State Power and its proper Limits

From The Righteous State
by Severin Christensen

7.—Theories about State Power and its proper Limits

Since the moral of justice exclusively tries to establish what proper property is, a state power which will act accordingly to this basic principle must have as its sole duty to secure and uphold a fair distribution of property. First and foremost it must guard the personal field, in which the individual has a right to rule supreme, guard the right of self-government, the freedom of speech and the freedom to act and mark the limits, inside which this can be exercised without creating a conflict with the equal amount of freedom held by the other citizens. Fundamentally, it has to guard the rights of the citizens and the duties among men, and in regard to the necessary common affairs act against any unfair treatment.

This is the duty of the state of justice, and nothing else. In itself it has no special concerns. The state of justice is neither an educational, nor a culturally promoting, nor a philanthropic institution. It cannot at all be regarded as a power, which rules the citizens; it has no interest in forcing those, who only wish to act in the interest of all, in the service of such interests, which can be proved to be universal. The citizens, who have grasped the idea of the state of justice, do not at all want to be ruled. De have no desire for power, provided with an authority to govern itself or to give positive orders or designations about their personal life; de want neither to be helped or to be prevented from their rightful projects or in their artistic or religious developments. To decide over the personal development of others on the pretext of doing so for their own good, is the worst, because it is the most perfidious kind of suppression. They only need an authority to keep an eye on their unsettled accounts and to tell, what ought not to take place. Therefore, the state of justice can also be characterized as a minimal state.[1] This must rather not be understood, as if the idea of the state of justice should be a step back to the old libertarianism, whose ideal of a state was expressed in the maxim laisser faire, laisser passer (just let everything run its cause); the state of justice does expressly not just let things slide. On the contrary, when it takes action, it tries radically to intervene against all social unfair treatment at the root of the evil, the wrongful distribution of the sources of wealth. But it is certainly build on the conviction that if the state just energetically maintains and carries through the ethical principle of right to property and secure for each citizen an inviolable field of work, then the private initiative will provide a far greater economical wealth and better and happier individuals than a regulation from above would lead to.

There is a long array of principal evaluations of political systems from Ancient times until today. To dwell by them all or just to mention them all would be an insurmountable task here; we will have to make do with, as a background for the coming investigations, to mention a few of the more eminent (from the newer époques), which more specifically takes an interest in the main problem: the proper interest of the power of state.

In his well-known book The State and its limits Laboulaye has given an interesting layout of the considerations about the role of the state among various races. To the Romans the state was everything, the citizen nothing, to the German the opposite was the case. And it is strange to see how many of these attitudes are kept still to this day by the descendants of these peoples. Overall, where the Roman spirit forces its way in, the first meaning rules; where the German spirit rules, the opposite. The Reformation was in its uprising against the power of the Church so obviously a reawakening of German spirit, that it only conquered people of German or Gothic race. In England the Roman ideas and laws were never adopted; the freedom could be obscured, but never destroyed; as a consequence the idea never caught on that the state should be all powerful. In England Locke’s viewpoint is still held in regard, that “the state is founded with a distinctive objective in mind, which is the preserving of property, i.e. what is the special property of each: life, freedom, and the goods. These things are not bestowed on us by this or that authority; they belong to us in our capacity as human beings”.

These ideas have moved Voltaire and Montesquieu. Voltaire worked hard for criminal reform; but these meant an important intervention in the absolute power of the duke, an attempt to keep the civilian authority within certain limits, it dared not overstep; an effort of the same kind as the hard won religious freedom of conscience. Philosophically, the Physiocrats have fought for the same ideas. They want the freedom of the agriculture and trade.

Of a completely different spirit is Rousseau, the father of all modern superstitious belief in the unlimited right of the democratic society; there a entirely civic confession is given, whose articles it is up to the sovereign to decide, not as a dogma or religion, but as social passions, without which it is impossible to be a good citizen and trustworthy subject. Without being able to force anyone to believe in them, the sovereign can expel from the state anyone, who does not believe in them; he can expel him not as an impious, but as an anti-social, unfit to candidly love the legislation and the fairness and to sacrifice his life for his duty, if need be. If anyone, “after publicly having acknowledged the same dogma, behaves as if he did not believe in them, he should be punished with a capital punishment; he has committed the greatest of all crime: he has lied in front of the laws”. These words should never be forgotten, since Rousseau was not just the teacher of Robespierre and Saint Just, but also the big direct idol of all true democrats in the 19th century and a good deal into the 20th, and his thoughts still live on and has actually only been met with weak and sparse protest. So far we have hardly broken away from that definition of freedom, which identifies it with the will of the public majority. In L’assemblée constituante unfortunately, Rousseau’s spirit became the prevailing, a spirit, which intoxicated the public rule from the moment it came to power, and destroyed the respect for the rights of the individual.

