The Anatomy of the State

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What the State Is Not

State is almost universally considered an institution of social
service. Some theorists venerate the State as the apotheosis of
society; others regard it as an amiable, though often inefficient,
organization for achieving social ends; but almost all regard it
as a necessary means for achieving the goals of mankind, a means
to be ranged against the “private sector” and often winning in this
competition of resources. With the rise of democracy, the identification
of the State with society has been redoubled, until it is common
to hear sentiments expressed which violate virtually every tenet
of reason and common sense such as, “we are the government.” The
useful collective term “we” has enabled an ideological camouflage
to be thrown over the reality of political life. If “we are the
government,” then anything a government does to an individual is
not only just and untyrannical but also “voluntary” on the part
of the individual concerned. If the government has incurred a huge
public debt which must be paid by taxing one group for the benefit
of another, this reality of burden is obscured by saying that “we
owe it to ourselves”; if the government conscripts a man, or throws
him into jail for dissident opinion, then he is “doing it to himself”
and, therefore, nothing untoward has occurred. Under this reasoning,
any Jews murdered by the Nazi government were not murdered;
instead, they must have “committed suicide,” since they were
the government (which was democratically chosen), and, therefore,
anything the government did to them was voluntary on their part.
One would not think it necessary to belabor this point, and yet
the overwhelming bulk of the people hold this fallacy to a greater
or lesser degree.

We must, therefore,
emphasize that “we” are not the government; the government
is not “us.” The government does not in any accurate sense
“represent” the majority of the people.[1] But, even if it did, even if 70 percent of the people
decided to murder the remaining 30 percent, this would still be
murder and would not be voluntary suicide on the part of the slaughtered
minority.[2] No organicist metaphor, no irrelevant bromide that
“we are all part of one another,” must be permitted to obscure this
basic fact.

If, then, the
State is not “us,” if it is not “the human family” getting together
to decide mutual problems, if it is not a lodge meeting or country
club, what is it? Briefly, the State is that organization in society
which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence
in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization
in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution
or payment for services rendered but by coercion. While other individuals
or institutions obtain their income by production of goods and services
and by the peaceful and voluntary sale of these goods and services
to others, the State obtains its revenue by the use of compulsion;
that is, by the use and the threat of the jailhouse and the bayonet.[3] Having used force and violence to obtain its revenue,
the State generally goes on to regulate and dictate the other actions
of its individual subjects. One would think that simple observation
of all States through history and over the globe would be proof
enough of this assertion; but the miasma of myth has lain so long
over State activity that elaboration is necessary.

the State Is

Man is born
naked into the world, and needing to use his mind to learn how to
take the resources given him by nature, and to transform them (for
example, by investment in “capital”) into shapes and forms and places
where the resources can be used for the satisfaction of his wants
and the advancement of his standard of living. The only way by which
man can do this is by the use of his mind and energy to transform
resources (“production”) and to exchange these products for products
created by others. Man has found that, through the process of voluntary,
mutual exchange, the productivity and hence the living standards
of all participants in exchange may increase enormously. The only
“natural” course for man to survive and to attain wealth, therefore,
is by using his mind and energy to engage in the production-and-exchange
process. He does this, first, by finding natural resources, and
then by transforming them (by “mixing his labor” with them, as Locke
puts it), to make them his individual property, and then
by exchanging this property for the similarly obtained property
of others. The social path dictated by the requirements of man’s
nature, therefore, is the path of “property rights” and the “free
market” of gift or exchange of such rights. Through this path, men
have learned how to avoid the “jungle” methods of fighting over
scarce resources so that A can only acquire them at the expense
of B and, instead, to multiply those resources enormously in peaceful
and harmonious production and exchange.

The great German
sociologist Franz Oppenheimer pointed out that there are two mutually
exclusive ways of acquiring wealth; one, the above way of production
and exchange, he called the “economic means.” The other way is simpler
in that it does not require productivity; it is the way of seizure
of another’s goods or services by the use of force and violence.
This is the method of one-sided confiscation, of theft of the property
of others. This is the method which Oppenheimer termed “the political
means” to wealth. It should be clear that the peaceful use of reason
and energy in production is the “natural” path for man: the means
for his survival and prosperity on this earth. It should be equally
clear that the coercive, exploitative means is contrary to natural
law; it is parasitic, for instead of adding to production, it subtracts
from it. The “political means” siphons production off to a parasitic
and destructive individual or group; and this siphoning not only
subtracts from the number producing, but also lowers the producer’s
incentive to produce beyond his own subsistence. In the long run,
the robber destroys his own subsistence by dwindling or eliminating
the source of his own supply. But not only that; even in the short
run, the predator is acting contrary to his own true nature as a

