About this Blog


This blog contains the thoughts and musings of David Hart concerning the classical liberal tradition, war and the state, and film and art. His main website contains his research and a growing library of books in the classical liberal tradition. See the most recent additions.

[David contemplating the move back to Sydney.]

For more information see his CV (2019), a description of his Areas of Expertise and Scholarly Activity (PDF) and his LinkedIn page.

See the list of recent books, papers, talks, and lectures at my website.

For an explanation of the banner image of Picasso’s “Guernica, see this page.

The Great Books of Liberty – the “Guillaumin Collection”

Interview with Ross Cameron on TNT Radio 24 Sept. 2023

My collection of texts about liberty is in the tradition of earlier publishers who helped promote the spread of classical liberal ideas, such as Thomas Hollis (1720-1774) and Gilbert Guillaumin (1801–1864).

Thomas Hollis (1720-1774) was active in pre-revolutionary North America and published beautifully bound copies of great books about liberty in the North American colonies. The American “Founding Fathers” all owned and read copies of his editions of John Locke, John Milton, Algernon Sidney, etc. His editions were illustrated on the leather covers and the title page with his emblems such as the Phrygian or “Liberty Cap” worn by freed slaves in the Roman republic and empire, and a dagger symbolizing the weapon used to the tyrant Julius Caesar. He also produced “post cards” with pictures of these leading liberals to advertise his books.

Gilbert Guillaumin (1801–1864) and his daughters Félicité and Pauline. ran a publishing firm in France between 1837 and 1910 (74 years) and published a total of 2,356 titles at an average of 31.8 titles p.a. During the Second Republic (1848–1852) 204 titles were published at an average of 41 p.a. During the Second Empire (1853–1870) 704 titles were published at an average of 39 p.a.

On a trip to Paris with my daughter some years ago I stayed in a rather shabby hotel on the Rue de Richelieu where the Guillaumin firm had its headquarters hoping I could feel the spirit of the liberals past who had walked that street and attended meetings in its building. The sad story is that the firm and its papers were destroyed when the Nazis occupied Paris in 1940 thus bringing an end to journals like the Journal des Économistes which had been published by Guillaumin from 1842 to 1940.

I have named my special collection of titles of “The Great Books of Liberty” the “Guillaumin Collection” in honor of these three members of the Guillaumin family and publishing firm. So far there are 123 titles by 64 authors.

Just today I have begun publishing these titles on Amazon Direct under my own publishing label of “The Pittwater Free Press”. The symbol I use for the Collection is also the “Phrygian cap” of the freed slave. I thought the name of my publishing endeavor “The Pittwater Free Press” was a good one because in the early years of the colony in Sydney Pittwater was a major route into the city for smugglers (mainly alcohol). Smuggling of course is the derogatory name given to ”free trade” by those who want to tax it or stop it. So appropriately, the first title is the first edition (1776) of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations since 1.) it is the classic defence of free trade against the protectionist “mercantilist system” of this day, and 2.) because this year is the 300th anniversary of his birth.

The first title at Amazon is Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1790) which is in ePub (Kindle) format here.

People on the left are very good at remembering their history and the key thinkers and activists in their tradition. The right is much less aware of its own past and its leading figures which is a great pity and something which my website might be able to correct.

The year 2023 is also the anniversary of several other important dates in the history of classical liberalism which, as an historians, I want to commemorate:

  1. the 400th anniversary of the publication of the First Folio Edition in 1623 of the plays of William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
  2. the 400th anniversary of the birth of Algernon Sidney (1623-1683) whose posthumous work is Discourses concerning Government was published in 1698.
  3. the 300th anniversary of the birth of Adam Smith (1723-1790), who wrote The Wealth of Nations in 1776 and The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759 (I have online the revised 1790 ed.)
  4. the 300th anniversary of the birth of Adam Ferguson (1723-1797), who wrote An Esssay on the History of Civil Society in 1782.
  5. the 300th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of the collected Cato’s Letters (1723-24) by John Trenchard (1662-1723) and Thomas Gordon (1691-1750)
  6. the 200th anniversary of the publication of Benjamin Constant’s work on economics Commentaire sur l’ouvrage de Filangieri in 1822-24.
  7. the 100th anniversary of the death of Vilfredo Pareto (1845-1923) who wrote Traité de sociologie générale in 1917.
  8. the 50th anniversary of the death of the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973). 2022 was the 100th anniversary of the publication of his seminal critique of socialism Die Gemeinwirtschaft (1922). We have the second edition of 1932 online in German. We also have the 1936 English translation Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis.

There are a couple of Australians in this pantheon of great classical liberal thinkers.

William Hearn (1826-1888) was the 1st professor of political economy at the University of Melbourne and a follower of the great French classical liberal Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850). He published his lectures as Plutology or the Theory of the Efforts to Satisfy Human Wants (1863).

Arthur Bruce Smith (1851–1937)
was a follower of the English group of radical individualists who were part of the “Liberty and Property Defense League. Smith wrote a wonderful defence of classical liberalism in his book Liberty and Liberalism: A Protest against the growing Tendency toward undue Interference by the State, with Individual Liberty, Private Enterprise and the Rights of Property (1887). Later was elected the NSW MP representing the Sydney suburban electorate of Parkes (1901-1919).

I still have many more titles I want to add. This will keep me off the streets for a while I should think.

From Bayeux to Guernica: The Depiction of Power, Destruction, and Suffering in War Art

See the PDF of the slides used in my talk


In this talk I want to compare and contrast two important works of art about war, the “Bayeux Tapestry” (or the “Canterbury Embroidery”) (henceforth BT) which is perhaps the “creation” of Odo Bishop of Kent and Bayeux, which was done in the 1070s, and Pablo Picasso’s painting “Guernica” (1937). Even though they are separated in time by some 860 years they have some common elements and themes which suggest that there is a universal human response to war and violence which we should take not of.

Let us begin by looking at other people looking at these works on public display in museums, before turning to looking at these works ourselves in more detail.

