Opposition to State Power Evaporates Whenever There Is a “Crisis”
[Originally published as “Sons of Leviathan” in October 2007.]
Robert Higgs identified the Leviathan as an opportunistic beast, using crises—real or manufactured—to expand its realm, to slither its tentacles into the remaining halls where large amounts of liberty are found. Any national or international event can be spun into the need for more government, more interventions, and more intrusions of its slimy appendages.
We have seen this time and time again, as the Leviathan strikes while the masses tremble. Somehow we are calmed by the sight of this powerful yet ugly serpentlike creature, believing that it is only grasping what it needs in order to protect us, and praying that it will release its grasp once the crisis passes.
However, government never willingly releases its hold of liberty. No, and in fact, any taste of the liberty that remains in possession of the masses simply whets government’s appetite for more. That which we give up in a momentary shudder of fear is gone forever.
Nevertheless, crises never seem to arise often enough for those wanting more power. Therefore, government will manufacture events, or spin the innocuous or unrelated incident into a crisis, whenever it desires more of the people’s liberty. While Higgs’s scholarship shows how this occurs at the national level, it also occurs at the local level as the sons of the Leviathan seek their own bits of power, the tidbits dropped from the mouth of the great beast.
Not four miles from my home is an old bridge that captivates many. Folks like the bridge’s style, simple beauty, and setting. The bridge, a registered national historic place, spans a section of the Olentangy River that still holds
Article from Mises Wire