This slashing critique charges that the federal government and interest groups have badly mismanaged the political process for private ends. Transcending conventional ideologies, Bandow sees the root of the problem as our failure to honor the Founding Fathers' intention to establish a limited government with severely circumscribed powers in all areas. People abuse power; it is human nature. Only limited state authority will keep the political process from disintegrating into petty fighting among factions, each competing for its own limited self-interest. The demise of the original restraints has created an overgrown federal government that is ever more wasteful, inefficient, and unjust.
Doug Bandow spares no sacred cows. He considers state interference in the free market responsible for an ethic of legalized theft, which allows interest groups to use the state to enrich themselves through subsidies, competitive restrictions, and other protectionist measures. He sees a judiciary that has aided the other branches of government in manipulating human conduct and restricting personal freedom for both liberal and conservative reasons. And in foreign policy he sees the development of an interventionist consensus, whereby Washington attempts to remake foreign nations in its image through military intervention and foreign aid, with disastrous results.
The Politics of Plunder is written by an insider who combines theoretical and analytical skill with practical political experience. Bandow served in the most conservative administration of recent years yet freely criticizes the nostrums of the Right. He is an evangelical Christian yet dislikes the tactics of the Religious Right. His unique background—campaign worker, lawyer, presidential aide, magazine editor, policy analyst, and journalist—enables him to go far beyond the usual Washington commentary. Bandow's objective is to develop a new political perspective that transcends both conservative and liberal boundaries and emphasizes individual liberty, skepticism of state power, and tolerance of others. Those interested in the world of ideas will find this an accessible, practical guide to libertarian thought. Those interested in the world of public policy will find here a detailed discussion of scores of recent controversies.