Our “looking” will be done via the digitigised images of these works which are available online. I have use two sites and modified them for my purposes on my own website. They are a version made by the medieval historian Carolyn Schriber who divided the Bayeux Tapestry into 35 discrete “events” which I have modified slightly:

“The Bayeux Tapestry (c. 1070) (Carolyn Schriber Version)”

And the higher quality version made available by the Bayeux Museum, which I have modified slightly on my website as well:

the official Bayeux Museum version: “Official digital representation of the Bayeux Tapestry – 11th century. Credits: City of Bayeux, DRAC Normandie, University of Caen Normandie, CNRS, Ensicaen, Photos: 2017 – La Fabrique de patrimoines en Normandie.” <official Bayeux Museum version

my version “The Bayeux Tapestry (c. 1070) [Bayeux Museum Version]” my version

As we look at these works we should ask ourselves the following questions:

  1. What do you see in this picture?
  2. How big is it?
  3. Why is it this size?
  4. What is it depicting / telling us?
  5. Who is telling us about what is being depicted?
  6. What is the purpose of this depiction / telling?
  7. Who was the intended audience?
  8. Is it “art” or is it “propaganda”?
  9. How should we interpret it?
  10. What do they have in common?
  11. How are they different?
  12. So what?

An Overview of the Works

Let us begin our “looking” with an overview of the works, beginning with the BT.

The Bayeux Tapestry, or rather “Canterbury Embroidery”, was commissioned by Odo Earl of Kent and Bishop of Bayeux, William’s maternal half-brother. It was created in Canterbury, England during the 1070s, probably by monks, in order to celebrate the invasion and conquest of England in Sept. 1066 by the Normans. It is 50 cms high and 70 metres long.

It is difficult to know who exactly was the “creator” of this work as it was a collaborative work administered by William’s half brother Odo. He must have had a team of people working under him, but who created the overall design of the work, how this work was delegated to others to complete, the sequence of events which were to be depicted, and how they were to be depicted, remains a mystery as no record was kept or survived. It is also unknown who organised and designed the very large number of smaller, often animal, images above and below the main middle panel.

We have two images of Odo in the TP itself, one of him eating and talking to William before the battle (P44) (sitting on the left under the roof of some kind of building or shelter) and another of him in battle on horseback wielding a club (P54).

My interpretation of this images is given at the end of this essay.
One way to look at the BT as a whole is a montage of all 35 panels/”events” of Schriver’s online edition.

Or even better, to go to the Bayeux Museum website to see the “long ribbon” or “panorama” of images (some 58 numbered “panels” and scroll across them from one end to the other: panorama

Compare this panoramic view with the view of just one of these panels which contains considerable detail. One such panel is Panel 53 which shows injured horses in battle with the typical added details of images in the top and bottom smaller panels (in most cases animals but here injured and dead soldiers as well):

Now for an overview of the second work “Guernica”.

The creator is definitely the famous and great “Cubist” painter Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).

The painting “Guernica” was a mural which was commissioned by the Spanish republican government for the International Exposition held in Paris between May and November 1937. It was intended as a protest of the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica on 26 April 1937 by planes from the German (Nazi) air force to aid Franco during the Spanish Civil War. It is 3.49 metres high and 7.76 metres wide.

A Brief Interlude

This is a heads-up of what is to come: a montage of 5 common elements of the works with 1 example from each work:

  • dead and decapitated soldiers
  • an injured horse
  • a burning building
  • a light
  • a woman

A more detailed discussion of each work follows, in reverse chronological order.

II. Guernica

The finished painting can appear confusing to first-time viewers because of the jumble of images and the cubist style used by Picasso:

This early sketch from 6 May 1937 as Picasso was planning the final form of the painting gives a simpler idea of what he had in mind:

In my analysis of the painting I have identified ten major components:

The painting has a pyramidal structure (red lines) and contains the following components:

  1. the bull
  2. the grieving woman with her dead child
  3. the fallen statue of a warrior, with its head broken off
  4. the bird flying from the wound in the side of the horse
  5. the image of the sun or electric light
  6. the wounded horse with a gash in its side
  7. the sprouting flower
  8. the woman with the lamp leaning out of the burning building
  9. the woman fleeing the burning building
  10. the woman falling from the burning building

The significance and meaning of the various images within the painting are not entirely clear and there have been different explanations offered by art critics and historians over the years.

My summary interpretation is that Picasso is showing us the effects of a bombing raid on innocent civilians and animals in a small town, by shining some light on these appalling events, in the hope that this will arouse outrage and opposition among the public, and that this is a warning of what might happen to the rest of Europe if fascism/nazism is not stopped.

Let us examine each one in more detail.

1.) the bull and 2.) the grieving “weeping” woman with her dead child – the bull might be a symbol of the Spanish people and their strength in opposing injustice and misfortune. It seems to be standing in a protective stance to shield the inhabitants of the town; the women is weeping as she holds her child which has been killed in the bombardment of the town. Note that Picasso did many pictures of bulls and horses in his studies of bull fights, and many pictures of weeping women.

3.) the fallen statue of a warrior, with its head broken off – in the sketch shown above the warrior is a real man but here he is a statue which has been knocked over in the blast and broken into pieces. The head has been separated and the arm holding a sword has broken off and is in pieces. This could represent the local armed forces which should have protected the town from attack but did not. The statue and the bull are the only male figures in the painting. The others (4) are women.

4.) the bird flying from the wound in the side of the horse – this might represent the soul of a living creature which is departing the dead or dying body.

5.) the image of the sun or electric light – Picasso is illuminating the events of the bombing with three sources of light; the lamp held over the town square by the woman leaning out of the burning building; the flames of the burning building itself, and this object which is part sun and part electric light bulb. The meaning of the latter is not clear.

6.) the wounded horse with a gash in its side – Picasso did many drawings of horses as part of his studies of bull fights. They are shown as noble animals who serve humans in farming, transport, and entertainment.

7.) the sprouting flower – perhaps a sign of hope for the future if people heed the warnings made in the painting

8.) the woman with the lamp leaning out of the burning building – she has a look of horror on her face as she leans out of the building holding a lamp to illuminate what is happening below.

9.) the woman fleeing the burning building – one of the innocent victims of the bombing is trying to escape the fate of the many others who have been injured or killed. She is running towards the centre of the painting.

10.) the woman falling from the burning building – it is not clear whether she has fallen as a result of the blast or jumped to escape the flames. In either case she will be severely injured or will die as a result.

I. The Bayeux Tapestry / Canterbury Embroidery

Let us remind ourselves of the scale and complexity of this work of art before we look at some of the details:

We need to keep in mind that there are several “stories” being told in this 70 meter long work. The main story is told in the larger middle panel where the main events are the invasion and conquest of England by the Normas in 1066. There is another “story” being told in the form of the “titula” or “titles” which are in Latin and provide some description of what is happening and who the figures are. The Bayeux Museum version provides a transcription and translation of these “titles”. The third story, or set of stories, are shown in the smaller panels above and below the main panel.

