December 23, 2012
"Government by the intelligent part," unity, and "intended friction"
I was with Patrick, in his recent post ("Force") when he said that "[t]he use of force against adult human beings [RG: outside the football context!], though sometimes necessary and justified, means that intelligence has failed." (I assume that, if the force is "necessary and justified," then "intelligence has failed" on the part of the party against whom force is used, and not on the part of the party exercising "necessary and justified" force.) But, I think I had to get off the agreement-train when he added this:
[T]he preference for using force against force is reflected, mutatis mutandis, in our nation's principled commitment to a system of separation of powers and of checks and balances. Government by the intelligent part would reflect unity, not institutionalized division and intended friction.
This seems wrong to me -- or, at least, its rightness is eluding me. Maybe I need to know more about the work that "mutatis mutandis" is doing. It seems to me that even the most "intelligent part" might conclude that -- because even the most intelligent part will confront problems, challenges, and questions the resolution of and answers to which are not so obvious as to be unity-creating -- it makes sense to structure government in such a way that things cannot get done too quickly or efficiently. Maybe it is not a "preference for using force", then, that is "reflected" in our constitutional structure, but humility and caution?
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