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Our Enemy, The State | [Albert J. Nock]

Our Enemy, The State

Originally published in 1935, this elegant essay on the nature of the state shows the important distinction between state power and social power. "Every assumption of power, whether by gift or seizure," he writes, "leaves society with so much less power; there is never, nor can be, any strengthening of state power without a corresponding and roughly equivalent depletion of social power."
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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1935, this elegant essay on the nature of the state shows the important distinction between state power and social power. "Every assumption of power, whether by gift or seizure," he writes, "leaves society with so much less power; there is never, nor can be, any strengthening of state power without a corresponding and roughly equivalent depletion of social power."

(P)1989 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Our Enemy, The State hit me between the eyes when I read it in the Thirties... During the past fifty years history has surely proven his thesis correct." (John Chamberlain, columnist, historian, and former editor of Life, Fortune, Barron's)

What Members Say

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    joe blower canada 12-29-09
    joe blower canada 12-29-09 Member Since 2006

    inquisitive mind

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    "long ago"

    It is most extraordinary that so long ago, Mr. Nock had such clarity of vision.
    This book is timeless - I highly recommend it for content, clarity and ease of listening.
    I feel cheated that I did not know of this book before.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rich United States 11-26-12
    Rich United States 11-26-12 Member Since 2011
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    "An all-too-unfamilar American classic..."

    Albert Jay Nock never sought fame, and so he would not be bothered by the fact that most Americans have never read or heard of him. His mission, he believed, was to write for "the remnant," which he imagined to be a core of independent thinkers who seek only truth and will remain unknown. When society eventually crumbles, according to Nock, these are the people who will see that it is rebuilt on higher and sounder principles. There is something exhilarating about reading a book of such candor written by an engaging author with such a perspective. There is no debate about what people believe or any reference to what may be politically feasible or even acceptable for discussion. Nock's perspectives, which seem increasingly unassailable as the book unfolds, are simply there for consideration. He is not opposed to society's laws, but he opposes the State, which he defines as out-of-control government. The distinction is clear and he never trims his views of the State as the very enemy of civil society and its laws. His examples and illustrations are remarkably convincing for some; remarkably thought-provoking for all. This little book deserves the attention of all who appreciate fine prose - and wish their minds broadened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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