Unchecked and Unbalanced Watch
By Arnold Kling
Slavery existed for thousands of years, in all sorts of societies and all parts of the world. To imagine human social life without it required an extraordinary effort. Yet, from time to time, eccentrics emerged to oppose it, most of them arguing that slavery is a moral monstrosity and therefore people should get rid of it. Such advocates generally elicited reactions ranging from gentle amusement to harsh scorn and even violent assault.
He goes on to list ten rationalizations for slavery that he has found from defenders of the institution. The punch line: in Higgs’ view, the rationalizations for slavery are parallel to the rationalizations for
government as we know it–monopolistic, individually nonconsensual rule by an armed group that demands obedience and payment of taxes
In Unchecked and Unbalanced, I also argue against monopoly government. However, I stop short of advocating wholesale abolition. Instead, I describe ways in which individuals could be given more choice of the jurisdictions under which they live. As Higgs recognizes, any approach that envisions something other than our large monopoly government looks pretty radical, given how steeped we are in rationalizations for government as we know it.