The “administrative state” is an obscure and ungainly phrase, but in recent years the term has burst out into general use, though it is often conflated with another term currently popular—the “deep state.” They are not the same thing, though they do overlap, and “deep state” does enjoy the advantage of being shorter and pithier.

What is “the administrative state”? It is a mistake to confuse it with mere bureaucracy, or just concentrated executive branch power, nor should it be analyzed principally as an economic problem on account of high taxes or stifling regulation. It is partly a constitutional issue, as it involves the erosion of the separation of powers.

But the administrative state is a more profound problem than that. The premier analyst of this subject is Prof. John Marini of the University of Nevada at Reno. Prof. Marini is retiring from his long teaching and writing career at the end of this semester, and we decided it was high time we sit down with him for an extended conversation involving one of my “origin story” intellectual histories before proceeding to the main event. John explains the philosophical origins of what he prefers to call the “rational state,” taking after Hegel. But it is no abstract theory. It leads to the practical result we’ve just experienced with COVID, where the presumptions of scientific expertise were married to the authority of executive government to yield a wholly authoritarian response.

“Lucretia” and Glenn Ellmers, both dutiful students of Prof. Marini, join me for this fascinating conversation, which we’ll continue with next week in the sequel we’re calling “Marini Strikes Back.”

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  1. Quickz Member

    This was a great episode.

    • #1
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