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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 15 of the late Ronald Max Hartwell’s “Introduction” to the 1979 Liberty Fund collection The Politicization of Society (Kenneth S. Templeton, Jr., ed.) (footnote excluded; link added):

Politicization thus takes the manifest form of increasing the power of the state, of increasing political power as against all other forms of power in society, of increasing the power of the politicians and the bureaucrats as against the power of individuals, private institutions, and voluntary associations.  For the individual this has meant increasing political ineffectiveness and frustration.  “Until August 1914,” A.J. P. Taylor has reminded us of England, “a sensible law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman.”  Today the individual Englishman is constantly aware of the state, over which he can exercise little or no control even though it makes more and more decisions about his life.  Individual political activity, in consequence, now combines a general sense of powerlessness with a desperate sense of party allegiance, for parties represent power, and party allegiance is compounded of self-interest and artificially generated conviction.  Passion becomes a substitute for power.


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