Here there are pictures of animals, scenes of people working in the fields, other people, religious symbols, and towards the end fallen soldiers and horses.

These smaller images were often ignored, or thought to be mere decorations or “doodles” which added nothing to the main story. Closer analysis has shown that they play an important role in the story. I will discuss the meaning of some of these in what follows.

To begin with the main story line, we can identify some recurring themes in the 35 events (Schriver) or 58 panels (Bayeaux Museum):

  1. Kings and Lords in Discussion
  2. Banquets before and after Battle
  3. Travelling in Boats
  4. Getting Ready for Battle
  5. Battle
  6. Animals and other interesting and curious images

Here is a sampling to look at (the Part number refers to the Schriver version):

1.) Kings and Lords in Discussion

Part 1. Harold Godwinson confers with King Edward the Confessor and sets out on his journey.

Part 8. Harold and William return to Normandy, where William’s daughter Aelfgifu is betrothed to Harold.

Part 12. During the victory celebration William knights Harold, and Harold takes a solemn oath to become the man of William.

Part 15. Harold is crowned King of England. 
(Look for Haley’s Comet.)

2.) Banquets before and after Battle

Part 2. Harold and his men prepare for a sea voyage with a final prayer and meal. Then they board their ships, taking dogs and falcons with them.

Part 23. William and his lords (Odo is on the left of the group of three in the middle) celebrate at a banquet.

3.) Travelling in Boats

Part 3. Their landing on the coast of France is met by the hostile Guy of Ponthieu.

Part 17. William orders the Normans to begin building a fleet.

Part 18. The ships take on their supplies.

Part 19. The horses board, and the ships set sail.

4.) Getting Ready for Battle

Part 24. The Normans build their camp and prepare for battle.

Part 25. The Norman army assembles.

Part 28. The Normans attack on horseback.

Part 29.The Anglo-Saxons meet their attackers on foot.

5.) Battle

Part 31. The battle rages.

Part 34. Harold is struck in the eye by an arrow and dies.

Part 35. The Normans are victorious.

The Tapestry ends suddenly. The end piece seems to be missing.

6.) Other Interesting Images

A. Medieval Technology

Some of the panels are very interesting to historians because they reveal something about how life was lived in the 11th century. Such as tilling the fields, the kinds of weapons and armor used, the building of boats, and cooking food for banquets. Some are shown in the bottom panel (farming) and others in the main larger panel.

Tilling the field (P10)

Armor and Weapons (P37)

Boat building (P36)

Cooking (P42)

B. Injury and Death in Combat

Since this is a work depicting the invasion and conquest of England by the Normans it is not surprising that images of battle take up considerable space, especially towards the end (Panels 48 to 58).

To link back to Picasso’s painting “Guernica” I want to point out the many images in the BT of dead and injured soldiers and horses, the presence of which suggests that the creators of the Tapestry were sensitive to the cost of war to those “little people” (i.e. not noble) who suffered the consequences.

This one of “Two Dead Soldiers” from the bottom panel of P52 reminds me of the fallen statue of the warrior in “Guernica” which has been decapitated and has its sword broken:

Here is the full panel from which this detail comes:

Because armor and swords were expensive items they were “recycled” by stripping the dead for use by replacement soldiers. Here is a detail from P57:

Here is the full panel from which this detail comes:

We forget that until very recently (up to and including WW1) horses played a very important role in war as vehicles for the transport of men, food, and other supplies. Their injury, death and suffering is depicted in the BT in graphic detail, as these images show.

Here are two horses which have been up-ended in combat as their riders are pulled to the ground by soldiers (P53):

Here is the full panel from which this detail comes:

C. Animals and other curious images

For a long time historians did not understand or appreciate the meaning of the images which appear in the narrow panels above and below the main panel.

Halley’s Comet

One that was quite obvious early on was the propitious appearance of the “stella” (star) or Halley’s Comet which appears above the Coronation of King Harold, which indicates that he has the blessing of God (P. 32 and 33).

Mythical Beasts

There are also many images of mythical beasts which are often shown beneath or above the King and the Dukes. They have powers above that of ordinary animals and act as guardians who protect or warn the King of coming dangers or threats.

Here are some examples:

The Centaur was neither man nor beast, it was an ungoverned creature which was in need of some superior power to guide it and authority to make this creature acknowledge the True Faith.

Here are two Centaurs below Harold and his pack of hunting dogs as he sets off to Normandy. Note he his holding a hunting falcon on his arm. (P3).

Note also that there are many noble beasts in the smaller panels: vultures who are bowing their heads in recognition of his authority, and “pards”(big cats which are not lions (which represent kingly power) but which represent the lesser nobility).

The Wyvern was a two legged, half-lizard, half-bird, with a forked tongue and which spat poison.

The larger image (P13):

Guy has arrested Harold and then takes him to William: there are vultures (predatory birds) and camels (symbols of strength and endurance) above; and a naked “Adam and Eve” ( a symbol of sinful humans) and Wyverns below. Note that one Wyvern is spitting at Guy and the other at William, but there is a crucifix in between them.

The Gryphon was a guardian of the souls of the dead (especially those of royalty). It had the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle and talons on its front legs.

In this panel (P14) William takes Harold to his castle:

Above are lions (symbols of kingly power), Gryphons, and peacocks (also symbols of royalty and nobility).
Below are bowing vultures and pads, with crucifixes interspersed.

D. The “Fabulous Animals” of Aesop and Phaedrus

A very curious but important set of animal images were ignored or misunderstood by historians until relatively recently. They are based upon the stories of Aesop whose fables feature talking animals whose actions are used to teach moral lessons to their readers. Aesop was a Greek slave who used animal stories to indirectly criticize the injustices of his own day. He had to do this in order to avoid punishment, death or sale by his owner.

Many of these stories warn how naive, powerless, gullible, and stupid people can lose their property or even their lives at the hands of those who are more ruthless and powerful than they are. The weak are portrayed as a lamb, or a hare, or a beetle; and the powerful as a lion, a fox, or an eagle. Their use in the panels of the BT seems to be deliberate references to these fables by the monks who stitched the stories onto the linen cloth. It is possible that the young monks who did the stitching had leaned their latin by reading Aesop’s fables and had absorbed the meaning of their moral lessons.

