“It [the State] has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.”
– Henry L. Mencken, 1926
The above is one of the opening quotations in Albert J Nock’s 1935 classic “Our enemy, the state” and to my mind this single phrase along with the above quotation typifies my current view of the increasingly statist world within which we are forced to exist (I will not say “live”).
I am well aware that this viewpoint, while being common among libertarians, is very much at odds with the propagandised masses that surround us, who see the state as a beneficent or at least benign entity which would deliver an earthly utopia if only it weren’t for x, y or z.
I often feel like Neo from “The Matrix“, after his awakening, looking at the world around him with new eyes, not as modern metropolis, but as a computer constructed fantasy of control whose answer to any opposition is annihilation.
“The State is your mother, your father, the totality of your interests. No discipline can be too severe for the man that denies that by word or deed.”
The problem tends to come from the last bit of the reason why “The State” is unable to deliver the earthly utopia, the bit about “if only it weren’t for x, y or z” with previous years hits being “The Jews” (Germany 1933 – 1945), “The Red Menace” (USA 1919-1921, 1947-1954) or other propaganda inspired bogeymen of note. Being a target of the states tender mercies could render you penniless, exiled, imprisoned or dead, so should probably come with some form of health warning.
It is not just the worry of takeover of your home country by totalitarian regime, since even in places such as the UK you can be subject to state sponsored termination through healthcare if you happen to be in their target group for extermination or a state hospital that can’t be bother to keep you alive. The state can kill you through deliberate policy or deliberate neglect, but you can end up dead either way.
However, probably the way that the state is most dangerous is when threatened or in a state of collapse, during this period the state is more likely to kill you than any of your enemies as evidenced by pretty much every state collapse since Adam was a nipper, from the Mayan and Roman empires to the years of stagnation and collapse of the Soviet Union. In their collapse they will expend the life of every citizen / resident, confiscate all property and pay any price to survive. Thus the individual and his family are at the mercy of the state as they are completely expendable, just like the Jews were in Nazi Germany.
A collapsing state is a bit like a collapsing super-massive star, if you don’t get away from it in time you are likely to get sucked down with it into nothingness.
So think of your health and the health of your family and either cut down on the state or give up entirely. You know it makes sense.