With good reason Laboulaye exclaims: “If there is anything missing to the modern peoples now, since they have conquered the civic equality, then it is not the power, but the freedom. From what does one suffer on the continent, over what are complaints voiced, if not those obstructions, which bother industry, trade, thought, conscience? What is complained about is not the form of government, it is the despotism, whether it comes from one man or from a majority, it is the centralism, it is the preventive legislation; in two words, it is all that, which bother the free and complete development of the individual.”

So even though there were from the beginning of the great revolution in France enlightened people, who felt the necessity of reducing the despotism of the state, unluckily at the same time side by side with the liberal school a party was reared, which mixed the power ‘of the people’ with freedom, and which was ready to sacrifice all rights to the sovereignty of the people. And it was this, which took over power, and which has known how to keep it. The warning voices, which sounded, have until now been voices in the desert.

It is rather significant, that W. v. Humboldt’s small book about Ideas for an attempt to determine the limits of state effectiveness, which was written in 1792, only could be printed some 60 years later, 16 years after the death of the author, and that it at the time raised a stir as a novelty. Even today it would appear as a refreshing novelty to all those, who live in the downtrodden mainstream thinking; because we have not gone further since then, when it comes to respecting the right of the individual to self-governance.

About this strange book it shall only be mentioned shortly that its main attempt is to fight against the useful as the right purpose for the state; since the useful does not allow for a certain evaluation, it demands calculations of probability, which easily can go wrong. Against this the author puts necessity. The state shall not further the positive welfare of the citizens, it must not take one step more than what is necessary to secure against inner and outer enemies. Only the necessities to society leave no room for subjective interpretations. This expression, the necessities to society is a truly lucky choice, and yet it calls for a closer definition. When v. Humboldt for instance regards it as a necessary duty to society to secure the property of the citizens, an ethical explanation to what property is, is missing, since it is a question, if it is a necessity for the state to protect the distribution of property, we have now, or if it is not rather necessary to find another basis. In other words, to exclude any subjective doubt about what is necessary, one has to add the concept of the fair.

Stuart Mill, who turns out to be inspired by the thoughts of Humboldt, has in his book On Liberty devoted a whole chapter to the question: “Of the Limits to the Authority of Society over the Individual”. He answers it thus: “The part of life, which mainly is of interest to the individual, concerns the personality; the part, which mainly is of interest to society, concerns society.” It is unfortunate that he does not principally decide, what may by and large be considered personal matters, and what not. One cannot leave the assessment of this to him or those, who at the moment possess the power; what is the crux of the matter is to define a recognizable indicator of what the individual rightfully own, but this is not to be found anywhere in this writings.

On the other hand this distinguishing mark is found: “As soon as any part of a person’s conduct affects prejudicially the interests of others, society has jurisdiction over it, and the question whether the general welfare will or will not be promoted by interfering with it, becomes a discussion.” This formula cannot under all circumstances be endorsed without a more distinct explanation, since many incidents where I have not only a legal, but also a moral right to act, exist, even though I may thereby hurt the interests of others, for instance through loyal competition. And the considerations here are in no way the general welfare, since it is not possible to assess with any certainty, whether the general welfare was better off, if he or I lost out on the competition. The only useful guideline is, whether I comes to close to him or not, if I interfere with his rightful property or not. Only from a clear, ethical concept op ownership can this be deducted; as it is it cannot without any deliberation be denied me to lure my neighbour’s customers to me with better or cheaper goods, since the customers are not his property; but I must not do so by smearing his reputation, since the good name and reputation of any man is his rightful property. Actually, Stuart Mill has been on the way to connect it rightly, since he later distinguishes between the impositions of loss or damage, which are warranted by the regard for our own rights, and those, where this is not the case; but what is missing is exactly the consideration of, where these rights begin, and where they end. And only out from that it becomes possible to assess, where the limits are with regard to this area, which the state has to respect as absolutely private.

