Neither liberty nor safety: fear, ideology, and the growth of government
The history of the United States, from the 19th century to present day, is included in this examination of the very foundations of unwarranted government intrusiveness that illuminates the two essential elements that have led to the expansion of the state’s authority—the ideology that the government should serve as a savior whenever people face threats to their well-being and the public fear that follows the perception of a large-scale threat to peace or prosperity. When these two factors operate simultaneously, people demand that the government take protective measures on their behalf. Hence, in an outburst of opportunism, the growth of government accelerates during the crisis, at the expense of liberty. Dr. Higgs’s conclusion is undeniable: placing confidence in the government to function as savior or problem solver does not lead to the peace, prosperity, and safety that people crave. On the contrary, that misplaced confidence ultimately leads to tyranny and diminished security—in Benjamin Franklin’s words, “Neither liberty nor safety.”
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action activities administration Alvaro Vargas Llosa analysis Austrian Austrian school Budget Cato Institute Chicago Classical Liberalism Congress controls course crises Crisis and Leviathan Critical Episodes Deal defense Depression Economic History economically advanced countries economists edited effect emergency empirical employment ernment example fear federal government fiscal Foreign Policy Free Rider Problem government spending government's groups Growth of American growth of government Hayek ideas ideological change ideology income increase Independent Institute industry intellectual interest intervention interventionism investment Journal labor Liberty Ludwig von Mises mass measures ment million Mises mixed economy modern Murray Rothbard nomic officials people's percent Political Economy politicoeconomic postwar President production programs Progressivism PROPOSITION Public Choice regulations Review Richard Robert Higgs role Roosevelt Rothbard rulers Social Security society theory tion twentieth century U.S. government United wars wartime Washington welfare World York