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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/14712/how-and-why-the-state-destroys-society/

How and Why the State Destroys Society

November 22, 2010 by

Since the State thrives on what it expropriates, the general decline in production that it induces by its avarice foretells its own doom. Its source of income dries up. Thus, in pulling Society down it pulls itself down. FULL ARTICLE by Frank Chodorov


Ryan November 22, 2010 at 11:32 am

Incredible and thought-provoking. Wow.

billwald November 22, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Christian theology defines the problem as our “sin nature.” If this is not correct then someone please explain how the human race has become more moral over the last 2000 or 4000 years. More moral, not simply more sanitary and efficient at doing evil.

Allen Weingarten November 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Billwald, are you saying that because man is sinful, this explains how “the human race has become more moral”? Kindly clarify.

A Liberal In Lakeview November 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Allen, while waiting for Billwald to clarify his comment, including what he means, or thinks that he means, by “sin nature”, you might find it informative and useful to read the words of John A. Hardon, S.J., in the entry for “ORIGINAL SIN” in his book, <Modern Catholic Dictionary, at http://www.therealpresence.org/dictionary/odict.htm. The first three sentences there are

Either the sin committed by Adam as the head of the human race, or the sin he passed onto his posterity with which every human being, with the certain exception of Christ and his Mother, is conceived and born. The sin of Adam is called originating original sin (originale originans); that of his descendents is originated original sin (originale originatum). Adam’s sin was personal and grave, and it affected human nature.

Some of the problems with the doctine should be obvious by the time you get to the term “human nature”. One is that it mocks justice by making innocence impossible, as Ayn Rand pointed out when she has John Galt condemn it in Atlas Shrugged.

Franklin November 22, 2010 at 8:53 pm

You are hopelessly stuck in a collectivist mentality. A slave mentality, more specifically. It never ends with you.
The human race.
The working class.
The rich.
The poor.
The country.
The church.
And you will never recognize the inherent flaw of this paradigm.
The human race has not become more moral. There have been billions of individual human beings who have lived and died over the past 2,000 to 4,000 years. Some kind. Some unkind.
And that continues to this day.

Wildberry November 22, 2010 at 9:42 pm


“The human race has not become more moral.”

You seem to think, all things considered, that over those thousands of years and billions of human beings, we have become less moral, or are you saying we have remained constant in that regard?

I would be interested in any examples you might provide to illustrate when we have been more moral or if we have have really changed at all.

Can you illustrate?

matt470 November 23, 2010 at 12:40 am

Can I answer this one?

Wildberry, what Franklin seems to be pointing out in my opinion relates entirely to his first sentence…. stop collectivising everything!

How can one talk about society or the human race becoming more or less moral when neither society nor the human race are acting entities in themselves and it is only through action that morality can be expressed. Only individuals can act. That is, society or the human race cannot act separately from the action of its composite individuals. Thereofre trying to collectivise this and come to some meaningful way of measuring how moral or immoral the human race is is completely meaningless.

The point that Franklin correctly makes is that human race at any stage in its history will consist of some individuals that are prone to act predominantly morally and individuals that act predominantly immorally and everything in between… it is meanlingless to collectivise this and try to measure how moral or immoral the human race is at different times in history.

King George November 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm

No, it isn’t meaningless. Stop being collectivist yourself in trying to force other people to stop phrasing terms in ways you don’t like.

There is nothing meaningless in that statement any more than it would be meaningless to state that people are more literate, or more educated, or any other statements you care to make.

Wildberry November 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Every sentence of this article would serve as a worthy launching point for further discussion. I choose this one:

“The transition from negative Government to positive State is marked by the use of political power for predatory purposes.”

