Government vs the State

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Government vs the State

Unread postby Azmodan Kijur » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:05 pm

This is more a parking place for the related chat. People are free to elaborate as they please. Remember the chat is in reverse order.

Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:26 pm Intercourseman72: but then you wouldn't need a state of course
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:26 pm Intercourseman72: unless there is just overwhelming support for something that no imposition is required
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:26 pm Intercourseman72: in order to accomplish, it often has to impose
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:26 pm Intercourseman72: i guess so
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:25 pm willow: accomplish/impose :P
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:25 pm Intercourseman72: it uses its power to govern over whereever it claims to have rulership over
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:25 pm Intercourseman72: no other institution, firm, etc can do that
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:25 pm Intercourseman72: in the simplest terms, state is an organization unlike any other because it can impose force onto others to accomplish its purposes
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:25 pm Azmodan Kijur: I would be willing to join such a thread. :)
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:24 pm Azmodan Kijur: The Political party in power - yes :)
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:24 pm Intercourseman72: want to start a thread on this? i have to gtg
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:23 pm willow: but the government sets ministry policy
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:23 pm Azmodan Kijur: A Department can stymie a Ministers desire for a given act very easily
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:22 pm Azmodan Kijur: The politicians are figure heads, the guy in the back seat of a limo with a half deaf driver than goes where they want.......somewhat
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:21 pm Azmodan Kijur: They inform the actions of the body ofthe government which act as the state, both in foreign circles and domestic circumstances
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:21 pm Azmodan Kijur: That position continues whether you like it or not. A slave to policy and a creator of policy all at once.
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:20 pm Azmodan Kijur: That Deputy is not subject to the whim of election nor the iron stick of the minister
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:20 pm Azmodan Kijur: As an example
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:20 pm Azmodan Kijur: Government can be seen as the body that, despite the party that controls it, continues outside of your acts. The Minister comes and goes but the Deputy Minister is often there for many years
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:19 pm Intercourseman72: there are certain characteristics that constitute a state
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:18 pm Intercourseman72: could even be city state
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:18 pm willow: ? was meant for my line nor your ICM
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:18 pm Azmodan Kijur: Nation state or sovereign state
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:18 pm willow: ?
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:18 pm Intercourseman72: rarely does this body of government consult its population (at least the majority of it) to conduct the majority of its affairs
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:18 pm willow: government is the people who make up the government various ministers etc while State is what the government represents
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:17 pm willow: odd
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:17 pm willow: but the government and the state arnt quite the same thing to me i suppose
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:16 pm Intercourseman72: thus the state governs affairs relating to such
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:16 pm Intercourseman72: ok yeah, the nation or country, it's borders, etc are defined by the state
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:16 pm willow: "state" to me is the nation as a whole, State here would be Canada but embodied in the government as the government is sthe state
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:15 pm Intercourseman72: but there is more to a society than state
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:15 pm willow: and I dont really know what meaning of state i was thinking of
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:15 pm Intercourseman72: then yeah that's state
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:15 pm Intercourseman72: in the political sense?
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:15 pm willow: government in the national sense
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:15 pm willow: thats splitting hairs :P
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:14 pm Intercourseman72: vs, what governs the police?
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:14 pm Intercourseman72: for instance, what governs your food habits?
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:14 pm Intercourseman72: but there can and is a governorning body that is not state
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:14 pm Azmodan Kijur: I might be thinking of a different use
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:14 pm Intercourseman72: historically, government and state were synonymous
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:14 pm Azmodan Kijur: Indeed
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:14 pm Azmodan Kijur: Depends on the meaning of the state that we are using here.
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:14 pm Intercourseman72: we need to get these terms straightened out first
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:13 pm willow: is that sensicle ?
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:13 pm willow: the people are the government but the state is the embodyment of the government and its power
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:13 pm Intercourseman72: unless you want to say we live in a democracy, in which case, if you are part of the majority, you are then part of the population that imposes its will upon everyone else
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:13 pm willow: the people arnt the state the government is the state
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:12 pm Azmodan Kijur: People are the government - the government represents and embodies the state - therefoer people are hte state
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:12 pm willow: indeed
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:10 pm Intercourseman72: people are the government, but not the state
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:10 pm willow: people are the government and the government sadly is the mouthpeice of its people internationally
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:09 pm willow: what was that line you guys have down there? "We the people...."
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:09 pm Intercourseman72: yes, and i find it interesting that you would identify yourself with the west's politics
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:08 pm willow: most of the holdings and such would be european or american
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:08 pm Intercourseman72: and yes, there is a huge interest in having control over africa
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:08 pm willow: we and our as in western
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:07 pm Intercourseman72: i find it very interesting that you keep referring to the affairs of the country from which you have citizenship as "we" or "our"
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:06 pm willow: unless we had somethign sitting on it
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:06 pm willow: i doubt it, we would bitch but wouldnt do anything about it
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:06 pm Intercourseman72: they would have to get western agreement
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:06 pm willow: they just reappropriate the unused land from the western owners
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:05 pm willow: especially when the africans are the local govt and control the local army
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:05 pm Azmodan Kijur: If they are there, then at what point is it China helps and more China taking over?
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:05 pm willow: IIRC china is resource hunting, they are provinding infrastructure etc but are after resource rights to massive deposits in various areas
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:04 pm Azmodan Kijur: I would be careful about that. Unless they are there personally, the lack of oversight allows for misappropriation
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:04 pm Intercourseman72: it is a very fuck situation
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:04 pm Intercourseman72: in many countries
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:04 pm Intercourseman72: large parts of usable land in africa is still owned by western nations or owned by proxy rulers for the west
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:03 pm willow: so they are buying popularity the problem is that htey are actually doing more to functionally aid development in africa then the west is or has in several years if i understand it right
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:03 pm Intercourseman72: i don't know how much it is now
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:03 pm willow: china has the money atm
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:02 pm Intercourseman72: or was
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:02 pm Intercourseman72: outsourcing is subsidized of course
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:02 pm willow: its making them very popular because they are skipping the red tape the west gives them and getting projects started in weeks or months rather then years and its almost all infrastructure
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:01 pm willow: speaking of which, China is currently dumping several billion in aid to African nations in the last few years
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:01 pm willow: :p
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:00 pm willow: cheaper western goods made in china
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:00 pm willow: we actually in a number of nations have further destabilized the economies by choking out local buisness with cheaper western goods
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:00 pm willow: the problem with the aid system as i understand it is that we basically extract the money from them and never actually develop the local economies in theese nations in any meaningful way because that would reduce their dependancy on us
Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:00 pm Azmodan Kijur: Lots of circumstances and complexities
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:59 pm Azmodan Kijur: I agree with that
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:59 pm willow: Az its usually a bit of both, no western company will stay in a country that isnt profitable to it in some way
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:59 pm Azmodan Kijur: That person has to sell his people out to get that
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:58 pm willow: nice top 5% accademically get government support for overseas studies at universities etc
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:58 pm Azmodan Kijur: In some cases. In others you have a a country run by an ass that wants to live like a first worlder in a third world country
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:58 pm willow: *to the
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:57 pm willow: generally we get nations to provide massive economic incentives to get western investment and aid but all the wealth generated by those western nations comes back top the west
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:56 pm Intercourseman72: there are a select few interests that profit through such policies
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:56 pm willow: IIRC we take something like 3x the wealth out of nations then we put aid into
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:56 pm Intercourseman72: not profitable for "us" really
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:56 pm willow: of course not Az, we do it because its economically profitable
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:56 pm Intercourseman72: that's just a fringe benefit
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:55 pm Azmodan Kijur: Not in all cases - the west in not a violence machine crushing people because it's fun
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:55 pm willow: still veiled though >.<
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:55 pm willow: women are entering educational facilities in unprecidented numbers
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:55 pm Intercourseman72: basically, those regions are dick shit poor because of foreign intervention and are maintained that way through such
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:54 pm willow: a woman is posing the idea of allowing a female ID card to allow for identification without removing the burqa
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:54 pm Intercourseman72: arguments for foreign intervention in poorer areas can be easily refuted with a little lesson in imperial history
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:54 pm Intercourseman72: democracy that is
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:53 pm Intercourseman72: and therefore, it's not in any of those places
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:53 pm willow: making the argument that modernization has already led to a more liberal youth generation but that population cant shake off the BS of its parents
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:53 pm Azmodan Kijur: But it was a gory process
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:53 pm Azmodan Kijur: True - it developede itself
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:52 pm willow: no one dropped democracy into europe or imposed it on america by force
Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:52 pm willow: now hes making a good point about the development of democracy in the west being a long and often bloody profcess


