A group of people that claims political sovereignty over an associated territory


State - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"A state is an organized political community, occupying a territory, and possessing internal and external sovereignty, that enforces a monopoly on the use of force. ..."


Atlas Shrugged and the Corporate State, by Sheldon Richman, 12 Oct 2007
Explains how Ayn Ran's Atlas Shrugged properly depicted some businessmen as privilege seekers
"... liberty is threatened by business owners who seek privileges from the state in order to gain protection from open competition ... Those privileges ... encourage others to seek countervailing privileges. If businesses are protecting their market positions with protectionist licensing, taxes, regulations, subsidies, trade restrictions, patents, and the like, why shouldn't labor and other interest groups also seek protection?"
Don't Hate on Welfare Recipients - The Real Parasites are Elsewhere, by Kevin Carson, 7 Aug 2013
Examines the ways in which the state, at both the micro and macro levels, acts to extract resources from society for the benefit of the classes controlling the state while returning little to the underclasses
"Consider how state policies on behalf of land owners and real estate investors, like the enforcement of absentee title to vacant and unimproved land, drives up rents and closes off access to cheap living space. Consider how licensing schemes and 'anti-jitney' laws, zoning laws against operating businesses out of one's home or out of pushcarts, and regulations that impose needless capital outlays and entry barriers or overhead costs, close off opportunities for self-employment. And consider how zoning restrictions on mixed-use development and other government promotions of sprawl and the car culture increase the basic cost of subsistence."
If the State Falls, Does Society Crumble?, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 25 Jan 2007
Discusses the situation in Iraq four years after the 2003 invasion and evaluates the question of "just how integral is the state to society?"
"The state is the only entity that is permitted to maintain a legal monopoly on the use of aggressive force. It therefore operates according to its own law. If you steal or kill, you get in trouble. The state steals and kills as part of its operating procedure, and there is no higher law to keep it in check. ... It is not the case that the groups in Iraq cannot get along. What they cannot do is get along under a central state ruled by some other group. This is the basis of the bloodshed."
Related Topics: Iraq, Iraq War (2003), Society
Impeach the American People!, by Butler Shaffer, 17 Nov 2006
Comments on proposals to bring George W. Bush and others in his administration to "justice", observing that most Americans went into a "moral slumber" that allowed the former to "turn America into the 21st century equivalent of 1939 Germany"
"The reality that the state is no more than a product of conquest has long dissipated the fairy-tale of some alleged 'social contract.' ... As with any other contract ... there is a burden upon those who are to be subject to state rule to insist upon adherence to the contractual terms. ... To most people, government may have been established by contract but, once created, the state became a free agent, able to extend its decision-making authority in any direction it chose, without any check upon its power from those it ruled."
Somebody Might Get Hurt, by Kevin Carson, 31 May 2013
Comments on two unrelated blog posts to highlight a commonly offered "liberal" argument about state programs
"The coercive state, by its nature, is the instrument of a ruling class. Sometimes the state functionaries themselves will supplant the old ruling class and constitute a new one, as in the case of the bureaucratic oligarchy that ruled the Soviet Union. More frequently, the regulatory and welfare state will align itself with the preexisting corporate capitalist ruling class, and incorporate itself as a junior member, as in European social democracy and American New Deal liberalism. In either case, the vast majority of society will be the ruled. And the rulers will exercise their power over us in all sorts of unpleasant ways. Once you set up an enforcement bureaucracy of cops and administrative law courts capable of shooting or imprisoning people, or seizing their assets without proving them guilty of a criminal offense, they will happily exercise this power."
The Anatomy of the State, by Murray N. Rothbard, 1974
Examines several attributes of the State, including how it maintains and grows itself and how it deals with other States
"Briefly, the State is that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion."
