A Condensed Version of: Our Enemy, the State: A Study of Social Power vs. State Power and of the State in Colonial America by Albert Jay Nock.
Compiled and Edited by Dr. Jimmy T. (Gunny) LaBaume
We know that human institutions exist and affect all of us. But we do not ask how they came to exist or what their original intent was. Then, when they affect us so unfavorably that we rebel, we never contemplate replacing them with anything but some modification or variant of the same institution.
The average individual’s attitude towards the State is today exactly what it was towards the Church in 1500. At that time, the individual was born into the Church just as he is born into the State today. He was taxed to support the Church just as he is today to support the State. He was to accept the official doctrine of the Church, conform to its discipline, and do as it told him. These are exactly the same sanctions the State lays upon him today. If he were reluctant, the Church made trouble for him. Today the State does. And then, even when he revolted, he simply exchanged one form of the Church for another. In the same way, modern State citizens exchange one type of the State for another. The individual did not examine the institution of the Church itself. Neither does the State-citizen today.
The tremendous rise in State power, paid for with a commensurate decline in social power, suggests that it is important to know more than we do about the basic nature of the State itself. We need a “theory of the State” that we can be sure is supported by history. We need to understand how the State originated and why. We need to understand what it is that history shows to be the State’s main function. We need to identify the characteristics, if any, that differentiate “government” from “the State.” Using history, we need to decide if the state is a social or an anti-social institution. These are the questions that the remainder of the book is devoted to.
To be continued
The Essence of Liberty Volume I: Liberty and History chronicles the rise and fall of the noble experiment with constitutionally limited government. It features the ideas and opinions of some of the world’s foremost contemporary constitutional scholars. This is history that you were not taught at the mandatory government propaganda camps otherwise known as “public schools.” You will gain a clear understanding of how America’s decline and decay is really nothing new and how it began almost immediately with the constitution. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.
You might be interested in the other two volumes of this three volume set: The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty and The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic.