Historic Views on Government – Banfield

Honest opinion about government from Edward Christie Banfield:

So long as the city contains a sizable lower class, nothing basic can be done about its most serious problems. Good jobs may be offered to all, but some will remain chronically unemployed. Slums may be demolished, but if the housing that replaces them is occupied by the lower class it will shortly be turned into new slums. Welfare payments may be doubled or tripled and a negative income tax instituted, but some persons will continue to live in squalor and misery.

The lower-class forms of all problems are at bottom a single problem: the existence of an outlook and style of life which is radically present-oriented and which attaches no value to work, sacrifice, self-improvement, or service to family, friends, or community.
   The Unheavenly City, 1968

New schools may be built, new curricula devised, and the teacher-pupil ratio cut in half, but if the children who attend these schools come from lower-class homes, the schools will be turned into blackboard jungles, and those who graduate or drop out from them will, in most cases, be functionally illiterate. The streets may be filled with armies of policemen, but violent crime and civil disorder will decrease very little. If, however, the lower class were to disappear–if, say, its members were overnight to acquire the attitudes, motivations, and habits of the working class–the most serious and intractable problems of the city would all disappear with it.
   The Unheavenly City Revisited, 1974

Edward Banfield's best known and perhaps most influential work is The Unheavenly City: The Nature and Future of Our Urban Enterprise (1968). He is also the author of such works as Government Project (1951); (with Martin Meyerson) Politics, Planning and the Public Interest: The Case for Public Housing in Chicago (1955); (with Laura Banfield) The Moral Basis of a Backward Society (1958) and Political Influence (1961); (with James Q. Wilson) City Politics (1963); The Unheavenly City Revisited (1974), and Here the People Rule (1985).

Quotation and short bio from The Quotable Conservative: The Giants of Conservatism on Liberty, Freedom, Individual Responsibility, and Traditional Values. Rod L. Evans and Irwin M. Berent, editors. Holbrook, Mass.: Adams Publishing, 1996.

Historic Views on Government – Clarence Thomas

Honest opinion about government from Clarence Thomas:

Without…a notion of natural law, the entire American political tradition, from Washington to Lincoln, from Jefferson to Martin Luther King, would be unintelligible. According to our higher law tradition, men must acknowledge each other's freedom, and govern only by the consent of others. All our political institutions presuppose this truth. Natural law of this form is indispensable to decent politics. It is the barrier against the "abolition of man" that C.S. Lewis warned about in his short modern classic.
   This approach allows us to reassert the primacy of the individual, and establishes our inherent equality as a God-given right.
   The Heritage Foundation, June 18, 1987

A U.S. Supreme Court associate justice (since 1991), Clarence Thomas received his J.D. from Yale University (1974) and went on to serve as an assistant to the Attorney General of Missouri (1974-1977), legislative assistant to Senator John C. Danforth (1979-1981), Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education (1981-1982), chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (1982-1990), and a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (1990-1991).

Quotation and short bio from The Quotable Conservative: The Giants of Conservatism on Liberty, Freedom, Individual Responsibility, and Traditional Values. Rod L. Evans and Irwin M. Berent, editors. Holbrook, Mass.: Adams Publishing, 1996.