In this fascinating segment of Uncommon Knowlege posted at National Review Online today, Peter Robinson asks Hillsdale Professor Paul Rahe what has happened to the American experiment? How is it that the greatest democratic system in history has been systematically subverted? His answer, in a word, is "progressivism", and he identifies Hegel as its source.
Thanks to Hegel, says Prof. Rahe, the idea spreads that government should be conducted by "rational administrators"—an elite whose role it is to caretake the rest. This is of course in direct opposition to the American ideal of self-government.
The administrative state grows by "offering a helping hand" and "with that helping hand, goes control."
There's lots more in this segment too, such as the idea that the "anxiety" natural to citizens of a commercial society, where the government minds its own business, is alleviated by mediating institutions, private associations, and, especially, strong families.
I'd love to know what others think.