Have at it (myself included).
Last edited by Azmodan Kijur on Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Government vs the State

Unread postby Azmodan Kijur » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:18 pm

A quick note for the participants - here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State) is the wikipedia page on the use of the word. Particular attention to be paid to "A governed nation..." as defined in the article. Good read there. The old trusty definition is here (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/state) and here (http://geography.about.com/cs/political ... nation.htm) is a slightly different take on the same topic with reference to the use in politics.
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Re: Government vs the State

Unread postby Azmodan Kijur » Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:53 pm

Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:25 pm Intercourseman72: in the simplest terms, state is an organization unlike any other because it can impose force onto others to accomplish its purposes


My first brain dump for the purposes of this thread is partially regarding this thought as given by ICM. I disagree with it in the basic sense, though not quite because I think that it is wrong outright (I don't). My notion here is that the state is not the only organization that can do such a thing, unless we get coy about the definitions that we throw around.

Any group can derive the capacity to direct force onto itself or onto external groups by way of simply possessing a quorum of ability to enact such force. Some of the libertarian persuasion use the idea that force = state to argue that any force-using body is a state by definition. This implies that the keystone to a state is the use of this force and is the binding material that makes it a state. That is not actually the case - a state is not simply the capability to "force" an individual that is subject to the state to follow it's demands or desires. The state embodies a broad range of directives, advantages, disadvantages and activities that have nothing to do with its ability to use force on some party.

A state, in the political sense, is a body that is "governed". By what means and methods is irrelevant to the fact that it is still a state, no matter what those means to govern might be. The state that I dwell under is Canada at the Federal level and Newfoundland at the provincial level. Both have created any number of structures, rules, regulations, and so forth that operate on the governed in this country. There are rules on me that are directive of some form of force - rules against certain crimes carry penalties that are meant to deter my engaging those activities. Other rules are present to enable citizens to live more comfortably, such as the passport system. I am not threatened to get one and I do not have to get one if I don't want to. But having one streamlines the process of proving that I am a citizen of the country. That is necessary to restrict those that might causally enter the country and draw on its resources without virtue of providing anything toward those services.

States are composed of the many varied services and directives that create them. It is not simply about forcing someone to do something. And they are not the only ones that can impose "force". A local community group can "force" you to mow your lawn or provide it a particular level of care by leaning on you to do so. The sports team you signed up with can "force" you to show up at a certain time for practice by threatening you with removal from the team. A retail store can force you to purchase an item that you broke by threatening to ban you. Yet, none of these agencies are a state nor does the state the source of their power to do these things. You give them the power to do this to you, a very important point. Even those with illegitimate power can force you to do something - a mob of armed men can force you to comply with them on pain of death. Again, they are not a state.
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Re: Government vs the State

Unread postby Intercourseman72 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:58 pm

Yes, there are many things that a state or nation-state does that does not involve the use of force, however, it is undeniable that the threat of force is always present with any state action. No other organization is allowed to conscript resources and make people pay taxes or fees or tithes or whatever simply for living on a piece of land most often not homesteaded by the state in the slightest and still be considered legitimate action. This is an argument over semantics, not an actual discussion of the implications or any other such thing.



If you skip to about 2 minutes, senator obama explains in the absolute, most brief way what a nation-state is and what makes it different from any other organization. By "monopoly on violence", he doesn't mean that the nation-state is the only organization or group that can be violent, just that it's the only one that can use violence and have it be called justice or government(not get into trouble for it unless it violates state law. even then, like with governor bush, this still rarely happens). This is considered a fact in the study of government and law and for all intents and purposes is not up for debate. Blackwater is allowed to shoot at brown people on behalf of US government operations, but it requires the state's permission and funding to do so on any kind of state-like scale. Blackwater can't break into people's houses (on domestic soil), flip over their furniture, smash their TVs and stuff, and then apprehend, kidnap, and incarcerate the people like the SWAT team can (not yet at least) because it does not have the explicit or tacit permission of the state to do so. In the shortest possible terms, violence by the state is justice, violence by not-state is crime. These are simply facts that determine what the state is that must be used when determining exactly what government is.

I find it strange that you would feel compelled to try and justify the state's use of violence and get into statist apologetics rather than continue the discussion about what exactly a government is. While i don't want to get side-tracked yet, I will address your points about the imposition of force before making a point about... what the title of this thread is.

Your neighborhood may have codes and restrictions about what you can do with your property because they have an interest of increasing the property value of that neighborhood, but they don't impose these rules upon you. You choose to live in a neighborhood or not when you move out of your parents' place and have a wealth of choices when it comes to places to live. I doubt there is a shortage of land in Newfoundland where you can do whatever the hell you want if you are willing to take an extra half hour or so to get into for town for whatever reasons. The sports team you signed up for? This doesn't even need to be argued. It's an entirely voluntary contract that you can take or leave at any point. And no, it's not at all equivalent to the ex post facto justification for the state and popular uprising john locke made after the "glorious revolution" so ironically called "The Social Contract Theory". You are born into the state and forced into complying with state law and paying taxes without any amount of informed consent. I don't have time to refute the social contract theory, but if you really need to hear arguments against it, read some lysander spooner. The retail store- this is simply a defense of private property and not an imposition of anything at all. That store has the right to tell anyone it wants to GTFO. Someone had homesteaded that property and has the full intention of using it unlike the state and the geographic territory it claims. Of course, the prevalence of letting people do what they want with their own property (captial and commercial) is declining because of state imposition. The violent mob- the violence of the mob can resemble the state, but the projection of its legitimacy is not at all like the state. The moment the mob loses its power in numbers and guns is the moment it is reprimanded and dealt with by the people as well as many others whom were exploited by it.

