Books / Digital Text

What Must Be Done

Current Conditions

At this moment, let me simply take stock. Here we are at the end of the 20th century, closer than ever to the end-state of a one-world State, at least closer than ever before in history. The United States is the sole superpower and the world’s top cop. At the same time, democracy has become almost universal, and the world’s leading power, the United States, is the world’s leading champion of democracy.

Some neoconservatives such as Francis Fukuyama pointed out that this must be the end of history. One world democracy, we almost reached it. Now, from an Austro-libertarian point of view, matters look somewhat different. Under highly centralized democracy, or let me call it highly centralized mob rule, the security of private property has almost completely disappeared. The price of protection is enormous, and the quality of justice dispensed has gone downhill constantly. It has deteriorated to the point where the idea of immutable laws of justice, of natural law, has almost entirely disappeared from public consciousness. Law is considered nothing but State-made law—positive law. Law and justice is whatever the State says it is. There is still private property in name, but in practice private property owners have been almost completely expropriated. Rather than protecting people from invaders and invasions of person and property, the State has increasingly disarmed its own people, and stripped them of their most elementary right to self-defense.

Moreover, private property owners are no longer free to include or exclude other people from their property as they see fit. This is the right to include if you want, or exclude if you want, is an essential ingredient of private property. And this entails a defense mechanism; it is an anti-invasion method that you can kick people off your property. But this right to kick people off your property, especially commercial property, has been entirely taken away from you. And with this right gone—and no one can today hire or fire, buy or sell, include or exclude from his property at will—with all of this gone, is also another method of defending oneself from invasion.

The State, which was supposed to protect us, has in fact rendered us completely helpless. It robs its subjects of more than half their income, to be distributed according to public sentiment, rather than according to principles of justice. It subjects our property to thousands of arbitrary and invasive regulations. We can no longer freely hire and fire whoever we want, for whatever reason we deem good and necessary. We cannot sell or buy whatever we want, to whoever we want, and wherever we want. We cannot charge prices freely as we wish, we cannot associate and disassociate, separate ourselves with whoever we want, or with whoever we do not want.

Instead of protecting us, then, the State has delivered us and our property to the mob and mob instincts. Instead of safeguarding us, it impoverishes us, it destroys our families, local organizations, private foundations, clubs and associations, by drawing all of them increasingly into its own orbit. And as a result of all of this, the State has perverted the public sense of justice and of personal responsibility, and bred and attracted an increasing number of moral and economic monsters and monstrosities.

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