Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Long: State & Liberalism

"The classical liberal version of class analysis, pioneered by Adam Smith, Charles Comte, Charles Dunoyer, Augustin Thierry, Benjamin Tucker, and Lysander Spooner, holds a diametrically opposed position [i.e., opposed to the socialist version of class analysis]. A ruling class does NOT arise through free competition; it is created by state power. So long as a powerful state remains in place, abolishing the ruling class will do no good, since it will simply be replaced by another. Thus the socialists attempt to resolve the problem by focusing their attack on private economic power, while the classical liberals tend to focus their attack instead on centralized political power. For the socialists, we do not need to worry too much about the State, so long as we eliminate socioeconomic stratification; for the classical liberals, we do not need to worry too much about socioeconomic stratification, so long as we severely curtail the power of the State."

--Roderick T Long, Can We Escape the Ruling Class?

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