By James Farr, Raymond Seidelman
Old landscape of perspectives in regards to the kingdom of political technological know-how as a discipline
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Extra resources for Discipline and History: Political Science in the United States
But we have dwelled sufficiently long on this branch. The branch which treats of the necessity, nature, and effects, the promotion and the hindrances of production, whether it be based almost exclusively on appropriation, as the fishery; or on coercing nature to furnish us with better and more abundant fruit than she is willing spontaneously to yield, as agriculture; or on fashioning, separating, and combining substances which other branches of industry obtain and collect, as manufacture; or on carrying the products from the spot of production to the place of consumption; and the character which all these products acquire by exchange, as values, with the labor and services for which again products are given in exchange, this division of knowledge is called political economy-an unfit name; but it is the name, and we use it.
It is this even more reasonable preference which impels us to discover what there may be to hinder or delay us in naturalizing this much-to-be-desired science of administration. What, then, is there to prevent? Well, principally, popular sovereignty. It is harder for democracy to organize administration than for monarchy. The very completeness of our most cherished political successes in the past embarrasses us. We have enthroned public opinion; and it is forbidden us to hope during its reign for any quick schooling of the sovereign in executive expertness or in the conditions of perfect functional balance in government.
He is not and ought not to be a mere passive instrument. The distinction is between general plans and special means. There is, indeed, one point at which administrative studies trench on constitutional ground-or at least upon what seems constitutional ground.
Discipline and History: Political Science in the United States by James Farr, Raymond Seidelman