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The Man versus the State (1884)

by Herbert Spencer

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2012108,276 (3.5)None
This volume contains the four essays that Spencer published as The Man Versus the State in 1884 as well as five essays added by later publishers. In addition, it provides "The Proper Sphere of Government", an important early essay by Spencer. Spencer develops various specific disastrous ramifications of the wholesale substitution of the principle of compulsory co-operation -- the statist principle -- for the individualist principle of voluntary co-operation. His theme is that "there is in society... that beautiful self-adjusting principle which will keep all its elements in equilibrium... The attempt to regulate all the actions of a community by legislation will entail little else but misery and compulsion".… (more)
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Spencer was, perhaps, the strongest Victorian proponent of individualism and reduced government.... In his extreme individualist notion of an ideal world there would be no concept of "obligation." Each person is thereby accorded only the potential they carry and exhibit, with no favors handed out; Nature is left to the task of sorting out the "fittest." ...Yet, whereas Darwin was concerned with the morally neutral mechanical development of specific traits among animal species, Spencer considered survival in evolution a moral judgement of worth. - The Classics of Liberty ( )
  Rickmas | Dec 23, 2006 |
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This volume contains the four essays that Spencer published as The Man Versus the State in 1884 as well as five essays added by later publishers. In addition, it provides "The Proper Sphere of Government", an important early essay by Spencer. Spencer develops various specific disastrous ramifications of the wholesale substitution of the principle of compulsory co-operation -- the statist principle -- for the individualist principle of voluntary co-operation. His theme is that "there is in society... that beautiful self-adjusting principle which will keep all its elements in equilibrium... The attempt to regulate all the actions of a community by legislation will entail little else but misery and compulsion".

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Liberty Fund, Inc

2 editions of this book were published by Liberty Fund, Inc.

Editions: 0913966983, 0913966975

 

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