Guest Post: The Nature And Origin Of The State

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Sat, 01/29/2011 - 13:43 | 916195 Malcolm Tucker
Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:32 | 916319 AnonymousAnarchist
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Introduction to a Stateless Society

If you only read one thing there, make it Hasnas' The Obviousness of Anarchy (pdf).

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:52 | 916507 Dick Buttkiss
Dick Buttkiss's picture

Superb, AA, thanks so much for the link.

Based on the series so far, Free Radical obviously agrees. And I very much look forward to the remainder.

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 06:57 | 917580 Voluntary Exchange
Voluntary Exchange's picture

People need security against criminals and adjudication of disputes.  These are services. There is nothing magic about these services.  These services need not be provided by a monopoly provider in a given geographical area (what you call the "state"). Instead of paying taxes against your will you can purchase security and adjudication services from who you trust. No elections, instant accountability, perfect maintenance of power by the people and their "power of the purse", no attempts by a monopoly of force to out-law free market money (usually gold and silver), and no incentive for criminals to capture the power of "government" as they always try to when the  "state" is a monopoly  of force that can criminally force its will against non-criminal people.

In a free market of governmental type services any entity that provides security or adjudication services that goes criminal finds it has no customers, or just a few - the criminals (a small minority), and that is not going to sustain them and they will instantly find they are in conflict with all the security providers that remain servants to their non-criminal customers.

Please study up on voluntarism.  For a historical example, Ireland before the British conquest had free markets in adjudication services (Brehon law) and free market in security services, what historians refer to as a network of "kings" or "tuatha", but kings who could loose their customers instantly if they behaved like criminals, and who faced greater penalties for breach of Brehon law as they were considered privileged due to their position. Any free person who could obtain enough "customers" could become a "king" under this system. 


Here are some links to expand your awareness of the issue:


To get a historical perspective on most of known "state"  history you can check out:

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 11:08 | 917701 Quixotic_Not
Quixotic_Not's picture

Anyone that believes in voluntarism,  forgot to include the variable of human nature into the equation...and taking examples from ancient agrarian cultures, that in the end was destroyed by a greater force is complete bullshit.

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 16:12 | 918327 CH1
CH1's picture

Sorry, Q, but you are wrong. Voluntaryists (at least the majority) believe in the use of force, just not the initiation thereof. They DO account for human nature and its dark eruptions.

The Voluntaryists are right. The statists are wrong.

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 17:02 | 918503 Dick Buttkiss
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Quite right, CH, voluntaryists (true libertarians) are by no means pacifists and instead have a firm belief in the right of self-defense, which can involve violence (to the point of death to the assailant) but not aggression, which is the initiation of violence or the threat thereof.

The state being an aggressor by nature (if "only" through the theft of taxation), you therefore have the right to defend yourself against it by any means you deem necessary. Yes, you can instead choose to submit to the aggression, as most do, but submission is not consent. And as soon as you are supported by enough of your fellows (e.g., Tunisia, Egypt), the state quickly finds itself on the run. Only temporarily, perhaps, as one statist regime merely gives way to another. But the process is accelerating, meaning that it won't be long before it finally dawns on people that replacing one set of bums with another is an exercise in futility. 

Watch, then, for it to dawn on Americans that its central government is just such a futile enterprise, with one or another state finally calling it quits and lighting the fuse accordingly.

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 13:22 | 924139 Voluntary Exchange
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And what a wonderful moment for the human race that will be!

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 18:37 | 918717 AnonymousAnarchist
Sun, 01/30/2011 - 18:35 | 918711 AnonymousAnarchist
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Anyone that believes in voluntarism, forgot to include the variable of human nature into the equation...

How do you figure? It seems to me that the person who believes the way to bring order to society is to grant some people a monopoly power to create and coercively enforce rules - create a government - is the person who does not understand human nature. In fact, human nature is a strong argument in favor of anarchy.

You're also assuming that all anarchists/voluntarists/abolitionists/etc. came to their beliefs for purely utilitarian reasons. That is not the case. Many anarchists are anarchists for purely ethical reasons. "To be an anarchist only means that you believe that aggression is not justified, and that states necessarily employ aggression. And, therefore, that states, and the aggression they necessarily employ, are unjustified". So, while minarchists, state-socialists, [insert favorite form of statism here] all believe aggression (non-defensive force) is justified (even if for different reasons), anarchists maintain that aggression is never justified. There are anarchists (like David Friedman) that argue for anarchy on utilitarian grounds but I wanted to point out the ethics-based argument you are ignoring.

...and taking examples from ancient agrarian cultures, that in the end was destroyed by a greater force is complete bullshit.

