Freedom Circle logo
Freedom Circle

Where Can You Find Freedom Today?

Book authored by Herbert Spencer in which he argued that liberalism was transforming itself into a despotic movement, published in 1884
See also:
  • Freedom Emporion
  • The Man Versus the State

    The Man Versus the State is a work of political theory by Herbert Spencer. It was first published in book form in 1884 by Williams and Norgate, London, from articles published earlier that year in The Contemporary Review. The book consists of four main chapters: "The New Toryism", "The Coming Slavery", "The Sins of Legislators" and "The Great Political Superstition". In this book, English libertarian sociologist Herbert Spencer sees a statist corruption appearing within the liberal ideological framework, and warns of what he calls "the coming slavery". He argues that liberalism, which liberated the world from slavery and feudalism, was undergoing a transformation. Its new love for the state would put liberalism behind a movement to create a new despotism that would be worse than the old.


    From Spencer's 1884 to Orwell's 1984, by Henry Hazlitt, Man vs. The Welfare State, 1969
    Chapter 23 of Man vs. The Welfare State; extensive review of Spencer's The Man versus the State comparing the 1880s to the contemporary (late 1960s) social and political environment
    In 1884, Herbert Spencer wrote what quickly became a celebrated book, The Man versus the State ... Spencer's political views are regarded by most present-day writers ... as "extreme laissez faire," and hence "discredited." But any open-minded person who takes the trouble today to read [it] will probably be startled by two things. The first is the uncanny clairvoyance with which Spencer foresaw what the future encroachments of the State were likely to be on individual liberty, above all in the economic realm. The second is the extent to which these encroachments had already occurred ...
    Spencer, Herbert (1820-1903), by George H. Smith, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    Spencer lived during a period that coincided with the rise and fall of political liberalism—or what Spencer called true liberalism ... Unfortunately, things had changed for the worse by the time Spencer published The Man versus the State in 1884. In the first of four essays that comprise this work, "The New Toryism," Spencer noted that "most of those who now pass themselves off as Liberals are Tories of a new type." This new liberalism had abandoned its original central principle that "habitually stood for individual freedom versus State-coercion." Instead, it embraced the Tory principle ...


    The Man Versus the State, by Edmund A. Opitz, The Freeman, Nov 1982
    Review of Liberty Classics (1981) edition of The Man Versus the State
    [I]n 1938 [Nock] devoted one of his columns to Man versus the State. This book, Nock averred, was the best single volume ever written to counter the New Deal ideology, and it said little for the perspicacity of the conservative and business opponents of the welfare state, he added, that they had let this book go out of print ... Herbert Spencer wrote four essays for The Contemporary Review in 1884 and brought them out in book form the same year, adding a Preface and a Postscript. A second edition appeared in 1892. Americans had to wait twenty-four years for their own version ...


    The Man Versus the State: With Six Essays on Government, Society, and Freedom
        by Liberty Fund, The Man Versus the State, Jun 1982
    The Man Versus The State, by Herbert Spencer, 1884
    Contents: The New Toryism - The Coming Slavery - The Sins of Legislators - The Great Political Superstition; electronic version of the 1992 Liberty Fund edition available at the Library of Economics and Liberty
    Related Topic: The State

    The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "The Man Versus the State" as of 19 Jan 2022, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.