Government By Peter Schuck: Chapter Analysis

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Within this book Peter Schuck presents various predictions as to why government fails. Though he claims to be a moderate, bias appears in certain sections. In the introduction, Mr. Schuck speaks on the miraculous fact that our government has been “stable and durable” since the Civil War. He goes on to point out that even though the American government is sound compared to others, the American people do not believe in it. He then rattles off statistics showing how people are becoming more frustrated with the federal government and are trusting it less and less every year. The structure of this was appealing to me because directly related statistics to his opinions.
One of the first major conversations he has with the reader is him answering his own question
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Much of his argument throughout this chapter is “public interest does not matter”. He argues self-interest will overtake public opinion so therefore it is irrelevant. In my opinion, this is false, though there are some politicians whose only concern is self-interest; there are some who work for their constituents. I agree that politicians should be critiqued on their actual performance, but these critiques come from public interest. If a politician is not serving the public’s interest, it is safe to say they will not be reelected. For these reason, public interest is an extremely important factor to those politicians, even those most “narrow-minded” ones. The author rationalizes his glorification of “self-interest” by telling the story of an Act of 1978. He justifies his thoughts that we as humans are primarily self-interested by quoting James Madison commenting that we are not “angels”. The author paints self-interest as though it is an evil aspect within society. However, in some matters; self-interest has been interest of equality, effectiveness or even

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