Our Enemy the State

Author: Albert Jay Nock

Description: This book isn’t what I thought it would be. I thought he would attack the government of his day (1935) and point back to a time when we went astray. I expected to learn some fundamentals with the hope of seeing what a better way forward might be from a libertarian point of view.

I was delightfully confounded, especially in the conclusion, by Nock’s complete lack of hope. The State has got you by the balls and you’re not going to wiggle out of it and don’t even try to get hopeful ideas about winning the next election and righting the ship! Why is this delightful? Isn’t this just base cynicism? When you consider the history lesson he gives from his vantage point under FDR, and you line that up with America under Obama, it makes a good deal of sense. Obama isn’t the cause, he’s the logical result of the system. His predecessors did the very same kinds of things. Perhaps he’s been worse in degree, but not in kind. And this is liberating because I don’t have to obsess over the political game. Because the State is going to grow no matter who wins and liberty will shrink. Hope is not found in a country. Look for hope in your family and in your faith. Live like a free person to the extent you can and don’t obsess over what’s beyond your control.
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