We are now
in a position to answer more fully the question: what is the State?
The State, in the words of Oppenheimer, is the “organization of
the political means”; it is the systematization of the predatory
process over a given territory.[4] For crime, at best, is sporadic and uncertain; the
parasitism is ephemeral, and the coercive, parasitic lifeline may
be cut off at any time by the resistance of the victims. The State
provides a legal, orderly, systematic channel for the predation
of private property; it renders certain, secure, and relatively
“peaceful” the lifeline of the parasitic caste in society.[5] Since production must always precede predation,
the free market is anterior to the State. The State has never been
created by a “social contract”; it has always been born in conquest
and exploitation. The classic paradigm was a conquering tribe pausing
in its time-honored method of looting and murdering a conquered
tribe, to realize that the time-span of plunder would be longer
and more secure, and the situation more pleasant, if the conquered
tribe were allowed to live and produce, with the conquerors settling
among them as rulers exacting a steady annual tribute.[6] One method of the birth of a State may be illustrated
as follows: in the hills of southern “Ruritania,” a bandit group
manages to obtain physical control over the territory, and finally
the bandit chieftain proclaims himself “King of the sovereign and
independent government of South Ruritania”; and, if he and his men
have the force to maintain this rule for a while, lo and behold!
a new State has joined the “family of nations,” and the former bandit
leaders have been transformed into the lawful nobility of the realm.

the State Preserves Itself

Once a State
has been established, the problem of the ruling group or “caste”
is how to maintain their rule.[7] While force is their modus operandi, their
basic and long-run problem is ideological. For in order to continue
in office, any government (not simply a “democratic” government)
must have the support of the majority of its subjects. This support,
it must be noted, need not be active enthusiasm; it may well be
passive resignation as if to an inevitable law of nature. But support
in the sense of acceptance of some sort it must be; else the minority
of State rulers would eventually be outweighed by the active resistance
of the majority of the public. Since predation must be supported
out of the surplus of production, it is necessarily true that the
class constituting the State – the full-time bureaucracy (and nobility)
– must be a rather small minority in the land, although it may,
of course, purchase allies among important groups in the population.
Therefore, the chief task of the rulers is always to secure the
active or resigned acceptance of the majority of the citizens.[8] [9]

Of course,
one method of securing support is through the creation of vested
economic interests. Therefore, the King alone cannot rule; he must
have a sizable group of followers who enjoy the prerequisites of
rule, for example, the members of the State apparatus, such as the
full-time bureaucracy or the established nobility.[10] But this still secures only a minority of eager
supporters, and even the essential purchasing of support by subsidies
and other grants of privilege still does not obtain the consent
of the majority. For this essential acceptance, the majority must
be persuaded by ideology that their government is good, wise
and, at least, inevitable, and certainly better than other conceivable
alternatives. Promoting this ideology among the people is the vital
social task of the “intellectuals.” For the masses of men do not
create their own ideas, or indeed think through these ideas independently;
they follow passively the ideas adopted and disseminated by the
body of intellectuals. The intellectuals are, therefore, the “opinion-molders”
in society. And since it is precisely a molding of opinion that
the State most desperately needs, the basis for age-old alliance
between the State and the intellectuals becomes clear.

It is evident
that the State needs the intellectuals; it is not so evident why
intellectuals need the State. Put simply, we may state that the
intellectual’s livelihood in the free market is never too secure;
for the intellectual must depend on the values and choices of the
masses of his fellow men, and it is precisely characteristic of
the masses that they are generally uninterested in intellectual
matters. The State, on the other hand, is willing to offer the intellectuals
a secure and permanent berth in the State apparatus; and thus a
secure income and the panoply of prestige. For the intellectuals
will be handsomely rewarded for the important function they perform
for the State rulers, of which group they now become a part.[11]

The alliance
between the State and the intellectuals was symbolized in the eager
desire of professors at the University of Berlin in the nineteenth
century to form the “intellectual bodyguard of the House of Hohenzollern.”
In the present day, let us note the revealing comment of an eminent
Marxist scholar concerning Professor Wittfogel’s critical study
of ancient Oriental despotism: “The civilization which Professor
Wittfogel is so bitterly attacking was one which could make poets
and scholars into officials.”[12] Of innumerable examples, we may cite the recent
development of the “science” of strategy, in the service of the
government’s main violence-wielding arm, the military.[13] A venerable institution, furthermore, is the official
or “court” historian, dedicated to purveying the rulers’ views of
their own and their predecessors’ actions.[14]