As I understand this, if State equals the “monopoly on the initiation of violence”, and Government is not equal to State, then Government is not equal to “monopoly on the initiation of violence”.
Further, this implies that Government is a precursor to a State, and that it may be defined as something like “The enforcer of last resort of the negative rights of protection.” That is, it s not a monopoly, in the sense that it does not preclude alternative enforcement, and it does not initiate coercion, in the sense that its power is defined by negative protection rights, not positive, predatory power.
If this initial premise concerning a distinction between Government and State can be accepted in approximate terms, then my question is this: Can Government be maintained, and State prevented?
By metaphor, allow me to use a concept of “tree”. A tree has a life cycle. It starts as one thing (a seed) and ends in death. It produces over this lifetime, something useful to its human cohabitants; in life (fruit) and in death (fuel).
A tree in the wild grows and develops on its own accord, with only the wind and weather, and perhaps parasites, to interfere with its natural course.
A tree that is cultivated is pruned and shaped to suit its purposes to the stewards of its existence. The orchardist may prune it back to facilitate improved access for care and harvest, and to maximize production. The Bonsai artist prunes and shapes for the purpose of his aesthetics.
If we assume of this particular tree that if left unattended, it will transform its fruit from beneficial to harmful, we may choose among the following options.
1. Destroy the tree under the belief that all trees of this type will eventually produce poison, and therefore it is best to never allow it to grow past the infant sprout.
2. Allow the tree to progress through its natural cycle and simply educate others of the danger and such danger can be thereby avoided.
3. Prune and otherwise care for the tree under the belief that on balance the fruit is worthwhile. This course implies acceptance of a stewardship role, knowledge of the means to obtain the goal, and freedom to act as one sees fit.

Assuming we are standing before such a tree, which do we choose?

matt470 November 23, 2010 at 1:06 am

I’m not sure that I can agree with your initial point in this comment Wildberry.

Your logic appears (to me anyway) to be a bit flawed. You say that because the State equals a “monopoly on the initiation of violence” and the Government and State are different things, that therefore the Government must not be equal to a “monopoly on the initiation of violence”. At first glimpse this may appear valid but if you delve deeper I think you’ll see that perhaps it isn’t. Whilst I appreciate your use of logic, this field is not as quantitative as mathematics. I’m no mathematician but using the term “equals” in the context of this article wouldn’t imply that the thing it is equal to has to be mutually exclusive. I’ll try and explain what I mean with an example of my own.

The statement that the State equals a “monopoly on the initiation of violence” does not tell us anything about whether or not that is all the State can equal. Perhaps that is just one of its attributes? That is, from this statement alone we cannot say that the State is perhaps not also equal to “a parasite on all of it’s subjects operating without the true consent of its subjects” and perhaps Government doesn’t equal this. This opens the possibility to the Government being a “monopoly on the initation of violence” (which I think it is) and yet it still being something different to the State.

Hope that makes sense?

Wildberry November 23, 2010 at 1:37 am


I am simply saying:
“Further, this implies that Government is a precursor to a State”.
Ancaps define State in this way, which I am stating is the rough equivalent to “the use of political power for predatory purposes.” It implies monopoly and initiation of force (predation).

Something must have predated the emergence of this State. The author calls it Government.

I am trying to draw your attention to the process of transformation from one to another and pose a question to probe your view about personal responsibility to act in the face of this situation.

That was supposed to be the interesting part. Looks like I missed the mark with you. Sorry.

matt470 November 23, 2010 at 2:11 am

Fair point Wildberry. Albert J Nock also propounded the idea that Government predates the State and I really like the way both Chodorov and he describe this transformation and the differences between Government and State.

Look I think you’re probably right about people taking some responsibility in preventing or drastically slowing the transition from Government to State or at least I like to optimistically believe that humans may be smart enough to recognise the nature of the beast (Statism). Unforuntately though I think that the forces within human nature that Chodorov suggests drives this transition may just be too irrestibly strong and or perhaps operating too slowly (ie. spread over many generations) to be detected for what they are.

Perhaps I’m too much of a pessimist but if you read the last chapter of Nock’s the Enemy of the State then it’s hard to take an optimistic approach!

Bob November 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm

If government is to be compared to a tree, then it would have to be the Hackberry, and instead of being pruned, both should be cut down.

Wildberry, man your reasoning/analogies are quite interesting….

Wildberry November 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I’m sure you mean that in a good way…

Wildberry November 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I’m thinking that morality has a function in an evolutionary sense. Acting morally is a voluntary act, if that is its origin, and facilitates cooperation. A moral ideology helps facilitate this cooperation by increasing the probability that one can expect moral conduct from others in your society. For this reason, it is self-selecting.