Stuart Mill claims, that anyone who receives the protection from society owes a compensation for this advantage, and that society therefore has a right to demand, that one must not violate one another’s rights, but that one has to bear ones share of the work and the sacrifices, which are necessary to defend the society. This argument cannot be upheld, on these grounds alone that we in no way receive the protection of society, unless the expression is used to imply the reception of beatings and such. And it is of importance to address this, since the sentence could be misused as a pretext for unending demands imposed by the state on each individual.

It is absolutely correct, when Mill claims that the state should not teach the individual “the duties against oneself”. Why not? Because one is mostly interested in one’s own well-being, he says. Dare one be sure of that? Isn’t the society very interested in people not destroying themselves through drinking, for instance? And politicians are seen, who insistently appeal to the general interest, when they advocate for the introduction of acts of force in these matters. When Mill after all turns out to be against this, he obviously must turn to other lines of reasoning. But is nothing more to address than in the end it is my own case, if I want to drink myself to death. The liquor is my own, under the condition that I have bought it for my own rightfully earned money; my body likewise; with both of them I am allowed to act as I want to: that is, as far as owning something to my fellow citizens in general (which is what we discuss here), and not having any special obligations towards family or others.

The most conclusive argument against the interference of the public in purely personal matters is according to Mill, that it will most likely be done in a wrong way and at the wrong spot. In truly moral matters (i.e. matters, which concern others) the offended or the public opinion can judge with certainty, because they only need to see matters from their own point of view, but in personal matters they need to see them from another person’s viewpoint. That this poses almost insurmountable obstacles cannot be doubted, but this is not the main point. The main point is the circumstance, which Mill does not overlook, that a person’s dispositions are just as much his own matter as his viewpoints and or his money. This is what in all discussions about the power of state must always be prominently presented: what is yours and what is mine? The question about the potential clumsiness of the state power must take a lower priority.

Herbert Spencer has in his various writings addressed the same question. He ends with the formula, that the power of state might well act negatively, but not necessarily positively; that means that it cannot force anyone to do this or that line of work; the individual citizens must have their full freedom, if only they do not prevent others from enjoying the same freedom.

The negative force, which the state can exert, is to prevent the citizens of state from diminishing each other’s freedom.

This means that he distances himself from any direct intervention from the state power in professional life. Against this stance it has been inferred that it can only be true, if it could be proven that such a direct interest in professional life would be rather a nuisance than further it. But this is an utterly wrong way to look at it; the ethical solution depends certainly not of it. The question is: is the state power entitled to such an intervention or not? But on this level have neither Spencer, nor his opponents held on to the question, and therefore the discussion has become endless like all discussions, which centres around the ‘useful’.

As for the demarcation-line between positive and negative force it would somehow be useful, if only it was worked out with clearness and consequence. By negative force he understands a jurisprudence, which places itself as an obstacle to injustice. When someone has uttered about this that it can only be done by using positive force on those individuals, who will not give in, one are playing games with the word positive. A jurisprudence, whose only relationship with professional life is to regulate, to avoid injustices cannot be looked upon as positively interfering. To avoid an injustice is no positive step, it is to add a minus to plus, which adds up to zero. To help to move an improper advantage to the right side is not to create a positive advantage to the one, it benefits. If the state itself builds ships it is positive interference, unfair competition against private enterprise, an injustice towards them; if on the other hand it imposes certain restriction on ship-building to avoid dangerous, unsolid work, it may certainly be interference, but not positive interference since it is not to benefit one party over the other; a regulation of adverse interests is certainly designed in such a way that the regulating power does not possess an interest itself. As such the matter is clear enough.

The difficulty does not appear until it is to be defined what injustice means. Spencer once in his youthful periodic Social Statics made the preliminary steps to write a discussion of it. There he says: “Everyone has his freedom to do everything he can, as long as he does not make any interventions in the same freedom of someone else.” And he absolutely acknowledge that economic freedom is the basis of all other kinds of freedom, yes even that it only exists in the form of full and undiminished right of property. Full freedom can in his opinion only exist, when for instance the equal right for all to use the land is acknowledged.

If Spencer clearly and unambiguously had linked this conviction about the definition of injustice, which is unlawful loss of liberty or violation of the ethical right of possession, to his definition of the proper limits of state power, he would have solved the problem. Then no doubt would be left as to what is understood by negative force. The negative force, which it is the duty of the power of state to impose, would then have to be understood as the protection against injustices towards the right of property. Just as clear a concept would fall on the positive force: power of state should not move into areas, which must be considered the property of private citizens.

