Uhlmann’s Conquest

A week or ten days back we linked to Michael Uhlmann’s speech to the Claremont Institute on “The Struggle Ahead“—the “struggle” being the ongoing political battle to preserve our constitutional order from the predations of the contemporary left that hates the Constitution and its principles.

But we were remiss in not including an excerpt from Claremont Institute president Ryan Williams’ introduction of Michael, which offered a summary of some of Michael’s handy rules for understanding politics in Washington:

Like Uhlmann’s law of legislative analysis:

If an Act of Congress has a long title—lock up the children and run for cover.

Or Uhlmann’s Razor:

When stupidity seems a sufficient explanation, there is no need for recourse to any more elaborate analysis.

Uhlmann’s Razor also has a corollary known as Uhlmann’s First Law of Historical Causation:

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

And my personal favorite:

When evaluating the soundness of any moral proposition, law, rule, or regulation, however popular, to ascertain its true meaning, read it aloud slowly in a German accent.

In these axioms, Michael resembles no one so much as the late Robert Conquest, who is known for his Three Laws of Politics:

  1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
  2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
  3. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

Combine Uhlmann’s Razor (and its corollaries) and Conquest’s Law of Politics, and you’ll never go wrong. (Note: Conquest’s Second Law is sometimes attributed to John O’Sullivan.)


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