organised community living under a system of government; either a sovereign state, constituent state, or federated state
(Redirected from States)
- In the mean time, what is the point of repeating the old tale as to what the state is becoming? Once the sour critical analysis of sometime ago (Herbert Marcuse: One-Dimensional Man), the dark negative utopias (Aldous Huxley, George Orwell) and the protest cries (May 68) are forgotten, and with a near lack of the slightest sense of resistance in civil society, the cobweb of power spins peacefully over our heads, all over the place. Even the dressing room.
- Joxe Azurmendi, Demokratak eta biolentoak, (1997), p. 101.
- War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society those irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense. The machinery of government sets and enforces the drastic penalties. … In general, the nation in wartime attains a uniformity of feeling, a hierarchy of values culminating at the undisputed apex of the State ideal, which could not possibly be produced through any other agency than war. Other values such as artistic creation, knowledge, reason, beauty, the enhancement of life, are instantly and almost unanimously sacrificed, and the significant classes who have constituted themselves the amateur agents of the State, are engaged not only in sacrificing these values for themselves but in coercing all other persons into sacrificing them.
- We have entered a time of global transition marked by uniquely contradictory trends. Regional and continental associations of States are evolving ways to deepen cooperation and ease some of the contentious characteristics of sovereign and nationalistic rivalries. National boundaries are blurred by advanced communications and global commerce, and by the decisions of States to yield some sovereign prerogatives to larger, common political associations. At the same time, however, fierce new assertions of nationalism and sovereignty spring up, and the cohesion of States is threatened by brutal ethnic, religious, social, cultural or linguistic strife. Social peace is challenged on the one hand by new assertions of discrimination and exclusion and, on the other, by acts of terrorism seeking to undermine evolution and change through democratic means.
- It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.
- Louis D. Brandeis, dissenting, New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, 285 U.S. 311 (1932).
- We are gong down the road to stateism. Where we will wind up, no one can tell, but if some of the new programs seriously proposed should be adopted, there is danger that the individual—whether farmer, worker, manufacturer, lawyer, or doctor—will soon be an economic slave pulling an oar in the galley of the state.
- James F. Byrnes, "Great Decisions Must Be Made," speech delivered at the bicentennial celebration of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia (June 18, 1949); Vital Speeches of the Day, July 15, 1949, p. 580.
- The State, left to shape itself by dim pedantries and traditions, without distinctness of conviction, or purpose beyond that of helping itself over the difficulty of the hour, has become, instead of a luminous vitality permeating with its light all provinces of our affairs, a most monstrous agglomerate of inanities, as little adapted for the actual wants of a modern community as the worst citizen need wish. The thing it is doing is by no means the thing we want to have done. What we want!
- Thomas Carlyle, Latter-Day Pamphlets, Downing Street April 1, 1850
- The modern state appeals to morality, to religion, and to natural law as the ideological foundation of its existence. At the same time it is prepared to infringe any or all of these in the interest of self-preservation.
- J. M. Coetzee, Diary of a Bad Year (2007), p. 17.
- The complex notion of the ‘provisional’ character of the State is the reason why the attitude of the first Christians toward the State is not unitary, but rather appears to be contradictory. I emphasize, that it appears to be so. We need only mention Romans 13:1, ‘Let every man be subject to the powers that be ... ,’ alongside Revelation 13: the State as the beast from the abyss.
- Oscar Cullmann, The State in the New Testament.
- The first act by virtue of which the State really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society — the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society — this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a State. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The State is not "abolished." It dies out.
- Friedrich Engels, Socialism, Utopian and Scientific, trans. Edward Aveling (1901), p. 49.
- Here is how Anarchists see the world: the world is presently organized into competing nation-states, which though the Capitalist Western nations have been responsible for most of the world’s famine, imperialism and exploitation of the non-white peoples of the earth. In fact, all states are instruments of oppression. Even though there are governments that claim to be “workers states,” “Socialist countries” or so-called “Revolutionary governments,” in essence they all have the same function: dictatorship and oppression of the many over the few.