In his later writings Spencer all in all moves further and further away from his thinking in Social Statics. From the purely ethical point of view the right of property in this writing slides more and more towards opportunistic considerations about how to replace the current unfair conditions of ownership. The claims the originally as clear as anyone proposed about the abolishment of privilege, he now himself drowns in misgivings and scepticism, yes, he ends in a relative recognition of the privileges. In so doing he necessarily loses sight of the sharp dividing line between the ethical right of the state and the individual.

Eötvös demonstrates (in his book De l’influence des Idées regnantes au dix-neuvième siècle sur l’etat), how the problem nowadays not consists of totally to break the central power; de large nations are a necessity, we shall not again return to the small urban centres of the medieval times. The problem is to diminish it. The purpose of the state is the defence of the moral and material interests of all the citizens; so the upholding of the state is the first guarantee for freedom; to defend national independence and to protect the right of everyone the state needs a considerable force. Then where is the limit of the state? There where its rightful activity ends; the problem is the one and only. The state is neither the society, nor the individual; so a social and individual life, which has nothing to do with the state, exists. But all over, where the state must function, it necessarily has to have the last word; its power should be centralised. Rousseau is right, as far as the independence and the public peace goes; here it is truthful to say that the state is the sum of its citizens, but as soon as it comes to individual matters, it is evident that even in a country with a general right to vote, where the will of the state is in accordance with the wish of the majority, these interests would easily be forsaken.

Where can guarantees against the tyranny from the power of state be found? In the constitutional government? No, also majorities can prove themselves to be unfair and brutal. Eötvös does not attack the constitutions; he just does not demand from them what they cannot give. Free press and free courts are not enough guarantees to protect the individual. When political and religious passions roam across a country, what prevents the chambers then to vote for the persecutions? In the 17th century the British laws, which targets the Catholics just as hard and unfair as the French laws, which crush the Protestants. There is only one remedy: to diminish the state, that is to define the sphere, in which it can exert its absolute authority, and where it cannot reach.

Yet, it should just be mentioned that Taine in his work about the revolution[2], says: “There is no longer any reason to surrender all power and office to the state. The individual no longer has any reason to sell himself completely; he can without disadvantage reserve a part of himself. And if today you would like him to sign a ‘social contract’, you can be sure the he will reserve himself a part.” He protests against giving some members of parliament, ‘seven hundred foreign people’, authorization, that is unlimited power not just over his property and his body, but also over his inner life, an authority, which is much more far-reaching than the one, which is distributed among ten persons, who are trusted. The authority of the state should be limited to watch over our security outside and inside, and we promise to supply it with the means to do that. But we only owe to do this, if the state keeps this agreement; if it takes further steps, if it will take on a physical or moral task, which I have not asked of it, if it wants to be philanthropic or pedagogic, I must protest. The state is a regulating and controlling power, which essentially must give to each, what are his dues. “Let us therefore beware ourselves of adding to the power of the state and let us not tolerate that it develops into something more than an alert watch dog.”

That is how far they reached during the 19th century, and that was actually just a few and sparse voiced, ‘untimely’ spirits, who were preaching these doctrines. Reality went its course across of these ideas, towards more and more interference from the power of state in the individual area; the individual became still more entangled in a still more complex bureaucracy. To a still more expanding degree of welfare and guardianship of all personal areas the state did not hesitate to apply the means for it, as best it could, even though it by doing so made an intervention in the personal belongings of the citizens. At the same time it did nothing to stop that the goods of nature were seized by monopolies, so that the dependence of the workers grew larger and larger.

It was not surprise that the working-class grew deeply disappointed by this development, and that it looked around for other solutions. It had witnessed how the revolution had given power and authority to the majority to suppress the minorities, which by a strange misunderstanding was called by the name of ‘freedom’, but any kind of economic freedom it had not experienced. Led astray by leaders who could not fully grasp the intricacies of the economic conditions, and who out of enthusiasm for loosely substantiated material theories of power had put aside the trust in the influence of ethically founded ideas, the working-class listened to the bad advice of placing even more power, yes, all the power in the hand of the majority. In the future the power of state should not only be a regulating, but also an actively producing and distributing power. By this these characteristics in human nature were neglected, which leads to that production then inevitably would decrease to a minimum, so that equality in fortunes probably would be reached, but that this would mean equality in poverty, not in abundance. Furthermore, it was neglected that with such an enormous concentration of power and property in the hands of a few all talk about guarantee of personal freedom would be an insult.

