Wednesday, April 3, 2013


This illustration for The Chronicle Review ran this past Sunday. It accompanied a very thought-provoking essay by Mark S. Weiner about the relationship between individualism and government. The old adage that in order for individual liberty to thrive, government must be small, or even nonexistent, is a very familiar line among conservative, and even leftist-anarchist thinking. However, the author contends that efforts to shrink, cut, weaken or dismantle government actually has the opposite effect: it hurts individual freedom.

The author explains that governments need to exist to ensure that individuals' liberties are protected. Rights, as well as goods and services in a democracy are based on the concept of "the public good." In the absence of government, humans tend to organize themselves in clans, where rights, goods and services are instead based on membership in the clan.

I wanted to show how the effort on the part of the individual to dismantle government ends up hurting that same individual. It's a great article, and if you have a subscription to The Chronicle of Higher Education, you can read it here. On a related note, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from the author, complimenting me on this piece. It's always a huge honor to hear that the person whose work I'm illustrating enjoys it. Thank you to Ellen and Scott, and thank you, Mark, for your kind words.


  1. Hi Justin, I just came across your kind post (it's now early June). The thanks are due to you for your marvelous illustration, which perfectly captured my idea in visual form. I hope we'll have a chance to team up again in the future. When author and illustrator unite in a common vision, it's a beautiful thing! Cheers, Mark (Weiner)

  2. Thank you, Mark!Again, words of encouragement from the author are always appreciated by us illustrators! I hope to team up again too. It was a great article.