- The State is a political abstraction, a hierarchical institution by which a privileged elite strives to dominate the vast majority of people. The State’s mechanisms include a group of institutions containing legislative assemblies, the civil service bureaucracy, the military and police forces, the judiciary and prisons, and the subcentral State apparatus. The government is the administrative vehicle to run the State. The purpose of this specific set of institutions which are the expressions of authority in capitalist societies (and so-called “Socialist states”), is the maintenance and extension of domination over the common people by a privileged class, the rich in Capitalist societies, the so-called Communist party in State Socialist or Communist societies like the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. However, the State itself is always an elitist position structure between the rules and the ruled order-givers and order-takers, and economic haves and have-nets. The State’s elite is not just the rich and the super-rich, but also those persons who assume State positions of authority — politicians and juridical officials. Thus the State bureaucracy itself, in terms of its relation to ideological property, can become an elite class in its own right. This administrative elite class of the State is developed not just the through dispensing of privileges by the economic elite, but as well by the separation of private and public life — the family unit and civil society respectively — and by the opposition between an individual family and the larger society. It is sheer opportunism, brought on by Capitalist competition and alienation. It is a breeding ground for agents of the State.
- The existence of the State and a ruling classes, based on the exploitation and oppression of the working class am inseparable. Domination and exploitation go hand-in-hand and in fact this oppression is not possible without force and violent authority. This is why Anarchist-Communists argue that any attempt to use State power as a means of establishing a free, egalitarian society can only be self-defeating, because the habits of commanding and exploiting become ends in themselves. This was proven with the Bolshevik in the Russian Revolution (1917–1921).
- I don't think that we should consider the "modern state" as an entity which was developed above individuals, ignoring what they are and even their very existence, but, on the contrary, as a very sophisticated structure, in which individuals can be integrated, under one condition: that this individuality would be shaped in a new form and submitted to a set of very specific patterns.
- Michel Foucault, "The Subject and Power," Critical Inquiry, Vol. 8, No. 4. (Summer, 1982), p. 783
- The political, ethical, social, philosophical problem of our day is not to try to liberate the individual from the state and from the state's institutions but to liberate us both from the state and from the type of individualization which is linked to the state. We have to promote new forms of subjectivity through the refusal of this kind of individuality which has been imposed on us for several centuries.
- Michel Foucault, "The Subject and Power," Critical Inquiry, Vol. 8, No. 4. (Summer, 1982), p. 785
- A question like the present should be disposed of without undue delay. But a State cannot be expected to move with the celerity of a private business man; it is enough if it proceeds, in the language of the English Chancery, with all deliberate speed.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Virginia v. West Virginia, 222 U.S. 19–20 (1911). The best known use of the phrase "all deliberate speed" is in Chief Justice Earl Warren's opinion of the court, Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al., 349 U.S. 301 (1954).
- Statism is the Utopian ideal that just the right amount of violence used by just the right people in just the right direction can perfect society.
- Keith Hamburger, as quoted in “The Myth of Limited Government: Anarchy Vs. Minarchy”, Jon Torres, Logical Anarchy, August 12, 2014
- The organizing principle of any society is for war. The basic authority of the modern state over its people resides in its war powers. Today it's oil, tomorrow, water. It's what we like to call the GOD business: Guns, Oil, and Drugs. But there is a problem. Our way of life, its over. It's unsustainable and in rapid decline. That's why we implement demand destruction. We continue to make money as the world burns. But for this to work the people have to remain ignorant of the problem until it's too late. That's why we have triggers in place: 9/11, 7/7, WMDs. A population in a permanent state of fear does not ask questions. Our desire for war becomes its desire for war. A willing sacrifice. You see, fear is justification, fear is control, fear is money.
