September 1, 2003

Do Pessimistic Assumptions About Human Behavior Justify Government?

  • Benjamin Powell

    Professor of Economics, Texas Tech University
  • Christopher Coyne

    Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
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This paper has considered two accounts of the evolution from a state of nature to a social order that allows for interaction and exchange. Both accounts begin with pessimistic assumptions about individuals in the absence of a central government. In both cases, the authors conclude that the state, with a monopoly on force, is in the interest of all in society.

Read the article at the Journal of Libertarian Studies.