Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on October 6, 2021

in Crony Capitalism, Philosophy of Freedom

… is from page 228 of Albert Jay Nock’s 1923 essay “The State,” as it is printed in Liberty Fund’s 1991 collection of some of Nock’s essays – a collection titled The State of the Union: Essays in Social Criticism (Charles H. Hamilton, ed.) (original emphasis; link added):

To gain a livelihood, to satisfy his needs and desires, man can either work or steal, he can use the economic means or the political means. By the economic means, he exchanges labour and labour-products for the labour and labour-products of others. By the political means, he appropriates the labour and labour-products of others, giving neither labour nor labour-products in exchange. Inasmuch as so large proportion of the State’s activity, certainly ninety per cent of it, is spent upon enabling this uncompensated appropriation of labour and labour products, the State itself is well described by [Franz] Oppenheimer, in reference to its origin, nature and function, as the organization of the political means. “Political government” signifies the same thing; it means the sort of government that has for its primary purpose the maintenance of economic exploitation through privilege.

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