Just revisiting this summary / review I wrote a while back about one of my favorite books – I mentioned it on the air last show….
I recently found Our Enemy the State, by Albert Jay Nock, under a chair in my kids’ playroom–I must have bought it long ago and misplaced it. I flipped the book open to a chapter: “Politics and Other Fetiches,” and despite the unpromising chapter heading I was immediately riveted. Although written in 1935, Our Enemy the State provides an eye-opening analysis of the true nature of the State. This short book–only 88 pages–is packed with huge concepts, historical analysis and staggering observations which reveal to the reader not only that the State is a tool designed solely to bestow privilege, but also that one’s own social conditioning runs deep. In particular, Nock’s discussion of the American colonial period forced me to realize that the ideological myth of the State still defines important aspects of my understanding of history. (This is a humbling admission from a dyed-in-the-wool anarcho-capitalist such as I!)
Our Enemy the State is divided into six chapters, each with a subject that could easily fill a volume, but I will only touch briefly on the major points.
Social Power vs. State Power. Nock explains that the balance between social power and State power is a zero-sum game and that Continue reading ==>