The Control Cult, by Butler Shaffer, 21 Apr 2007
In the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, comments on those who believe the causal factors can be identified and controlled by the state, and how this extends not just to gun ownership but many other areas
"The true believers of the dogmas of control have insinuated themselves into all forms of institutions. ... Members of the control cult have always found themselves attracted to the agency whose raison d'être is to subdue all of humanity to its coercive mechanisms of control: the state. What problem, or catastrophe, or even fear thereof, is not met with the aforesaid chant of bureaucrats: 'we will find out what went wrong and fix it, so it doesn't happen again'?"
The Criminality of the State, by Albert Jay Nock, The American Mercury, 1939
Cautions Americans that rather than being worried or surprised by the doings of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, the Munich agreement and other foreign states, they should devote their energies to reining the growth of the United States government
"... the State's criminality is nothing new and nothing to be wondered at. It began when the first predatory group of men clustered together and formed the State, and it will continue as long as the State exists in the world, because the State is fundamentally an anti-social institution, fundamentally criminal. The idea that the State originated to serve any kind of social purpose is completely unhistorical."
The Ethics of Voting: Part Two [PDF], by George H. Smith, The Voluntaryist, Dec 1982
An analysis of the State as an institution ("method of pursuing a social activity")
"The State is a designed institution, forcibly imposed. State-builders had specific objectives in mind, foremost of which was to secure territorial sovereignty. ... Virtually all functions of government ... may be seen as supports for the monopolization of power. ... Sovereignty is the 'product' of this association (or the most fundamental among many); a monopoly on legitimized coercion is the 'process.'"
The Security State's Reaction to Snowden Shows Why It's Doomed, by Kevin Carson, 9 Aug 2013
Comments on how the reactions to the Manning and Snowden leaks tend to be counterproductive to the State's ends
"... the internal witch hunt atmosphere in the U.S. security apparatus is alienating the very contract-work hackers whose skills it is increasingly dependent on. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sticker on Snowden's laptop wasn't a deviation the NSA's leadership failed to catch. It's typical of the cultural pool from which the NSA, of necessity, recruits its contractors. Such people read the news, and they aren't impressed with the government's draconian treatment of people like Aaron Swartz, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden."
The Servile State Revisited, by Joseph Sobran, The Wanderer, 5 Jun 2003
Ponders David Hume's observation as to the ease with which "the many are governed by the few"
"We are taught to beware of violent tyrannies like those of Stalin and Hitler. But we are seldom warned against the bland and gradual tyranny of the bureaucratic State, which is the one modern man typically lives under. ... The parasites know they depend on the State; but many of the productive people who create the wealth that supports the parasites are also convinced that their freedom depends on the State. The bureaucratic State has blurred the lines, disguising the opposition of interests."
The State: Judge in its Own Cause, by Kevin Carson, 22 Aug 2013
Explores, with several historical examples, the state's role in judging itself
"During the administration of Richard Nixon ... Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, a collection of classified documents showing how the United States had inexorably increased its involvement in Indochina ... lying to the American people about the situation the whole time. ... In 1953 the CIA helped overthrow Iran's elected government ... In the late '70s, under Zbigniew Brzezinski's foreign policy leadership, the U.S. began backing Islamic fundamentalist rebels against the Soviet-friendly government of Afghanistan ..."
Treating People Like Garbage, by Sheldon Richman, 4 Oct 2013
Examines two examples at the micro and macro level of state behaviour towards people
"At its heart, the state — more precisely, the pretenders who call themselves 'leaders' — is capable of the most horrendous acts. The U.S. government stands out in this regard. ... The historian Ralph Raico observes that critics of the libertarian world view complain that the market treats people like commodities. Maybe, Raico replies. But the state treats people like garbage."
Related Topics: Children, Richard M. Nixon
Warfare/Welfare/Corporate State: All of a Piece, by Sheldon Richman, 24 Jan 2014
Dissects article by Princeton professor Sean Wilentz criticizing Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Julian Assange
"Wilentz seems to live in fear that the baby — the welfare/warfare state — will be thrown out with the bathwater — the admitted 'abuses' by the NSA. ... Both the establishment Left and the establishment Right offer flawed package deals ... In practice, the two are hardly different except for their rhetorical emphases. The point is to hold various constituencies in line by having them believe they must accept the whole package. Neoliberalism is corporate statism, not the freed market."
