big daddy

[From chapter 8 of The Rise and Fall of Society by Frank Chodorov.]

As everyone knows, an analogy is neither evidence nor proof. And yet, since Aristotle it has been common practice among political scientists to call upon an analogy to support a theory of the origin of Government; namely, that Government grew out of the organization of the family.

There is, of course, no historical evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship between the two institutions; all that we have is an unproven hypothesis, resting on an assumed similarity between parental authority and Government authority.

The hypothesis disproves itself, however, when the biological factor in parental authority is taken into consideration. The child looks to the parent for guidance simply because of the inadequacies and insecurity of childhood, and seeks or accepts authority as a matter of necessity. Government has no such claim on its citizenry, nor is loyalty to it in any way analogous to filial devotion. Even the father-son relationship alters in character as the offspring reaches maturity and attains self-sufficiency, a relationship in which authority diminishes and disappears; the citizen’s allegiance to Government is unrelated to his age or to his ability to take care of himself.

Neat as the analogy is, it does not bear up under analysis and one must look elsewhere for some explanation of the phenomenon of Government.

Frank Chodorov was an advocate of the free market, individualism, and peace. He began as a supporter of Henry George and edited the Georgist paper the Freeman before founding his own journal which became the influential Human Events. He later founded another version of the Freeman for the Foundation for Economic Education and lectured at the Freedom School in Colorado.


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