January 03, 2009

Small Government Philosphy I

In all the noise over where conservatism, especially small government conservatism, should go in the future a little retrospective why small governments work might just be in order.

The idea of running a polity with a small government is all about recognizing a few facts. Humans aren't perfect. They aren't perfectible. Humans work best when they have well developed feedback loops. Voluntary institutions have the best feedback loops. Coercive institutions have the poorest feedback loops. Government is a coercive institution. To date we haven't figured out how to run everything with voluntary institutions.

These facts lead to the inescapable conclusion that all things being equal, a small government society will work better than a large government society, the smaller the better, until we've hit the limits of our present ingenuity and civilizational level to run things.

It is a very good bet that a durable majority of voters will fundamentally agree with these facts. There will be disagreement as to how far we can go down the path of private institutions solving problems but most people do believe in that intellectual framework.

Posted by TMLutas at January 3, 2009 10:12 PM