domingo, abril 21, 2013

evil actions

Robert Higgs:
Socialists, social democrats, progressives, and others of such ilk consider the state a force for great potential good to humanity and therefore strive to control it in order to make it realize this potential. They obsess on helping the poor, the handicapped, the socially marginalized, and others seemingly left in misery under "capitalism." Yet they disregard completely the nature of the state itself, an organization whose very existence presupposes the use or threat of violence against one and all in order to acquire the means of its own support and to enforce its dictates against anyone with the temerity to resist or evade them. In practice, of course, states complement their ultimate reliance on violence with copious quantities of fraud, corruption, self-dealing, croneyism, wanton waste, and self-aggrandizement. In sum, the paramount organization by which the left-statists presume to do great good is itself inherently engaged in the vilest activities from the get-go, and the larger it grows, the greater do its intrinsic evils become.

Conservatives, classical liberals, and other anti-socialists differ only in degree, not in kind, because although they claim to seek limits on the state's size, scope, and power, they nevertheless exalt it as an indispensable means of keeping order, enforcing property rights, and supplying public goods. By supposing that the state can be kept from gravitating, when it is not lurching, toward complete authoritarianism, the right-statists reveal either insincerity or naïveté.

As St. Thomas Aquinas instructed us, "An evil action cannot be justified by reference to a good intention." So much for the state as a moral resort for the well-intentioned of all stripes.

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