Thursday, March 06, 2014


Nock is considered to be an early libertarian by the Ludwig von Mises Institute and he can also be thought of as an anarchist, but not like Kropotkin.  I'm reading a collection of essays, etc. written by conservatives from 1900 to 1945 and includes Nock's Anarchist Progress (1928) in which I pretty much agree with this observation by Nock:
Once, I remember, I ran across the case of a
boy who had been sentenced to prison, a poor,
scared little brat, who had intended something
no worse than mischief, and it turned out to be
a crime. The judge said he disliked to sentence
the lad; it seemed the wrong thing to do; but
the law left him no option.
I was struck by
this. The judge, then, was doing something
as an official that he would not dream of doing
as a man; and he could do it without any sense
of responsibility, or discomfort, simply because
he was acting as an official and not as a man.
On this principle of action, it seemed to me
that one could commit almost any kind of crime
without getting into trouble with one's conscience.
Clearly, a great crime had been committed against
this boy; yet nobody who had had a hand in it—the judge,
the jury, the prosecutor,the complaining witness,
the policemenand jailers—felt any responsibility about
it, because they were not acting as men, but as officials.

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