Friday, July 2, 2010

I begin to understand

I begin to understand why a landed aristocracy should have arisen over the course of centuries in Europe and particularly in England. It makes sense, if nothing else, as a way to stop the galloping growth of government. There is nothing for political candidates to do in the modern world except perpetually run for office, perpetually promising us what they'll do for us (with our money) and perpetually legislating, legislating, legislating. The time will come when there is little left to legislate except, as our next Supreme Court justice seems to think is fair, what we must eat and drink every day.

I think I would prefer living in a system where a landed aristocracy controls the reins of power, but at least goes home to its estates and does nothing but wallow in idle privilege for a large part of the year. Squire Allworthy, hunting, shooting, fishing, and wenching, and occasionally rearing foundlings, would at least be in a position to leave us all alone when Parliament was not sitting. He could ride the circuit as a justice of the peace, too, I suppose, and hear cases and ladle out right and good, and get a little more fishing and wenching done that way.

Who wants to vote for a return to dukes and earls? Do you think an American earl would understand the premise? I'll bet his countess would.

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