Monday, June 9, 2014

Higgs on state domination and public submissiveness


OLS hero and economic historian par excellence Bob Higgs wrote a must-read piece in the for the Independent Institute's blog, the Beacon a few weeks back.  The topic of his article was the sad, and destructive, capacity that humans have to acclimate themselves to life under oppressive and domineering conditions; in other words, the willingness to accept, and legitimize, the existence of the "state".  Here's an excerpt from the article:
Familiarity may indeed, as the saying goes, breed contempt, but it also breeds a sort of somnolence. People who have never known anything other than a certain state of affairs—even an extraordinarily problematic state of affairs—have a tendency not to notice it at all, to relate it, so to speak, as if they were sleepwalking through it. Such is the situation of modern people in relation to the state. They have always known it, and they take it completely for granted, regarding it as one might regard the weather: whether it brings rain or sunshine, lightning bolts or soothing spring breezes, it is always there, an aspect of nature itself.
I strongly recommend that you click the link above and read Higgs's article.  I also suggest you click through the link "fear" embedded in his article and read that article as well.  Higgs is truly a classical liberal hero.