Mysteries Government Man versus the State

Man versus the State

Man versus the State
Catalog # SKU1213
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.50 lbs
Author Name Herbert Spencer
 
$19.95
Quantity

Description

The Man versus the State
&
Six Essays On Government,
Society, and Freedom


by
Herbert Spencer LL.D

The New Toryism, is of primary importance just now, because it shows the contrast between the aims and methods of early Liberalism and those of modern Liberalism. In these days we hear a great deal about Liberalism, Liberal principles and policies, in the conduct of our public life. All sorts and conditions of men put themselves forward on the public stage as Liberals; they call those who oppose them Tories, and get credit with the public thereby. In the public mind, Liberalism is a term of hon our, while Toryism - especially "economic Toryism" - is a term of reproach. The Table of Contents

The Man versus the State

  • Publisher's Note
  • Foreword by Eric Mack
  • Introduction by Albert J. Nock
  • Preface
  • The New Toryism
  • The Coming Slavery
  • The Sins of Legislators
  • The Great Political Superstition
  • Postscript
  • Six Essays On Government, Society, and Freedom

  • The Proper Sphere of Government
  • Over-Legislation
  • Representative Government What Is It Good For?
  • The Social Organism
  • Specialized Administration
  • From Freedom To Bondage
  • Excerpt from the Chapter 1:

    it seems needful to remind everybody what Liberalism was in the past, that they may perceive its unlikeness to the so-called Liberalism of the present. It would be inexcusable to name these various measures for the purpose of pointing out the character common to them, were it not that in our day men have forgotten their common character.

    They do not remember that, in one or other way, all these truly Liberal changes diminished compulsory co-operation throughout social life and increased voluntary cooperation. They have forgotten that, in one direction or other, they diminished the range of governmental authority, and increased the area within which each citizen may act unchecked. They have lost sight of the truth that in past times Liberalism habitually stood for individual freedom versus State-coercion.

    And now comes the inquiry -- How is it that Liberals have lost sight of this? How is it that Liberalism, getting more and more into power, has grown more and more coercive in its legislation? How is it that, either directly through its own majorities or indirectly through aid given in such cases to the majorities of its opponents, Liberalism has to an increasing extent adopted the policy of dictating the actions of citizens, and, by consequence, diminishing the range throughout which their actions remain free? How are we to explain this spreading confusion of thought which has led it, in pursuit of what appears to be public good, to invert the method by which in earlier days it achieved public good?

    Unaccountable as at first sight this unconscious change of policy seems, we shall find that it has arisen quite naturally. Given the unanalytical thought ordinarily brought to bear on political matters, and, under existing conditions, nothing else was to be expected. To make this clear some parenthetic explanations are needful.

    From the lowest to the highest creatures, intelligence progresses by acts of discrimination; and it continues so to progress among men, from the most ignorant to the most cultured. To class rightly -- to put in the same group things which are of essentially the same natures, and in other groups things of natures essentially different is the fundamental condition to right guidance of actions.

    Beginning with rudimentary vision, which gives warning that some large opaque body is passing near (just as closed eyes turned to the window, perceiving the shade caused by a hand put before them, tells us of something moving in front), the advance is to developed vision, which, by exactly-appreciated combinations of forms, colours, and motions, identifies objects at great distances as prey or enemies, and so makes it possible to improve the adjustments of conduct for securing food or evading death.

    That progressing perception of differences and consequent greater correctness of classing, constitutes, under one of its chief aspects, the growth of intelligence, is equally seen when we pass from the relatively simple physical vision to the relatively complex intellectual vision -- the vision through the agency of which, things previously grouped by certain eternal resemblances or by certain extrinsic circumstances, come to be more truly grouped in conformity with their intrinsic structures or natures.

    Undeveloped intellectual vision is just as indiscriminating and erroneous in its classings as undeveloped physical vision. Instance the early arrangement of plants into the groups, trees, shrubs, and herbs: size, the most conspicuous trait, being the ground of distinction; and the assemblages formed being such as united many plants extremely unlike in their natures, and separated others that are near akin.

    Or still better, take the popular classification which puts together under the same general name, fish and shell-fish, and under the sub-name, shell-fish, puts together crustaceans and molluscs; nay, which goes further, and regards as fish the cetacean mammals. Partly because of the likeness in their modes of life as inhabiting the water, and partly because of some general resemblance in their flavours, creatures that are in their essential natures far more widely separated than a fish is from a bird, are associated in the same class and in the same sub-class.

    Now the general truth thus exemplified, holds throughout those higher ranges of intellectual vision concerned with things not presentable to the senses, and, among others, such things as political institutions and political measures. For when thinking of these, too, the results of inadequate intellectual faculty, or inadequate culture of it, or both, are erroneous classings and consequent erroneous conclusions. Indeed, the liability to error is here much greater; since the things with which the intellect is concerned do not admit of examination in the same easy way.

    You cannot touch or see a political institution: it can be known only by an effort of constructive imagination. Neither can you apprehend by physical perception a political measure: this no less requires a process of mental representation by which its elements are put together in thought, and the essential nature of the combination conceived.

    Here, therefore, still more than in the cases above named, defective intellectual vision is shown in grouping by eternal characters, or extrinsic circumstances. How institutions are wrongly classed from this cause, we see in the common notion that the Roman Republic was a popular form of government. Look into the early ideas of the French revolutionists who aimed at an ideal state of freedom, and you find that the political forms and deeds of the Romans were their models; and even now a historian might be named who instances the corruptions of the Roman Republic as showing us what popular government leads to.

    Yet the resemblance between the institutions of the Romans and free institutions properly so-called, was less than that between a shark and a porpoise -- a resemblance of general eternal form accompanying widely different internal structures. For the Roman Government was that of a small oligarchy within a larger oligarchy: the members of each being unchecked autocrats. A society in which the relatively few men who had political power, and were in a qualified sense free, were so many petty despots, holding not only slaves and dependents but even children in a bondage no less absolute than that in which they held their cattle, was, by its intrinsic nature, more nearly allied to an ordinary despotism than to a society of citizens politically equal.


    400+pages - 8.25 x 5.25 inches SoftCover

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