Since where on earth could such guarantees be amassed by a system, which had sold itself to power-struggle and class-struggle? The Social Democrats may not be able to answer for it. It is as if they feel that they are facing a choice: either to sacrifice all individual freedom or be banned to hopeless caste-like misery. And they have apparently prepared themselves to give up freedom. But are they aware what freedom means? Where in the world has anyone ever lived under free conditions? If personal freedom shall be more than a cliché, it has to be connected to economic freedom, but until this day it has been forgotten, that these principles which alone allow for moral guarantees for the individual self-governance and spiritual freedom, that is the principles of justice, are exactly the same and the sole ones which secures him economic life conditions and the basis for his own industry. Are these principles going to be spurned, even before they have been tried? Only in a state of justice, where the respect for judicial principles made monopolies impossible, and where the economic life only knew such obstacles, which were necessary, like the considerations of just distribution of property, would it be possible to harvest pure experiences about the results of freedom, among them whether it is that, which makes the ‘capital’ such a feared power.

But the tragedy is that Social Democrats not until now have shown any interest in furthering justice. They have no trust in it. Especially, their deliberations takes an interest in deciding by which measures as much power as possible can be transferred to the power of state; their theoreticians never take part in an ethical discussion of the legitimacy of a power of state, which can intervene in all sorts of individual areas; as little as they make attempts to show, how the power rightfully should be used, or by which principles the economic distribution in the socialist should be governed.

The study of the social-democratic movement therefore is strangely unenlightening, if one wants to take an ethical view on public life. It shows us a class in society, which under the mistakes of the current democratic power of state and lack of will to impose a just distribution of property takes to the desperate solution of bestowing even more, yes almost unlimited power and authority on the same power of state, as it instead of defining basic principles of justice takes refuge in discipline and order and prefers the prospect of equal economic conditions and safe welfare to the right of self-governance and fight on an equal basis. It shows us that these ideals appeals to a large group of people; we find a whole array of research about the possibility and luck of such a reform of society. But what has not been dealt with is the question about, how ethically defendable it would be.

The social-democratic speakers may assure us that they do not lack as much interest in freedom than all others, but on guarantees alone social reforms cannot be build; we have to have a clear explanation about which guarantees of freedom, which the social-democratic state offers. When the personal freedom is so vaguely secured under the current circumstances, as daily experience shows, it can only be naïve people, who believe, that this will be bettered under conditions, where the power of state resides over all power and glory. The more means of force at one’s disposition, the tenderer, but therefore not less effective pressures would be applicable towards a possible emerging opposition.

While the Social-Democrats do not recognize any theoretical limit to the size of the power of state at all, attempts to do so can be found in the movement, which in this country and in others have taken its name after Henry George. The central issue in this movement is the demand that the ground rent shall be completely seized to cover all public expenses. It must not be forgotten that this thought originates from the Scottish writer Patrick Dove, who proposed it a generation before Henry George, in his book The Theory of Human Progression, which was published in 1850. Already here it says: “”What system will secure to every individual of these successive generations his portion of the natural advantages of England?” Of this problem, we maintain that there is but one solution possible. By the division of its annual value or rent; that is, making the rent of the soil the common property of the nation. That is (as the taxation is the common property of the state), by taking the whole of the taxes out of the rents of the soil, and thereby abolishing all other kinds of taxation whatever.” The reason, which Patrick Dove gives for this reform rests mainly on ethical considerations, while the reasoning of Henry George mainly comes from political economy. The last mentioned writer furthermore distinguishes himself by great stylistic talents, and this has given him a lead in popularity at the expense of the somewhat dry, more academic predecessor.

Since the land tax reform, as it is also called, essentially is about abolishing all direct and indirect taxes, to replace them by the ground rent, it is clear that this reform would simplify the tasks of government at least of one point: the acquisition of means for the public duties. This side of the matter lacks in no way clarity. Here pure and consistent limits of what can rightfully be demanded from the individual, and what not, have been drawn, and in such a way that the reform will simplify the bureaucracy very much.

Yet, when it comes to the question of the proper use of these means, also the teaching by Henry George fails and becomes either numb or unsteady.

