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Resurgence of the Warfare State: The Crisis Since 9/11 Paperback – October 28, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Robert Higgs is a prophet who deserves honor and more importantly, urgent attention."  —Daniel Ellsberg, author, The Pentagon Papers
  


"Strikes a telling blow for liberty and merits a thunderous welcome by Americans."  —Michael Scheuer, author, Imperial Hubris



"Higgs is at his best combining his knowledge of history and economics with a passion for liberty."  —Ron Paul, U.S. Congressman 
 

About the Author

Robert Higgs is senior fellow at the Independent Institute. He is the author of Competition and Coercion, Crisis and Leviathan, and The Transformation of the American Economy 1865–1914. He lives outside New Orleans.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Independent Institute; First Printing edition (October 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0945999569
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945999560
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,951,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Karen U. Kwiatkowski on December 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Sweet Land of Militarism

by Karen Kwiatkowski

Resurgence of the Warfare State delivers a ferocious punch to those who prefer their states massive and their wars, as Mr. Bush might say, catastrophically successful.

The rest of us, preferring our state small, our leviathan caged, and our wars as a last resort rather than feel-good fixes, will savor Dr. Robert Higgs' latest contribution to modern history and politics. Resurgence is a carefully selected set of powerful essays, organized into eight parts, each focusing on a unique aspect of the modern, post 9-11 American warfare state.

The book begins with an important post-9/11 interview conducted by Michael Lynch of Reason. Dr. Higgs, an economic historian who is Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and editor of their superb journal, The Independent Review, briefly explains the themes of his earlier books, Crisis and Leviathan (1987) and Against Leviathan (2004). What we know, thanks to Higgs' lucid presentation and analysis, is that national crises in American lead to bigger, more invasive, and more hubristic government, the kind that doesn't go away after the crisis fades.

In Resurgence, it becomes clear that some national crises are more equal than others in delivering the government goods of more centralization, more spending, more interference in and control over the private life of American citizens. 9/11 was invaluable and has shown itself to be an unsurpassed opportunity for government growth. Just as after the Japanese attack on the sleepy naval base at Pearl Harbor, America is again a super-animated warfare state.

Shortly after 9-11, Dr. Higgs predicted "an overwhelming public demand for government to act.
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Format: Paperback
Reading the collection of short essays in Higg's slender volume is a reminder that not all the opposition to America's growing war machine comes from the left. There remains a solid core of opposition from the right, anchored in Libertarian principles and voiced in Congress by representative Ron Paul of Texas. Though the material here is neither extensive nor deep, and is too often repetitive, it does serve as a useful reminder of the pre-Cold War Republican party. That was the party of Robert Taft, Main Street America, and small business. They opposed big government, big taxes, international meddling, large standing armies and unionized workers. Their historic defeat came in 1952 with the triumph of the Eisenhower wing and its Wall Street backers. Now, it appears, what's left of that point of view has migrated from the Republicans to the Libertarians, at least as an ideological force.

The articles here are uniformly brief, pungent, and incisive, occasionally rising to an eloquence, as in Chapter 20, on America's War Party. There's also an informative chapter on the hidden true size of the Defense budget, showing how deeply our economy is mired in imperial expenditures. The biggest drawback lies with the format which works against the kind of analytic depth some readers may prefer. The book really works best as a collection of op-ed pieces. So, if you're looking for an anti-empire perspective in short, sweet doses that doesn't mirror the Chomskyite left, then this may be your ticket.
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Format: Paperback
"Resurgence of the Warfare State" is a compilation of 47 of Higgs's essays written in reaction to the outpouring of newspeak, disinformation, and propaganda in support of information warfare (IW) since 9/11. With wit and a sense of tragic despair born out of a nostalgic love for an America long gone, Higgs takes us through the last four years of the British fifth column inside Washington, District of Criminals - the Bush Crime Family and its anti-capitalist but very corporatist administration.

Higgs's chronicles of American-powered British empire range from political commentary to unorthodox kinds of prose such as poetry. He says in his Introduction that "At every step, of course, the perpetrators have boldy proclaimed that black is white; that the road to peace must be paved with gravestones; that the 'reconstruction' of a city or even an entire country begins by obliterating it with bombs, rockets, shells, and bullets; that 'liberation' takes the form of heavily armed soldiers bursting into homes and mosques and dragging people off to torture them in hideous prisons, then blaming everything on "terrorists" who include, it turns out, little children now with their eyes blinded, their skin burned, or their limbs blown off by U.S. bombs and bullets."

The first essay is titled "Glory Days for Government: an economic historian talks about national security crises and the growth of government", which was originally an interview with the author by Reason magazine writer Michael Lynch in which Higgs warned that "historically a large proportion of all government expansion has taken place as an emergency or crisis action".
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