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The Sins of Legislators


Be it or be it not true that man is "shapen in iniquity" and conceived in sin, it is unquestionably true that Government is begotten of aggression and by aggression. In small, undeveloped societies where for ages complete peace has continued, there exists nothing like what we call Government: no coercive agency, but mere honorary headship, if any headship at all. In these exceptional communities, unaggressive and from special causes unaggressed upon, there is so little deviation from the virtues of truthfulness, honesty, justice, and generosity, that nothing beyond an occasional expression of public opinion by informally-assembled elders is needful. Conversely, we find proofs that, at first recognized but temporarily during leadership in war, the authority of a chief is permanently established by continuity of war; and grows strong where successful aggression ends in subjection of neighboring tribes. And thence onward, examples furnished by all races put beyond doubt the truth that the coercive power of the chief, developing into king, and king of kings (a frequent title in the ancient East), becomes great in proportion as conquest becomes habitual and the union of subdued societies extensive. Comparisons disclose a further truth which should be ever present to us—the truth that the aggressiveness of the ruling power inside a society increases with its aggressiveness outside the society...

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Fiche détaillée de “The Sins of Legislators”

Fiche technique

  • Auteur : Herbert Spencer
  • Éditeur : LM Publishers
  • Date de parution : 27/11/18
  • EAN : 9782366597103
  • Format : Streaming
  • Protection : DRM

Résumé

Be it or be it not true that man is "shapen in iniquity" and conceived in sin, it is unquestionably true that Government is begotten of aggression and by aggression. In small, undeveloped societies where for ages complete peace has continued, there exists nothing like what we call Government: no coercive agency, but mere honorary headship, if any headship at all. In these exceptional communities, unaggressive and from special causes unaggressed upon, there is so little deviation from the virtues of truthfulness, honesty, justice, and generosity, that nothing beyond an occasional expression of public opinion by informally-assembled elders is needful. Conversely, we find proofs that, at first recognized but temporarily during leadership in war, the authority of a chief is permanently established by continuity of war; and grows strong where successful aggression ends in subjection of neighboring tribes. And thence onward, examples furnished by all races put beyond doubt the truth that the coercive power of the chief, developing into king, and king of kings (a frequent title in the ancient East), becomes great in proportion as conquest becomes habitual and the union of subdued societies extensive. Comparisons disclose a further truth which should be ever present to us—the truth that the aggressiveness of the ruling power inside a society increases with its aggressiveness outside the society...

Biographie d’Herbert Spencer

Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), philosophe, économiste et sociologue anglais fut l’un des premiers théoriciens du libéralisme. Il est aujourd’hui presque oublié bien qu’il connût de son vivant une renommée internationale. Après la révolution russe et la Première Guerre mondiale, sa doctrine qualifiée à tort de «darwinisme social», très critiquée par les partisans de l’état-providence, tombe peu à peu dans l’indifférence générale. À la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, ses théories sont redécouvertes par le prix Nobel d’économie, le néolibéral Friedrich Hayek. Aujourd’hui Spencer est principalement connu pour ses essais politiques. Il est fréquemment cité par les penseurs libéraux comme Robert Nozick ou Milton Friedmann, et beaucoup de dirigeants politiques et économiques font référence à ses écrits pour légitimer les politiques de déréglementation ou de «réforme de l’État». Récupérée un peu rapidement par les tenants d’un libéralisme débridé, la pensée d’Herbert Spencer a été souvent caricaturée et mérite une lecture plus attentive.

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