It is hard to know who these people were or why they did this. Did they do this on their own initiative, or did they have permission from those who were supervising the project (like Odo, or his subordinates)? Whatever the reason, these Aesopian stories seem to undermine other parts of the story being depicted in the main central frame, that of the legitimacy of the invasion and conquest of the English by the Normans.

The appearance of the wise, cynical, and often subversive Aesopian animals would seem to undercut the pro-monarchical narrative provided by the plethora of lions, pards, eagles, and vultures among the existing beasts, and the gryphons, wyverns, and centaurs among the mythical beasts. The Aesopian lambs, crows, cranes, goats, dung-beetles, and donkeys provides us with a counter-narrative for another reading of the events being depicted in the main panel.

There are a number of “classic Aesopian fables” (possibly 8 or 9) which are scattered throughout the 70 meter length of BT and appear dozens of times. Five of these classic fables are depicted alongside each other in Panels 4-5, so very early on in the story, and would therefore seem to be of some importance. The predators are the fox, the wolf, and the lion (the lion of course representing monarchical authority); those oppressed and hurt are the crow, the lamb, the bitch, the crane, and other smaller animals (representing ordinary working people).

Here are the full panels (P4 and P5):

Beginning from left to right we have:

1.) The Fox and the Crow: the fox sees that a crow has a piece of cheese in its beak which it wants to steal; he tricks the crow into opening his beak by telling it that he has heard that crows can sing beautifully (which is not true); the vain crow opens its mouth to sing and drops the piece of cheese; the fox then steals and eats the cheese. The moral of the story is that the more powerful can get their way by tricking those who are gullible and vain and who too easily surrender their property without a fight.

2.) The Lamb and the Wolf: the wolf falsely accuses the lamb of having insulted him; he says he overheard her saying bad things about him while she was drinking from the stream not knowing that he was downstream from her and could hear what she was saying; she denies this was the case and provides evidence to show that it could not have been her; the wolf becomes angry with her vigorous defence and his inability to rebut her, so eats her anyway. The moral is that even if the weak are able to defend themselves well through reasoning and argument, the powerful will ignore this and take want they want anyway.

3.) The Bitch and her Puppies: a bitch lends her lair to a pregnant friend who takes advantage of her generosity; after she has given birth to her pups and has raised them to a healthy age she refuses to let her friend have her lair back. The moral is that one should be on guard against being taken advantage of, even by one’s own friends.

4.) The Wolf and the Crane: the wolf has a bone caught in his throa; he sees a crane with a long beak and asks it to help him, in return for which he promises the crane a reward; the crane uses its beak to remove the bone from the wolf’s throat and asks for its reward; the wolf reneges on his promise and there is nothing the crane can do about it. The moral is that the powerful cannot be trusted, and that if you do something for them there is no guarantee that they will reward you for it, and will more than likely go back on any promise they made.

5.) The Lion and the Animals: soon after the Lion King made himself king of all the animals he wanted to win the trust of his subjects by saying he would give up his habit of eating meat (i.e. eating them) and would distribute justice equally and without favour; after a while he reverts back to his old habits and devours all the animals anyway. The moral of the story is that predators cannot and will not give up their predatory habits, so it is foolish to trust them when they say they will.

In addition to these 5 canonical fables which are referred to early on (P4-5) and several times again, there are other fables which we should note.

6.) The Lion’s share (P7-8). This story is found in the Panel where Guy arrests Harold upon his arrival in Normandy and then is taken prisoner to his castle. In the story the Lion asks some of his subjects to help in hunting for prey; in return for their help he promises them an equal share in what they catch; the hunt is successful but the lion claims the first portion as his right as king; he then claims the second portion as his share of their partnership; and then the third share because he is the strongest, and then finally the fourth because he sees that no one will challenge him. The moral is that one cannot trust the word of the powerful.

There are also a number of more radical Aesopian fables which are alluded to in the BT where the less powerful animals fight back and resist their predators, or undertake a form of passive resistance. These include stories about a goat, a dung-beetle, and a donkey.

7.) The Wolf and the Goat (P6-7). This story is found in the Panel where Harold arrives in Normandy and is arrested by Guy. A wolf catches a goat and allows her to pray before he kills her; she tricks him by calling out for help very loudly; nearby hunters hear her shouts, and they and their dogs hunt down the wolf and kill him. The moral is that a weak but quick thinking person might be able to outwit a predator and call for help (and perhaps get that help) and thus defend their rights.

8.) The Eagle, the Hare, and the Dung-Beetle (P49). As the armies of Williams and Harold are about to confront each there is an interesting pairing of these two radical Aesopian stories. To the left is this one; to the right is the one about the Old Man and the Donkey. In this story the hare is escaping capture by an eagle; the hare asks the dung beetle for help and asylum; the beetle courageously intervenes to beg the eagle to spare the life of the hare in the sacred name of Zeus and the right of asylum; the eagle brushes the beetle away and devours the hare; the beetle is so outraged by the eagle’s behaviour in not acknowledging the right of asylum that he follows the eagle back to its nest and destroys all of its eggs in revenge. This happens several times until Zeus intervenes and castigates the eagle for violating the right of asylum claimed in his name. The moral is that sometimes when a less powerful creature stands up to a more powerful one the “Gods” will intervene to defend the weak against the strong. But usually not.

9.) The Old Man and the Donkey. In this story (which appears twice in the BT) the old man learns that an invading army is approaching and tells the donkey they will have to flee. The donkey tells his owner that he does not care who is his master, him or the soldiers of the invading army, as they are all the same and will both mistreat him whatever he does. He prefers to stay where he is and refuses to go with the old man. The moral is that one should be cynical about the nature of power that the strong have over the weak, and that a change of master will not necessarily improve one’s situation in life. Perhaps the best one can hope for is to refuse to obey orders unless one has a compelling reason to do so.

It is interesting that both these stories are referred to in the same panel (P49) which is reproduced below:

The two armies are facing off against each other and the battle is bout to begin. In the narrow panel above, we have the usual symbols of royal power (deferential vultures, lions, and pards). However in the narrow panel below we have a symmetrical arrangement of animals bookended by the “Eagle, Hare, and Dung-Beetle” on the left and “The Donkey” on the left. In between these are 2 vultures, 2 pards, 2 crucifixes, 2 more volumes. What this means is hard to tell but it seems to have been deliberately chosen and arranged.

