Quote of the Day for February 10, 2016


41: From Buchanan: Collected Works, The Limits of Liberty: Between Anarchy and Leviathan, Chapter 1:

    To the individualist, utopia is anarchist, but as a realist he recognizes the necessity of an enforcing agent, a collectivity, a state. As a minimal procedural norm, any such entity must treat equally all who qualify as members, as persons, even when interpersonal differences are acknowledged. "Equality before the law," "uniformity in the application of the law," "the rule of law," "rule by law and not by man," "rules, not authorities," "justice is blind"—these are but a few of the more familiar phrases that variously reflect this fundamental norm of an individualistic social order. But what is "the law"? Or, perhaps more appropriately, what are the limits of law? The necessity for an enforcing agent arises because of conflicts among individual interests, and the enforcing role for the state involves the protection of individual rights to do things, including the making and carrying out of valid contracts. In this role, the enforcing agent starts from or commences with the assignment of rights as these exist. The state has no role in setting out or in defining these rights if we stay within the dichotomy indicated.

    7.1.30 (paragraph number)

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