Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ineffectualness Causes Dictatorships

Here's an interesting thought, for those who fear creeping tyranny from the Patriot Act and suchlike:

The history of the 20th Century paints a very clear picture of how liberal orders collapse into authoritarian ones. Contrary to popular belief, liberal orders do not gradually evolve into authoritarian ones by the accumulation of state power. Instead, liberal orders fail suddenly when they cease to provide basic physical and economic security. The functional power of the state decays until conditions reach a degree of disorder that triggers a sudden collapse into an authoritarian order. Ineffectiveness kills the liberal state, not excessive powers.

In other words, not stamping out terrorism will do more to rend the social contract, than stamping out terrorism will. The selection in its entirety, you should read.

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