I'm not sure to which culture you're referring but the Icelandic Free State was never destroyed by a greater force and there are societies that have avoided states for thousands of years. Examples are moot anyway. People who argued against the abolition of slavery would use the same non-argument ("there aren't many examples of societies without slavery").

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 19:45 | 918800 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Dick  and  Anon'

Thanks for all the links, i'll try to read them all. Just want to say i joined this site coz it's the only place i've seen 2 guys with my views of zero Govt.

Penny dropped for me about 6 or 12 month ago, not sure, but everything then fell into place. Think triggered by another penny, the free market competition mechanism and how that distributes power which pinged why Govt will never ever work, because it's a monpoly power structure. 

Regards the background and philosophy you guys know so deeply I'll try to catch up but my basic belief is we are herd/pack animals. It's not the philosophy, its quite natural, we just are sociable and behave well amongst the herd to get along (no rules or even police required).

Not sure how that stacks up against your beliefs but willing to test any idea with you scholars. Here's to freedom and hopefully bringing it about  ;)) 

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 19:55 | 918812 Dick Buttkiss
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Welcome aboard, ZG, and well understand the "fell into place" feeling. Very cleansing, first off, like a long-overdue shower; then towel off and run.

Look forward to the continuing conversation.

And thanks again, AA, for the Hasnas link. What a landmark essay.


Mon, 01/31/2011 - 12:41 | 920634 Zero Govt
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Have you any ideas how we bring about 0.0000 Govt after it collapses during this Depression?

We're going to see big social changes and people ripe for a new way and ideas. And we're going to be working 'downhill' with the majority in that everything Govt stood for will be patent to everyone it made worse not better. Govt will be a 4 letter word. So we're going to see a changing of the old guard (GOP and Dems gone) and new Parties emerge with completely different views to reflect Joe Public.

My fera is the Tea Partys' small Govt mantra is just a clear-out of the big old Aliens parasites and the TP's will simply be carrying new baby Aliens inside their chests ready to burst out and repeat the exact same rape of liberty and theft and impoverishment of societies wealth. Small Govt is not the solution to Big govt. It's the same virus, the same dumb structural mistake.

And you can't have a Party running for zero Govt running into the same structure that you want to fold. So the only solution is an online petition far as I can see. When the Govt collapse comes you have a declaration from the populace they want no Govt.

there's already a large part of the population to appeal to, the near 50% who never vote because they're sane enough to understand it doesn't change anything!

Appeal to them and the disalusioned who did vote, it's going to be a big part of society to pick up signatures.

This also usurps the parasites usual tactics of becoming ingratiated with whatever new Parties emerge. They bide their time and slowly but surely work over the leaders of the new Parties. If you have an online petition this minority scum cannot work over a handful of leaders. Their usual tactics are nullified.

Any new parties are also hamstrung with the petition. They'll look anti-democratic if they force Govt on a petition of say 30-60 million people who say they do not want any Govt structure.

The Petition is the best solution I can think of to push the 'No Govt' agenda and achieve our aims of a free society and free markets. 

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 13:26 | 924153 Voluntary Exchange
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We await your reply Quiotic_N to see if you are capable of actual thinking.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:06 | 916405 Dick Buttkiss
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If you're going post off-topic, at least acknowledge the fact with an explanation or, better, an apology. Otherwise, you're just rude.

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 00:03 | 917340 pan-the-ist
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I hope there's a real dust up in Saudi Arabia.  It's about time the "King" shared his wealth.  I hope the people become commies and take it.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 13:46 | 916206 Salinger
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D.G. White, is that you?

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:05 | 916252 redpill
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Freedom's just another word for nothing left to loose
Nothing, and that's all that Bobby left me

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:48 | 916493 Quixotic_Not
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Freedom's just another word for nothing left to loose

Too bad, so sad, but for the progeny of the huddled masses, the suicide of some drunken whore is exponentially more important than the Epoch of Democratic Republics due to the Age of Reason...

Bad men cannot make good citizens. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience are incompatible with freedom." ~ Patrick Henry

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.  ~ John Adams

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company...Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. ~ George Washington

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:06 | 916875 nmewn
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Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:10 | 916271 Sean7k
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Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:11 | 916274 CH1
CH1's picture

The real story about the state:

Oh, and the post was excellent. :)

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:12 | 916400 Azannoth
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There was a great author who spelled out All whe worries on our day and age, pitty that he died 2 years ago

He published 40 books, was a member of Mensa he does not hold back and as a person with high IQ he writes plainly about sensitive and difficult topics


Warning: his writings may change your view on History, Science, Religion and Philosophy read at your own discretion

If you live in Germany this site may be blocked for you (use a web proxy)

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 23:18 | 919193 Alienated Serf
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umm, not gonna lie, i didn't read it, but how about human liberation, not just white liberation.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:52 | 916510 Quixotic_Not
Quixotic_Not's picture

Thank you comrade, I'm sure you're ecstatic about the total incorporation of the 10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto into the US Kapitalist Pig .GOV...

