Front Page Titles (by Subject) PREFACE - The Man versus the State, with Six Essays on Government, Society and Freedom
Return to Title Page for The Man versus the State, with Six Essays on Government, Society and Freedom
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
PREFACE - Herbert Spencer, The Man versus the State, with Six Essays on Government, Society and Freedom 
The Man versus the State, with Six Essays on Government, Society and Freedom, ed. Eric Mack, introduction by Albert Jay Nock (Indianapolis: LibertyClassics, 1981).
About Liberty Fund:
This work is copyrighted by the Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, and is put online with their permission.
Fair use statement:
The Westminster Review for April, 1860, contained an article entitled “Parliamentary Reform: the Dangers and the Safeguards.” In that article I ventured to predict some results of political changes then proposed.
Reduced to its simplest expression, the thesis maintained was that, unless due precautions were taken, increase of freedom in form would be followed by decrease of freedom in fact. Nothing has occurred to alter the belief I then expressed. The drift of legislation since that time has been of the kind anticipated. Dictatorial measures, rapidly multiplied, have tended continually to narrow the liberties of individuals; and have done this in a double way. Regulations have been made in yearly-growing numbers, restraining the citizen in directions where his actions were previously unchecked, and compelling actions which previously he might perform or not as he liked; and at the same time heavier public burdens, chiefly local, have further restricted his freedom, by lessening that portion of his earnings which he can spend as he pleases, and augmenting the portion taken from him to be spent as public agents please.
The causes of these foretold effects, then in operation, continue in operation—are, indeed, likely to be strengthened, and finding that the conclusions drawn respecting these causes and effects have proved true, I have been prompted to set forth and emphasize kindred conclusions respecting the future, and do what little may be done towards awakening attention to the threatened evils.
For this purpose were written the four following articles, originally published in the Contemporary Review for February, April, May, June and July of this year. To meet certain criticisms and to remove some of the objections likely to be raised, I have now added a postscript.
Bayswater, July, 1884
Note—The foregoing preface to the original edition of this work, issued more than seven years ago, serves equally well for the present edition. I have to add only that beyond appending in a note one important illustration, enforcing my argument, I have done nothing to this edition save making various verbal improvements, and a small correction of fact.
Avenue Road, Regent’s Park, January, 1892