- The Veteran (2011), written by Matthew Hope and Robert Henry Craft
- The state is a means to an end. Its end lies in the preservation and advancement of a community of physically and psychically homogeneous creatures. This preservation itself comprises first of all existence as a race and thereby permits the free development of all the forces dormant in this race. Of them a part will always primarily serve the preservation of physical life, and only the remaining part the promotion of a further spiritual development. Actually the one always creates the precondition for the other. States which do not serve this purpose are misbegotten, monstrosities in fact. The fact of their existence changes this no more than the success of a gang of bandits can justify robbery
- Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity.
- Augustine, The City of God, Book 4, chapter 4
- The populace consists of individuals and free men, while the state is made up of numbers. When the state dominates, killing becomes abstract. Servitude began with the shepherds; in the river valleys it attained perfection with canals and dikes. Its model was the slavery in mines and mills. Since then, the ruses for concealing chains have been refined.
- Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil (1977)
- The established order began with that collision between the single individual and the established order, began with the single individual’s relationship with God, but now that is to be forgotten, the bridge cut down, and the established order deified. Strangely enough, this deification of the established order is the perpetual revolt, the continual mutiny against God. …. Fear and trembling signify that we are in the process of becoming, and every single individual, likewise the generation, is and should be aware of being in the process of becoming. And fear and trembling signify that there is a God – something every human being and every established order ought not to forget for a moment.
- Soren Kierkegaard, Practice in Christianity 1850 Hong 1991 P. 88
- The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love (1963), p. 47.
- The greatest threat to a robust, autonomous civil society is the ever-growing Leviathan state...
- Charles Krauthammer, column, July 20, 2012, "Did the state make you great? : Virtues Obama discounts" at jewishworldreview.com.
- The sovereign state places itself above any commitments or obligations, which it is then free to constrict or revoke as it pleases. But as a public figure, the state can only act through its representatives, who are all supposed to embody the continuity of the state over and above the daily exercise of their specific governmental functions. The superiority of the state therefore effectively means the superiority of its representatives over the laws or obligations that impinge upon them. This is the notion of superiority that is elevated to the rank of principle by all sovereigntists. But however unpleasant it may sound, this principle applies regardless of the political orientation of its leaders: what is essential is merely that one acts as a representative of the state, regardless of one's particular beliefs about state sovereignty.
- Christian Laval and Pierre Dardot, The pandemic as political trial: the case for a global commons (March 28, 2020), ROAR Magazine
- Is too rarely recognized that the concept of "public" is absolutely irreducible to the "state." The term "publicum" designates not merely the state administration, but the entire community as constituted by all citizens: public services are not state services, in the sense that the state can dispense these services as it pleases, nor are they merely an extension of the state: they are public in the sense that they exist "in the service of the public." It is in this sense that they constitute a positive obligation of the state toward its citizens.
- Christian Laval and Pierre Dardot, The pandemic as political trial: the case for a global commons (March 28, 2020), ROAR Magazine
- Operating behind the state provides oligarchs with a veneer of legitimacy.
- While the State exists, there can be no freedom. When there is freedom there will be no State.
- O Glorious Archangel St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and Powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil.
- Leo XIII, "Prayer to Saint Michael" (1888)
- The state arises where, when and insofar as class antagonism objectively cannot be reconciled. And, conversely, the existence of the state proves that the class antagonisms are irreconcilable.
- Vladimir Lenin, The State and Revolution (1917)
- The state is essentially an apparatus of compulsion and coercion. The characteristic feature of its activities is to compel people through the application or the threat of force to behave otherwise than they would like to behave… A gang of robbers, which because of the comparative weakness of its forces has no prospect of successfully resisting for any length of time the forces of another organization, is not entitled to be called a state... The pogrom gangs in imperial Russia were not a state because they could kill and plunder only thanks to the connivance of the government.
- Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, Auburn: Alabama, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2010, p. 46, (first published by Yale 1944)
- The appeal of authority has been that it would restrain us from ourselves. Hip, which would return us to ourselves, at no matter what price in individual violence, is the affirmation of the barbarian for it requires a primitive passion about human nature to believe that individual acts of violence are always to be preferred to the collective violence of the State.