And now for The real story about the origin of the USofA:

The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions...Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience. ~ John Locke 1690

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:38 | 916924 Sean7k
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Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:15 | 916282 Victor Berry
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Society?  Isn't that just aother code word for socialism?  God [sic] forbid that America becomes a society!

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 06:44 | 917573 CH1
CH1's picture

In its pure form, the word is okay, but in actual use these days, you are right.

When they say "social" anything, grab your wallet!

PS: In the old days, it was a verb: "In society with family and friends."

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:17 | 916286 InconvenientCou...
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The dangerous question becomes; is the rapid expansion of human population a tool of the state to gain control of the individual?

If you think that through a little, you might ease off the "state is evil" proposition. States are simply one of many emergent human organization schemes in support of biological imperitive. It's neither good nor bad.

If "the state" as a human construct, is limb of a tree, maybe understanding the trunk and roots will help? Philosophy is sadly, a dying meme in western culture. With it goes the internal compass of conduct.



Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:46 | 916737 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

bravo, i am glad someone had the vision to state this...we are way beyond the sophistry of politics as a means to determine strategy or economics to measure the past allocation of resources when polluted by the politics of regulation.

I think the real politik, which economics and logistics can support, is the allocation of scarce resources and the provision of minimum standards of living given reources.

The article is a great scene setter in that it provides the outlines of past and now unsuitable structures that are needed to meet current needs. The days of the old markets are similarly dead. You can't change the ability of an asset to produce a return by the way it is financed. Paper money or M3 is not a revenue producing stream, it is a penalty at best and a temporary tool. Money supply is not some perpetual motion machine that creates assets.

Anyway, well said.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:08 | 916774 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

@ Inconvenient

Your first sentence is total delusional rubbish. You need to be tripping out to connect those 2 dots. 

Your second sentence suggests the State is a social construct neutral in its effect, "neither good nor evil". The State is a monopoly power structure, a central planning structure and an elite structure. On all 3 counts it is designed to be garbage, baked in to be elitest and constructed to be a parasite.

As for Philosophy "losing the internal compass of conduct" I'd say philosophy is the ART of losing your compass up your rectum. Social inetraction is the moral compass, it keeps us all in check, keeps us all honest. Both philosophy and Govt are detached and lead to various stages of delusion from the street. Neither has added to humanity, one, the State, has systemically destroyed, impoverished and suffocated it.

Namely the State has proven itself to be a failure and attract the garbage of humanity to its elite power structures.

Remove the State and we remove 90% of the troubles we face because it is the major breeding ground and ratchet of parasites in society. We then return to a free wealth generating society and free competitive markets (another part the State perverts for monopoly power corporatists). Government is not the solution, it is the problem.

The State has patently failed throughout history. It is now bankrupt from Europe to America and further. The people have no voice in this corrupt to the core parasitical structure. We've tried, it's failed. Game Over  

The only 2 models that work for the benefit of humanity: Freedom & Free Markets.   

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:35 | 916290 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

+1 Interesting. 


Amongst the many worthless - especially those who go around calling anyone even slightly left of Genghis Khan, "socialists", there are a few Americans who deserve to be lauded for the way they lived their lives. One such individual who passed away this month is worthy of mention. Since nobody else has mentioned him on ZH, I would like to express my deep condolences to those who knew and loved him:


Robert Sargent Shriver. November 9, 1915 – January 18, 2011. American Statesman and Activist.


My thanks for all he has done for his country and humanity. Dr. Ron Paul is probably the closest you have to his type of quiet activism, humanitarian efforts, and vision for a world that knows no hatred. 

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:41 | 916609 Goldilocks
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… another Genghis Khan reference.

(from the movie 'Blood and Bone' ... kind of ‘Fight Club’ey)

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Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:50 | 916742 hooligan2009
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as far as I know, Ghenghis had no God, other than the "Sky Father". That being the case, he was probably taking the mickey out of the stupid religious types he was busy conquering at the time, in a small unimportant country on his way back from kicking the shit out of the Xin.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:24 | 916304 Flakmeister
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 Interesting post, well done.  A quick check gives

Arable land utilized (1994)  16 x 10^6 km^2

Potential arable land          38 x 10^6 km^2

Human population = 7 x 10^9

1 acre = 0.0040 km^2 or 1 km^2 = 250 acres

I therefore get 2 x 10^-3 km^2 per person

giving 0.5 acres of arable land per person

I would say that this not bode well....

