I just noticed Timatollah. Okay, I noticed because he linked to me. Tim has some interesting observations, but I need to take issue with his July 4th point based on the Declaration of Independence that “legitimate government is one of the great creations of the human social animal.”
We equally need to remember Madison’s point that (paraphrasing) If all men were angels, there would be no need for government. If government were to be run by angels, there would be no need for constraints. But it is precisely because men are to rule over other men, that we must first empower and then constrain.
IMHO, we’ve gone rather far on the pendulum towards empowering. We need to pay a little more attention to constraints.