I am also thinking that it has a place in law. Although I’m not prepared to rigorously defend this idea, just as a concept of natural law can be useful to a philosophy of law, morality and ethics can also be embodied in laws so some degree, and become a part of a legal institution.
Like evolution and time, morality has a direction that is anti-entropic (builds order), like the “arrow of time” has a direction, and as life builds order from the entropic flow of energy.

matt470 November 23, 2010 at 1:42 am

Not picking on you here Wildberry, and I’m sure you’ll be capable of defending your own position ;-) but I can only agree with this idea in a very limited sense.

I kind of like the idea that morality may be anti-entropic (first time I’ve heard this term and I quite like it), but I don’t think I can agree with it and I also thinkg that it diverges from what Chodorov is saying in his article.

Firstly, morality is value based and values are entirely subjective. This means that it totally depends on your personal viewpoint as to what behaviour should be categorised as moral and what you think is immoral. Therefore it is entirely conceivable that what you see as an improving morality or anti-entropic I could view as deteriorating morality or entropic and yet neither of us would be wrong.

Secondly, even if we were somehow able to objectively and meaningfully measure the morality of the human race at points in history (and I’ve already stated I don’t think this can be done), then I would still suggest that the anti-entropic evolution of morality only occurs within cycles probably within specific societies. Therefore it would ebb and flow in the same way society does in the manner that Chodorov points out.

Wildberry November 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm

If I wasn’t inviting you to pick on me, I wouldn’t post here.

“Firstly, morality is value based and values are entirely subjective. This means that it totally depends on your personal viewpoint as to what behaviour should be categorised as moral and what you think is immoral.”

The relationship between action and the ideologies of the actor are “subjective” in the sense they are unknowable in their entirety by anyone other than the actor. That is not the same thing as saying you cannot know “anything” about them. The actor may tell you something about them, making them, at least partially, knowable.

“Therefore it is entirely conceivable that what you see as an improving morality or anti-entropic I could view as deteriorating morality or entropic and yet neither of us would be wrong.”

Morality, ideology and life itself are anti-entropic in the sense that they build structure by converting energy. Otherwise, life and heat death would be indistinguishable. They are not, and further, they exist within time, which has an irreversible direction for our purposes, at least.

As long as the energy inputs are available, they may be thought of as organizing principles for the structures they create. While it is true that creation and destruction coexist, and perhaps are even mutually dependencies, they appear to have a direction in time; creation always proceeds destruction.

To pick an example arbitrarily, the notion of conquest and territorial imperialism were once a predominant feature of human societies. At the least, one could observe that military invasion has been replaced with the process of economic domination. One could argue that at least one aspect of this change is related to a shift in prevailing morality; i.e. it isn’t nice to invade your neighbor, the guy across the street, or humans across an ocean.

In this regard, we have become more moral, and we are unlikely to go backwards and unravel the course of history to return to the practices of earlier times. I think this analogy might hold across a number of other examples. We seem to be more, not less, willing to conduct ourselves according to a “higher” sense of morality that was the case, say 500 years ago.

“Secondly, even if we were somehow able to objectively and meaningfully measure the morality of the human race at points in history (and I’ve already stated I don’t think this can be done), then I would still suggest that the anti-entropic evolution of morality only occurs within cycles probably within specific societies. Therefore it would ebb and flow in the same way society does in the manner that Chodorov points out.”

There is ebb and flow, for sure. But not in the way you literally imply here. We didn’t return to a state of “Cro-Magnon man” when the Roman Empire fell. Many of the institutions of Roman society have found their way into contemporary American society. Some of their technology has survived. For example, have you ever heard the tale about how the physical envelop for the design of the solid rocket boosters of the Space Shuttle were constrained by the existing width of railroad tracks, and that these specifications can be traced back to the width of two horses asses in tandom, upon which depended the design or roads, which lead to the design of railroads? These roads were Roman and the horse’s asses were pulling a chariot, whose wheel width was accommodating to the width of a horse’s ass.

When the dinosaurs went extinct, earth didn’t evolve more dinosaurs. Evolution has a direction, because to proceed, it must have a way of encoding the results of prior experimentation, that is, knowledge is not lost.