- The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.
- Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto
- The worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it; and a State which postpones the interests of their mental expansion and elevation, to a little more of administrative skill, or of that semblance of it which practice gives, in the details of business; a State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes—will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished; and that the perfection of machinery to which it has sacrificed everything, will in the end avail it nothing, for want of the vital power which, in order that the machine might work more smoothly, it has preferred to banish.
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859), republished in ed. David Spitz, chapter 5, p. 106 (1975).
- Like capitalism, the state will not "negotiate" with any other sociopolitical system. It attempts to take up more and more governance space. It is neither neutral nor can it be "checked and balanced." The state has its own logic of command and control, of monopolizing political power. Anarchists held that the state cannot be used to dismantle capitalism, nor as a transitional strategy toward a noncapitalist, nonstatist society.
- The state, though distinct from capitalism in its form and methods, must also become a thing of the past if freedom has any chance of reigning. It's not a matter of trying to make the state kinder, more multicultural, more benign, or to follow the letter of its own law. The state's very logic asserts that a few people are better suited than everyone else to determine, as the U.S. Constitution says, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It's not just that the state has (or increasingly doesn't) a monopoly on violence but that regardless of how it compels people to give up their power—with guns, ballots, or pacification through forms of already-circumscribed participation—it is always engaged in a variety of social control and social engineering. Statecraft, at its essence, is about a small body of people legislating, administering, and policing social policy. In this way, it also sustains other types of domination, such as institutionalized racism or heteronormativity. Increasingly, "the state" is doing this as part of a networked structure of states collaborating in blocs or global institutions. Thus, fewer and fewer people get to determine policies ranging from warfare to health care to immigration. Even the notion of representative democracy under this global regime is almost anachronistic, given that layers of nonrepresentative statecraft now work hand in hand with equally undemocratic international NGOs and multinational financial bodies.
- Freedom, particularly social freedom, is indeed utterly antithetical to a state, even a representative one. At the most basic level, representation "asks" that we give our freedom away to another; it assumes, in essence, that some should have power and many others shouldn't. Without power, equally distributed to all, we renounce our very capacity to join with everyone else in meaningfully shaping our society. We renounce our ability to self-determine, and thus our liberty. And so, no matter how enlightened leaders may be, they are governing as tyrants nonetheless, since we—"the people"—are servile to their decisions. This is not to say that representative government is comparable with more authoritarian forms of rule. A representative system that fails in its promise of, say, universal human rights is clearly preferable to a government that makes no such pretensions at all. Yet even the kindest of representative systems necessarily entails a loss of liberty. Like capitalism, a grow-or-die imperative is built into the state's very structure. [...] Whatever a state does, then, has to be in its own interests. Sometimes, of course, the state's interests coincide with those of various groups or people; they may even overlap with concepts such as justice or compassion. But these convergences are in no way central or even essential to its smooth functioning. They are merely instrumental stepping-stones as the state continually moves to maintain, solidify, and consolidate its power. Because, like it or not, all states are forced to strive for a monopoly on power. [...] In this quest to monopolize power, there will always have to be dominated subjects. As institutionalized systems of domination, then, neither state nor capital are controllable. Nor can they be mended or made benign.
- [I]it was only in recent modern times that Western societies began expecting the state to secure constant economic growth and rising prosperity. Well into the 20th century people expected little more from the state than that it protect them from foreign powers, and expand the influence or territory of the nation. Prussia was remarkably like North Korea in many ways, yet we remember it as a very successful state.
