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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11037/nocks-enemy-and-ours/

Nock’s Enemy, and Ours

November 16, 2009 by

When Albert Jay Nock wrote Our Enemy, the State in 1935, he was bucking the tide and he entertained no false hope that his words would have any immediate effect on the course of human events. FULL ARTICLE by Edmund A. Opitz


might is right November 16, 2009 at 8:47 am

It’s really depressing to see that there were books and articles dated 1972, 1935 that dealt about government encroachment and yet we are in 2009 and things have gone worse ever since.

There is no hope for mankind and there is no hope for libertarianism.

All those yellowed, petrified and outdated articles that appear on Mises.org serve to show that libertarianism was always an impossible dream.

It was impossible back then, it’s impossible today and will remain impossible tomorrow.

So I guess that Libertarians live in their own outdated and impossible fantasy world.

Wake up fools, we live in physical reality where might is right.

Libertopia will NEVER happen.

No matter how many tables set by ugly, bad dressed, disabled and big glassed collegians, libertarianism never existed and never will.


Beefcake the Mighty November 16, 2009 at 9:06 am

I propose that “might is right” be bound and gagged, shipped over to Cato, and given an ass-pounding by Tom Palmer.

Gil November 16, 2009 at 9:15 am

Why, what do think would actually get results Beefcake?

Monty Pelerin November 16, 2009 at 9:27 am

“Might is right” might better be entitled “Might can Dominate for Awhile.” Perhaps even for a long while. I disagree with his premise, but don’t disagree that his point won’t be correct, at least in our lifetimes. I posted recently on hyperinflation being the likely end scenario http://www.economicnoise.com/?p=6246

If this happens, it is entirely possible we lose our form of government and we and the rest of the world enter an Economic Dark Ages that could go on for generations.

Looked at from this perspective, one might reasonably concede the positivist point made by “Might is Right.” Normatively, and from a long-span view of history, I believe he is wrong. Yet, as our favorite economic bogeyman stated: “In the long run we are dead.”

T. Ralph Kays November 16, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Great proposal, I second the motion.
By the way, has anyone here ever heard Rothbards explanation of the proper way to deal with “the eternal skeptic”?

Remnant November 16, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Read the quote from AJN again: It’s not about winning, it’s about playing the game. Man-up!

Jeffrey Tucker November 16, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Opitz seems to cast Nock in Opitz’s own mold. The idea that Nock was in favor of what is called “limited government” is really a stretch. He was an anarchist by most any understanding of that term, both early in life and late in life.

Mike November 16, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Might doesn’t make right, but does make what goes. This is almost axiomatic. The strongest gets what he wants. Defying the dictates of the strongest requires grouping together (in other words, being stronger), winning the favor of the strong, or evading the strong.

Mouser98 November 16, 2009 at 2:38 pm

“He had no naive opinion of human nature and would have never subscribed to the view that men and women, free of all law and law enforcement, would settle down to live happily ever after in some latter-day Garden of Eden. Keeping government strictly limited and decentralized, he believed, is the way to preserve our liberties.”

heh. what is more naive, to believe that people won’t eventually recognize that they as individuals are sovereign or to believe that any state allowed would not ultimately gather unto itself all power and enslave its citizenry?

Might Is Right November 16, 2009 at 2:39 pm


“Might doesn’t make right”

What good does it serve you to be right in theory if I’m stronger than you in practice.

With might, I can loot you and terminate you and get away with it.

You can get further ahead with a handful of might than a bagful of rights.

George Tirebiter November 16, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Belief in the paternal ‘State’ is for many a natural extension of a belief in a paternal ‘God’.
‘Big Daddy in the Sky’ becomes ‘Big Daddy on Earth’.
The English kings certainly understood this when they made themselves the head of the church.
Not much of a chance of eliminating the ‘State’ until ‘Big Daddy in the Sky’ is eliminated.
Not much chance at all of ‘Big Daddy in the Sky’ being eliminated, since the religions (particularly the Catholics, with their schools) clearly understand that the trick is to get them when they’re young and you’ve got them for life.

Conza88 November 16, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Just to clarify for some in the comments here; I’d recommend they read this:


In turn, we can distinguish two subvarieties of descriptive rights: legal rights and de facto rights.

This gives us a three-way distinction:
• Normative rights: the claims that ought to be respected and protected.

• Legal rights: the claims that a given legal institution officially announces it will respect and protect.

• De facto rights: the claims that actually receive respect and protection in a given society.

Which are the rights that might makes?

A recent variation on the natural-rights-don’t-protect argument is Rich Hammer’s article “Might Makes Right: An Observation and a Tool,” (Formulations, Vol. III, No. 1 (Autumn 1995)). Rich argues that the rights we have are the ones we are able to secure by force….

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