Therefore, the ebb and flow described by Chernov does not reset things to zero and we start again with a blank piece of paper. Knowledge is preserved somewhat, and is also an organizing principle, and it has a direction.

Clearly, when viewed over a long history, humans have organized themselves into ever more moral, ethically consistent societies. A source of optimism can be the thought that we are not finished yet.

matt470 November 23, 2010 at 9:34 pm

“The relationship between action and the ideologies of the actor are “subjective” in the sense they are unknowable in their entirety by anyone other than the actor. That is not the same thing as saying you cannot know “anything” about them. The actor may tell you something about them, making them, at least partially, knowable.”

What the actor tells you about the ideology behind their actions has no bearing on the morality of the act itself. The government tells us it compulsorily acquires our property (ie. taxation) for our own benefit yet this doesn’t make stealing just or moral and yet it is still stealing.

It seems inescapable that morality is judged according to standards which are completely dynamic and are both subjective and relative. It is entirely conceivable (and even likely) that future generations will look upon the standards we judge morality by today as being completely unjustified and a poor measure of morality (what was moral according to our standards would not be according to theirs). Importantly though in the context of this debate, it does not mean that their standards of morality have to be an improved or refined version of ours as your commentary would seem to have it (although since they’ll be the ones evaluating it then they would of course belief that). We may find that even further out generations look back and say no those folks in the early 21st century actually had it right and the subsequent generation was the most immoral this world has seen (let’s hope not of course!).

The measure of standards of morality is entirely relative and can change in any direction. Even the process of trying to map which direction the change is occurring in can only be done within the paradigm of current standards so is also meaningless. Whilst you and I won’t agree with it and neither the standards of our day, future generations may decide again that slavery or territorial conquest are moral practices.

“Clearly, when viewed over a long history, humans have organized themselves into ever more moral, ethically consistent societies.”

Are you sure about this? I totally disagree. I don’t feel that our society today is necessarily any more moral or ethically consistent that the little I know about some of our most ancient ancestors. Sure, we have a significantly higher standard of living and a far more integrated world but notwithstanding this we live in a time of widespread large-scale corruption, authoritarianism aplenty and enormous amounts of human suffering.

Wildberry November 26, 2010 at 6:31 pm

“The government tells us it compulsorily acquires our property (ie. taxation) for our own benefit yet this doesn’t make stealing just or moral and yet it is still stealing.”

There are a number of assumptions smuggled into this statement. If you accept enforcement as a concept, then by nature it is coercive, no matter who does it.
If you are subject to a law, you are also subject to its enforcement. If the law is legitimate, then so is the enforcement of it. These assumptions have to be teased out of what you are trying to say.

Is it just the government, the State, or is any enforcement illegitimate because it is coercive?
Is any legislation legitimate, or since it implies a State, it is never so?
Are compulsory taxes ever legitimate? Are the ones you are thinking of when you write this?
Is it really for “our own benefit” or are we just being told that?
Is being compelled to pay them stealing? If not stealing, is it ethical?

It is the conclusions are defined into the premise by simply saying compulsion to pay taxes is aggression by the state to confiscate property, and therefore stealing.

“It seems inescapable that morality is judged according to standards which are completely dynamic and are both subjective and relative.”

I’m not an expert in these matters by any means, but my understanding is that ethics is the set of principles that define “right” and “wrong”. Morality has to do with acting in conformance with those principles. The former has to do with a system of judgment, and the latter a consistency between actions and those principles in which one believes.

Some aspects of ethics may change over time. Morality would simply follow those changes.
The question I was posing could have been asked by splitting these two concepts up. There are really two questions: First, are our ethics as a civilization “improving” over time? I guess you could define “improving” by observing whether things in the past that we define as “bad” today are being eliminated more than they are growing.

For example, conquest and exploitation of a society by force was the norm for a good deal of human history. Today we generally hold that such actions are “unethical”. Although there are plenty of wars around the world, there don’t seem to be quite as much straight-up military imperialism, at least in the superpower category, nation-states engaged in concerning the kind of military conquest, say, prior to WWII. Obviously that is open to considerable debate, and I am not trying to offer a proof of that, but my premise is that we are moving in a positive direction, not a negative one. At least, I think most people would agree today that invading a neighbor’s territory is “bad”.

The second has to do with morality. I am asking if you think we are more or less likely to conform our conduct with our principles of ethics. If you think stealing is bad, do you steal anyway? That would be immoral, in my understanding. Are we more moral, i.e. are we more or less tolerant of people who do things that we all agree are “bad”?

“Are you sure about this? I totally disagree.”

No not really that sure, but I think so and I thought it was an interesting question.
People that are more cynical might agree with you, an optimist might just be naïve. Maybe we’ve just become more sophisticated at pushing our immorality under the surface.

matt470 November 30, 2010 at 10:49 pm

We’ve seem to have come off the track a bit here with my comments about coerced taxation. It wasn’t really a subject that I was trying to smuggle into our debate but rather I just used it as an example (perhaps a poorly chosen one?) to show that good intentions are not the test of whether an action is moral or not. Another example that is less contentious would be the Robin Hood type scenario where I only steal from rich people to help the poor. Does my intention to help the poor with the proceeds from the theft significantly reduce the immorality of the theft? I’d suggest it doesn’t.

“are our ethics as a civilization “improving” over time?” Quite simply, no. I see no evidence or valid standard of comparison to support your theory that they’ve improved. For all of the actions in the past that would conflict with todays standard of ethics (ie. seem ethically “bad”) it is equally probable that should time be reversed or our distant ancestors given the ability to judge todays ethics they could also see an enormous amount of “bad” in them. We still live in a world where millions die/suffer from the effects of poverty and the best thing we’ve achieved (predominantly referring to Western civilisation) is to keep them voiceless and hidden from our day to day lives.

Getting back to Chodorov’s initial article, in my belief we’ve moved around the circle back to the point where our society is being crushed by a leviathan state and there are literally billions of people that have many of their basic freedoms restricted. Humans are as flawed as the day they breathed their first breath. Societies and great empires come and go…. no reason to believe that the one we’re stuck in in this moment is any greater or serves any higher purpose than those before our time (or those that will follow). Our conceit and pride may try and tell us that we’re a constantly improving species but without addressing bigger questions of “why am I here?” and then a discussion about means and ends, we’re simply going to be unable to agree upon a set of standards to compare how “improved” we’ve become. In fact I’d go back to one of the first comments of this article which points out that if we stopped collectivising everything then the whole notion of our debate here would border on being meaningless…. some humans act ethically and morally and there are many that don’t and trying to quantifiably measure overall improvement or denegration in this manner is nonsensical.

Jim November 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I note that “users of electricity” was listed along with other “priviledged” groups. While I certainly don’t disagree with the thrust and most of the points of the article, there seems to be implied a certain fatalism if the priviledged groups are so expansive as to be all-encompasing. I would ask if anyone reading this is not a user of electricity, but the fact that you’re on a computer indicates otherwise : ).

Steve November 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Not fatalism of the market, but fatalism of the state. The state indeed seeks to be so expansive and all encompassing, so that as many as people as possible have a stake in stealing from some else. The point of the article was that the burden and consequences of the state’s predation eventually crushes it under its own weight. Here’s the quote:
“with the advent of popular suffrage, making political preferment dependent on wider favor, the business of bribery had to be extended, and so came the subsidization of farmers, tenants, the aged, users of electric power, and so on.”

Wildberry November 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm

I think you have the right idea, but you are making the point judgmental and emotional. He is not describing the concept of justifiable stealing, and it is not required to make his point work.

He is simply saying that the process of “political preferment”, upon the advent of “suffrage” is that the exchange is one of subsidizing an interest group for their vote. That is the mechanism of special interests politics that is so prevalent today.

Ironically, this also implies that to curtail the process of special interest politics, one must be willing to forego one’s “special benefit” for a greater good, or at least prefer an alternative means of achieving it.

Jim November 22, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Just so, Wildberry. You put it better than I did in my original post: if the priviledged groups the state supports in exchange for supporting it’s existence are so all-encompasing that all of us could be considereed to constitute them to some degree (we all take some kind of priviledge, even if just as “users of electic power”), then essentially we’re ALL supporting our own self interests through coersion to some extent.

