A Pledge For Federalism Reborn

We pledge to restore America to its roots, founded in self-government – of self, of family, and of our local communities. We will disempower all forms of domestic government beyond this scope. Issues outside those addressable at local scope will be resolved by voluntary associations of the assembled communities. Laws and regulations will be written and enforced locally. Taxes will be collected and spent locally. Funds for activities beyond the community will be allocated by the communities.

We pledge to restore power to the people and their communities, and destroy once and for all the ability for those far removed from us to dictate law, regulation and policy, and be influenced by interests that are not ours, that are not local. In this way there can be no special pleading, no special interests given that if the majority of the communities adopt a practice by their individual choice, by definition it will be of the general interest. We will use freedom to discipline these communities, the freedom of the citizen and their enterprise to vote with their feet as well as the ballot box. Communities will experiment and compete for their citizens’ favor. San Francisco can complete its transformation into a reefer heaven. The Central Valley will again be able to compete with the world’s best sources of food. The gangrenous areas of Detroit will either recover or, through bankruptcy, be recycled into a better place.

We pledge that in three more Presidential elections you will no longer care much about the federal, and most state government. All but a few of the functions of the central government will be returned to jurisdictions of around 300,000 citizens. Government employment will drop from the 10s of millions to sub-million. Much of D.C. will be returned to their local communities and other areas turned into parks and museums. The central legislature and courts as you know them today will be much less important to you (and of much less stature and cost) than those individuals heading local institutions you invent and support. The same as businesses decentralized in the 70s and 80s you will see a new architecture for governance based on increasingly inexpensive (self-service) 21st century automation and networks that does not rely on a King, or the rule of a majority far distant and removed from your interests. Call it the Mass-Customization of Governance and the end of the Regulatory/Administrative State. And just like business experienced decades ago, we’ll see that not only can faster and smaller governance can be delivered at a 10th of today’s costs, but in its distributed nature it will be able to survive all those threats that a centralized hierarchy of even well intentioned intellects cannot.

Yes, I do dream.

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