Assessing The State—Why Small Is Always Better

Nevertheless, he has much to teach us, because he holds no illusions about the state. The state, he argues, is a destructive force; and if we must have a state, the smaller the better. “Governments, whether meaning to or not, always seem to create more havoc as they grow larger, and the largest of them historically have tended to be the most destructive and bellicose. … Indeed, so regularly does one encounter this phenomenon in the reading of history that I am emboldened to advance this as a full-blown maxim, what we may call the Law of Government Size: Economic and social misery increases in direct proportion to the size and power of the central government of a nation or state.”