Let me state this as plainly as possible. The enemy is the state. There are other enemies too, but none so fearsome, destructive, dangerous, or culturally and economically debilitating. No matter what other proximate enemy you can name – big business, unions, victim lobbies, foreign lobbies, medical cartels, religious groups, classes, city dwellers, farmers, left-wing professors, right-wing blue-collar workers, or even bankers and arms merchants – none are as horrible as the hydra known as the leviathan state. If you understand this point – and only this point – you can understand the core of libertarian principle and strategy.
There have been tremendous advances in state theory in the twentieth century. Start with Franz Oppenheimer’s The State (1908). Read A.J. Nock’s Our Enemy, the State (1935). Learn from Chodorov’s Rise and Fall of Society (1959). Turn to Rothbard’s unsurpassed masterwork For a New Liberty (1973). To understand the historical sweep, see Martin Van Creveld’s Rise and Decline of the State (1999). Then you will understand why we do what we do. Until then, our critics are only unknowing dupes of the very forces they should be fighting. FULL ARTICLE