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.org Daily Article, 25 Jan 2007
Related Topic: Iraq
"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."
Impeach the American People!, by Butler Shaffer, 17 Nov 2006
Related Topic: Founding Fathers
"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 ... The obligation of 'the people' to insist upon its rulers abiding by the terms of the 'agreement,' dissolved into the duty to be obedient to whatever state authorities mandated."
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."
TGIF: Treating People Like Garbage, by Sheldon Richman, 4 Oct 2013
Related Topics: Children, Richard M. Nixon
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."
TGIF: 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."
The Anatomy of the State, by Murray N. Rothbard, 1974
Related Topics: U.S. Bill of Rights, Albert Jay Nock, Franz Oppenheimer, Property, War
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
"Members of the control cult have always found themselves attracted to the agency whose raison d'etre 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
"... 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 Ethics of Voting: Part Two [PDF], by George H. Smith, The Voluntaryist, Dec 1982
Related Topics: American Revolutionary War, Politicians
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
Related Topics: Democracy, Military Industrial Complex
"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. It rules by confusion."
The Six Faces of the Terrorist; The One Face of Bureaucracy, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises.org Daily Article, 18 Aug 2006
"So it is with the security state. We give it power, we permit it to run itself with no oversight, we put up with its excesses, and we have a hard time imagining what life would be like without it. Well, it's time we start imagining, because the result of the security state will be more insecurity, more costs on the rest of us ..."
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 ..."
Why I Am An Anarchist, by Caleb Johnson, The New Hampshire Free Press, 12 Mar 2008
Related Topic: War
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."
UpdAlbert Jay Nock, Forgotten Man of the Right, by Jeffrey A. Tucker, 22 Aug 2002
Related Topics: Albert Jay Nock, Politics
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."
Alternative Medicine Is Libertarian Medicine, by Butler Shaffer, 2 Dec 2006
Related Topics: Health Care, Life
"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."
Are the Salad Days for Somalia Over?, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises.org Daily Article, 8 Jun 2006
Related Topic: Somalia
"... 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 ... 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."
Begrudging Another Battle of Ballot-Boxing, by Kenneth R. Gregg, 23 Nov 2006
Related Topics: Politics, Libertarian Party, Taxation, Voting
"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."
Benjamin Ricketson Tucker, Part 2, by Wendy McElroy, Future of Freedom, Sep 2007
Related Topic: Benjamin Tucker
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
Related Topics: Corporatism, Communications Technology, Monopoly
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."
Does the Market Commodify Everything?, by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Mises.org Daily Article, 18 Sep 2006
Related Topic: Prices
"With the state ... the price is whatever the state says it is. It will provide services you do not want, will never use, and may even find morally repugnant, and then tell you what you must pay for them. ... Precisely because it acts outside of the market, the state can devise arbitrary prices for its services, make those prices vary across different classes of people, and then threaten physical force against anyone refusing to pay them."
Libertarians of Will, Intellect, and Action, by Murray N. Rothbard, 1977
Related Topics: Libertarianism, American Revolutionary War, United States Declaration of Independence, Libertarian Party, Thomas Paine
Keynote address to the Libertarian Party Convention
"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."
Preventing Opposition to War, by Sheldon Richman, 13 Apr 2007
Related Topic: War
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."
Ron Paul and the Empire, by Steven LaTulippe, 31 Jul 2007
Related Topic: Ron Paul
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 ..."
Society without a State, by Murray N. Rothbard, 28 Dec 1974
Related Topics: Anarchism, Law, Taxation
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."
Taxation Is Robbery, by Frank Chodorov, Out of Step: The Autobiography of an Individualist, 1962
Related Topics: Taxation, Corporatism, Politics, Social Security Tax
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."
TGIF: We Can Oppose Bigotry without the Politicians, by Sheldon Richman, 28 Feb 2014
Related Topic: Freedom of Association
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."
The Death Wish of the Anarcho-Communists, by Murray N. Rothbard, The Libertarian Forum, 1 Jan 1970
Related Topics: Communism, Achievement, Economists, Private Property, Spain
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
Related Topics: Voting, Voluntaryism
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."
The Idea of a Private Law Society, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Mises.org Daily Article, 28 Jul 2006
Related Topics: Private Property, Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Democracy, Government, Law, Taxation
"... the state is an agency that exercises a territorial monopoly of ultimate decision-making. ... it is the ultimate arbiter in every case of conflict, including conflicts involving itself, and it allows no appeal above and beyond itself. Furthermore ... it is an agency that unilaterally fixes the price private citizens must pay for its provision of law and order."
The War the Government Cannot Win, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 1 May 2007
Related Topics: Terrorism, Iraq, Iraq War (2003), Socialism, United States
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
Related Topics: Foreign Entanglements, Taxation
Analyzes 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?"
Why Limited Representative Government Fails, by Michael S. Rozeff, 17 Apr 2008
Related Topics: Government, Limited Government, Voting
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
Related Topics: Republican Party, Liberty
"... 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."
Without the State, No Troops to Support, by Jeremy Weiland, 6 Mar 2007
Related Topic: War
"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'. We cannot count on establishment types to say 'no'; until people are finally unwilling to believe in fairy tales, storytellers are easily replaced."


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
Related Topic: Anarchism
1975 National Book Award
Bargaining With the State
    by Richard A. Epstein, 1993
Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen
    by James Bovard, 1999
UpdInterventionism: 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
UpdOur 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
Electronic text available, in English, at the German "Franz Oppenheimer Homepage"
The State Against Blacks
    by Walter E. Williams, 1982


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
Related Topic: Non-aggression Principle
"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."


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