In Progress and Poverty he says, that society as he understands it, would come close to the Promised Land of Herbert Spencer: a land without government (that is government as leading and limiting power). But he adds: “It would at the same time, and in the same degree, become possible for it to realize the dream of socialism. All this simplification and abrogation of the present functions of government would make possible the assumption of certain other functions, which are now pressing for recognition. Government could take upon itself the transmission of messages by telegraph, as well as by mail; of building and operating railroads, as well as of opening and maintaining common roads. With present functions so simplified and reduced, functions such as these could be assumed without danger or strain, and would be under the supervision of public attention, which is now distracted. There would be a great and increasing surplus revenue from the taxation of land values, for material progress, which would go on with greatly accelerated rapidity, would tend constantly to increase rent. This revenue arising from the common property could be applied to the common benefit, as were the revenues of Sparta. We might not establish public tables—they would be unnecessary; but we could establish public baths, museums, libraries, gardens, lecture rooms, music and dancing balls, theatres, universities, technical schools, shooting galleries, play grounds, gymnasiums, etc. Heat, light, and motive power, as well as water, might be conducted through our streets at public expense; our roads be lined with fruit trees; discoverers and inventors rewarded, scientific investigations supported; and in a thousand ways the public revenues made to foster efforts for the public benefit. We should reach the ideal of the socialist, but not through government repression. Government would change its character, and would become the administration of a great co-operative society. It would become merely the agency by which the common property was administered for the common benefit.”

These fragments are sufficient to show how Henry George does not, when it comes to the use of the people’s joint property, stand on the ground of the moral of justice. The sentence, that the revenue arising from the common property could be applied to the common benefit comes from utilitarianism, and must from the usage, Henry George applies, be understood in that spirit. Taken as this it should be defendable to use the common property to all kinds of useful and desired purposes, to all the purposes, which could serve to ‘realize the dream of socialism’. Who should decide what is ‘useful’? The representatives of the power of state. But they have no ethical authority to spend means, which belong to all in common (which is not the same as ‘the state’), to purposes, which they do not hesitate to call useful. In other words, George does not make the necessary distinction between interests, which only concern some, maybe most, and interests, which are common for all. Only for these last ones it is just to use the common wealth.

To let the state simply collect all land rent would not be a great ethical deed, because who is the state? In the current democratic state this will just mean, that these means are made arbitrarily available to whatever majority, which has been granted power. It is easy to see that if the followers of Henry George understand the reform in this limited way, it will just mean a new adoption of the democratic system, of the arbitrariness of the power of the majority against the individual, a giving up on the halfway of the principle of justice as a leading maxim. To have justice in the economy of public happening, it is not enough to demonstrate, where from the money should be taken. The state simply has not any right to take, actually, not even to take land rent, if it does not at the same time argue it purpose by taking it, make an excuse, one could say, when it acts as a middleman. And the only rightful purpose there is, must be defined such: the worth of special privilege must be collected, because that is the only way it can come back to its proper owners, who are all of us. Only that must be kept, which is expendable on such necessary common tasks, whose upholding every one beforehand must be assumed to have an equal interest in.

From this follows that the reform, which aims at the confiscation of the land rent, ethically speaking only can be defended as a part of a complete policy, which spans all public questions and contains a principal limitation of the tasks of the state. As an isolated reform it stands without any moral justification, and it is understandable that its followers, who mainly have looked at it from an economic point of view, as a source to a growing material well-being and a more even distribution of the life-goods, could wish for it to be incorporated in the programmes of the existing political parties. Historically, ‘Georgism’ must in this narrow understanding be understood as the latest off-spring of the democratic systems, a last attempt to strengthen the power of the majority by bestowing on it an important task. If on the other the confiscation of the land rent is viewed in an ethical light, it is unavoidable to see it as a fragment of a line of thinking, which would, were it to be followed to its consequences, show a complete overturn of current political ideals; a general idea of the spirit and tasks of the power of state, which points toward the liberating of the individual to an individualism, clarified through the help of the principle of justice. If a moral justification is wanted, one must have the courage to go through with this thinking in its entire confrontation with the power of state.

[1] ”So wenig als möglich Staat”, as one of the titles of Nietzche’s aphorisms read. In English one can find a similar expression in “Please, govern me as little as possible!”

[2] H. Taine: La révolution, Tome III. Paris 1885.