nance of ideas created by rulers and policy makers, is fertile ground for folly.552 Tuchmanlaments learning from experience is a faculty almost never prac- ticed . . . . “If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teachus,”[quoting]SamuelColeridge.“Butpassionandpartyblind our eyes, and the light which experience gives us is a lantern on the stern which shines only on the waves behind us.” The image is beautiful but the message misleading, for the light on the waves we have passed through should enable us to infer the nature of the wavesahead.553 Excessive power under the doctrine of parens patriae existed through the ages. It exists today in America. From the deeply em- beddedrootsofthedoctrineofparenspatriae,theseedsofexcessive power sprout in agencies and bureaucracies controlling people under guardianship, and will grow in the form of public guardianship. AsRegan noted, public guardianship has a bad reputation. It is not unlike the persistent“baobab.”554
Thegrowthofthepublicguardianship“baobabs”willmakethe situation worse if not carefully controlled. The current so-called guardianship system, recognized as the protective link to unpro-
551. Id. at382.
552. See id. at 383. Mental standstill has three stages: (1) fixing principles and
Id. tected older Americans, is minuscule in size, if not illusory, and infested with the wrong roots. Under the weight of the massive numbers of the next elder generation, the “boomering”555 of guardianship's illusory system will make it crumble. Those in con- trol must remove their masks of virtual reality in order to work inpractical reality. They must root out the sprouts with bad reputa- tions and replace them with seeds that will sprout the beginnings of a good guardianship system,556 one that will have a sound founda- tion.