Two components of the state if this makes you happier. The use of violence and the ability to get away with due to people's projections of legitimacy. The fact that people see the violence of the state as legitimate is what essentially gives it a monopoly on force as senator obama was talking about.

Now for what this was supposed to be about. All government by a nation-state is state government. If we are to accept that laws govern behavior and actions, then we can conclude that the state is govern by posited laws. I.e. laws that are voted upon, passed through legislation, declared law by a monarch with divine right, laws declared by the majority, etc. When you have a state government, government and state are often synonymous.

When you have a government absent of the state, be it a nationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation, a tribe, a business, a city, whatever, government tends to emerge. The government then is pretty much what we would refer to as customs, mores, and other things that govern human action that does not include the state. An emergent law that occurs on roads for instance would be to drive on the left or right side of the road. It is enforced by the state but it is unlikely that anyone would drive on the other side of the road in the absence of a state. A posited law that requires state enforcement would be coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. Most people would probably just slow down and look around or just zoom right past it if no one was around (many people do that anyway), but the state levies fines against people who do that. Private roads can't keep a bunch of traffic cops on hand and usually use other means to try and regulate traffic if of course the state doesn't have some kind of long list of rules private roads have to follow. These rules of private roads could possibly be posited suggestions by established private road owners in order to create barriers to entry rather than allowing the emergent government of the road market determine road business for itself.

Hopefully that's enough to explain the difference between a governing law that is posited and a governing law that organically emerges. It's hard to find a definition of government separate of politics, and to me, that does not suffice. It's associated with the state like education is associated with schooling. They are practically used synonymously when in fact they do not always occur together. State is an institutional form of government(not the only institution, but the only one that can perpetuate itself based on the alleged legitimate use of violence) like how schooling is an institutional form of education. However, government and education can both occur without an established, physical institution. That leads me to conclude that government is simply what determines action. Physics, thermodynamics, neurochemistry, etc govern the actions of the universe and behavior of life. All of course being separate of any institution. So... what's an institution? Let's finish the semantical discussion over government and state first while going by our general understanding of what an institution is for now.
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Re: Government vs the State

Unread postby Azmodan Kijur » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:57 pm

Excellent, ICM. That is a great argument - I don't agree with it as such but it is well crafted and direct. No cutting the post into dozens of little quotes and such. Kudos to you, ICM, for keeping it as a block argument. I will do the same and I will address your points as best I'm able.

I think I can somewhat agree with your first point - that the threat of force is present within a state, though not necessarily in regards to everything that it does. True when it wants to enforce a rule for conduct in society, not so much when it seals off an area to lay pavement or conduct construction. They do not arrest automatically or threaten you with death if you do not leave. They will simply ask you to vacate the area lest you get injured and sue them as a result. Of course, I have to predicate this on the state of our relatively modern, western representative style governments. Yes, there are brutal, dictatorial regimes, but those are more the result of the vision of one nut-job enforcing his individual will through violence and not a proper state.

Anyway, I would argue that force is a part of the state because it is a construct of humans. Think about your day to day life - just about every interaction comes with some threat, some force that the parties can bring to bear on others. Your spouse can withhold sex, your boss can withhold pay, your friends can withhold acknowledgment. You neighbour can threaten violence, your mechanic can threaten to overcharge, and so forth. All of these are threats of force. Human interaction is a series of applied force. In that way, the state is simply the child of a species that utilizes force on itself. You cannot expect it to act in a manner that is alien to us. The state uses force because we use force and have found no alternative to that notion. On the matter of its use, we understand that we use it to gain compliance from others. So to does the state - if humans cannot find a better means or dream of a different method for their own one on one interactions, then what hope does our "child" embodied by the state have?

On the conscription of resources, we find ourselves deeper in the topic, but dancing around a particular notion. Not mentioned outright, but implicit in the discussion. The idea of the state as an agency that can use force to take a resource and or enact a tax to be collected is given without reference to the fact that it is by agreement and not fiat that the state possesses such a power. Stating that it can do a given thing ignores the fundamental fact that it is we that give it such a power. A state is a representation of a collection of humans that decide to give up their capacity to live naturally in lieu of the many and varied protections and services that a collective society can provide. More simply put, we gave up the capacity to live according to natural law to live by more "artificial" means. We give it the right to take resources, to impose taxes, to arrest and jail us just as we give it the right to defend us with a military and build us roads.

And yes, we have all given it that right, even those of us born under it. You agree to the rule of the state by partaking in the fruits of such an entity and complying with its wishes, even should you not be terribly worried about any reprisal. When you pay taxes, when you obey the speed limit despite there not being a cop for 100 miles, when you refuse to take justice into your own hands, you are providing the state with your consent to live according to how it demands. And let's be honest here - a state rule is the rule enacted by the majority. Thus, you are providing your consent to the majority to making certain demands of you as an individual. You, as an individual, have agreed to be a part of a society that requires you adhere to the rules and regulations of a central governing body that is directed by the majority. That agreement does not and should not require any explicit act on your part to "opt into" the system. A tacit agreement is all that is needed - you don't disagree, so you are assumed to have agreed. This can be mostly viewed as a natural result of the application of a collective system. One does not need to commit any special performance to avail of the services it can provide. Rather, you get them automatically by merely being within the jurisdiction of the system itself. In that manner, it makes no end of sense that one would need to opt out of such a system and remove themselves from the advantages that it provides specifically because any such act requires you to actively avoid direct association with that system. One can opt out as they please, being mindful that the majority of that state possesses a collective will that an individual does not.

To opt out, however, is to remove the more subtle things that the system controls that we barely give a thought to. Without the man-made laws of a state as given by a majority, one abides by natural law, which is a brutal system of direct and immediate punishment for wrongs, both real and perceived. If someone steals from you in a state society, you can use the state to exact punishment and you can be assured that a similar crime that you commit will be handled with the same system. In the wild, natural law implies that any act like theft is to be met swiftly and brutally. Death or serious bodily harm is the norm - you don't get to make amends to the other party as there is nothing for them to fall back and rely on should you fail to provide restitution. The state normalizes a response with the clear notion that the deprivation of ones right to live is not warranted in a case where the crime is of property and not life itself.

On the idea of a state having power over an area, remember again that state is a collection of humans that use their majority to enact their will. That will includes the control of and the distribution of land rights to members of the society as a whole. There is no natural right to land - nothing that states that you own a strip of rock or farm area outside of a centralized body that provides the constructed legal precedent and the might to back up the legitimacy of your claim to a piece of ground. es, it charges you money for the right to continue to claim ownership, but it is not useful to note this and claim that it is a cause to condemn the state. I pay property tax on my land and house. $400 of this money goes toward the local water management board that ensures - through screening, testing, filtering and patrol - that the water is available for me to use, is not misused by another individual and is safe to consume. Is that unreasonable? The other portion of the taxes (~$1,600) goes to paying for the plowing of the municipal roads, to the upkeep of sidewalks, pavement, traffic lights, recreational centers, workers to pick up trash and the machines to carry it in. Alone, I could not afford any of this. With 10,000 other households? Easy. Your right to any piece of land is a act of the state - whose ability to punish anyone violating your ownership in protection of your rights is its primary advantage.

