Some say that limited government is impossible, a mirage, a slippery-slope inevitably ending in statism. Sooner or later, inch by inch, the state grows and eats up civil society, rendering individuals and basic communities at the mercy of government control.

I respectfully disagree. Not that it is false that the problem of slippery slope is not a real problem, we must just look at what is happening in America and how little by little the ideas of federalism and limited government have been compromised. That we are now trying to fight for freedom and bring back a correct understanding of the constitution speaks the truth about the danger lying beneath.

However, as the appetite for power lies in the human heart, the slippery-slope problem will occur under any social arrangement. Even under an anarcho-capitalist scenario, the threat of the desire for power remains and the possibility of abuses remain. As human beings are not dis-incarnated minds who always act using right reason the problem of corruption will be there under any system.

This is why liberty and virtue must go together and why liberty for the good trumps the idea of liberty as simply freedom from constraint. Only a culture that cultivates certain virtues can produce a populace that can better tame the impulses of corruption.  John Adams spoke of the need for such cultural and spiritual foundation:

“Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Limited government can survive and thrive with an ethos of liberty informed by excellence. It can also crumble under the weight of foreign exertions at variance with these values. And this is true under our present system, as we all see, and under any other arrangement.