoth institutions, each empowered with a mandate to work the will of the state. Each institution, the politicians and “experts” argue, are necessary for the protection and prosperity of the nation and its people.
The Institutional Government
Nothing has proven itself more antithetical to the principles of republicanism and freedom than the rise of the bureaucratic state. Once erected, these structures are hardly ever tampered with, much less dismantled entirely.
These institutions–federal and executive agencies and government organizations–gobble up personal creativity, property rights, and intergenerational family wealth.
Look at what we have created, and then ask yourself: Is this the constitutional vision of the Founding Fathers?
Each of these institutions is funded by the electorate and operated by a mass of inaccessible, nameless, faceless bureaucrats.
This is the administrative state. In fact, this is only the surface level of the administrative state.
Meet the Real Boss
For all intents and purposes, the administrative state is the de facto government. Contrary to popular belief, Congress is not the body that creates the operating policies associated with the enforcement of every single law.
Ignoring the 10th Amendment, the administrative state uses the collective power of these institutions to control the states. States have become the wards of the federal government, from which billions, even trillions, of tax dollars are first extracted through taxation and then returned to with mandatory-use requirements.
The rise of the institution has long surpassed its constitutional purview. The administrative state controls energy, justice, labor, transportation, housing, healthcare, education, agriculture, commerce, and more. The institution now controls our lives, liberty, culture, personal property, and the contemporary political agenda.
Ours is an institutional government, no longer a government “of, by, and for the people.”