Violence, as committed by the state, is not justice automatically and is not defended as such by anyone I know. People take the government to court frequently and win, all on the matter that the state violated a right it grants when it acted a certain way toward someone. Individuals in Canada have taken the Canada Revenue Agency (Our IRS) to Supreme Court over a tax ruling and the state has lost a fine number of them. The justice system of a state is distended from the direct intervention of a state or it is illegitimate. In all western nations, it is the courts that arbitrate disputes between a citizen and the government. And the government does not use it's violence to simply make themselves right. They abide by the ruling - after all, one of its own structures made that ruling.

I am no apologist, for anything. States have the powers we give them. Period. There is no apology to that nor do i claim it possesses perfection in that regard. Nothing humans do is perfect and there is always room for the system to improve - it is the primary reason that the idea of interest groups was formed. You got an idea that something should be another way? Bring it before them with enough voices and they will conclude that the majority wishes this to be so. Again, this is not perfect, but in that case, it ain't the Government that precludes the perfection, it is humans once more.

Your neighborhood may have codes and restrictions about what you can do with your property because they have an interest of increasing the property value of that neighborhood, but they don't impose these rules upon you. You choose to live in a neighborhood or not when you move out of your parents' place and have a wealth of choices when it comes to places to live. I doubt there is a shortage of land in Newfoundland where you can do whatever the hell you want if you are willing to take an extra half hour or so to get into for town for whatever reasons.


Oh, but they do impose those rules upon me. If I do not want to live by those rules, then I (say it with me now) should live somewhere else. I am being coerced to comply if I want to live where I want to live. You say as much yourself. Take that in for a moment - drink it down and think about it. You are supporting the idea that if I don't like the rules of a given place (a town), then I should not choose to live there. Now apply that to the country - if I do not like the rules in Canada, I should .... what? Expect them to exclude me from them? Or leave? You said it yourself - leaving is the option I need to choose. Strange that.

The sports team you signed up for? This doesn't even need to be argued. It's an entirely voluntary contract that you can take or leave at any point.


I disagree. I join the team on a voluntary basis, just as I voluntarily agree tacitly to remain in Canada. The team makes demands of me and my time that I, by joining, agreed to be bound by. I am placing myself in a situation wherein I am subject to their will - I have made myself subject to their force. To participate in the sport, I have to adhere to their rules and regulations. Sound familiar?

And no, it's not at all equivalent to the ex post facto justification for the state and popular uprising john locke made after the "glorious revolution" so ironically called "The Social Contract Theory". You are born into the state and forced into complying with state law and paying taxes without any amount of informed consent.


Again, I disagree. You are born to it and in partaking of the fruits that it bears, you provide it with your consent to be bound by its rules and regulations. This is not a ex post facto justification - one is not trying to explain or apologize for something that came to be due to the actions of a majority of individuals. And just because you are born to it does not meant that you have to provide an explicit agreement to be bound under it. Just as we have no requirement to explicitly inform another individual that we agree to respect their right to life and refrain from killing. We just do it - an extreme example, but an illustrative one. The state does not need you to agree verbally or sign a contract, it assumes agreement automatically because you automatically take advantage of what it offers. You live in it's borders, borders determined by the majority. You eat the food it supplies, through routes it secures, with processes it uses to ensure it is safe to eat. You enjoy the security of knowing that the state maintains weapons to point at invaders, enforcers to stop roving bands of barbarians in the hills, and law that tries to apply justice in an even manner. This is a fundamental disconnect for many a libertarian. Why is it that you need not provide a female you are with an explicit signed contract that you will not attack her, but you need to tell the state that you agree with using their roads? And why is it that leaving is not an option? I have the right to be here - who gave you that right? A cat does not have a right to a strip of ground because it is alive or because it is on that ground. There is no natural right to land or to your position on it. Were I to desire it and in the absence of a collective body of might, I can take the land you feel entitled to, harming or killing in the process and possess it as if I were entitled to it. There is no right to land anywhere natural. We create that with society and enforce it with the Government.

Two components of the state if this makes you happier. The use of violence and the ability to get away with due to people's projections of legitimacy. The fact that people see the violence of the state as legitimate is what essentially gives it a monopoly on force as senator obama was talking about.

The monopoly on violence, in the context that Obama was addressing, is less supportive of your position that you might think. He is referring to private contractors whom are hired to perform violence to the highest bidder. He is pointing out that the problem here stems from the growing use of contractors and the growing attractiveness of that use. You can get paid far more to be a hired gun than a regular soldier and the lack of needed oversight means that to the ones hiring, the amount paid is advantageous over the upkeep you must pay to have a regular soldier - the training, the food, the materials, the logistics, etc. His point is specifically that the state employs these types of resources because it is not tenable to have to rely on what is a private business for your defense. Should someone foot more money than you are willing to put forward, you may find yourself suddenly without that defense. Worse, you might find them switch sides or extort you for additional money lest they switch. In this manner, it behooves the welfare of the nation and the state and the people that the state possess the means of violence in the military sense without the need to rely on someone that feels no obligation to provide the service when demanded. Note the specificity of "Military Sense" - it is not for you to construed the words as referring to all of society as such, but in specific reference to the topic Obama was addressing, namely that of the military.

On projections of legitimacy, this hearkens back to the more basic point regarding the creation and maintenance of a state and society. Let's do this a little differently - what is a state not? Well, a state is not a small cabal of people that rule over overs. Yes, there are politicians, but they are not the state. A state is not an alien entity that has infected us. We created the state and we continuously uphold it - it is an act of people, not of evil or anything of the sort. It's legitimacy comes from the fact that we created it, we maintain it and we uphold it. We enjoy the benefits that comes with it and attempt to correct deficiencies that we find in it. We agree with its acts in that we do not leave it for a different or non-existent system. When you point at it with such works, you are trying to make it out like an agency unjustly created, unjustly imposed, unjustly followed, and unjustly empowered to act. But you cannot make the case why that would be the case. The state did not arise because of this - it arose because we wanted it and needed it. We need Government because, if for no other reason, we need a means of directing the collective resources of not hundreds but millions of us together. No one man can perform such a duty nor should any one man be trusted with such a duty. We need a Government because our society is not simplistic in its form or function - we are not hunter gatherers anymore. We have to manage our food supplies, our water supplies, our interactions. We need a blind justice system to stop us from enacting personal justice for perceived wrongs. We need to defend ourselves from others that would hang outside the bounds of our communities and take our work without compensation. We need various and sundry services that an individual cannot hope to provide alone and can scarcely hope to get agreement on with his or her neighbors. Government is not alien, evil or unwanted.

On the matter of the definition of the word, to govern means to direct the actions of a thing. Government does tend to get used in the sense of politics by many people, but I disagree. Government is not necessarily a political entity, it is actually distended from the political apparatus in a sense. Even though that might sound impossible. I work for Government and I can tell you that, at least here, the political party and the Government are separate entities. The politicians make rules and submit directives for resources and it is the Government that moves to enact them and enforce them.

