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Afraid to Be Free: Dependency as Desideratum

James M. Buchanan
Public Choice
Vol. 124, No. 1/2, Policy Challenges and Political Responses: Public Choice Perspectives on the Post-9/11 World (Jul., 2005), pp. 19-31
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30026701
Page Count: 13
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Afraid to Be Free: Dependency as Desideratum
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Abstract

Although collectivist ideas have everywhere fallen into disrepute, this essay argues that socialism nevertheless will survive and be extended in the new century. That gloomy prospect looms, not because socialism is more efficient or more just, but because ceding control over their actions to others allows individuals to escape, evade and even deny personal responsibilities. People are afraid to be free; the state stands in loco parentis. The breaching of plausibly acceptable fiscal limits in the first half of the new century will determine how the basic conflict between welfare dependency and liberal principles will be resolved.

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