Idolatry of the state
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- Whereas some ascetics and Brahmins ... remain addicted to such things as running errands and messages, such as for kings, ministers, nobles, Brahmins, householders and young men who say, "Go here, go there! Take this there, bring that from there," the ascetic Gotama refrains from such errand-running.
- Gautama Buddha, Long Discourses of the Buddha, § 1.19
- The biblical view is not just apolitical but antipolitical in the sense that it refuses to confer any value on political power, or in the sense that it regards political power as idolatrous.
- Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity (1984)
- προσεκύνησαν τῷ θηρίῳ λέγοντες Τίς ὅμοιος τῷ θηρίῳ, καὶ τίς δύναται πολεμῆσαι μετ’ αὐτοῦ;
- Statists tend to treat governmental edicts as though they were incantations, passing directly from decree to result, without the inconvenience of means; since in the real world the chief means employed by government is violence, threatened and actual, cloaking state decrees and their violent implementation in the garb of incantation disguises both the immorality and the inefficiency of statism by ignoring the messy path from decree to result. ... The violence of the state, to be justified, must be transubstantiated in its essence into peaceful incantation, yet at the same time, to be effective, it must retain the external accidents of violence.
- The real sin of idolatry is always committed on behalf of something similar to the State.
- Simone Weil, Prelude to Politics (1943), p. 199