Why I Am An Anarchist, by Caleb Johnson, The New Hampshire Free Press, 12 Mar 2008
Contrasts the general public view of anarchism with the reality of national governments and their actions
"... what distinguishes these forms of government from the state is that the state is not voluntary. The state is really a very specific type of government. It is an authoritarian model of government that enforces its rule over anyone that it considers to be within its jurisdiction, regardless of whether or not they have consented to its rule."
Related Topic: War
Albert Jay Nock, Forgotten Man of the Right, by Jeffrey A. Tucker, 22 Aug 2002
Lengthy biographical essay, with a selection of quotes from Nock's writings
"In Nock's view, it is the State that crowds out all that is decent, lovely, civilized. He demonstrates this not through deduction but through calm and entertaining tales of how rich and varied and productive life can be when the State does not interfere. In a society without the State, for example, the 'court of tastes and manners' would be the thing that guides the operation of society, and this 'court' would have a much larger role in society than law, legislation, or religion."
Related Topics: Albert Jay Nock, Politics
Alternative Medicine Is Libertarian Medicine, by Butler Shaffer, 2 Dec 2006
Discusses several aspects of healthcare, including self-ownership, being responsible for our own care, decentralised information, the collapse of external authorities and the dehumanizing decisions resulting from institutionalized healthcare
"The state is like a chicken that has just had its head chopped off: it flaps and flails around in a noisy and messy display, spreading blood in its trail. ... Like the headless chicken, the state is brain-dead. Its power derives from inertia (i.e., the unwillingness of a well-conditioned populace to consider alternative systems) rather than from intelligent conviction. There is nothing coming from within its halls that would engage the mind of any thoughtful human being."
Anarchism, by Voltairine de Cleyre, Free Society, 13 Oct 1901
Examines various economic propositions for anarchism (socialist, communist, individualist and mutualist) and opines that all could be tried out
"If I may venture, at this point, a criticism of this position of the Anarchist Socialist, I would say that the great flaw in this conception of the State is in supposing it to be of simple origin; the State is not merely the tool of the governing classes; it has its root far down in the religious development of human nature; and will not fall apart merely through the abolition of classes and property."
Are the Salad Days for Somalia Over?, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 8 Jun 2006
Comments on Somalia's status 15 years after the fall of Siad Barre and in the midst of the rise of the Islamic Courts Union
"What is to be gained by the creation of a state? Well, consider what a state does. First, it taxes, which means taking from the people and giving to the government, which then gives money to its friends. Second, it regulates, meaning that government tells people to do things they would not otherwise do. Third, it creates a central bank to water down the value of money. Fourth, it builds jails to put people who disobey, including political enemies."
Related Topic: Somalia
Begrudging Another Battle of Ballot-Boxing, by Kenneth R. Gregg, 23 Nov 2006
Explains how those seeking power through politics are led to compromise, even if they are members of a group espousing principles over expediency, and urges others not to ballot-box but instead vote in the marketplace and the social realm
"It being discovered long ago that so long as the proportion of the populace which holds the state in favor increases, the fewer resources a state needs to use in order to keep the rest under control. That is, the greater legitimacy a state has, the less it needs to use violence against any single person or faction. A state which continually uses violence to achieve its ends would soon be seen for exactly what it was: a criminal ring."
Benjamin Ricketson Tucker, Part 2, by Wendy McElroy, Future of Freedom, Sep 2007
Biographical essay on Benjamin Tucker from the first issue of Liberty until his death
"As a strategy, Tucker stressed psychological rather than physical disobedience; he urged people to withdraw the consent upon which the authority of the state rested. The concept of the state with its illusion of legitimacy was what commanded respect and obedience from people. He wrote, 'The state is a principle, a philosophical error in social existence.' Correcting the error required education in its many manifestations."
