But what we in politics wish to know is whether Mr. Minister X understands his business, whether he has initiative, whether he is informed, whether he steals more than is absolutely necessary, whether he lies more than is publicly beneficial, and so on …
— Eric Voegelin
In other words, just tweak a few things here and there and make sure you get the right politician (read: less evil than most) into office. Then the state will work fine — ordered liberty will be achieved; society and market will flourish; Leviathan will be indefinitely averted.
Paradox: How to achieve this when statist political systems favor the unscrupulous, incentivize their seeking and maintaining office and increasing their power, steadily erode what moral fiber they may have, and make useless or harmful to their political careers any truly important knowledge or skills (such as of economics or how to actually be productive in society).
Yesterday on LewRockwell.com, Jeff Riggenbach posted a short essay entitled “Was Robert A. Heinlein a Libertarian?” It reminded me of how much I enjoyed Heinlein’s incredible novel, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, for its witty characters and thought-provoking political dialogue.
Besides the inimitable Mike (who is actually a computer), my favorite character was definitely Professor Bernardo de la Paz, affectionately called “Prof” throughout the book. He identifies himself a rational anarchist and always has something interesting to add to whatever is going on at the time.
I have taken the liberty to type out my favorite quotes from the book for your reading pleasure. Maybe it will inspire you to read the novel in full…
“Under what circumstances may the State justly place its welfare above that of a citizen?”
“Prof, as I see, [there] are no circumstances under which [the] State is justified in placing its welfare ahead of mine.”
“Good, we have a starting point.”
~ Professor de la Paz and Manuel O’Kelly-Davis