- The approach of the Indian state to citizen participation has always been based on arrogance. It is also informed by overemphasis on the rhetoric of law and order. The former leads the state to believe that citizens are not, and should not be, active agents. This means that citizens must wait for leaders to mobilise them and guide and supervise their actions. Similarly, citizens must depend on the largesse of the state in deciding what is good for them. This gives rise to the syndrome of government as caretaker/parent and leaders as political chaperons. The Indian state also privileges the idea of law and order. If a parental state negates the idea that people have agency, the emphasis on law and order legitimises that negation. Thus, the discourse of rights and individual dignity becomes permissible only if it is subservient to the statist idea of "order". Legislative imagination, judicial interpretation and public perception are all stacked against the idea of the citizen as protestor. In contrast to the legacy of the freedom movement, democracy and popular participation are seen, both theoretically and legally, as inconsistent with, and often even opposed to, an orderly society.
- The emphasis has been twofold: That the state knows, the state is right, the state must be privileged, and that citizen action is suspect, potentially disruptive and liable to punishment. It is in the backdrop of this subdued rights discourse and de-legitimised agency of the people that the current moment has unfolded wherein criticism is almost seditious, claiming rights for marginalised sections can be termed as waging war against the state and empathising with victims of social injustice is ridiculed or forbidden. The current regime has converted the penchant for sub-democratic state action into a fearsome art.
- There is no one who ever acts honestly in the administration of States, nor any helper who will save any one who maintains the cause of the just.
- Plato, The Republic, 496d
- I believe that the poet is necessarily an anarchist, and that he must oppose all organized conceptions of the State, not only those which we inherit from the past, but equally those which are imposed on people in the name of the future.
- Herbert Read, Poetry and Anarchism
- If there is no class stratification in a society, it follows that there is no state, because the state arose as an instrument to be used by a particular class to control the rest of society in its own interests.
- The gap between 'the State' and 'a machine' is not so wide.
- Charles Scott Sherrington, Man on his Nature (Cambridge: The University Press, 1940), p. 187.
- The law is designed to protect the state, not the people who are victimized by the state.
- The State is a machine in the hands of the ruling class for suppressing the resistance of its class enemies. in this respect the dictatorship of the proletariat does not differ essentially from dictatorship of any other class, for the proletarian State is a machine for the suppression of the bourgeoisie.
- The State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens.
- Leo Tolstoy, Letter to Vasily Botkin
- Crime and bad lives are the measure of a State's failure, all crime in the end is the crime of the community.
- H. G. Wells, A Modern Utopia (1905), Chapter 5; reprinted in The Works of H.G. Wells, Volume 9 (1925).
- Many of the countries that achieved formal sovereignty through decolonization in the post-World War II period emerged as extremely weak States. That is, they emerged with a level of institutional capacity-of "infrastructural power," in Michael Mann's useful conceptualization-well below the minimum level one usually associates with the notion of "sovereign State." Looking at the phenomenon from the perspective of the international system, Robert Jackson has suggested that decolonization brought with it an unprecedented disjunction between "negative" and "positive" sovereignty-that is, between sovereignty in the traditional sense and empirical Statehood, producing "quasi-States."
Whereas in the past, States gained sovereignty only if they mustered the internal capacity to withstand the challenges of other States at the international level, in the contemporary world the situation is partially reversed, in that some of the new States are able to maintain their sovereignty only with the support of the international system.
While decolonization has certainly resulted in the proliferation of "weak States," Jackson exaggerates the newness of the phenomenon; indeed he himself acknowledges that the "new sovereignty game" originated under the League of Nations, when the application of the principle of national self-determination produced a plethora of countries in the Balkans and northern Europe whose capacity for "empirical" Statehood was open to question. In any case, it is quite evident that the resumption of imperial disintegration within eastern Europe following the collapse of Communism is producing additional "quasi-States."
Weak States are prone to protracted internal conflicts, and due to the widespread availability of cheap, rapid-fire weapons, such conflicts are likely to involve high levels of violence.
- Aristide R. Zolberg, “Changing Sovereignty Games and International Migration Changing Sovereignt, y Games and International Migration”, Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Volume 2 Issue 1, (Fall 1994) pp.168-169
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