What Can One Person Do Versus the Leviathan?

by | Jun 25, 2013

Butler Shaffer
Over at Lew Rockwell’s blog, RPI Academic Board Member Butler Shaffer has written a thought-provoking piece on how the (thus far) successful escape of NSA leaker Edward Snowden reveals how the individual with his innumerable complex and ever-changing calculations and perceptions based on self-interest can triumph over the lumbering bureaucracy, which huffs and puffs and in the end falls back on its own weaknesses and contradictions. It is an uplifting tale for those of us feeling a bit saggy under the weight of the immensity of exposed leviathan.

Writes Professor Shaffer:

What amuses me the most in the current Snowden episode, is that the American government, with all of its supposed intelligence-gathering capacities – the revelations of which are at the core of the case against Snowden – cannot locate this man’s presence. “All the king’s horses, and all the king’s men” – even with access to all communications of all Americans – can no more find him than could they anticipate the collapse of the Soviet Union or the attacks of 9/11. The entire affair – along with the actions of Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and other whistleblowers – helps answer the pessimists who ask “but what can one person do?


  • Daniel McAdams

    Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and co-Producer/co-Host, Ron Paul Liberty Report. Daniel served as the foreign affairs, civil liberties, and defense/intel policy advisor to U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, MD (R-Texas) from 2001 until Dr. Paul’s retirement at the end of 2012. From 1993-1999 he worked as a journalist based in Budapest, Hungary, and traveled through the former communist bloc as a human rights monitor and election observer.

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