… is from page 144 of Anthony de Jasay’s brilliant 1998 volume, The State (original emphasis):
Private property, capital as the source of countervailing power, reinforcing the structure of civil society versus the state, used to be considered valuable both to those who owned some and to those who did not. Liberal thought no longer recognizes such value. It considers that democratic procedure is the source of unlimited sovereignty.
This truth is as sad as it is undeniable. Modern “liberals” – “Progressives” – are both suckered by, and proponents of, what is perhaps the most treacherous political myth to be held by modern humans, namely, that regular corruption-free elections with a wide franchise are sufficient to keep the power of the state within appropriate bounds. It isn’t only that “Progressives” stubbornly ignore public-choice realities. They also believe in the existence of a mythical ‘People’s will’ or ‘People’s voice’ that they treat as a god whose desires and commands (always, of course, interpreted by the secular priests called ‘politicians’ and a select few high-church pundits) ought always override the wishes and desires of puny flesh-and-blood individuals.