"Many now believe that with the rise of the totalitarian State the world has entered upon a new era of barbarism. It has not. The totalitarian State is only the State; the kind of thing it does is only what the State has always done with unfailing regularity, if it had the power to do it, wherever and whenever its own aggrandizement made that kind of thing expedient. Give any State like power hereafter, and put it in like circumstances, and it will do precisely the same kind of thing. The State will unfailingly aggrandize itself, if only it has the power, first at the expense of its own citizens, and then at the expense of anyone else in sight. It has always done so, and always will."
Albert Jay Nock
(1870-1945) American libertarian author, editor, educational theorist, Georgist, social critic
The Criminality of the State, America Mercury Magazine, March, 1939
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Reader comments about this quote:
I guess he never read that George Washington stepped down willingly, while others wished to keep him in office.
 -- David L. Rosenthal , Hollywood     
    Describes super-power politics exactly.
     -- Chicago     
  • 1
     -- Anonymous      
     -- Anonymous, oklahoma city      
    What the hey-all does George Washington's personal choice have to do with the impulses of 'the State'? Is someone over-medicated here? - LOL
     -- Terry Berg, Occidental, CA     
  • 2
    Five stars for the accuracy, thumbs down for the effect on individuals. Each rising totalitarian state, such as the foreign despots with inherent right infesting the U.S. demonstrate a new era of despotism, tyranny and suffering of individuals.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    The manner in which the state inevitably pursues ultimate power and control could easily be described as psychopathic. This why it has become foolish vote left or vote right...or even vote at all. The politicians themselves are no longer servants of the people and the system itself is corrupt almost beyond redemption. The Second Amendment is in place for a reason.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 2
    Simply look at what is going on in Washington today to prove this quote correct. The dodos in the White House couldn't even keep up with Air Force One but are in the process of taking over the American auto industry. Obama and his fellow travelers aren't into creating jobs, they are into power and control. It's simply business as usual when it comes to the state.
     -- jim k, austin     
  • 2
    Wow. Albert Jay Nock nailed it. Precisely why republican governments strictly limit the power of their officers, because the tendency to abuse power is too great to leave up to 'trust.'
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 3
     -- Roland, Bonner's Ferry      
    I live in hope!
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
    Robert in Europe, your comment flies in the face of every post you have made praising socialism. Perhaps you "live in hope" that one day fascism in America will be perfected so that all your do-gooder policies can finally be forced upon an ignorant people. Robert calls for totalitarian rule over the people constantly for 'compassionate' reasons. It is just more of the same -- quest for power to shape the world in the way YOU believe it should go.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- jim k, Austin      
    2020 will go down in history as the year global authoritarianism made its greatest push into Western Civilization.  Socialism will never be enough, the politicos pulling the strings will never be satisfied, like an addict that eventually overdoses chasing the dragon.  The American republican form of government is the only 'hope' against global totalitarianism.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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