Naked People

I will end with a strange but amusing collection of “naked people” who are scattered throughout the BT. The meaning of these is not clear and I do not have time to go into the matter here. I will just list them, have a chuckle, and move on:


I will conclude by returning to the collection of images from the two works of art which show some interesting similarities in the images of death and destruction chosen by the two different “creators”:

  • dead and decapitated soldiers
  • injured horse
  • burning building
  • a light
  • a woman

Here its also an appropriate moment to look at the depiction of the “creator” of the BT in the BT and reflect on the possible meaning of the animal symbols which surround his depiction:

Recall that the first is of him eating and talking to William before the battle (P44) (he is sitting on the left under the roof of some kind of building or shelter) and the second is of him in battle on horseback wielding a club (P54).

Above Odo and William are from left to right, a Gryphon, a vulture, and two lions. Below are a pard sucking its tail, two vultures and another pard.

In this panel (P54) where Odo is on horseback wielding a club in battle we see at the top on the left a vulture pointing, on the right a vulture bowing head, and in the middle two pards (not lions); and on the bottom on the left and right are fallen soldiers and their shields, in middle is a large horse and a soldier defending him with shield.

One might interpret this to mean that Odo, perhaps the creator or administrator of the TB project, was a senior noble who was valiantly and successfully defending his brother the King in battle, and his legacy and memory in the form of the BT, even though there are many other visual references which are literally interwoven into the tapestry which might be seen to cast doubt on the legitimacy and worth of this endeavour.

Further Exploring and Reading

The Bayeux Museum

At my website:

“The Bayeux Tapestry (c. 1070) Bayeux Museum Version”

“The Bayeux Tapestry (c. 1070)
Carolyn Schriber Version”

“Pablo Picasso (1881-1973): From the Spanish Civil War to Vietnam”

“Images of Liberty and Power: the Art of War and Peace”

At my blog “Reflections on Liberty and Power”:

“Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” (1937)” (25 June, 2015)

“Picasso and the Anti-Vietnam War Movement 1969” (12 July, 2015)

The intellectual antecedents of the idea of “anarcho-capitalism”

Introduction: 50 Years and counting

50 years ago I first came across the theory of anarcho-capitalism when I was in my last two years of high school (1973-74). I read everything I could get my hands on and I still have most of those books still in my possession, although they are a bit worse for wear, as you can see from the photo above. Here are the titles of the books in the photo – what is missing from this collection is Roy Childs, “An Open Letter to Ayn Rand: Objectivism and the State” (1969) which I have lost:

  1. Etienne de la Boetie, The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude (1570s, Free Life Editions 1975)
  2. Frédéric Bastiat, Economic Sophisms (1846, FEE 1968)
  3. Frédéric Bastiat, Economic Harmonies (1851, FEE 1979)
  4. Frédéric Bastiat, Selected Essays on political Economy (FEE 1975)
  5. Gustave de Molinari, The Production of Security (1849, Center for Libertarian Studies 1977)
  6. Gustave de Molinari, Les Soirées de la rue Sainte-Lazare (Guillaumin 1849)
  7. Herbert Spencer, Social Statics (1851, Robert Schalkenbach Foundation 1970)
  8. Lysander Spooner, No Treason and Letter to Thomas Bayard (1870, Ralph Myles 1973
  9. Lysander Spooner, Collected Works, vol. 1 (M&S Press 1971)
  10. Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, the State (1935, Free Life Editions 1973)
  11. Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (1957, New American Library, dated by me Jan. 1973)
  12. Morris and Linda Tannehill, The Market for Liberty (1970)
  13. Richard and Ernestine Perkins, Precondition for Peace and Prosperity: Rational Anarchy (1971)
  14. John Hospers Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow (1971)
  15. Murray N. Rothbard, Man, Economy, and State (1962, Nash Publishing 1970)
  16. Murray N. Rothbard, Power and Market: Government and the Economy (Institute for Human Studies 1970)
  17. Murray N. Rothbard, For a New Liberty (1973)
  18. Murray N. Rothbard, “The Anatomy, of the State” (1965) in Egalitarianism as a Revolt against Nature (Libertarian Review Press 1974)
  19. Robert Nozick, Anarachy, State and Utopia (1974)
  20. Workers Party. Platform (1975)

After the State Member of Parliament, John Ruddick gave his inaugural speech in the Lower House [Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw1zPTDEVxA on 28 June 2023, in which he outlined an “anarcho-capitalist” policy agenda which he and the Liberal Democrats Party endorsed, I was asked to explain something about where the term “anarcho-capitalist” came from and what the theory was about. Here are the “interview points” I drew up, along with some recommended reading for those who would like to explore the matter further.

Interview Talking Points

1.) The term AC emerged during the 1970s in the US when the modern libertarian movement began

  1. at a time when the US was still fighting an unpopular and failing war in Vietnam
  2. Pres. Richard Nixon was trying to silence his opponents with a number of criminal activities known as the ”Watergate” break-in and resulting coverup and scandal
  3. the first “Oil Crisis” pushed up prices adding to already high inflation
  4. and in Australia just after the Labor Party came to power in 1972 and began its radical reform program

2.) its basic philosophy is a version, admittedly very radical, of what is known as “classical liberalism”, i.e. a belief that individuals have a right to life, liberty, and property so long as they do not engage in aggression (violence) against others who have an equal right to their LLP; ; what this means in practice is

  1. a belief in the importance the “non-aggression principle”, i.e. that no person (including those who work for the government) has the right to initiate the use of violence e against another person except in self-defense (this is what sets AC apart from other “classical liberals”)
  2. the protection of private property under the rule of law
  3. the right to engage in production and trade of any good or service, (thus free markets in everything)
  4. and to exchange what is produced with others – in other words free trade in everything, everywhere, with anyone
  5. thus, since governments use coercion against individuals on a massive scale (taxation, regulation, conscription, spending), they must be very limited in what they can do (the standard “classical liberal” position) , or better, done away with entirely (the anarcho-capitalist view)

3.) The term was first used and the theory developed by the Austrian economist and libertarian political philosopher Murray Rothbard in NYC, especially in his book For New Liberty (1973) and the Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick’s book Anarchy, State and Utopia (1974)

  1. this is when the idea of AC came to Australia – so exactly 50 years ago – I was still at high school and was a member of a group of libertarians in Sydney at that time who debated its merits; the intellectual battle lines were drawn up between the supporters of the Russian-American novelist Ayn Rand (limited government) and Murray Rothbard and Roy Childs (anarcho-capitalism)
  2. an influential group of people who were part of the Australian Libertarian Party of the period – going under the provocative name of the “Workers Party” – were “anarcho-capitalists”; and wrote the party’s platform and were active in the 1975 federal election which saw the end of Whitlam’s government.

