And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgment of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song
Drawing from Nock's 1935 work, this missive reminds us that there are two earthly ways to advance one's interests. One way is through production and voluntary exchange. This is advancing one's interests through economic means.
The other way is through uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others. This is advancing one's interests through political means. Because they seek the most benefit for the least cost, people will be tempted go the political route because it requires less exertion.
The State is the organization of political means. Because it is legalized force, the State stands as a strong armed agent for hire. It becomes a primary distributor of economic advantage.
Nock argues that, similar to parasitic disease, the depletion of economic means by the State cannot be checked past some point. Historical evidence, he says, shows not one instance where assimilation of State power has not resulted in complete and total collapse.
My head knows that he is right. But in this Christmas season of hope, I pray that he is wrong in our case.