From ancient times to the present, politicians, bureaucrats, and interest groups have gained resources and control over the public by playing to peoples fears of various crises and by offering solutions that often only make problems worse.
The reception and presentation of the Thomas S. Szasz Awards for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties to Robert Higgs and Robert Spillane, followed by a special forum featuring Dr. Higgs on Liberty and Leviathan.
Robert Higgs speaks at a Future of Freedom Foundation conference in 1995 on the ratchet effect- the idea that governments tend to grab power during emergencies but do not cede it completely after each crisis abates- and gives his own analysis of what it might take to slow the growth of government in the 21st century.
In this lecture from 1987, Robert Higgs speaks about governments' tendency to bend or suspend individual rights during emergency situations. He reviews the history of this in the United States and questions whether the U.S. Constitution is strong enough to protect private rights in the face of an unending string of national crises.