Decline of the American Empire

Nothing is more dangerous in public affairs than the influence of private interests, and the abuse of the law by the government is a lesser evil than that corruption of the legislator which inevitably results from the pursuit of private interests. When this happens, the state is corrupted in its very substance and no reform is possible

Monday, August 14, 2006

American Corruption: Another Quote from Rousseau

I believe the following quote is also quite relevant to today's political situation.
Nothing is more dangerous in public affairs than the influence of private interests, and the abuse of the law by the government is a lesser evil than that corruption of the legislator which inevitably results from the pursuit of private interests. When this happens, the state is corrupted in its very substance and no reform is possible
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, "The Social Contract" (1762), book 3, chapter 4,

While considering this quote, think about the lobbyist culture in Washington. Think about the influence of the oil industry on government. Think about the "Military Industrial Congressional Complex" that Eisenhower warned America about. These examples, and the primacy of their influence on government indicate to me that what Rousseau warned us about here has already happened in America.

Is America corrupted in its very substance such that no reform is possible?

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