glyph 622: book . liberty, tyranny . the path between . why never trust politicians, even those who mean well ... perspective from 1884 (Herbert Spencer), Gustav Cassel (~1938), and 1969 (Henry Hazlitt) ... The 1921 Club goes backward in time to find new footing for a leap to a seemingly unobtainable future
In 1968 Henry Hazlitt wrote a small pamphlet, "Life and Death of the Welfare State", which was developed into a book, Man vs. The Welfare State, 1968.
The essential function of the State is to maintain peace, justice, law, and order, and to protect the individual citizen against aggression, violence, theft, and fraud. More than a century ago Herbert Spencer was pointing out that "in assuming any office besides its essential one, the State begins to lose the power of fulfilling its essential one."*
As more and more functions are assumed by the State, the truth of this becomes more and more obvious.
This brings us back once again to the warning of the Swedish economist, Gustav Cassel, more than 30 years ago:
The leadership of the state in economic affairs, which advocates of Planned Economy want to establish, is...necessarily connected with a bewildering mass of governmental interferences of a steadily cumulative nature. The arbitrariness, the mistakes, and the inevitable contradictions of such a policy will, as daily experience shows, only strengthen the demand for a more rational coordination of the different measures and, therefore, for unified leadership. For this reason Planned Economy will always tend to develop into Dictatorship.
*Herbert Spencer's The Man Versus The State, 1884 is "One of the most powerful and influential arguments for limited government, laissez faire and individualism ever written." Henry Hazlitt
Henry Hazlitt (1894-1983)
The 1921 Club is for everyone who thinks the 19th Century would make a better parent of the 21st than the 20th.
May 25, 2020