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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page xv of the Introduction by Robert Higgs to the indispensable 2004 collection of some of his essays, Against Leviathan (original emphasis):

If I had to use a single word to describe what is fundamentally wrong with government today, I would use the word fraud.  Certainly nowadays – perhaps in every age – government is not what it claims to be (competent, protective, and just), and it is what it claims not to be (bungling, menacing, and unjust).  In actuality, it is a vast web of deceit and humbug, and not for a good purpose, either.  Indeed, its true purposes are as reprehensible as its noble claims are false.  Its stock in trade is pretense.  The velvet glove of its countless claims of benevolence scarcely conceals its iron fist of violence and threats of more violence.  It wants to be loved, but it will settle for being feared.  The one thing it will not do is simply leave us alone.