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Political Philosophy, Clearly: Essays on Freedom and Fairness, Property and Equalities (Collected Papers of Anthony de Jasay) Paperback – February 26, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Collected Papers of Anthony de Jasay
  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Liberty Fund Inc.; New Edition edition (February 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865977836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865977839
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,522,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Jasay contends that the social contract (and limited government) results in far more government than desired. That is because the persons in charge of government have the means available for statist expansion, and the incentives to exceed any limiting government mandate, along with powerful means for doing so. Document guarantees meant to constrain the growth of government and protect individual liberties are destined to fail. For example, once it was widely believed that repeated government deficits were mortally dangerous and should be countenanced only in desperate circumstances. Once that belief eroded, no paper rules could restrain the deluge of federal spending and debt.

Jasay asserts that liberties and rights are dissimilar shows that many artificial claims of "rights" conflict with natural liberties. Calling things that people desire--food, medical care, housing, education, etc.--rights is at the heart of the destruction of limited government in America. Politicians will build voting coalitions for improved reelection prospects by conferring new rights that entail taking property and liberty coercively from some people to make other (favored) people better off.

The U.S.'s lamentable experience with the laudable intention of our founders that federal governmental power could be contained by the bulwark of our Consitution strongly supports Jasay's position. Other international examples of these phenomena might include the European Union or the United Nations. This is a meaty book for serious readers.
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