Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on August 7, 2018

in Philosophy of Freedom

… is from page 6 of the 1973 reissue (with an Introduction by Walter Grinder) of Albert Jay Nock’s 1935 masterpiece, Our Enemy, the State; Nock distinguished “social power” – voluntary choices, actions, and arrangements such as occur in markets and in mutual-aid societies – from “State power”:

Thus the State “turns every contingency into a resource” for accumulating power in itself, always at the expense of social power; and with this it develops a habit of acquiescence in the people. New generations appear, each temperamentally adjusted – or as I believe our American glossary now has it, “conditioned” – to new increments of State power, and they tend to take the process of continuous accumulation as quite in order. All the State’s institutional voices unite in confirming this tendency; they unite in exhibiting the progressive conversion of social power into State power as something not only quite in order, but even as wholesome and necessary for the public good.


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