≡ Menu

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 80 of Philip Booth’s and Stephen Davies’s excellent essay, “Rules and Order without the State,” which is chapter 7 in the new collection edited by Tom Palmer, Self-Control or State Control? You Decide:

61hduv0w8jl-_sx314_bo1204203200_ However, that dichotomy – of state regulation or no regulation – is a false dichotomy.  There are other alternatives.  Historical research shows that regulation does not always require codified, uniform, and exhaustive written rules.  (Such exhaustiveness is theoretically impossible, in any case.)  Nor are we limited to a choice between rules created by Hobbes’s Leviathan and the lawless war-of-all-against-all of Hobbes’s state of nature.  The reality is that regulation in the sense described, namely, activity constrained by rules, is possible without the rules and associated enforcement institutions being directly created by the state.  It is not only possible, but can be found all around us.  Rules can and do arise spontaneously from the efforts of people to achieve their aims in cooperation with others.  It is often (though not always) the case that government enables the emergence of such rules, but in such cases government does not actually create the rules or enforce them.


Next post:

Previous post: