The people of the 18th century retained intense memories of what Europe had looked like before the growth of states: not a libertarian paradise, but a marauder’s free-fire zone in which dynasts and warlords despoiled the weak and disorganized. The Founding generation had absorbed the Enlightenment ideals of John Locke. But Locke had taught that the state was the vindicator of natural rights, not the enemy of those rights.

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