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Liberty! The American Revolution

126 pages, softcover


OUR ENEMY THE STATE, Expanded edition

by Albert Jay Nock

According to Nock, "government" and "the state" are two different things. "Government" is a legitimate, impartial vehicle for the administration of justice, such as the safeguarding of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. By contrast, writes Nock, "the state" represents a corruption of democracy in which special interests use the coercive power of government in order to extract concessions and advantages not available to other citizens. Ultimately, "the state" becomes an instrument of oppression, allowing those special interests to compel the rest of society to behave in ways they would not otherwise do. As this book says, "The State is the legal apparatus perverted, forever seeking out the means of its own support and finding it in the form of interest groups yearning for special privilege. The State has economic advantage to dispense, and there are pressure groups, factions, and individuals organized to take advantage of the give-aways. Thus a cabal forms, part political and part private, using public power for private advantage." This book was first published in 1935, and it is amazing how the future that Nock foresaw has come to pass!