Badlands

Quotation of the Day: the Man Versus the State

A proponent of minarchism can hardly find a better argument against assigning a random redistributive role to the state, as by Herbert Spencer, in The Man Versus the State.1 He writes,

the chief arguments that are urged against an established religion, may be used with equal force against an established charity. The dissenter submits, that no party has a right to compel him to contribute to the support of doctrines, which do not meet his approbation. The rate-payer may as reasonably argue, that no one is justified in forcing him to subscribe towards the maintenance of persons, whom he does not consider deserving of relief. The advocate of religious freedom, does not acknowledge the right of any council, or bishop, to choose for him what he shall believe, or what he shall reject. So the opponent of a poor law, does not acknowledge the right of any government, or commissioner, to choose for him who are worthy of his charity, and who are not. The dissenter from an established church, maintains that religion will always be more general, and more sincere, when the support of its ministry is not compulsory. The dissenter from a poor law, maintains that charity will always be more extensive, and more beneficial, when it is voluntary. The dissenter from an established church can demonstrate that the intended benefit of a state religion, will always be frustrated by the corruption which the system invariably produces. So the dissenter from a poor law, can show that the proposed advantages f state charity, will always be neutralized by the evils of pauperism, which necessarily follow in its train. The dissenter from an established church, objects that no man has a right to step in between him and his religion. So the dissenter from an established charity, objects that no man has a right to step in between him and the exercise of his religion.

  1. For a while, I was considering quoting the passages that I find interesting during the daily life in here. A few weeks ago, when I started reading Cafe Hayek, I realized the title they were using when quoting; what is the point in trying to improve on something that is already so perfectly crafted? So, without further loquacity, here comes the Quotation of the Day.
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