Or not.

People have this idea that whatever the politician says, the government will leap to attention and rush out to do it exactly as specified. After all, the politician is elected to run the government, right? Wrong. When people think "run the government", they somehow seem to construe that to mean that the politicians are actually in the Departments directing the staff to investigate this, deny that, take those or so forth. Nope, doesn't work that way. They direct policy, not action. Policy determines the basis behind an action, not the action itself. The government in this vein is not the state, it is the management organization that directs the powers and resources of the state. The state decides to do something and it is the Government that is the agency that actually carries out that action, manages the act, compares it to policy, manages the act, reviews the act and (if necessary) prosecutes an incorrect action of itself by itself. To summarize, I basically agree with you on this point. :)
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Re: Government vs the State

Unread postby willow » Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:53 pm

Az I know you dont want a hundred little points but :P

Azmo wrote:A state is a representation of a collection of humans that decide to give up their capacity to live naturally in lieu of the many and varied protections and services that a collective society can provide. More simply put, we gave up the capacity to live according to natural law to live by more "artificial" means. We give it the right to take resources, to impose taxes, to arrest and jail us just as we give it the right to defend us with a military and build us roads.


The reason I dislike this argument is because there is no choice to live in a society, one is born into it and the acceptance of the social contract is considered a given at birth. No one gets to choose to accept the social contract, its entierly imposed by society upon the individual. Im not trying to argue the social contract is a bad notion, but the fact that there is no "opt out" option means its not really a contract, rather an obligation. Its the same argument that can be applied to serfdom, you were born into serfdom and are subject to its society, or slavery, Soviet Russia or North Korea. The social contract argument binds to any society reguardless of if that society is just or fair.

Azmo wrote:And let's be honest here - a state rule is the rule enacted by the majority


You should know that in a democracy its not necessarily rule by majority. Its not here at the moment (or after our next exelction either it seems), or in many other western democracies at the moment. Its rule of the majority only when there is full public engagement in the voting process.

Azmo wrote:it makes no end of sense that one would need to opt out of such a system and remove themselves from the advantages that it provides specifically because any such act requires you to actively avoid direct association with that system. One can opt out as they please, being mindful that the majority of that state possesses a collective will that an individual does not.


Thats not really true being that there is no longer the option to go just wander off and build a house in the woods, you require food, clothing, shelter etc and the only way to aquire these items in the modern society is to engage with society. Even if you were to be completely self sufficient in production of food, goods, power, water, sewer, and use no government services like police or fire dept, roads and hwys (horses?), the government will want taxes for the land you are on, and impose punishment for failure to comply. You cant opt out of the social contract anymore. Especially Given that the government automatically claims ownership of all unowned land in the country by default. Its not like the mid 1800's when you could just pack your bags and head east to start your own shit.

Azmo wrote:You can get paid far more to be a hired gun than a regular soldier and the lack of needed oversight means that to the ones hiring, the amount paid is advantageous over the upkeep you must pay to have a regular soldier - the training, the food, the materials, the logistics, etc. His point is specifically that the state employs these types of resources because it is not tenable to have to rely on what is a private business for your defense. Should someone foot more money than you are willing to put forward, you may find yourself suddenly without that defense.


heh I like Machiavelli on the use of mercenaries.

In the US's case they spend several times the cost of a regular soldier on each private military contractor they are using, even after considering the logistical costs. The private firms are being used to address a shortage in recruitment and available manpower as well as equiptment. Part of the shortage in manpower and recruitment is because what would be career soldiers are choosing to leave after their term is up and go to companies like Blackwater where they are paid several times more for the same kind of duties but as a civilian. A process that was noted several years ago to be gutting the US Army of many of its top men.

I like the military example though. If one is opposed to government entities etc and in favour of complete freemarket control would that person also support the full demobililzation of the US military and sale of its assess to private US contractors to provide services upon a rent/on demand basis to the US Govt or other corperate or foreign bodies that require them?


Azmo wrote:On the matter of the definition of the word, to govern means to direct the actions of a thing. Government does tend to get used in the sense of politics by many people, but I disagree. Government is not necessarily a political entity, it is actually distended from the political apparatus in a sense. Even though that might sound impossible. I work for Government and I can tell you that, at least here, the political party and the Government are separate entities. The politicians make rules and submit directives for resources and it is the Government that moves to enact them and enforce them.

Or not.

People have this idea that whatever the politician says, the government will leap to attention and rush out to do it exactly as specified. After all, the politician is elected to run the government, right? Wrong. When people think "run the government", they somehow seem to construe that to mean that the politicians are actually in the Departments directing the staff to investigate this, deny that, take those or so forth. Nope, doesn't work that way. They direct policy, not action.


The fact that the Government sets policy is what allows it to control its departments and ministries. You work for the government and if your boss says publicly tow the government line. you tow the government line (thats why we get so many unnamed sources) and if your department is handed a new set of policies and regulations towards whatever subject you follow them. If Im not mistaken though, most minsiters rely heavily on the civil service staff in their employ in forming decisions and policy suggestions based on their often superior knowledge of the functioning of the system hes monitoring.

I realize the point your making, the ministers dont really "control" the areas under their review in many ways outside setting general policies which is true but it is those ministers who set the overall policy which directs and limits the actions of the ministry or dept. A wise politician realises that no matter who heads the dept as governments come and go, the staff and people who make government actually work very rarely change. They are also ususally by necessity very "politically flexible" in their following of policiy as governments move from left to right and back again.

As for the Idea as a whole, I dislike the social contract in that it implies there is a choice when there really isnt one. Perhaps it should just be called a social obligation it seems more fitting. I dont disagree that one who engages in society is responsible for the upkeep and maintanence of society, however ICM and I would disagree about the methods. I am in favour of taxation and government service to ensure fair even service to everyone. I think the State has a duty to do its best for ALL its citizens to ensure their rights and freedoms as well as standard of living and most states fail this. I also think that given the extended age of the elderly and the coming switch to a senior citizen society facing both Canada and the US this is going to get much harder to do, health care and pension expenses alone are set to explode.

As for the chat... read top down for sanity.
-willow: people are the government and the government sadly is the mouthpeice of its people internationally
-Intercourseman72: people are the government, but not the state
-willow: indeed
-Azmodan Kijur: People are the government - the government represents and embodies the state - therefoer people are hte state
-willow: the people arnt the state the government is the state
-willow: the people are the government but the state is the embodyment of the government and its power

Firstly I was thinking almost exclusively at the Federal level when considering States and Governments rather then local governments, as the federal government is the State, all local governments are subservient to the Federal Government.


I guess thats where I was going, The people form the "government" through elected officials and those people "run" the country on the peoples behalf. Those elected officials are the only part of the government that the people can really be said to "form" or be "represented" by. The rest of the government apparatus is made up of civil servents like Azmo.

The people cannot be said to "be" the civil service, in the way the phrase is meant, given that the civil service is not a representation of the peoples will, rather it is an instrument of the elected officals whos opinions and actions often but dont always reflect the will of the people in their constituencies. Either because the people dont make their will known to their political representitive, because the view they get is misreresentitive of all their constituentst or because they are doing it for personal gain or some other reason. "Party Solidarity" here would potentially defeat the will of the majority etc.

