illustration of politician in pschologist's office

"I know it doesn’t work,
but I love it so much!"

In his new book, The Big Government We Love to Hate, political scientist James Payne unravels the irrational attachment that underlies the frustration of modern politics.

The doctor’s prescription: a healthy dose of libertarianism.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview: Questioning a Cultural Presumption
  2. The Rise of Failurism
  3. The Question No One Asks:
    The Hidden Power of the Competent Authority Presumption
  4. Is Government Likely to Be a Good Problem-solving Agency?
  5. Why the Dinosaurs Disappeared
  6. "What Else Is There?"
  7. "There Would be Chaos!"
  8. Who Cares if the Welfare State Make Sense?
  9. Outside the Box: A Brief History of Questioning Government
  10. My Neighbor: The Future Everyone Wants
  11. Appendix: Transcending Big Government,
    Avenues of Reform and Evolution
  12. Notes and References

Sample Chapter

Chapter 1
Overview: Questioning a Cultural Presumption

When it’s broken, we say, Fix it! This logic, we assume, applies to politics, which today is being called “corrupt,” “disgraceful,” and even stronger adjectives unsuitable for a PG-13 audience. The current disappointment with government, we suppose, should have a solution. It’s just a matter of time until the right leadership steps forward, or the correct reforms are put in place, and political life will return to a happy, or at least tolerable, normal.

This optimism, I’m afraid, is unwarranted. The prevailing beliefs about government, about what it is and what it can do, are flawed. As long as we maintain those assumptions and expectations, we are bound to get a government that we disparage, but which, at the same time, we continue to embrace.... Read More »