Big Business and the Rise of American Statism, by Roy A. Childs, Jr., Reason, Feb 1971
Originally a speech given at first convention of the Society for Individual Liberty, 15-16 Nov 1969
"A philosopher who preaches total state control of individual human actions and decisions, for instance, might profitably look at history for instances of what has happened as his ideal has been approached, approached as a limit case. If he finds destruction, chaos and the like, then the burden of explaining this within the confines of his assertions of the supposedly beneficial nature of state control comes into play."
Dialectics and Liberty: A Defense of Dialectical Method in the Service of a Libertarian Social Theory, by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, The Freeman, Sep 2005
Written ten years after publication of the first of Sciabarra's "Dialectic and Liberty" book trilogy, discusses Hayek's and Rand's dialectical analysis approaches and suggests that such context-keeping analysis is important in radical libertarian theory
"In fact, one might say that his primary concern is with the insidious, multidimensional effects of statism—how its consequences redound throughout a nexus of social relations: economic, political, and even social-psychological. In other words, Hayek analyzes statism not only as a politico-economic scourge, but as a phenomenon whose effects can be measured on many different levels of generality and from many different vantage points."
Does the Market Commodify Everything?, by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Mises Daily, 18 Sep 2006
Contrasts the behavior of participants in a free market vs. the state's attitude towards those it considers its subjects
"This is how the state behaves all the time. It need not interact with people justly or with any concern for their preferences or rights at all, much less actually arrive at mutually satisfactory terms with them. It may act unilaterally, and the individual has no recourse other than to accept whatever the state determines with regard to how much of his property will be expropriated, what his children will be taught in school, or where he must be sent to fight and die."
Gustave de Molinari on States and Defense, by Joseph R. Stromberg, 25 Jul 2000
Examines Molinari's conception of the states, including democracies, and their role in defense, as well as his proposal for agencies to provide defense against external aggressors
"In The Society of Tomorrow, Molinari first unfolds his thoughts on human nature and the role of economic activity in human society. Under conditions of primitive scarcity it may have paid some people to fight and kill their neighbors and take their goods. In time, such murderous raiding gave way to more organized exploitation ... Now they enslaved instead of killing. ... These were the first primitive states."
Henry David Thoreau and "Civil Disobedience," Part 3, by Wendy McElroy, Future of Freedom, May 2005
Further examination of themes in "Civil Disobedience", including unjust laws, politicians and reformers, voting, when to resist the state and the influence on Gandhi
"In short, Thoreau believed the state should never rank above the individual conscience or the business of living. But if the state demands a person's first allegiance by asking him to violate his conscience and participate in an injustice, the person should disobey — not through violence but by removing his cooperation."
Libertarians of Will, Intellect, and Action, by Murray N. Rothbard, 1977
Keynote address to the Libertarian Party Convention
"Too many libertarians have absorbed the negative and elitist conservative worldview. ... In fact, it is the state that is robbing all classes, rich and poor, black and white, worker and businessman alike; it is the state that is ripping us all off; it is the state that is the common enemy of mankind. And who is the state? It is any group who manages to seize control of the state's coercive machinery of theft and privilege."
Life of Liberty: Robert Nozick, R.I.P., by Richard A. Epstein, National Review Online, 24 Jan 2002
Memorial tribute, comparing Nozick to Hayek and discussing some of the arguments he made in Anarchy, State and Utopia
"... on the grand question of why it was that any ordinary individual owed allegiance to the state ..., I think it's fair to say that Nozick was not quite able to close the circle. He ingeniously was able to show how individuals for security would become members of extended protective organizations. He was less successful in showing how these repeated voluntary maneuvers were able to generate a single protective association that would exercise the monopoly power over force that marks the distinctive role of the state."
Objectivism and the State: An Open Letter to Ayn Rand, by Roy A. Childs, Jr., Individualist, Aug 1969
Published by the Society for Individual Liberty; responds to five of Rand's arguments in her essay "The Nature of Government"
"And there is the major issue of the destructiveness of the state itself. No one can evade the fact that, historically, the state is a blood-thirsty monster, which has been responsible for more violence, bloodshed and hatred than any other institution known to man. Your approach to the matter is not yet radical, not yet fundamental: it is the existence of the state itself which must be challenged by the new radicals."
On Evil Acts, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 19 Apr 2007
In the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, contrasts the typical mainstream and conservative responses to such acts of violence and suggests a third way
"And what if the conservative position of total depravity turns out to put totally depraved people in charge of running the system that is supposed to protect us against evil? That only magnifies the problem. In fact, I've never understood the people who claim that the universal pervasiveness of human evil means that we need a strong state. What guarantee do we have that the people who run the state will be less evil than those who are run by the state?"
Related Topics: Free Market, Conservatism, Society
On Feminism, by Theodora Nathan, Willamette Valley Observer, 1977
Reprinted in On Libertarianism and the 25th anniversary issue of ALF News
"Politically, of course, a person has the right to be a bigot and the state ought take no notice of this flaw. However, more often than not, the state itself promotes bigotry and sponsors legislation which results in unfair discrimination against certain classes of citizens."
Preventing Opposition to War, by Sheldon Richman, 13 Apr 2007
Explains why the George W. Bush administration has not gotten more people directly involved in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, such as by conscription, war bonds or demanding "sacrifices"
"... in its primary role the welfare-warfare state is a grand scheme to enable a ruling class, through its complex bureaucracy and ideological smokescreens, to transfer wealth from the industrious classes to itself. This system deceives and compels the taxpaying producers to support a tax-consuming aristocracy, which includes the bureaucracy and corporations that exist on government contracts."
Related Topic: War
Regime Libertarians, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 12 Jul 2005
Criticises the "Iraq Exit Strategy: America's Path Forward" proposal, made by the Libertarian National Committee on 29 June 2005, and suggests the name "Regime Libertarianism" for those who make proposals such as these
"Laissez-Faire Libertarianism can ... hold the view that the state is necessary to intervene in conflicts over property rights and personal crime. ... [The regime] is not the creator of order but the enforcer of conditions that exist already in the absence of the state. It is only there to prevent the freed society from being mauled and attacked by its enemies. But it should never go beyond that, nor should the state be credited somehow for creating freedom."
Rockwell on Libertarianism, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 20 Apr 2007
Interview by Jedrzej Kuskowski for the Polish Libertarian Website Liberalis; topics discussed include libertarianism, the Internet, movement leaders, the State, Ron Paul, the Libertarian Party, left-libertarians, Milton Friedman, immigration and Poland
"Government is always and everywhere a rich man's business. The poor have never played a role in the administration of the State, except insofar as they are used by elites as a cover. In fact, the emergence of the State itself grows out of the successful cartelization of one sector of elites against all its competitors. So of course these same elites rule on behalf of themselves."
Related Topic: Libertarianism
Ron Paul and the Empire, by Steven LaTulippe, 31 Jul 2007
Describes steps the establishment could take to prevent Ron Paul from becoming President
"America is actually a carefully concealed oligarchy. A few thousand people, mostly in government, finance, and the military-industrial complex, run this country for their own purposes. By manipulating the two-party system, influencing the mainstream media, and controlling the flow of campaign finance money, this oligarchy works to secure the nomination of its preferred candidates ..."
Related Topic: Ron Paul
Society without a State, by Murray N. Rothbard, 28 Dec 1974
Talk delivered at the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy
"... I define the state as that institution which possesses one or both (almost always both) of the following properties: (1) it acquires its income by the physical coercion known as 'taxation'; and (2) it asserts and usually obtains a coerced monopoly of the provision of defense service (police and courts) over a given territorial area. An institution not possessing either of these properties is not and cannot be, in accordance with my definition, a state."