When I was thinking of the State, it was as the wider embodyment of the government, both the elected officals who direct and the wider government body. Im making a distinction between "government" as elected officals and "government body" as the wider government entity. The State to me represents the government body as a whole and all that the wider sense of the terms "Government" can entail, while government in the general sense represents to me the governing or elected portion of government.

I think this is consistant with the notion that the State has a monopoly on violence since its really only the federal government which is entitled to apply physical force and imprisonment for failure to comply. They are the only group which reserves the right, given by consent of the wider populace or not, to restrict rights and personal freedoms for failure to meet what it imposes as obligations upon the individual, either justly (murder, taxe etc) or injustly(internment camps). The State can then allow subservient institutions a limited use of force within state set perameters, things like security and municiple police forces and in the case of the US things like blackwater. The only reason these subservient institutions can apply force to obtain complience is by the grace of the State and the State reserves the right to limit, modify, restrict or further enhance any subservient institutions ability to use force in society. If the US govt decides to shut down Blackwater as a mercenary force and private army they can.
dirty work... the right google key words...
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Re: Government vs the State

Unread postby Intercourseman72 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:21 am

Back to this after about a month of dormancy.

The social contract is nearly impossible to argue against because it's unfalsifiable. You can address any claim that the state DOES impose force onto others without consent by saying, "well, the cultural zeitgeist allows it to be so. If 'society' did not consent to this, it would just change it."

However, no matter what you think of the social contract theory, it does not in any way that the state is not a monopoly on violence. But for now, I won't iterate and re-iterate the idea that it is a monopoly on violence. I will just iterate and re-iterate the idea that it is the only institution in which this social contract theory applies.

Even the most intrusive, powerful, expansionist private/corporate enterprises do not have the authority to do what the state is able to do. This is mainly because they don't have exclusive claims to a geographic territory. That would be the state who "owns" and is able to claim territory without homesteading the land (at least the vast majority of it) and still enforce laws it creates (or if you want, what "society" creates) as if everyone living there is a tenant to the state.

For instance, Microsoft cannot draft and pass a bill of law saying that everyone living in some arbitrary geographic territory is required and bound by law to buy stock from Microsoft, pay fees for the enforcement of this forced purchase, and whatever "services" or "regulations" Microsoft decides to implement. On top of that, they are not allowed to create all these hoops people have would to jump through if they refuse to pay for their "services" to exit Microsoft's claimed territory under suspicion of tax evasion thus requiring that they still pay for all of Microsoft's services. They also cannot forbid those who flee from one part of Microsoft territory to another part of Microsoft territory. In this example, Microsoft has territory anywhere in the world where they (do business) claim a piece of land, commandeer the people living there and call them "citizens" thus obligating them to pay for their services, and are able to enforce the payment of these services. They then can't say "either pay for our services, try to change the system of Microsoft, or leave to a place where Microsoft doesn't claim any territory" and still expect people to think they are anything but batshit insane.

However, the state is allowed to do that. Whether via a social contract, or more obviously, through conquest and violent enforcement of their ownership of that land at the margins and assumption that such action is legitimate by the masses.

I will not argue against the social contract theory, it would likely take months of writing and research to try and overcome such a logically fallacious cluster fuck of an un-falsifiable doctrine.

Instead, you could do what I suggested in my first post and read Lysander Spooner. If you want to hear arguments against the social contract theory, read all of his "No Treason" essays.

As for now, it should be pretty obvious what separates the state as an institution from any other institution, company, individual, etc in a society. I could and would like to go into depth about specific components of the state's institutional structure from a principles/agents perspective, but maybe that could be somewhat of a cliff-hanger. For now, I will just stick to the one point that should be made rather than try to address every single point made so far.
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Re: Government vs the State

Unread postby UnwantedSunbeam » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:17 am

I was reading an article on the sloppiness of some governance and they gave an example stated below:

"Rep. Tom Moore was dismayed at how often his colleagues in the Texas House of Representatives passed bills without understanding them. So in April 1971 he sponsored a resolution honoring Albert de Salvo:

This compassionate gentleman’s dedication and devotion to his work has enabled the weak and the lonely throughout the nation to achieve and maintain a new degree of concern for their future. He has been officially recognized by the state of Massachusetts for his noted activities and unconventional techniques involving population control and applied psychology.

That’s true as far as it goes — Albert de Salvo is the Boston Strangler.

The measure passed unanimously."


Seems that when we expect the people of the government to do a good job all the time, some of them seem to be there just to do a little as possible and collect a wage.
One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked. "Where do you want to go?" was his response. "I don't know", Alice answered. "Then", said the cat, "It doesn't matter.”
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Re: Government vs the State

Unread postby Azmodan Kijur » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:35 pm

willow wrote:The reason I dislike this argument is because there is no choice to live in a society, one is born into it and the acceptance of the social contract is considered a given at birth. No one gets to choose to accept the social contract, its entierly imposed by society upon the individual. Im not trying to argue the social contract is a bad notion, but the fact that there is no "opt out" option means its not really a contract, rather an obligation. Its the same argument that can be applied to serfdom, you were born into serfdom and are subject to its society, or slavery, Soviet Russia or North Korea. The social contract argument binds to any society reguardless of if that society is just or fair.


This will likely come as little shock to those that know me, but I do not tend to agree with this line of reasoning. The assertion is an odd one - that you have in some manner been harmed by your adherence to the social contract because you were not given a choice as to whether or not to partake in that contract. The contract, in that manner, is described as a matter of fiat rather than choice for the individual. Yet, this would seem at odds with the nature of the choice itself and the timing with which one may or may not make the choice to abide by that contract. Allow me to elaborate on the notion to an extent.

The first part of the assertion concerns the moment of entry into the contract - the moment of birth. This can be treated as the moment that you are considered a legal entity under the law and subject to it's rules. Entry into the contract at this point is treated as automatic and forced - you are not given the choice to avoid subordinating yourself to the will of the State and Society. But this is confusing - what in your 2 hour old mind is capable of making such a choice? I am by no means an expert on human biology, but it is a hobby of mine. As far as I can tell, you are not cognitively aware enough at that age to make any decisions, let alone one with almost metaphysical ramifications. Simply put, you are not smart enough having just been born to decide to be in the system or not. At that moment, you have no grasp of human language, let alone a grasp of what the state or the social contract might be.

It falls to your parental units to make the decision for you. That decision is, for the time that you remain incapable of making the choice yourself (incapable in this case means fully informed and able as opposed as being able to mark an X in a box), set in stone. You are bound by that decision that they made on your behalf. Because of that fact, some may be persuaded to blame the parents for being under the system, but that is also unfair. They made their choice to uphold the social contract and in doing so, to abide by its rules and conventions. They are unlikely to leave simply to give their child the benefit of making the choice freely when they come of age if, for no other reason, much of the act of living for them is integrated into the system, the contract, and the state.

