chapter  9
25 Pages

Temporal and Spiritual Empire

WithPeter L. P. Simpson

The solution cannot be simply to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment, for such a repeal will not go far enough. In fact the best way forward would seem to be some sort of return to the original Articles of Confederation. The Articles, however, are not the only example of solidarity combined with subsidiarity that theorists and historians can appeal to. As good if not a better example would be diffuse empires where subordinate authorities have real and independent control over local areas but subject to a central authority that has some but not absolute powers of intervention and arbitration and, where necessary, coercion. One might say that this sort of authority can be supplied in people's times by international bodies like the United Nations, and the European Union in Europe or the fledgling African Union in Africa. There is no need, however, to leave this series of contentions, or their historical illustrations, at the level of theory or the distant past.