Martial Law vs. Market Law: Reflections on Boston

by David Greenwald via The Mises Daily

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who respect coercive authority and consider it legitimate, and those who do not. The former group is likewise split into two factions: a relatively small group that, for whatever reason, essentially worships power, and a much larger one whose members merely tolerate authoritarianism, either as a matter of expedience or habit. In the wake of the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon and subsequent military-style manhunt, it seems clear that the great majority of Americans may be categorized as either power-worshiping or power-tolerant.

To be sure, the police came in for a fair share of vehement criticism from a number of established commentators. Ron Paul, for example, stated flatly that the people of Boston had been given “a taste of martial law” and likened the situation to “a military coup in a far…

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