Thus the only way to curb the State short of total civilization collapse would be for large swathes of the populace to voluntarily give up something for the greater good of the community. If we are to assume, as this article does, that all men only ever act in self interest, then getting any significant numbers to do this is, practically speaking, impossible.

Examples of this can be seen when one challenges an avid Tea Partier to get more specific on how to save federal money than platitudes about, “waste, fraud, and abuse” and “entitlements”. When pressed, only a minority I have spoken to (at TP rallies I’ve attended when I was initially attracted to the movement) would be willing to actually give up anything that benefits them directly, even though one may consider them “entitlements”. They’ll rail against Obamacare (and rightly so), then take umbrage if you recommend any cuts or lowering of limits on the federal medical plan they utilize, Medicare. The common refrain for all entitlement programs that benefit seniors is, “I paid into it, so it’s only right that I get to use it as currently promised, otherwise I’m being cheated”. Well, while that may be correct, unfortunately if truly have the courage of your convictions, then you must show yourselves to be willing to lead the charge in sacrifice. If you’re not willing to do so, then we find ourselves back at the beginning of this post: we’re all guilty, and all tied to the State in an endlessly vindictive cycle of entitlement.

Wildberry November 22, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I agree with much you say here. Let me add a couple of thoughts.

It is not necessary to construct the problem as simply a choice between voluntary dependency and self sacrifice. For example, it is possible to imagine a process of cooperating with others to achieve some goal that is both a “greater good” and a “self-interest”. In fact, that is one definition of cooperation; to achieve common goals through pooled means. I think cooperating to create a more freedom-based government might be, perhaps at least potentially, a shared goal.

Second, there is the sacrifice dilemma. For example, I have paid into social security for all of my working life. To simply walk away from those benefits is an inequity. Had there truly been a “lockbox” for those funds, and had the purchasing power of the dollar not been purposefully debased by government policy, they would be more like the benefits I thought I have been paying for all these years. My retirement savings (i.e. 401k) has likewise been debased by the manipulations of the market and inflation of money. This is a component of the problem. There are many components, likewise, to the potential solutions. The solutions offered up must have a quality of justice to them to gain popular support.

The question is what should we do, and if we know that, how? One approach would be to plan for the demise, and even help it fall, so that we can “restart” at the beginning of the cycle. But realistically, IMHO, this approach would not likely in and of itself result in an anarchist utopia rising out of the ashes.

Another option, one which I favor, is to support the process described in this article as follows:

“…men learn to dream and hope again, and the realization of each dream through effort encourages further fantasy and generates more effort; thus wealth multiplies, knowledge accumulates, manners take shape, and the nonmaterial values attain importance in man’s hierarchy. A new civilization is born.
Although something of the lost civilization is recaptured by accident, what is dug up has to be relearned; the new civilization does not grow out of its predecessor, but emerges from the efforts of the living.”

This is a free-market vision, one in which the alternatives achievable through the market process successfully competes with alternatives. Should such superior alternatives find themselves the targets of State-sponsored interventions that might serve as a good rallying point for growing popular support, an essential element of revolutionary change.

Unlike citizens of a totalitarian state, we are fortunate to have inherited the tools of such a transformation, though at the same time we seem to have so far “relearned” little. As an illustration of that point, observe how much time is devoted on this site to the debate as to whether Ancap or some form of minarchism is right or wrong, or more accurately, whether it is “the only logically conclusion consistent with a free-market philosophy.”

I would like to see much more effort being applied to the specific policy and political action measures you allude to in your post. That is truly information that can be applied, much like Austrian economic theory; it has immediate applicability to social policy questions. Bob Murphy’s recent book on nullification is one such attempt, I think. However, that avenue gets much less attention than say, Kinsella’s attack on IP as a manefestation of the Ancap proposition that “no State” is a good state.

I don’t see things in such absolutist terms.

