Read Neither Liberty Nor Safety to see what Higgs has to say about government, liberty, and safety.
Neither Liberty nor Safety
Fear, Ideology, and the Growth of Government
by Robert Higgs
Independent Institute, 2007, paperback
According to Laissez Faire Books:
In Robert Higgs's newest book, he zeroes in on a coherent process in which fear and ideology combine to produce the continuing growth of government in many countries.
He focuses on two common, essential elements. The first factor is a dominant ideology that leads the public to believe that the government can and should serve as the people's savior whenever they face threats to their well-being. The second factor is fear in the face of perceived large-scale threats to our well-being.
When these two factors come together, people will demand government protective measures—and politicians will seize the opportunity to increase their power by filling the "need."
The book's title refers to a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin that cautions against sacrificing liberty in the pursuit of safety, warning that such attempts may leave us with neither. Higgs argues the same: that by placing confidence in the government to act as their savior, the people of the United States and many other countries have embraced a form of idolatry that ultimately will not bring them the safety they desire. On the contrary, that misplaced confidence will ultimately lead only to tyranny and less security.