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The Tyranny of Seeing Only Power

November 29th, 2023 | 26 min read

By Brad Littlejohn

In my earliest political consciousness, I imbibed a framework that may be familiar to many American conservatives. There were two basic spheres of life: the public sector, run by the government, and the private sector: the zone of free enterprise, the market economy, and private property. Needless to say, the former was labeled Bad and the latter Good; the goal of any good politics was to shrink the former and expand the latter as much as possible. Why? Well because the government acted (indeed, only could act) by coercion, by compulsory action, while the private sector acted by free exchange, by voluntary action. Of course, sometimes coercion was necessary—we weren’t anarchists—but it was always regrettable.

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Brad Littlejohn

Brad Littlejohn (Ph.D., University of Edinburgh) is a fellow in the Evangelicals and Civic Life program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and founder and president emeritus of the Davenant Institute. He lives in Landrum, SC with his wife and four children.