The more astute might point to the statement regarding the rule being set and note that it implies full acceptance without recourse. This is not exactly the case - as a child, you are exempt from much of the social and economic constraints that you experience as an adult. The justice system, for example, favours you as a child, limiting your exposure to the full extent of its powers and penalties simply because you are not cognisently aware of the rules that it enforces. A child cannot be tried for theft - rather, it is the parent that sheilds you from such at the risk of their own freedom. In this way, we see that the case is less that the choice to comply is made for you, but rather delayed until you may legally take responsibility for that choice.

That delay seemingly provides the system, the state, and the social contract the time needed to convince you that they are the best option available. Television, literature, academics, and so forth provide information primarily directed toward their own upkeep, correct? Actually, this is something of a misnomer. Granted, the information is angled toward the propagation of the three structures, but this is a side effect of the actual need to have such information actually provide such a function. That is, these "entities" act in a manner that generates data that supports their foundations specifically because it is part of the act of being these entities. The social contract can no more produce and distribute data that contravenes itself than you can produce a poison in your liver and distribute it throughout your body so that it will kill you. These entities act in a manner that self-propogate themselves - not to convince the masses or control minds, but because that is exactly what you would expect it to do. If they did not, they would not exist. Moreover, the information itself would not exist without those entities to support its generation. They are co-dependent in a manner - relying on each other for mutual benefit.

As an example, take a formal structure like the Medical Profession. The profession generates information (practices, techniques, technology) that propogates the existence of the profession. The data generated generally supports itself. But this is as one would expect. The information cannot contradict the profession as it is the profession that provides the basis from which the information can be generated. This is not referring to the scientific push and pull within the profession, but the generation of information that affects the overall treatment of human pathology. The medical profession cannot generate information that dismisses the structure that created it. Not because of greed or paranoia or anything of the sort - simply because it is incapable of advocating its own death in that manner.

The same is true of the system as a whole and the contract. The contract promotes the generation of information that furthers itself - the golden rule is an example. One cannot blame it for creating an environment wherein the things it creates supports itself. This is to be considered separate from the act of dissenting with the conclusions it draws. It is not perfect and thinkers can poke at it to force it to better itself. This is much the same as the medical profession suffering the work of homeopaths and reiki specialists - the profession is such that dissent is encouraged for perspective and ruthlessly dealt with when it comes to whether a procedure works or not.

When are you capable of making the choice? Now there is a good question? According to cognitive science, it takes years to develop the thinking skills necessary to project a thought down a given avenue of reasoning. Still more time is needed to learn enough raw data to support any analysis you might decide to engage in. Little help to have a functioning mind, but no tombstone data to work out kinks in your reasoning. Might as well as ask the new born in that case. How long? Developmentally, most figures and theories would place the bare minimum at age 11. To acquire the information necessary, it will require an additional 4 - 6 years. Time lengths are variant because humans are different from each other. This is or would be the time to choose - do you wish to partake of the social contract or not?

Again, those that would disagree with me would point out that up to that age, they have lived under the social contract and been forced to accept it. They are not free to choose which way to go at that point. This is nonsense - the choice is, once capable of it, yours to make at any time. The system, the state, and the social contract are a matter binding you only when you allow it to do so. More directly, you are only subject to the pieces when you are party to them. This is the trick - one that many trip over when exploring this avenue of inquiry. You are subject to the social contract for as long as you permit yourself to be. To exclude yourself from these entities, you need only remove yourself from their influence. Exiting the contract, the system, and the state is as simple as putting on your clothes and leaving. Leave what? Why, the sphere of influence of the three, the physical sphere of influence.

There are those that cry foul to this idea. "No!", they cry, "I do not have to leave MY country in order not to have to abide by its rules or its contracts! I should be allowed to opt out and remain where I am!" This is asinine reasoning - you expect to opt out of the system and remain within its borders, its protections, sapping its resources generated via its functioning, and expect to avoid its rules? How insane is that? The three together create the society you live in - all of it. Let me clarify one thing for a moment - these three are personified for the purposes of this discussion. It should always be readily apparent that there is no entity of the contract, the system, or the state. This is referential only. All three are simply the acts of large collections of humans in concert. The social contract is created when people join together and decide to act in agreement in some regard.
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Re: Government vs the State

Unread postby Intercourseman72 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:17 am

The first part of the assertion concerns the moment of entry into the contract - the moment of birth. This can be treated as the moment that you are considered a legal entity under the law and subject to it's rules. Entry into the contract at this point is treated as automatic and forced - you are not given the choice to avoid subordinating yourself to the will of the State and Society. But this is confusing - what in your 2 hour old mind is capable of making such a choice? I am by no means an expert on human biology, but it is a hobby of mine. As far as I can tell, you are not cognitively aware enough at that age to make any decisions, let alone one with almost metaphysical ramifications. Simply put, you are not smart enough having just been born to decide to be in the system or not. At that moment, you have no grasp of human language, let alone a grasp of what the state or the social contract might be.


OK? The same applies with religious indoctrination of children. No child can intellectually grasp what they are being told by their parents and/or priests. They have absolutely no choice in the matter whether to belong to a certain religion. As George Carlin says, they don't even reach the age of reason to see through the fallacious dogma until about 2 or 3 years old. However, this gives ample time for those with the most authority in a child's life to warp the thinking and mentality of the child. The child's entire social environment can be developed around these beliefs, intense feelings of fear can instilled in them for doubting it and great feelings of joy can be instilled for embracing it. Not too long ago, an individual's rejection of these sacred beliefs could earn them total ostracism from society. So... if a child under these circumstances turns out to live a pious life according to their upbringings does that mean they honestly and intellectually accepted what was being presented to them? More importantly to this topic, does this mean that religion is somehow a corner stone to his/her society? Do they indeed consent to the imposed social structure around them? Or is it more reasonable to simply say that they were manipulated into acting and thinking certain ways as a direct effect of their social structure?



The more astute might point to the statement regarding the rule being set and note that it implies full acceptance without recourse. This is not exactly the case - as a child, you are exempt from much of the social and economic constraints that you experience as an adult. The justice system, for example, favours you as a child, limiting your exposure to the full extent of its powers and penalties simply because you are not cognisently aware of the rules that it enforces. A child cannot be tried for theft - rather, it is the parent that sheilds you from such at the risk of their own freedom. In this way, we see that the case is less that the choice to comply is made for you, but rather delayed until you may legally take responsibility for that choice.


I don't know what schools are like in canada, but in the US there is this campaign/policy called "zero tolerance." Under zero tolerance, kids tend to be punished more severely, have fewer rights while in school, can be prosecuted for offenses adults would not, and have to face greater opposition. It's not as simple as "kids are given an easier time."

That delay seemingly provides the system, the state, and the social contract the time needed to convince you that they are the best option available.


Yes, as I mentioned with religion

Television, literature, academics, and so forth provide information primarily directed toward their own upkeep, correct? Actually, this is something of a misnomer. Granted, the information is angled toward the propagation of the three structures, but this is a side effect of the actual need to have such information actually provide such a function. That is, these "entities" act in a manner that generates data that supports their foundations specifically because it is part of the act of being these entities. The social contract can no more produce and distribute data that contravenes itself than you can produce a poison in your liver and distribute it throughout your body so that it will kill you. These entities act in a manner that self-propogate themselves - not to convince the masses or control minds, but because that is exactly what you would expect it to do. If they did not, they would not exist. Moreover, the information itself would not exist without those entities to support its generation. They are co-dependent in a manner - relying on each other for mutual benefit.

