The Politics of Envy: Statism As Theology
The Politics of Envy is a fit and proper sequel to the author's previous book, "The Politics of Plunder. "But beyond the previous collection, Doug Bandow herein offers a theoretical rationale for the current malaise in central government in the United States. He sees the core problem as the immense increase in government spending combined with regulatory machinery that extends to every area of life--from the uses of private property, occupational choices, to issues of employment, trade, and taxation.
Bandow sees these centrifugal forces as gaining ground over personal virtue and freedom without much regard to party labels. Indeed, he is at pains to point out that spending and regulation rose particularly dramatically during the previous Bush Administration; and shows few signs of abetting during the current Clinton Administration. But the work emphasizes not simply federal government initiatives to curb freedom of choice, but how this extends to sociological and ideological trends in which extremists pit the values of liberty and virtue against each other. While the book covers familiar ground; issues of abortion, environment, collective security and national defense, international debt, health and welfare, it does so with a unified theory of a morally centered approach to political questions of the times. Written with his customary verve, the book beckons to become a benchmark of libertarian thought--one that will appeal to people for whom questions of political morality remain unsettled as well as unsettling.
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