The Competitive Governance Institute presents a video on the concept of subsidiarity. Subsidiarity describes the principle of making decisions and taking action at the lowest, smallest possible level of authority. It is the conservative principle that gives power back to local institutions and de-emphasizes the brute force of the national government.

We’re now at a point where Congress has a lower approval rating than cockroaches and polygamy. The discontent isn’t directed at specific decisions or lawmakers, but rather seems to express an overarching sense of mistrust and illegitimacy toward our political system as a whole. If the system is truly broken, then a serious and qualitative change must be made to correct it. Why are incumbents almost always re-elected if people overwhelmingly disapprove of the legislative results that they see? Pointing fingers and expressing frustration doesn’t seem to be renewing the system. In such a situation, a re-examination of principles can help us recover the je ne sais quoi that we are missing.

It’s clear that Americans are deeply upset with the status quo of our political systems. In this short video, Leo Linbeck III offers insights about why all our discontent and protests seem to be making no difference–is it possible we’re confused about the cause of our issues. Perhaps the answer to the meta-failure we are seeing today is tied up in our answer to the following question: is what we decide or who decides more important for good governance?

Books on this topic may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore. 

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2 replies to this post
  1. The video is brilliant in its clarity, wisdom and animation. My heart sank at the thought of one more think-tank, and then it soared. I suggest that you write more on the YouTube tag – what you have is insufficient for newcomers.

  2. Giving power back to the local institutions and de-emphasizing the brute power of the national government smacks of something that is not very American. Why? Cause the power in this nation flows from the people to the government. Even our constitution recognizes that power not delegated is reserved to the states and the people.

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