Polemics & Exchanges

Entitlement Devolution

As a friend of many years, who has often disagreed with Thomas Fleming, I especially appreciated his perspicacious article, “Topsy-Turvy” (Perspective), in the June issue of Chronicles.  For in that article, amid his varied historical analogies and references, he prompted me not only to reconsider in a new light the formal constitutional language of Soviet democratic centralism, but to examine more closely what is now effectively a neo-Bolshevist quota system dialectically defined by “what you are not.”  In his deft ironic reference to “the iron laws of social justice” and their currently enforced “dictates,” Dr. Fleming unveils an additionally deceitful, moral subversion: a “pluralistic dialectic” of “Solve et coagula.”

Lest these words appear too abstract, especially to those not so familiar with both Soviet constitutions and their explicit (and deceptive) use of the concept of democratic centralism, I wish to add two testimonies of very gifted and experienced men: one, a now-deceased, former Foreign Service officer (and beloved mentor of mine); and the other, a younger man, later a professor of law and now a federal judge, who was in a prominent position in the first Reagan administration, on the staff of David Stockman.

When, after his retirement...

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