Related Topics: Anarchism, Law, Taxation
Taxation Is Robbery, by Frank Chodorov, Out of Step: The Autobiography of an Individualist, 1962
Chapter XXII; starting with the historical origins of taxation, proceeds to examine its indirect and direct forms and the rationales behind it
"It is not the size of the yield, nor the certainty of col­lection, which gives indirect taxation preeminence in the State's scheme of appropriation. Its most commendable qual­ity is that of being surreptitious. It is taking, so to speak, while the victim is not looking. Those who strain them­selves to give taxation a moral character are under obliga­tion to explain the State's preoccupation with hiding taxes in the price of goods."
The Death Wish of the Anarcho-Communists, by Murray N. Rothbard, The Libertarian Forum, 1 Jan 1970
Critique of anarcho-communism, examining its presumed non-coercive nature, and its philosophical and economics orientation
"... anarcho-communists oppose the State ... because they wrongly believe that it is the creator and protector of private property, and therefore that the only route toward abolition of property is by destruction of the State apparatus. They totally fail to realize that the State has always been the great enemy and invader of the rights of private property."
The Ethics of Voting: Part I [PDF], by George H. Smith, The Voluntaryist, Oct 1982
Examines libertarian and anarchist theory to provide a critique of electoral voting, i.e., voting for government officials
"The anarchist ... avers that institutional features of the State, such as the claim of sovereign jurisdiction over a given geographical area, render the State invasive per se. This invasive trait persists regardless of who occupies positions of power in the State or what their individual purposes may be."
Related Topics: Voting, Voluntaryism
The History of Freedom in Antiquity, by John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, 26 Feb 1877
Surveys the ancient history of liberty, both from the side of rulers (despots, Solon, Pericles, Roman Republic and Empire) and philosophers (Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics), and the later influence of Christianity
"The state is competent to assign duties and draw the line between good and evil only in its own immediate sphere. Beyond the limit of things necessary for its wellbeing, it can only give indirect help to fight the battle of life, by promoting the influences which avail against temptation,—Religion, Education, and the distribution of Wealth."
Related Topics: Liberty, Democracy, Government
The Idea of a Private Law Society, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Mises Daily, 28 Jul 2006
Discusses the problem of social order, i.e., rules to regulate the use of "everything scarce so that all possible conflicts can be ruled out"
"First, the state is an agency that exercises a territorial monopoly of ultimate decision-making. That is, it is the ultimate arbiter in every case of conflict, including conflicts involving itself, and it allows no appeal above and beyond itself. Furthermore, the state is an agency that exercises a territorial monopoly of taxation. That is,it is an agency that unilaterally fixes the price private citizens must pay for its provision of law and order."
The Six Faces of the Terrorist; The One Face of Bureaucracy, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 18 Aug 2006
Wonders how much more will Americans tolerate the searches and commands of the Transportation Security Administration agents, contrastring "public sector" security to private security and comparing the TSA and the welfare bureaucracies
"The poor are what provides the welfare state its raison d'être. So the welfare state faces perverse incentives. This is one reason the welfare state didn't work. So it is with the security state. It only benefits from increasing insecurity and fear. The more threats there are to security, the better off it is. Finally, the money that runs the security state is not a drain on a business's bottom line, so there is no one setting out to find ways to reduce the expenditure."
Related Topics: Bureaucracy, Government
The State in the Dock, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 26 May 2006
Reflects on the then ongoing trial of Saddam Hussein (2004-2006) and wonders what would happen if other heads of state, including George W. Bush, were put on trial
"Judged by this standard, all states are guilty. And all heads of state are guilty of criminal wrongdoing if we are using a normal, everyday kind of moral standard to judge them. Thus are they all vulnerable. To be clear, I'm not talking about states in our age, or just particular gangster states. I'm speaking of all states in all times, since by definition the state is permitted to engage in activities that if pursued privately would be considered egregious and intolerable."
