Before Resorting to Politics,
by Anthony de Jasay (1996)
Before Resorting to Politics is an original account of liberty and property which questions the morality and utility of political solutions and pleads for a de-politicized society.
Antony de Jasay shows how politics tacitly claims that it is better if one party of society is made to gain at the expense of the other, than if neither part gains or loses. After a withering critique of consequentialism in politics, the author provides an original and terse analysis of liberty, coercion, the role of chance and deserts in the distribution of resources, common pool and private property and the freedom of contract. This essay concludes with a refutation of communitarian and social democratic arguments calling for the state to use its coercive powers.
Before Resorting to Politics shows how resorting to politics is a desperate remedy that causes civic cooperation to atrophy. Jasay assigns a new role to logic and ethics in defining the scope for government action.
Read Reviews of this Paper:
The Mises Review
Tyler Cowen, George Mason University, Public Choice
Bruce Yandle, Clemson University, Constitutional Political Economy
John Rogers, Agenda
N. Stephan Kinsella, The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics