… is from page xxvii of Michael Huemer’s 2013 book, The Problem of Political Authority:
This book addresses the foundational problem of political philosophy: the problem of accounting for the authority of government. This authority has always struck me as puzzling and problematic. Why should 535 people in Washington be entitled to issue commands to 300 million others? And why should the others obey? These questions, as I argue in the following pages, have no satisfactory answers.
My brilliant colleague Bryan Caplan calls Michael Huemer his favorite political philosopher. Having now read most of this 2013 book by Huemer, I can see vividly why Bryan offers such praise. It’s a brilliant work. Although 365 pages long – and although deeply serious and analytical throughout – this book can be read quickly because Huemer is such a skilled stylist and clear thinker. (I read 80 percent of it on a flight just now from DC to Dubai. [I’m en route to Hong Kong for the Mont Pelerin Society meetings.])