Related Topics: Government, George W. Bush, Iraq
The War the Government Cannot Win, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 1 May 2007
Discusses how government cannnot win the war on terror because economic law is more powerful than the state
"We all need to begin to say no to the state on an intellectual level. When you are asked what you would like the government to do for you, we need to be prepared to reply: nothing. We should not ask it to save our children, nor provide security, nor vanquish all evil, nor give us anything at all. ... Nothing the government does takes place without a greater cost than benefit to society."
Thinking about Foreign Policy, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Dec 2006
Analyses why most people tend to think about foreign policy as if it were decided upon by "the people" and attempts to correct the misunderstandings
"The people do not make foreign policy. The state does; or, more precisely, the ruling elite, which includes influential corporate interests outside the formal organization of the state, makes foreign policy. ... The state's unique characteristics are clear to libertarians when they think about domestic policy. ... Is the state a different sort of entity when its focus is the military and relations with other countries?"
We Can Oppose Bigotry without the Politicians, by Sheldon Richman, 28 Feb 2014
Explains why the state is not necessary to ensure that people or business don't discriminate against others on the basis of sexual orientation or some other reason
"The state is an organization of mere mortals who, by one dubious method or another, have been allowed to don the mantle of political legitimacy and to command obedience on pain of imprisonment even of those who never consented to the preposterous arrangement. ... The state should not be seen as a remedy, and considering that its essence is violence, it certainly should not punish nonviolent conduct, however objectionable."
Related Topic: Freedom of Association
We Need an Angel Like Clarence, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 28 Dec 2006
Examines, by example, the "unseen" benefits of libertarian activism over the past century
"If the state had had its way — and the state is always happy with more power and money — there would have been no zone of freedom left to us, and we would live as people have always lived when the state controlled every aspect of life: in the absence of civilization. It would have been a catastrophe. ... No state is liberal by nature, said Mises. Every state wants to control all."
Related Topic: Libertarianism
Who Owns the Internet?, by Tim Swanson, Mises Daily, 4 May 2006
Explains how and why "net neutrality" proposals came about, monopolistic tendencies, comparisons to natural resources and others held in common, and how variable pricing has been used elsewhere to solve similar problems
"The chief concern for both individuals and corporations alike has been the role of the State. If either side had their druthers, the State would intervene; it is a win-win situation for government intervention — a role whose legitimate jurisdiction has been left unquestioned. ... It is not a matter of having regulatory oversight — checked or unchecked the intervening State apparatus and its subterfuge obfuscate and remove accountability that private property and contracts would otherwise resolve."
Why Limited Representative Government Fails, by Michael S. Rozeff, 17 Apr 2008
Presents a four-element theory of why limited representative government fails
"I regard government (including limited representative government) as an ersatz self-government. It is a substitute and a makeshift, a counterfeit like its fiat money. ... The success of the State owes to many factors, one of which is the State's ability to imitate self-government. Even to distinguish government from self-government and present them as opposites in their essentials is made difficult because of the trappings of self-government that the State employs."
Why the Republicans Are Doomed, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 21 Feb 2007
Discusses recent Republican behavior at both the presidential (George W. Bush) and grassroots level, arguing that they take their societal view from Hobbes
"... the law these days is not the law written on our hearts but rather the rules as laid down by state masters. But this seemingly important point is completely lost on the Republican mind, since they believe that without the state as lawmaker, all of society and all of the world would collapse into a muddle of chaos and darkness."
Related Topics: Republican Party, Liberty, Society
Without the State, No Troops to Support, by Jeremy Weiland, 6 Mar 2007
Comments on the critics of the 2003 Iraq invasion who qualify their opposition by saying they still "support the troops"
"Without exception, each and every participant in this endless debate has supported the authority of the State. ... Critics of the war are obligated to speak in terms that reinforce the abstract dogma of the State — otherwise, why would they seek office? ... The reality is that people are wrongly dying because of the State, people have always wrongly died to preserve the State, and they will continue to die until we, the people, start saying 'no'."
