The Man versus the State (1885 ed.)

A facsimile edition of the four essays that Spencer published as The Man Versus the State in 1884. Spencer develops various specific disastrous ramifications of the wholesale substitution of the principle of compulsory cooperation - the statist principle - for the individualist principle of voluntary cooperation. His theme is that “there is in society … that beautiful self-adjusting principle which will keep all its elements in equilibrium… . The attempt to regulate all the actions of a community by legislation will entail little else but misery and compulsion.”


The Man versus the State: containing The New Toryism, The Coming Slavery, The Sins of Legislators and The Great Political Superstition. Reprinted from The Contemporary Review, with a Postscript (London: Williams and Norgate, 1885).


The text is in the public domain.

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Facsimile PDF This is a facsimile or image-based PDF made from scans of the original book. 7.31 MB