The past few years have witnessed a surge of writing by conservative intellectuals about the modern administrative state, including how its expansive reach might be constrained or reversed. The most recent contribution to this important development in our civic discourse is Professor John Marini’s Unmasking the Administrative State: The Crisis of American Politics in the Twentieth-First Century. Marini contends that our modern centralized administrative state, with the active support of many prominent nineteenth and twentieth century social scientists, upset and supplanted America’s original political theory of liberal constitutionalism, under which our nation had a limited government that distinguished between the public and private spheres and between the state and broader civil society. Our nation’s original theory of limited constitutional government, Marini argues, was based on “a reasonable and realistic understanding of the relationship of theory and practice, of ends and means.” That understanding was based on the virtue of “prudence, not science,” insofar as prudence “presupposes the possibility of moral virtue to direct men to the right, or good, ends.” But the modern administrative state has replaced those principles with reliance on a technocratic bureaucracy that is convinced that rational administration can solve economic and social problems. This transformation has replaced the “sovereignty of the people” established in the Constitution with the “sovereignty of government,” under the auspices of the modern rational administrative state. Read more at the Federalist Society Review.