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:12 | 916417 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

 Not sure what your point is


Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:48 | 916361 born2bmild
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Nice double check. I wonder if the 'potential arable land' figure is up to date? We can do a lot with what we previously thought worthless and use what we already have far more efficiently.

and for you cold climate folks


Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:14 | 916420 Flakmeister
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  All depends on energy, in particular liquid hydrocarbons. Be careful in what you mean by efficient.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:39 | 916436 born2bmild
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I think closed loop systems are the most efficient. Wait, you want to talk about fuel efficiency:

Lets see, we already have fuel from algae which can double it's mass every 5 hrs during the daytime and be grown in wastewater in the desert.

This one really pisses the doomers off, here's a comment from physorg's recent article about LENR (cold fusion).

"According to a study published by the Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, cold fusion has been replicated 14,700 times in several hundred major laboratories. I have a collection of over a thousand peer-reviewed journal papers describing these replications, which I copied from the library at Los Alamos. I have 2,500 other papers from national laboratories, EPRI, BARC the NSF and other mainstream institutions describing high-sigma replications. Why do you claim these replications are "illegitimate"? In what sense are they illegitimate?

I suggest you review the literature more carefully before making such assertions. See"


I'm not attacking you or anyone else, I just think the sustainability issues aren't really being looked at when the solutions already exist.

We haven't even begun to talk about the literally thousands of energy patents locked up at the US Patent office for - "national security reasons".





Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:46 | 916488 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

  Maybe I am being dense, but I have no idea where you are running with this.

If there was a point that I was making, it was that based on the concept of self-sufficiency, ergo "freedom from the state", we are well past the point of no return.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:57 | 916528 born2bmild
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We have the tools to be free from the state - selfsufficiency.


Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:03 | 916543 born2bmild
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I'm also an old Bill Still fan while we are on the topic

(I know it's been posted here before but it still works)


The Secret of Oz:

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:55 | 916646 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

   Increased complexity does not lead to self-sufficiency, it only increases a reliance upon "The "State" to provide the infrastructure to enable the "self-sufficiency". The provider or enablers of the necessary infrastructure become "The State" by default because they are in a position to do so. All history has taught us, that they do so.

Moreover, in such a scenario, I would worried about my "neighbors" eyeing my self-sufficiency to increase their self-sufficiency, if you catch my drift. 

Face it, the problem we face is that roughly 5% of the population are sociopaths that ruin it for everone else. It is how we deal with that 5% defines our society, culture, and finally "The State" itself. Unfortunately, that 5% tends to gravitate into becoming "The State" because that is where the money and power are.


Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:20 | 916689 born2bmild
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I thought my proposals decreased complexity, local everything we need. I live in CA, Reagan turned the 5% out onto the street. If someone wants to eye my self sufficiency I hope they like dogs or the neighbors guns. I hope the state doesn't worry about me growing veggies or fish, I don't even think Rupert Murdoch could convince anyone that is a threat.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:33 | 916719 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

  The 5% that Reagan turned out is most definitely not the 5% I am worried about or even referred to. A sociopath is someone that considers only themselves to the point where they feel that it is their right to take whatever they chose regardless of the cost to other people. Wall Street crawls with them. They are takers not creators. Although I am an athiest, Jesus was well aware of them and, for his time, described them to a tee.

  If you think using algae blooms to produce liquid fuel is not "complexity" than I shudder to think what you think is complex.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:42 | 916729 born2bmild
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There are books already available about doing it yourself or you could just look at the diy vid I posted (there are plenty more). Not sure who's side you are on honestly, unless you are one of those folks that gets overwhelmed at the idea of making pancakes.  I want to help you out but you seem really scared. Good luck to you.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:53 | 916750 Flakmeister
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  I am not scared for myself, only others, and when other people get scared, they tend to do really stupid stuff.

I do think that you have a somewhat romantic view of a  "Stateless society", history has shown that things don't always work the way youu think they should. Even the idea of "you and the neighbors" defending yourself smacks of naivete, it ain't gonna be some romantic western.

Lest, you misunderstand me, between my neighbors and I we have the following:



semi-auto 30-06

Desert Eagle

10 or so M-60s (they make a nice boom-boom)

and a few other goodies. God forbid if it ever came to actually needing to use them

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:02 | 916765 born2bmild
born2bmild's picture

Hey buddy, I'm a veteran. It seems like you might have already lost any arms race against the state. Maybe it's time to try something new.



Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:15 | 916785 Flakmeister
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 When the SHTF, I am not going to be worried about the state. I am going to be worried about roving packs of people wanting whatever they think I might have. Unfortunately, there will likely be more of them than any reasonable number of rounds I might have laying around...

If you think that you can create a self-sufficient society, sufficiently armed to defend yourselves, that is fine with me. But consider that one day, someone in your society will convince people that the "little society down the road" is ripe for the picking (or vice-versa). I'll leave it at that.

Nice discussion... we'll do it again sometime.

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