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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 83-84 of the 1973 reissue of Albert Jay Nock’s little 1935 masterpiece, Our Enemy, the State; Nock distinguished “social power” – voluntary choices and actions, such as occur in markets and in mutual-aid societies – from “state power”:

It is a curious anomaly.  State power has an unbroken record of inability to do anything efficiently, economically, disinterestedly or honestly; yet when the slightest dissatisfaction arises over any exercise of social power, the aid of the agent least qualified to give aid is immediately called for.  Does social power mismanage banking-practice in this-or-that special instance — then let the State, which never has shown itself able to keep its own finances from sinking promptly into the slough of misfeasance, wastefulness and corruption, intervene to “supervise” or “regulate” the whole body of banking-practice, or even take it over entire.