4.) The much earlier antecedents go back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries, especially among the French liberal political economists, who have been my life’s academic interest ;

  1. Jean-Baptiste Say – admired stateless settlements in American mid-west and thought they did a better job than the chaos of the French revolutionary and Napoleonic governments (lectures 1819-20)
  2. Charles Dunoyer – called for the break-up of large states as part of “the municipalisation of the world” in order to break up their power and tax-base (1825)
  3. Gustave de Molinari – the most important one in the group ; he was the first (1849) to see that, once you removed all the things governments should not do in the first place, then all so-called “public goods” (roads, lighting, police, and even national defence) could be better provided by voluntary activity in a free market
    1. either by insurance companies (1849 “The Production of Security”) who would provide police services and courts in order to protect the customer’s property by going after criminals and getting restitution
    2. or by the creation of private “proprietary communities” (1884) where entrepreneurs would build entire communities with all public services provided, which would be paid for those owners who “bought into” the community by buying a house
  4. GdM’s work on “private property insurance companies” caught Rothbard’s eye when he was writing his books in the 1950s and 1960s and this idea became a key component of his theory of AC
  5. P.S.: I should also mention the work of Herbert Spencer in the 1870s and 1880s whose social and economic theory of the state is very is very similar to anarcho-capitalism

5.) There is a new generation of anarcho-capitalist economic theorists working in the US, the most important of which are Edward Stringham and Peter Boettke ;

  1. and I continue to document the history of this tradition in my own writings and the texts I put online on my website, as I have done for over 40 years

6.) The accusation of “utopian” or “impractical” is often made against AC.

  1. The first point I would make is “like” has to be compared with “like”, in other words that
    1. the ideal of socialism should be compared to the ideal of AC
    2. and that the actual practice of socialism be compared to the actual practice of free markets
    3. too often socialist like to compare the ideal of socialism with the practice of highly regulated “capitalism” which is what we have today
  2. I would also argue that the true utopians are
    1. the socialists, who falsely believe that
      1. human nature can and should be changed so people are no longer “selfish” and “acquisitive”
      2. and the corollary that politicians and bureaucrats do not also have “selfish interests” which they pursue while in office
      3. that they can ignore or wish away the fundamental economic problem of scarcity and the need for “trade offs”
      4. that they can ignore or wish away “the knowledge problem” (Hayek) or the “economic calculation problem” (Mises)
    2. the “liberals”, who falsely believe that,
      1. even if they manage to reduce the size of government, it will not stay limited for long
      2. and all of the same beliefs the socialists have which I have listed above

Further reading

1.) Modern advocates of AC:

  • the collection of essays and extracts edited by Edward P. Stringham, Anarchy and the Law: The Political Economy of Choice (The Independent Institute and Transaction Publishers, 2007)
  • a collection of essays by Peter J. Boettke, The Struggle For A Better World (Arlington, Virginia: Mercatus Center, 2021). Online https://ppe.mercatus.org/publications/freedom-and-flourishing/struggle-better-world;
  • the collections of essays which survey the current state of the libertarian movement:
    • The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism. Edited by: Jason Brennan, Bas van der Vossen, and David Schmidtz (New York : Routledge, 2018),
    • The Routledge Companion to Libertarianism. Edited by Matt Zwolinski and Benjamin Ferguson (Routledge, 2022) – note that I have an essay in this volume on classical liberal ideas on “Class”, pp. 291-307. A longer version of which is online <davidmhart.com/liberty/ClassAnalysis/HistoricalSurvey/index.html>

2.) On the “Paris School” of Political Economy:

The Class Structure of the Modern Welfare/Administrative State

Date: 6 July, 2023

A Summary View

  1. The Sovereign Power
  2. The Ruling Elite
  3. The Political Class
  4. The Bureaucratic or Functionary Class
    1. Force Wielding Institutions
    2. The Welfare State
    3. The Regulatory State
  5. The Plutocratic or “Crony Capitalist” Class
  6. State Privileged or Dependent Firms & their Employees
    1. State Owned Firms
    2. State Privileged Firms
    3. State Dependent Firms
  7. The Dependent Class
  8. Net Tax Payers (NTP)

A More Detailed Discussion

The Sovereign Power

The Sovereign Power historically used to be a single person, such as a monarch, emperor, or dictator. All legitimate power came from them and they considered all the property and the inhabitants in the country to be “theirs” to do with what they willed. In the modern state “sovereignty” is more nebulous in that it can reside in a semi-fictitious entity known as “The Crown”, or “the people” as represented in an elected body like Parliament or Congress.

The Ruling Elite

The “ruling elite” is the ultimate decision maker of policy, drawn from the ruling family, tribe, army, nobility, church, political party, senior leaders of congress or parliament, and legal, banking, industrial, security elites, depending upon the historical circumstances. This relatively small group control the “Command Centres” of the state (the Presidency, Congress, the military, the intelligence services, the Federal Reserve (or Reserve Bank), the Supreme Court, the Taxation Office, etc) and run the show. This group is a very small minority of those who benefit from access to state power. Some theorists also call this group the “Deep State” which was first developed to explain the power structure within the modern Turkish state. They remain in power for long periods of time and are shielded from the upheavals and uncertainties of the electoral cycle.

The Political Class

The “Political Class” more generally speaking is made up of elected politicians who sit in Congress / Parliament. The real power wielders in Parliament are the senior party leaders, the chairmen of the more important congressional committees which control spending and formulate legislation, and senior bureaucrats who run the main government bureaucracies (Health, Education, Welfare). Most MPs are concerned with getting re-elected and serving the vested interests in their state or district. We can add to this group some of the more wealthy and influential “private individuals” from finance, banking, think tanks, industry (especially defence and communications), and media moguls who advise the government on policy matters. Much of their influence comes from their ability to raise funds for politicians to get elected.

The Bureaucratic or Functionary Class

The Bureaucratic or Functionary Class carry out and implement the government policies which they are given. This large group can be divided into those who run and work for the “Force Wielding Institutions” which have a monopoly of the use of force or violence, such as the Courts, police, prisons, and the armed forces; the main government bureaucracies of the “Welfare State” such as Health, Education, and Welfare; and the other bureaucracies and Commissions which administer and regulate the economy and citizen’s lives (i.e. the Regulatory State)

Many bureaucrats and sate functionaries are low ranking office workers, public school teachers, and post office workers, etc, and are thus by no means members of the “ruling class” but they are in a technical sense “net tax-receivers” and have a long-term interest in voting to maintain government (or rather tax-payer) funding for the institutions which employ them and pay their retirement benefits.

