American Democracy: Selected Essays on Theory, Practice, and by Philip Green (auth.)

By Philip Green (auth.)

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19 To return then to our problem: The overseas bases study inspired “needed change” and promoted “public understanding” if and only if the conception of national security forwarded by it happened to be one’s own and was in need of greater sophistication. Effectively, this means that the study was unquestionably in the (one and only) national interest only if there was at the time national unanimity on what the national interest was. But of course there was no such unanimity about the national interest, not even at the time of the Korean War.

However, because of its ability to employ them and their fellow workers at average wages lower than the average revenue it earns from the workers’ total contribution to the sale of the product they help make (even after reasonable returns to investors, contributions to sinking funds, royalties to inventors, and reasonable wages for management are subtracted), the corporation is enabled to make a profit—to realize an investable surplus. With this investable surplus, which over time becomes immense, the company buys their neighbor’s lakefront property for expansion purposes.

In Defense of the State ● 33 Why should this be so? What is the real content of the ideology of “limited” government (but not anarchism) that has to be hidden by equivocation? We can discover the answer to that question if we look, for example, at the alleged distinction between national or internal security and other modes of public collective activity—a distinction that Friedman (and Nozick, too, in a different fashion) treats as fundamental. This distinction makes sense only on the assumption that “the state” manifests two distinct types of public policy with respect to those two realms of action.

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