Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on September 15, 2016

in Myths and Fallacies, Reality Is Not Optional, War

… is from page 4 of chapter 3 of the manuscript of Perfecting Tyranny: Foreign Intervention and the Loss of Liberty at Home – a superb and important forthcoming book by my colleague Chris Coyne and University of Tampa economist (and GMU Econ alum) Abby Hall-Blanco:

It is naïve and simplistic to assume that the national-security state is comprised of passive personnel who sit idly by waiting to respond in a public-spirited manner to only genuine external threats to domestic citizens.  Instead, those who work for the security state have an incentive to intentionally create and exploit fear to secure the associated benefits.

Of course.

I will never understand the typical modern American conservative: he or she maturely grasps the reality that bureaucrats who work for agencies such as the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Education are prone to greedily expand their powers in ways that undermine the public interest, but this same conservative has a childlike faith that bureaucrats who work for agencies such as the Department of Defense and the NSA are faithful, self-sacrificing, and trustworthy public servants.  It’s a downright inexplicable contradiction.


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