CRB: How the ruling class rules

The new (Winter) issue of the Claremont Review of Books is published today. Thanks to our friends at the Claremont Institute, I have read the new issue in galley to select three days’ worth of pieces to be submitted for the consideration of Power Line readers. The new issue is full of great reviews and essays. As always, wanting to do right by the magazine and by our readers, I had a hard time choosing. You, however, can do your own choosing for $19.95 a year by clicking on the link above and accessing subscription services. At that price the CRB affords the most cost-effective political education available in the United States of America. Subscribe by clicking on Subscription Services at the link and get immediate online access thrown in for free.

Both today and tomorrow we feature pieces that are linked thematically: today on the problem of the administrative state, tomorrow on the troubled condition of freedom of speech. My thought is that it is time for us to advance our studies and deepen our understanding of these critical subjects. On Friday, in search of the critique of pure comic relief, we will conclude with Joseph Epstein’s essay on P.G. Wodehouse.

In “Putting the big in big government,” the sagacious Michael Uhlmann reviews Joseph Postell’s new book, whose title takes off from the Tocqueville classic. Professor Postell’s book is Bureaucracy in America: The Administrative State’s Challenge to Constitutional Government. Steve hailed it here last year on Power Line, yoking it with Philip Hamburger’s Is Administrative Law Unlawful? Uhlmann does as well, providing a concise review of our studies to date before assessing Postell’s contribution.

In “How the ruling class rules,” John Marini reviews Paul Moreno’s The Bureaucrat Kings: The Origins and Understandings of America’s Bureaucratic State. Among the scholars affiliated with the Claremont Institute, Professor Marini has led the way in tracing the philosophical background of the administrative state. Here Professor Marini brings his deep understanding of the theoretical roots to bear on Moreno’s account of the fix in which we find ourselves. He persuades me that Moreno’s book is must reading. I have added both Postell’s and Moreno’s books to our Amazon bookshelf.

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