A conversation about the necessity of the state

Posted: August 28, 2009 by elutherian in Uncategorized




“The State is, essentially, the negation of Liberty.”

“The State is, essentially, the negation of Liberty.”

“Surely the State is necessary to protect our rights?”




Certainly our rights must be protected in order for us to be truly free, but must it be by a monopoly called the State? The State monopoly that regularly aggresses against our rights if it concludes it has an interest in doing so? As the single most notorious organization in human history, it has killed the most people, plundered the most cities, stolen the most wealth, started the most wars, caused the most poverty and starvation, and continually aggresses against the natural rights of us all.  The State is the last organization I would trust with the protection (much less the sole protection) of my Rights.

 ”But what you imply is anarchy and no one wants that, do they?”

I have never quite understood this argument. Why is it so impossible to imagine a Stateless society? Even without all the theorizing of what society might look like… it seems simple enough to me. Dissolve the State, end of story.

It is also quite illogical to say that by not having a State, we risk a State. Should we kill ourselves for fear of dying?

In fact, as a radical abolitionist, the least of my worries is the pragmatism of Anarchy (though I believe firmly it is practical and will be the most beneficial system for everyone). My main position, my ultimate stance, is that the State and its actions are immoral and a threat to human freedom. It is a purely principled standpoint.
Much like the advent of Slavery, which was rightfully put asunder (at least from it’s legal status and protection), the abolitionists of the nineteenth century did not worry about what the world would look like without slavery. They did not concern themselves with the utilitarianism of the issue. They took the moral and principled stance of absolute opposition.

I do not think, as a matter of practicality, that the State will be eliminated tomorrow (though I will work towards that goal every day until it is achieved)… but that it ought to be, I contend unequivocally.

”Isn’t anarchy antithetical to liberty?”

This absurd statement has no basis whatsoever. In fact, I doubt there has been a proclamation further from the truth. Anarchy, by definition, is the negation of rule, while governing will still exist in voluntary organizations, communities, and families and by government of the individual by the individual (self-government) will remain. But the rule of man by other men (slavery) is the opposite of liberty. Anarchy, the negation of rule, is the logical ends to which all Libertarians must eventually come to. The absence of the State is freedom.

”Fine, but who will build the roads?”

This is one of the most common arguments against Anarchy. And it’s not just roads… but education, postal service, social security, health care, borders, etc. Without the State, they contend, they would not exist.

Some Libertarians try to respond by theorizing about how an Anarchist road system, or postal system, or educational system would work. I do not bother myself with such postulations. I simply rebut their complaint with one statement: If something is necessary to society, it will be provided by the market. If it is not necessary, it will not be.

If something is not provided by the free market, it is not necessary. If something necessitates force, theft, and every other aspect of the State, then it is not necessary in the first place.

The definitive Minarchist assertion that the state is a “necessary evil:, I agree partially… the State is evil. But why, might I ask, is it necessary? All the services it provides are given on the free market in a more efficient and cheaper manner. The method it uses to provide these services are force, coercion, and theft (the only organization to legally do so). By monopolizing the services it provides, mainly that of defense, it maintains the special right to commit crime and aggression against person and property. It thrives parasitically off of society, where other organizations and individuals must strive for public support and voluntary exchange/charity. I fail to see how it’s necessity. The type of law and order it creates is an artificial, divisive, and violent one. It ignores the natural reactionary law by continually infringing upon the rights of innocent people.

I will not be one to sing the praises of an Anarchist society, as the cure all for every ill (it is not), as the end to all aggression and violence (it isn’t), or a Utopia everyone will love and embrace (it won’t be). Anarchy is merely the absence of the State, not some ideal society that must be “created” in order to shape humanity to its ideal vision, as the Communists, Socialists, and Fascists do.

The State is an entirely unnecessary evil. It should, and must be abolished. Immediately if possible, as soon as can be accomplished. To my Minarchist allies against tyranny, I suggest you to embrace the full philosophy of freedom, and to not stop short at the concept of a “necessary” evil. There are many evils in this world, most of them inevitable, but none of them are necessary.


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