Monday, April 27, 2009

The Coming of the Fourth American Republic

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Zenpundit and Fabius Maximus are two of the most astute observers in the blogosphere and both have linked the this insightful article, well worth the time to read and digest. Written by James V. DeLong in The American: The Journal of the American Enterprise Institute the article is summarized this way by Fabius.

Summary: Slowly realization spreads that we are at the end of an era. Here is an interesting look at one aspect of that transition, and what might lie ahead. This is just a brief excerpt; I recommend reading it in full! At the end are links to other posts on this site about the death of the American Constitutional regime — and what might come next.

The premise is that the United States is about to embark on the Fourth Republic after the initial founding of the nation, followed by the Civil War and then the New Deal/Great Society run of the special interests. The author surmises that we are on the threshold of a major shift in the direction of the country, hence the Fourth Republic. In cautionary terms DeLong writes.

While we await events, none of this analysis should be regarded as a counsel of pessimism. Political arrangements should change with time and experience, and to expect the political architects of any era to foresee all the problems inherent in their institutions is to demand the impossible. By 2090, it will probably be time for the Fifth American Republic, and, Heaven willing, more after that.

On the other hand, it would be unwise to treat the issues with anything other than utter sobriety. The nation made a fundamental political transition peacefully on one occasion, and only with appalling bloodshed on another, and it is hard to buy ammunition these days because the dealers’ shelves are bare. So all patriots would be well advised to pick up a copy of Crane Brinton’s classic The Anatomy of Revolution, and figure out how we can achieve the necessary segue to the Fourth Republic without becoming a chapter in the next edition.

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