“to build the world we want”

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Welcome to my blog, here I post about philosophy, politics, and I review a book every now and then!

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Book Review: Our Enemy, the State

Book Review: Our Enemy, the State

“All the power [the State] has is what society gives it, plus what it confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another; there is no other source from which State power can be drawn. Therefore every assumption of State power, whether by gift or seizure, leaves society with so much less power.”

― Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, the State

Originally published in 1935, Our Enemy, the State was compiled from a series of lectures given at Bard University. For years I’ve heard of this book being referenced and I even own a copy (recommended by a friend) of “Memoirs of a Superfluous Man” written by Albert J Nock that I’ve been slowly making my way through, so it’s interesting that it’s only now that I got to his most popular work. 

I really enjoyed hearing him lay out and expand on ideas central to man’s acceptance of government in its current form as well as illuminating the involuntary exchange of social power to state power in its many forms.  Throughout the book he goes onto to explain exactly what the state is, and how it shifts form from country to country. I was pleasantly surprised to see ideas that I’ve developed on my own broken down into digestible logical deductions; things like - in the same way that in the 1300’s people simply accepted the religious state apparatus as normal and went along with it, so do people today accept the authoritarian and power hungry nature of the state as being “the way it is”.

The read itself is interesting, as all of Albert J. Nock’s writings are, and is surprisingly short. The audio book, which can be found on Youtube, is only about 45 minutes long.   

“Instead of recognizing the State as “the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men,” the run of mankind, with rare exceptions, regards it not only as a final and indispensable entity, but also as, in the main, beneficent.”

― Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, the State

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You Don't Know.

You Don't Know.

How do Americans view freedom?

How do Americans view freedom?