The Plutocratic or “Crony Capitalist” Class

The Plutocratic or Crony Capitalist Class are very wealthy and influential business owners who actively seek to get or retain special privileges from the state in the form of subsidies, contracts, monopolies, favourable legislation, favourable monetary policy, etc. This class is quite complex to understand using the crude NTP/NTR distinction since they may still receive most of their income from the private sector (hence making them technically NTP). However they benefit enormously from their access to state by getting the entire economic system skewed in their favour.

State Privileged or Dependent Firms & their Employees

There are several types of firms in this category. There are the “State Owned Firms” which are entities owned and run by the state. These include (or used to include) transport (buses, railways, ports), public utilities (water, gas, electricity), and industries considered to be of “strategic” importance such as munitions and armaments work. Another category are “State Privileged Firms” which have been given “protection” or subsidies such as the car industry or the sugar industry. A third category are “State Dependent Firms” who earn some of their income by selling goods and services in the market but which also seek and get government contracts in order to make profits. They are a complex mixture of sometimes being a “tax receiver” as well as a “tax payer”. Whether they are “net” in one direction of the other has to be determined on a case by case study. The latter two categories are nominally private firms which receive the bulk (perhaps all) of their income from privileges granted to them by the state, such as tariff protection for the car industry, or who are largely dependent for their income on contracts made with the government (and paid by tax-payers) such as companies which specialize in building highways or military equipment.

The Dependent Class

The Dependent Class is comprised of people who receive benefits from the state such as health, retirement, or other welfare benefits. Some were NTP when they were working (probably in the private sector) but are now NTR in their retirement. Others have always been NTR. Some others are very poor and/or sick people who have been trapped in the cycle of poverty which has been created by the welfare state over the past 60 years. This latter group might also be categorised as “victims” rather than “beneficiaries” of the modern welfare state.

Net Tax Payers (NTP)

“Net Tax Payers” consists of individuals and firms who pay more in taxes than they receive in state benefits. Historically, there have also been groups who have been forced to labour for little or no remuneration (slaves, serfs, conscripts). This group is a complex one because it is not immediately apparent whether they are, on net, NTP or not. There may be some clear examples of “pure net tax-payers” still in existence, but in this thoroughly statised and regulated world most of us would fall into the category of the “grey zone” where we pay taxes but also “consume taxes” in the form of using streets and getting police protection from robbers. Then there are the people who change their class status over time, people who are net tax-payers in their prime working age and then become net tax-receivers in their retirement.

For further reading on CLCA

  • see a page which lists the material on my website on CLCA: <davidmhart.com/liberty/index.html#clca>
  • my chapter on “Class” in The Routledge Companion to Libertarianism. Edited by Matt Zwolinski and Benjamin Ferguson (Routledge, 2022) , pp. 291-307.
  • a much longer version of which is here: “Libertarian Class Analysis: An Historical Survey” <davidmhart.com/liberty/ClassAnalysis/HistoricalSurvey/Sept2020draft.html>
  • a paper I gave at the 2018 Libertarian Scholars Conference, The Kings College, NYC, 20 Oct. 2018: “Plunderers, Parasites, and Plutocrats: Some Reflections on the Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Classical Liberal Class Analysis” <davidmhart.com/liberty/Papers/Plunderers/DMH-PPP-Oct2018.html>
  • the book I co-edited of a collection of texts in classical liberal and libertarian class analysis, Social Class and State Power: Exploring an Alternative Radical Tradition, ed. David M. Hart, Gary Chartier, Ross Miller Kenyon, and Roderick T. Long (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

The Key Ideas behind Classical Liberal Class Analysis

[Frontispiece to John Wade’s “Black Book” (1835) showing John Bull (i.e. the British people) who has been captured and tied down (like Gulliver in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726) by the Lilliputians, who in this case are figures representing the army, the church, members of parliament, and the judiciary. The Lilliputians taunt him and rifle his pockets to steal his money.]

Concepts which Apply to Human Behavior and Economic Activity in General and which are also applicable to CLCA

Note: the abbreviation CL = classical liberal and CLCA = classical liberal class analysis.

Before discussing the key ideas which are specific to CLCA we should take note of some more generals principles which apply to all people in every aspect of their lives.

The first thing to note is that every individual has interests and goals which they attempt to pursue and to satisfy. It is generally believed that these so-called “selfish interests” are revealed primarily in “economic activity” where people pursue “profits” or a narrowly-defined “economic” betterment of their lives. Classical economics was criticized for assuming the existence of an “economic man” who was entirely devoted to the pursuit of these kinds of interests. and goals. This of course is too narrow a view as people have “interests” which are much broader than this as Adam Smith discussed in great detail in his work The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759).

The great insight of the Public Choice school of economics (James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock) was that workers in the “public sector” also had interests and goals which they attempted to pursue by working within state institutions, such parliament or Congress, or the state bureaucracy, just as other individuals pursued their interests and goals in the “economy”. The interests and goals of politicians and bureaucrats are things like fame, power, high salaries, increased budgets to dispose of, promotion, and so on.

The second thing to note is that people associate with others in order to better pursue their interests and to achieve their goals. In the personal or economic realm they form groups, associations, clubs, business firms, and churches; and, in the political realm they form lobby groups, political parties, and governments, etc. What is common to both forms of association is that individuals with common goals and shared interests come together to better achieve those goals and to pursue those interests.

People can form associations and behave within them and with other individuals and associations in two different ways. They can either associate with others in a peaceful and cooperative manner where no coercion or physical force is used and their rights to life, liberty and property are respected, and all parties in the association and those outside the association with whom they deal, enjoy the mutual benefits of such association. This way of peacefully associating creates a myriad of voluntary associations and allows for a vast network of voluntary exchanges to take place in what we call “markets” and “civil society”.

Or people can associate in order to use force or violence to pursue their interests and achieve their goals. They can thus steal the property of other people, and can force them to act or not act in ways the association does not like. These coercive associations can be “private” (as in criminal gangs, or pirates) or more formally organised “public institutions” such as an army, a government, or an “established” church.