Related Topic: War


A Viper Lived in Johnny's House, or A Child's First Verse in Political Philosophy, by Robert Higgs, 9 Oct 2006
"'Listen, boy, it's not wise to wonder.
From the earliest days of mankind,
everyone's had a viper or another
sort of snake: people say they're divine.'
At home, they surrendered a great deal
of their food for the snake to consume."


Anarchy, State and Utopia
    by Robert Nozick, 1974
Partial contents: Why State-of-Nature Theory? - The State of Nature - Moral Constraints and the State - Prohibition, Compensation, and Risk - The State - Distributive Justice - Equality, Envy, Exploitation, Etc. - Demoktesis - A Framework for Utopia
Related Topic: Anarchism
Bargaining With the State
    by Richard A. Epstein, 1993
Partial contents: Theoretical Foundations: The Problem of Coercion - Government Relations Within a Federal System - Economic Liberties and Property Rights - Positivie Rights in the Welfare State
Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen
    by James Bovard, 1999
Partial contents: The Great Pretending: The State, Ideal & Real - The Mirage of Welfare State Freedom - Cagekeepers and Caretakers: Modern Democracy - The Moral Glorification of Leviathan - Sovereignty & Political Slavery
Interventionism: An Economic Analysis
    by Ludwig von Mises, 1940
Partial contents: Capitalism or Market Economy - The Socialist Economy - Interference by Restriction - Interference by Price Control - Inflation and Credit Expansion - Confiscation and Subsidies - Corporativism and Syndicalism - War Economy
Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children
    by David Harsanyi, 2007
Contents: Tyranny of the Busybody - Twinkie Fascists - Days of Whine - The Smokists - Yahweh (or the Highway) - Playground Despots - Mission Creep - How We Pay
Our Enemy, the State, by Albert Jay Nock, 1935
Table of contents (from the Hallberg edition): Social Power vs. State Power - The Origins of State and Class - The State in Colonial America - Land Monopoly and American Independence - Politics and Other Fetiches - The State and the Remnant
Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State
    by Sheldon Richman, Ron Paul (Foreword), The Future of Freedom Foundation, 2001
Partial table of contents: What the Welfare State Really Is - Didn't We Vote For it? - How It Started - The Idea of the Welfare State in America - What About the Poor? - Time to Abolish the Welfare State
The State: Its History and Development Viewed Sociologically, by Franz Oppenheimer, 1908
Contents: Theories of the State - The Genesis of the State - The Primitive Feudal State - The Maritime State - The Development of the Feudal State - The Development of the Constitutional State - The Tendency of the Development of the State
The State Against Blacks
    by Walter E. Williams, 1982
Partial contents: Discrimination Axioms and Discrimination Facts - Racial Terminology and Confusion - Minimum Wage, Maximum Folly - Occupational and Business Licensing - The Taxicab Industry - Economic Regulation by the States


Military Times: Obama--contractors in security-force, by Barack Obama
Senator Obama interviewed by editorial board of the Military Times newspapers, discussing the use of private military contractors like Blackwater
"... I think you're privatizing something that is, what essentially sets a nation-state apart, which is the monopoly on violence ..."

The Sunset of the State, by Stefan Molyneux, 4 Aug 2010
"Our statist system has become so ridiculously complicated because it has ... a fundamental error right down at the root of it ... the belief that violence is the best way to solve complex social problems; the delusion that if you point enough guns at enough people, run up enough debt ..., kidnap and enslave enough free souls, that the world will just get better and better and better."
Related Topic: Non-aggression Principle


The Scam Called the State, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, The Lew Rockwell Show, 30 Jul 2008
Lew asks Hans-Hermann Hoppe to explain why we allow the State to exist and whether there is any hope in opposing it