[Note as of Jan 8, 2015: Disclaimer: I don’t agree with social darwinism and apparently Spencer may have advocated social darwinism. There are various issues with some so-called classical liberals–because these movements are very likely to be part of the agenda. I’ve heard it alleged that Spencer was the opposite side of the same coin when it came to the socialist Fabian Society. The fake-left right paradigm is a common thread. Comments are welcome one way or the other. In any case, in addition to freedom advocates, I try to include information on this website from the controllers’ point of view as much as possible for educational reasons.]
Albert Jay Nock, 1939
The New Slavery: Nock on Spencer (http://mises.org/story/1944)
In 1851 Herbert Spencer published a treatise called Social Statics; or, The Conditions Essential to Human Happiness Specified. Among other specifications, this work established and made clear the fundamental principle that society should be organized on the basis of voluntary cooperation, not on the basis of compulsory cooperation, or under the threat of it.
…It contemplated the reduction of State power over the individual to an absolute minimum, and the raising of social power to its maximum; as against the principle of Statism, which contemplates the precise opposite. Spencer maintained that the State’s interventions upon the individual should be confined to punishing those crimes against person or property which are recognized as such by what the Scots philosophers called “the common sense of mankind”; enforcing the obligations of contract; and making justice costless and easily accessible. Beyond this the State should not go; it should put no further coercive restraint upon the individual.
…The individualism which was professed by the early Liberals, maintained the contrary; it maintained that the citizen has rights which are inviolable by the State or by any other agency.
…As long as the easy, attractive, superficial philosophy of Statism remains in control of the citizen’s mind, no beneficent social change can be effected, whether by revolution or by any other means.
Herbert Spencer, 1884
The Man Versus the State
Herbert Spencer, 1851
Social Statics; or, The Conditions Essential to Human Happiness Specified
The Online Library of Liberty