The third general point which needs to be made is that within these associations and institutions people act or change their actions and behaviour as a result of the existence of incentives and disincentives which they face. If there are opportunities to “profit” from doing “x” they will have an incentive to do “x” and more likely than not will do “x”. Here I mean by “profit” an improvement in their situation, the achieving of one of their goals, or the furthering of one of their interests.

The Key Ideas which are specific to CLCA

The most important concept for CLs is the idea that there are two mutually exclusive ways in which wealth can be acquired. This idea has been best explored and described by the French political economist Frédéric Bastiat (1801-185), the German sociologist Franz Oppenheimer (1864-1943), and the American economist Murray Rothbard (1926-1995). In Oppenheimer’s terminology there is “the economic means” of acquiring wealth (by producing things oneself or by voluntary trade with others, in other words by free trade and free markets) and “the political means” of acquiring wealth (by the use of force to acquire things other people have produced, in other words by taxation, confiscation, forced labour (slavery), and regulation.

Coercion can be used by individuals acting “privately” as with thieves and robbers to directly steal the property of others, or what Bastiat called “extra-legal plunder”, i.e. plunder which takes outside or against the law, as in burglary or highway robbery.

Another way is which can be used is “publicly” in an institutionalized manner by the state itself, or what Bastiat “ called legal plunder” , i.e. plunder sanctioned or carried out by the state and its agents.

Thus CLs emphasize the central role played by state coercion in enabling plunder to take place, either by other “legally privileged” individuals, who are given monopolies, land grants, protection from competition, subsidies, or other benefits; or in an organised and institionalised way through state bodies and administration, such as taxation, regulation of trade and industry, legal protection to own slaves, and conscription into the army.

Therefore, whether or not a person or group used coercion to acquire wealth and other benefits was viewed by CLs as the defining characteristic of two different kinds of “class” (or groups) which were important in understanding how their societies functioned and explained the tensions and conflicts within their societies. The particular terms CLs used to describe these two classes varied over time (see fuller description below) but they had one thing common; they were not based on “wealth” as such (as in “rich vs. poor”) or social or economic function (as in a “worker earning wages” vs. the capitalist who owned the factory which paid the wages) but rather how that wealth or function was acquired or carried out – whether by coercion or by voluntary exchange with others. Thus for CLs this notion of class was a “political” one which had the coercive powers of the state at its core.

According to this view then, those who use “the economic means” to acquire wealth or pursue their goals constitute one class which has been variously described as the “productive” or “industrious “ class”, “la classe spoliée” (the plundered class), or more generally “the ruled”.

On the other hand, those who use “the political means” to acquire wealth or pursue their goals constitute an “unproductive” class, “la classe spoliatrice” (the plundering class), or more generally “the ruling class” or “the rulers”.

It follows from this division of society into two classes each of which has a different way of “acquiring wealth” or pursuing and achieving other goals and interests, that there has been and still is today an antagonistic relationship between these two classes which has manifested itself over the centuries as a “class struggle”; between the exploited productive class which wishes to keep the property it has created or acquired through peaceful exchange, and the exploiting unproductive class which wishes to maintain or increase the benefits it gets from the exploited productive class.

Because this antagonism has manifested itself differently at different historical moments the study of the history of this class struggle and system of exploitation has interested CL historians and political economists for several centuries. In their historical writings they have identified a number of paradigmatic forms which this system of class exploitation has taken, namely,

1.) the conquering class vs. the conquered class (the Levellers, Thomas Paine, Augustin Thierry)

2.) the slave owning class vs. the slaves (Charles Comte, Charles Dunoyer, Gustave de Molinari)

3.) the feudal and aristocratic land-owning class vs. the serfs who work the land, and the privileged merchants who benefited from the policy of “mercantilism” which regulated the towns-people who produced other goods an services (Adam Smith, Richard Cobden)

4.) and in the more complex commercial and industrial stage of economic development which emerged in the 19thC there are the “net tax-receivers” (those who receive more in benefits and privileges from the state than they pay in taxes) vs. the “net tax payers” (those who pay more than than they receive in benefits and privileges from the state) (Frédéric Bastiat, Calhoun)

5.) in the late 19thC and especially after WW2 there appeared another important group which was part of the welfare and administrative state, i.e. the professional and permanent members of the bureaucracies which regulated economic activity and managed the growing expenditure and redistribution of tax money for state-provided health, education, and welfare. We now have a new pairing of classes, namely “the regulators / administrators” vs. “those who are regulated / administered”. (William Graham Sumner, Herbert Spencer)

It is not surprising then, that CL historians, political economists, and sociologists have argued that societies have evolved over time through stages each with its own particular means of producing wealth and with its own particular types of “ruling class” which extracts this wealth from the producing class. A handful of radical and more optimistic CLs (Gustave de Molinari, Herbert Spencer, Murray Rothbard) thought that eventually a fully liberal society might emerge in which exploitation and rule by an exploiting class would come to an end as the state was dismantled entirely and its coercive activities replaced by voluntary and market alternatives. The more pessimistic CLs (most “classical liberals”) thought that it might be possible to limit exploitation by means of a written constitution, limited government, and vigilant “pro-liberty” public opinion.


So in conclusion I would summarize the key ideas behind CLCA as follows:

1.) every individual has interests and goals
2.) people associate with others in order to better pursue their interests and to achieve their goals
3.) there are two mutually exclusive ways in which wealth can be acquired, either by non-violent production and exchange (the “economic means of acquiring wealth”), or the use of violence and coercion to take what others have produced and created (“the political means”)
4.) the state is thus the “organization and institutionalization of the political means” of acquiring wealth and pursuing its members goals, which extracts wealth from the tax-paying public and uses it for its own purposes or gives it to its allies and its supporters
5.) this creates two “classes” within society: those who use “the economic means” to acquire wealth and pursue their goals and who constitute the productive, exploited (plundered) class, or “the ruled”; and
those who use “the political means” to acquire wealth and pursue their goals and who constitute the unproductive, exploiting (plundering) class, or “the rulers.”
6.) these two classes are in an antagonistic relationship with each other, since those who are the exploited or plundered class wish to minimize or end entirely the amount of their liberty and property which is taken by the exploiting class; while this exploiting class wishes to maintain or even enlarge their position of power and wealth acquisition over those they rule.
7.) the class structure of our society has evolved over centuries as the means of production of wealth has changed and as the particular groups which control the state have also changed. evertheless the thing which has not changed is that fact these two types of class still exist and that the antagonistic relation between the two still remains, thus causing hardship and injustice which CLs wish to end.