Joe November 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm

So you want the seniors to lead the charge in sacrifice. What a novel idea. When I read your post I sense you are not happy with the current government configuration of Obama and friends. I also assume you are not a senior since you are offerring for them to lead the charge. Well, the way I see it we all need to lead the charge. If I were a young person I would not pay into Social Security. I would not listen and support the statists in government. Look how many of the younger generation voted for Obama. They wanted change but they don’t have the brains, education to even understand what it takes to have real change so it will change their lives. The State controls the public school system where all the ex-hippie flower children teach them that Global Warming is real and that we must all sacrifice ourselves to Al Gore’s vision of his power and money. Just on the surface I would say we are at the stage of more immorality in our evolution toward the consumate State. When people have no conscience and literally want other people to take care of them while sacrificing their own health and welfare. How more immoral can you get? I could go on forever but there is so much sh-t in the world why bother.
Finally, if you want to create a better world first find out who is truly crapping all over you. (Oh, by the way, the teaparty marches are not really a movement. They were just people who had similar bugs up their butts. You know you get an itch and you sometimes scratch it.)
Have a good day.

Troy Doering November 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Man becomes what he hates, and destroys what he cherishes most.

JRG November 22, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Awesome read. Very similar to “Our Enemy, the State” by Nock.

guard November 23, 2010 at 4:44 am

Wildberry, I believe, knows more than he is saying. Trees in the Bible represent governments. They are judged according to whether or not they produce fruit. When man first sinned, he hid in the trees to avoid God and also used leaves from the fig tree to hide his nakedness. The tree representation is used throughout the Bible until the end, when the tree of life is producing fruit. (Notice for example Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree because it did not produce fruit – an obvious metaphor for the cursing of the Jewish ruling class.) The purpose for which man uses trees is to hide from God. For this purpose, trees must produce lots of thick foliage. Anyone who grows fruit trees will tell you that trees must be constantly pruned because they will use their energy to produce foliage and not fruit. God specifically judged trees that produced lots of foliage.
Forget about the question of the existence of God for a moment and just take the whole tree thing as a metaphor. People feel guilty when stealing from others. They need a way of protecting themselves from their conscience, for which God is a metaphor. The foliage of trees is the protection, allowing the statist to continue to do evil with a clear conscience, hiding his sin in the trees. This is the bottom line use of the state: absolution from sin.
This can be observed anywhere in that people will freely and with enthusiasm do things in the name of government that they would never even consider doing privately: murder, theft, war, you name it, just following orders. People can really enjoy their evil, free from the destructive consequences of guilt.

Marc November 26, 2010 at 9:41 pm

“A civilization no more gets started when a political institution attaches itself to it, feeds on it, and in the end devours it. The roundelay starts all over again.” Having studied history most of my life, I believe the statement to be mostly true. Call it a form of non-Marxian historical determinism if you like but with no worker’s paradise as the end product. If a second assumption is made that we are currently living in the tail end of such a cycle, much like Rome in the third and early fourth centuries A.D. just preceding the Dark Ages, attempts to resist the trend may prove futile. Morris Berman’s The Twilight of American Culture examines this idea from an educational perspective only but is worth reading.

Once states turning predatory, and they all seem to do so in short order if they are not already that way upon inception, their overall growth and influence may be slowed but rarely stopped or reversed. For example, the Tea Party will likely go the way of the Reagan Revolution and Contract with America – spittle in the prevailing gales of authoritarianism. In short, when the political class and those subsidized and nurtured by its countless teats outgrow the available supply of wealth, collapse will follow as night follows day. Furthermore, modern states now rely upon ubiquitous government schools to mass produce compliant range-of-the-moment plebeian worker bees. Ironically, however, by sanctioning or never seriously challenging public sector growth, entitlement, and control of the private sector, government schools in America are unwittingly hastening their own demise through starvation. Many are already receiving federal “stimulus” payments to avoid laying off staff. How long can that go on?

In spite of all this I still retain a small glimmer of hope that the internet, today’s interactive Gutenberg press on steroids, will help turn things around. Perhaps the near future will come to be known as a period marking the official end to a brief and painful experiment with paper money and socialism. On the other hand, a second possibility is the ignominious collapse of a once promising civilization that could never quite understand the sources of its former prosperity.


matt470 November 30, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Good comment Marc. I agree wholeheartedly.

Краснодар отели гостиницы December 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Классно! А составитель с нами идет пить?)

Wildberry December 30, 2010 at 8:11 pm


I have been following these Russian posts and am confused why they are here. They do not appear to be talking about anything relevant to the interests of this site. They are showing up on numerous posts.


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