OPINION: Alice Salles - Fear Makes It Easy for Governments to Expand Power

Why are governments so enthusiastic about shutting down businesses when other less draconian measures are available and prudent? Partly because the legal and political costs of doing so are so low.

Few have offered any sort of organized resistance, through either legal or political methods. Fear is a powerful tool for politicians, and they are not willing to let a crisis go to waste.

As noted by James Bovard, John Adams wrote in 1776 that “fear is the foundation of most governments.” To Adams, America could never submit to this reality, as fear “is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.

In 2020, it’s clear that Adams overestimated his fellow countrymen.

Read more at Mises Wire.


A native of Brazil, Salles is a writer in Compton, California.