Saturday, July 9, 2011

Progressivism: The Dictatorship of the Constitution

In his 1915 book "Progressive Democracy", Herbert Croly elaborates on something he calls "the monarchy of the word". He writes: (page 44)

The Law in the shape of the Federal Constitution really came to be a monarchy of the Word. It had been imposed upon the popular will, which was the only power capable of disputing its authority; and its friends came more and more to assume that the imposition was wise and beneficent. A systematic attempt was made to justify the supremacy of the Law. The people were warned that, if they rebelled, the just and awful judgment of the Lord would overtake them. Thus the aspirations and the conviction of the early democrats that popular political authority should be righteously expressed hardened into a system, which consecrated one particular machinery of possibly righteous expression. Reverence for law was made to mean reverence for one specific formulation of Law. Reverence for order was made to mean reverence for an established order. All that the American people had to do to insure their political salvation was vigilantly to safeguard the specific formulation of law and order which was found in the sacred writing.

Monarchy is just another word for dictator. And 'the word' he's writing about is our constitution. I don't believe I'm overstating this. He writes on page 76:(speaking of the Whigs)

They became, consequently, its appointed defenders. By the force of their reiterated panegyrics they did much to surround the monarchy of the Law with a more radiant halo of sanctity, which under the circumstances may have had its uses; but they certainly carried their worship of the Word too far.

The word "worship" appears in this book 7 times. 5 of those references are aimed at worshippers of "the word", "the law", and "the constitution".

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