Sunday, February 1, 2015

Our Enemy, the State

An early look at a future post. This is the opening of Our Enemy, the State by Albert Jay Nock. What is interesting is that it was published in 1935 as FDR rose to power. (My emphasis added below.)

" If we look beneath the surface of our public affairs, we can discern one fundamental fact, namely: a great redistribution of power between society and the State. This is the fact that interests the student of civilization. He has only a secondary or derived interest in matters like price-fixing, wage-fixing, inflation, political banking, “agricultural adjustment,” and similar items of State policy that fill the pages of newspapers and the mouths of publicists and politicians. All these can be run up under one head. They have an immediate and temporary importance, and for this reason they monopolize public attention, but they all come to the same thing; which is, an increase of State power and a corresponding decrease of social power. It is unfortunately none too well understood that, just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. All the power it has is what society gives it, plus what it confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another; there is no other source from which State power can be drawn. Therefore every assumption of State power, whether by gift or seizure, leaves society with so much less power; there is never, nor can there be, any strengthening of State power without a corresponding and roughly equivalent depletion of social power."

Nock, Albert Jay (2010-12-23). Our Enemy, the State (LvMI) (Kindle Locations 120-129). Ludwig von Mises Institute. Kindle Edition.

 Fair winds and following seas :)

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