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statism laid bare


The Foundation For Economic Education (FEE) introduced me to Herbert Spencer’s work this morning with their post

12 Brilliant Quotes by Herbert Spencer on the Fallacies of Statism

I give you four of them below.
Click the link above to see the rest of their article.

“Did the State fulfill efficiently its unquestionable duties, there would be some excuse for this eagerness to assign it further duties. Were there no complaints of its faulty administration of justice… of its playing the tyrant where it should have been the protector… had we, in short, proved its efficiency as judge and defender… there would be some encouragement to hope for other benefits at its hands.”

“Or if… the State had proved itself a capable agent in some other department… though it has bungled in everything else, yet had it in one case done well… the sanguine would have had a colorable excuse for expecting success in a new field.”

“As it is, however, they seem to have read backwards the parable of the talents. Not to the agent of proved efficiency do they consign further duties, but to the negligent and blundering agent. Private enterprise has done much, and done it well… Therefore, do not trust private enterprise… trust the State. Slight the good and faithful servant, and promote the unprofitable one from one talent to ten.”

“Ill as government discharges its true duties, any other duties committed to it are likely to be still worse discharged. To guard its subjects against aggression, either individual or national, is a straightforward and tolerably simple matter; to regulate, directly or indirectly, the personal actions of those subjects is an infinitely complicated matter.”

Harry Browne used to challenge his audiences to “Name your favorite government program”. Most admitted there were none well run. Few offered up examples that were easily destroyed.

Far superior to what we have was the original USofA design with states offering various approaches to government and a very limited general government focused primarily on international relations, import and export.

The meddling monstrous super-state fails every time to do what we want from it and to resist doing what we do not want. It will not improve through adding more turf to its realm.