As an example, take a formal structure like the Medical Profession. The profession generates information (practices, techniques, technology) that propogates the existence of the profession. The data generated generally supports itself. But this is as one would expect. The information cannot contradict the profession as it is the profession that provides the basis from which the information can be generated. This is not referring to the scientific push and pull within the profession, but the generation of information that affects the overall treatment of human pathology. The medical profession cannot generate information that dismisses the structure that created it. Not because of greed or paranoia or anything of the sort - simply because it is incapable of advocating its own death in that manner.


OK? So what's your point here? The Red Cross tries to propagate itself and expand it's power and influence, religious sects do this, dietitians do this, and viruses do this. Viruses are never en-coded with information to cause it's own RNA to disappear while saving the other cells in its host. However, if the virus kills the host right away, it will likely not survive more than a few days. Viruses that tend to linger on in their hosts and are able to spread into other hosts are the ones that last in nature. Sometimes, viruses may actually appear to benefit their hosts. Yeah, everything that exists as of now exists because it has a drive and capability to survive and reproduce. If states were apathetic to their own existence, they would not exist. I don't see what the hell this has to do with exactly what a state is though. I thought the goal of this thread was to define what the terms government and state were, not to find similarities they had with everything else and come up with extremely vague generalities. Yes, the individuals with state power try to justify and propagate the state. This is so self-evident, it is not worth mentioning when trying to actually define what makes a state a state.

The same is true of the system as a whole and the contract. The contract promotes the generation of information that furthers itself - the golden rule is an example. One cannot blame it for creating an environment wherein the things it creates supports itself. This is to be considered separate from the act of dissenting with the conclusions it draws. It is not perfect and thinkers can poke at it to force it to better itself. This is much the same as the medical profession suffering the work of homeopaths and reiki specialists - the profession is such that dissent is encouraged for perspective and ruthlessly dealt with when it comes to whether a procedure works or not.


OK? Things act deterministically. The state has an inherent interest in creating an environment that ensures its own existence and expansion. The point of statism or anti-statism is not to assign blame. It's to determine whether or not a state is necessary or not. This is a completely moot point to not only this thread, but to discussions involving the validity/necessity of the state. If you want to discuss the validity/necessity of the state, understand that no one with a serious opinion blames the state for being self-interested or acting the way it does. Anti-statists, generally are simply opposed to the way it acts and the powers that it has.

When are you capable of making the choice? Now there is a good question? According to cognitive science, it takes years to develop the thinking skills necessary to project a thought down a given avenue of reasoning. Still more time is needed to learn enough raw data to support any analysis you might decide to engage in. Little help to have a functioning mind, but no tombstone data to work out kinks in your reasoning. Might as well as ask the new born in that case. How long? Developmentally, most figures and theories would place the bare minimum at age 11. To acquire the information necessary, it will require an additional 4 - 6 years. Time lengths are variant because humans are different from each other. This is or would be the time to choose - do you wish to partake of the social contract or not?

What happens if you don't partake in the social contract (whatever the hell that is as it is never articulately defined in this post)? You are left to fend for yourself without the services of anyone in that society. It's hardly any measure of a reasonable cost-benefit analysis. Suppose you are drafted by the navy. If you are forced to live on an aircraft-carrier for a year-and-a-half, do you consent to being conscripted if you don't jump off the boat and attempt to swim for the nearest island? I would think that the reasonable answer is "no". Rather, you are simply doing the best you can with a situation you already detest and would rather not be obliged to.

Again, those that would disagree with me would point out that up to that age, they have lived under the social contract and been forced to accept it. They are not free to choose which way to go at that point. This is nonsense - the choice is, once capable of it, yours to make at any time. The system, the state, and the social contract are a matter binding you only when you allow it to do so. More directly, you are only subject to the pieces when you are party to them. This is the trick - one that many trip over when exploring this avenue of inquiry. You are subject to the social contract for as long as you permit yourself to be. To exclude yourself from these entities, you need only remove yourself from their influence. Exiting the contract, the system, and the state is as simple as putting on your clothes and leaving. Leave what? Why, the sphere of influence of the three, the physical sphere of influence.


Yeah, again, like with religion and, more closely related, to highly theocratic Muslim societies.

There are those that cry foul to this idea. "No!", they cry, "I do not have to leave MY country in order not to have to abide by its rules or its contracts! I should be allowed to opt out and remain where I am!" This is asinine reasoning - you expect to opt out of the system and remain within its borders, its protections, sapping its resources generated via its functioning, and expect to avoid its rules? How insane is that? The three together create the society you live in - all of it. Let me clarify one thing for a moment - these three are personified for the purposes of this discussion. It should always be readily apparent that there is no entity of the contract, the system, or the state. This is referential only. All three are simply the acts of large collections of humans in concert. The social contract is created when people join together and decide to act in agreement in some regard.


"There are those that cry foul to this idea. "No!", they cry, "I do not want to leave THIS COUNTY I AM TOLD IS SUPPOSED TO BE MINE in order to not to have to abide to its violently imposed rules or contracts! I should be allowed to opt of it like I would with any actual voluntary service such as cell-phone, food distribution, wireless internet, etc, and remain where I am!" This is asinine reasoning? - you expect to opt out of the system and remain within its borders it arbitrarily assigns to itself without proper homesteading, its so-called 'protections' it forces you to pay and/or use, sapping the resources it coerces from other people via taxation, and expect to avoid its rules it again violently imposes onto you? How insane is that when dealing with the violence apparatus of the state? The three together create the society you live in, however, may or may not function dramatically better by alternative means (which is where the debate really is). Let me clarify one thing for a moment- these three are actually rather irrelevant for the purposes of this discussion. It should always be readily clear (that you do not articulate this properly, azmodan)that there is no entity of the contract, the system, or the state. That there are only individuals within these groups/entities. The social contract is created as an ex-post facto justification for the the violent conquest of territory and propagation of the state.

After saying all of that, it is painfully clear that you did not read Lysander Spooner's "No Treason" Essays as I recommended that you do. Had you done so, you would not be making these absurd, elementary arguments in favor of the social contract. Also you make plenty of over fallacies commonly associated with statist apologetics.


I have just the links for you. http://jim.com/treason.htm
http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Libertari ... huben.html

These links are much better suited for a statist/anti-statist debate, but are not irrelevant to the claims you have made thus far.

Please keep in mind, however, that you have bastardized this thread by making it statist vs anti-statist as opposed to pin-pointing what defines a government and what defines a state. I have given what I think makes a government a government and a state a state, yet you seem bent on making your posts about justifications for the state (at least the parts of your posts that seem to contribute to any conceivable point or thesis). If you want to discuss whether it would be better or worse to have a state, start another topic. But before making another thread, it is crucial that we have clear and articulate definitions for exactly what we are discussing.
Last edited by Intercourseman72 on Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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