Opposing Interests

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The State is no proper agency for social welfare, and never will be, for exactly the same reason that an ivory paperknife is nothing to shave with.  The interests of society and of the State do not coincide; and any pretense that they can be made to coincide is sheer nonsense.  Society gets on best when people are most happy and contented, which they are when freest to do as they please and what they please; hence society’s interest is in having as little government as possible.  The State, on the other hand, is administered by jobholders; hence its interest is in having as much government as possible.  It is hard to imagine two sets of interests more directly opposed than these. -AJN, Snoring As A Fine Art and Twelve Other Essays, p. 191

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