Rulers Fully Intend to Plunder and Bully

The hurdle over which most people cannot jump is the belief that government means well, that it acts so harmfully only because it chooses inappropriate means for the attainment of its laudable objectives. But this view has much less evidence in its favor than the alternative view, which is that those who control the state do not mean well, that they fully intend to plunder and bully you for their own profit and sadistic pleasure, and that they have chosen highly suitable means for the realization of these objectives.

Rulers who meant well would not act again and again and again in such destructive and callous fashion. If someone makes the same mistake repeatedly, we are entitled to conclude that for their purposes their “mistaken” actions are not mistakes at all.

Save as PDFPrint

Written by 

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute and Editor at Large of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, the University of Economics, Prague, and George Mason University. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.