Buy Now from Mises Store States are more vulnerable than people think. They can collapse in an instant—when consent is withdrawn. This is the thesis of this thrilling book. Murray Rothbard writes a classic introduction to one of the great political essays in the history of ideas.
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Buy Now from Mises Store States are more vulnerable than people think. They can collapse in an instant—when consent is withdrawn. This is the thesis of this thrilling book. Murray Rothbard writes a classic introduction to one of the great political essays in the history of ideas. In times when dictators the world over are falling from pressure from their own people, this book, written nearly years ago, is truly the prophetic tract of our times. But he ought to be remembered for this astonishingly important essay, one of the greatest in the history of political thought.
It will shake the way you think of the state. His thesis and argument amount to the best answer to Machiavelli ever penned as well as one of the seminal essays in defense of liberty. It strikes him as obviously implausible that such an institution has any staying power.
It can be overthrown in an instant if people withdraw their consent. He then investigates the mystery as to why people do not withdraw, given what is obvious to him that everyone would be better off without the state. This sends him on a speculative journey to investigate the power of propaganda, fear, and ideology in causing people to acquiesce in their own subjection. Is it cowardice?
Habit and tradition. Perhaps it is ideological illusion and intellectual confusion. He urges all people to rise up and cast off tyranny simply by refusing to concede that the state is in charge. The tyrant has "nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you?
The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.
The essay has profound relevance for understanding history and all our times. Facing the devastating and seemingly overwhelming power of the modern State, how can a free and very different world be brought about? How in the world can we get from here to there, from a world of tyranny to a world of freedom?
References Written —
Online Library of Liberty
A clear analysis of how tyrants get power and maintain it, its simple assumption is that real power always lies in the hands of the people and that they can free themselves from a despot by an act of will unaccompanied by any gesture of violence. The astounding fact about this tract is that in it will be four hundred years old. One would seek hard to find any writing of current times that strips the sham from dictators more vigorously. Better than many modern political thinkers, its author not only reveals the contemptible nature of dictatorships, but he goes on to show, as is aptly stated by the exiled Borgese  "that all servitude is voluntary and the slave is more despicable than the tyrant is hateful. He came from the provincial nobility, his father being an assistant to the governor of Perigord.
Étienne de La Boétie
There he pursued a distinguished career as judge and diplomatic negotiator until his untimely death in at the age of thirty-two. The most he would have allowed the Protestants was the right to worship in private, and he pointed out their own intolerance of Catholics. His policy for religious peace was one of conciliation and concord through reforms in the church that would eventually persuade the Protestants to reunite with Catholicism" . The essay asserts that tyrants have power because the people give it to them. Liberty has been abandoned once by society, which afterward stayed corrupted and prefers the slavery of the courtesan to the freedom of one who refuses to dominate as he refuses to obey. By advocating a solution of simply refusing to support the tyrant, he became one of the earliest advocates of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance. Murray N.