One man, one vote. ‘It seems such an obvious, such ansimple principle. What can possibly hinder its implementationnin South Africa, where blacks are barred from thenexercise of citizenship rights, or Israel, where West BanknPalestinian children take to the streets demanding selfgovernmentnand civil rights, or New York City, where thenBoard of Estimates (responsible for zoning, awarding contracts,nand helping to draw up the city budget) is elected by ansystem that gives Staten Island’s 377,600 people over sixntimes the representation given to Brooklyn’s 2,309,600? Inndeclaring the Board of Estimates unconstitutional, thenSupreme Court unanimously upheld a lower court decisionnthat found the structure of representation “inconsistent withnthe Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.”nIt goes without saying that the Supreme Court hasnabsolutely no constitutional right to involve itself in NewnYork affairs, any more than it had when it interfered in thenconstitutions of states that gave added weight in theirnlegislatures, by their districting plans, to rural areas. In thenearly 1960’s the Supreme Court struck down any districtingnplan that was not based on population. As Allan Carisonncomments in his recent book, Family Questions: “Freednfrom the rural yoke, state legislatures in the farm states andnSouth began implementing a new set of values. They tossednout the Blue Laws, lifted restrictions on alcohol sales,nloosened divorce and sodomy statutes. . . . Gone, for betternor worse, were the last political barriers against modernitynand secularity. . . . Gone too, in any instrumental sense,nwas a vision of the farm community as the reservoir ofnfamilism and virtue.”nProgressive urbanites rejoiced in the downfall of ruralnAmerica. Now it is New York’s turn to feel the lash. If EdnKoch had even half the nerve he claims to have, he wouldntell the nine self-appointed tyrants on the Court exactlynwhat they could do with their decision.n10/CHRONICLESnPERSPECTIVEnThe Legacy of 1789nby Thomas FlemingnnnThere is no chance of a mayor, even the mayor of NewnYork, standing up to the unelected guardians of public order.nHowever, some governors have, in recent years, made a stabnat resisting the even greater power of the federal bureaucracy.nSeveral states have enacted legislation banning treatmentnand disposal of toxic wastes within their borders, and somengovernors have taken emergency measures to prevent entrynof hazardous materials into their states. In March, SouthnCarolina Governor Carroll Campbell issued an executivenorder banning the shipment of toxic wastes from states thatndo not allow treatment or disposal on their own soil. ThenNew York Times described the governor’s action as “a clearnchallenge to the Federal Government’s authority to regulatenhazardous waste.”nWhat the New York and South Carolina cases have inncommon is not simply a conflict with the authority of thennational government. They once again raise the question ofnunitary democracy and its consequences, and in 1989 thisnbrings us inevitably to reflections on the events of 1789.nThe legacy of the French Revolution might be summednup in the phrase “democratic revolution.” Under that titie,nall nondemocratic regimes — monarchist, oligarchic, military,netc. — are implicifly deprived of their legitimacy andnbecome fair game for revolution. Edmund Burke wasninspired to write his famous Reflections on the Revolution innFrance partly in response to a sermon delivered by thenEnglish democrat, the Rev. Richard Price.nBurke was outraged by Dr. Price’s repudiation of all thencomplicated forms of social and political life that hadnevolved in Britain and France. Custom, tradition, and all thennice adjustments to local character and particular need—allnof these were to be swept away and replaced by Lockeannregimes based upon simple principles: kings and other rulersnowed their position to the choice of the people; the peoplenhad the right to “cashier” their governors on any supposedn