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Comment: good thing no one has

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good thing no one has

good thing no one has absolute power. i think you yourself argued recently that even tyrants and dictators aren't insulated from the pressures of other constituents of society. they are not immortal.

the well spring of liberty is therefore a world of divided and competing power rather than centralized power. the ironic part is that it is largely the growth of individualism - the individual's complete independent from other social institutions - that has empowered the total state. every step of the way the state sold itself to the individual as his emancipator from feudal lord, church, guild, extended family, finally even parents and local community.

at the end point of such an evolution you're left merely with the isolated and defenseless individual and the total state, pretending to guarantee his liberty.

the places where the state has been historically weakest has been when large extended kinship, tribal, or financial networks had local autonomy, lived above and outside public law, and engaged in free use of private violence.

e.g., islamic society an d its extended kinship networks. or powerful autonomous households (feudal domains), powerful merchants with armies of retainers and mercenaries (families in renaissance cites of italy).

the state has never been weak in a society of isolated individuals who's rights and claims could only be defended by a ubiquitous central state.

your theory of liberty is wrong.

read james burnhams "Machievellians: Defenders of Freedom" for a realistic understanding of the basis of political liberty - conflict between opposing rivals for power.