Many and varied
have been the arguments by which the State and its intellectuals
have induced their subjects to support their rule. Basically, the
strands of argument may be summed up as follows: (a) the State rulers
are great and wise men (they “rule by divine right,” they are the
“aristocracy” of men, they are the “scientific experts”), much greater
and wiser than the good but rather simple subjects, and (b) rule
by the extent government is inevitable, absolutely necessary, and
far better, than the indescribable evils that would ensue upon its
downfall. The union of Church and State was one of the oldest and
most successful of these ideological devices. The ruler was either
anointed by God or, in the case of the absolute rule of many Oriental
despotisms, was himself God; hence, any resistance to his rule would
be blasphemy. The States’ priestcraft performed the basic intellectual
function of obtaining popular support and even worship for the rulers.[15]

Another successful
device was to instill fear of any alternative systems of rule or
nonrule. The present rulers, it was maintained, supply to the citizens
an essential service for which they should be most grateful: protection
against sporadic criminals and marauders. For the State, to preserve
its own monopoly of predation, did indeed see to it that private
and unsystematic crime was kept to a minimum; the State has always
been jealous of its own preserve. Especially has the State been
successful in recent centuries in instilling fear of other
State rulers. Since the land area of the globe has been parceled
out among particular States, one of the basic doctrines of the State
was to identify itself with the territory it governed. Since most
men tend to love their homeland, the identification of that land
and its people with the State was a means of making natural patriotism
work to the State’s advantage. If “Ruritania” was being attacked
by “Walldavia,” the first task of the State and its intellectuals
was to convince the people of Ruritania that the attack was really
upon them and not simply upon the ruling caste. In this way,
a war between rulers was converted into a war between peoples,
with each people coming to the defense of its rulers in the erroneous
belief that the rulers were defending them. This device of
“nationalism” has only been successful, in Western civilization,
in recent centuries; it was not too long ago that the mass of subjects
regarded wars as irrelevant battles between various sets of nobles.

Many and subtle
are the ideological weapons that the State has wielded through the
centuries. One excellent weapon has been tradition. The longer that
the rule of a State has been able to preserve itself, the more powerful
this weapon; for then, the X Dynasty or the Y State has the seeming
weight of centuries of tradition behind it.[16] Worship of one’s ancestors, then, becomes a none
too subtle means of worship of one’s ancient rulers. The greatest
danger to the State is independent intellectual criticism; there
is no better way to stifle that criticism than to attack any isolated
voice, any raiser of new doubts, as a profane violator of the wisdom
of his ancestors. Another potent ideological force is to deprecate
the individual and exalt the collectivity of society. For
since any given rule implies majority acceptance, any ideological
danger to that rule can only start from one or a few independently-thinking
individuals. The new idea, much less the new critical idea,
must needs begin as a small minority opinion; therefore, the State
must nip the view in the bud by ridiculing any view that defies
the opinions of the mass. “Listen only to your brothers” or “adjust
to society” thus become ideological weapons for crushing individual
dissent.[17] By such measures, the masses will never learn
of the nonexistence of their Emperor’s clothes.[18] It is also important for the State to make its
rule seem inevitable; even if its reign is disliked, it will then
be met with passive resignation, as witness the familiar coupling
of “death and taxes.” One method is to induce historiographical
determinism, as opposed to individual freedom of will. If the X
Dynasty rules us, this is because the Inexorable Laws of History
(or the Divine Will, or the Absolute, or the Material Productive
Forces) have so decreed and nothing any puny individuals may do
can change this inevitable decree. It is also important for the
State to inculcate in its subjects an aversion to any “conspiracy
theory of history”; for a search for “conspiracies” means a search
for motives and an attribution of responsibility for historical
misdeeds. If, however, any tyranny imposed by the State, or venality,
or aggressive war, was caused not by the State rulers but
by mysterious and arcane “social forces,” or by the imperfect state
of the world or, if in some way, everyone was responsible
(“We Are All Murderers,” proclaims one slogan), then there is no
point to the people becoming indignant or rising up against such
misdeeds. Furthermore, an attack on “conspiracy theories” means
that the subjects will become more gullible in believing the “general
welfare” reasons that are always put forth by the State for engaging
in any of its despotic actions. A “conspiracy theory” can unsettle
the system by causing the public to doubt the State’s ideological

Another tried
and true method for bending subjects to the State’s will is inducing
guilt. Any increase in private well-being can be attacked as “unconscionable
greed,” “materialism,” or “excessive affluence,” profit-making can
be attacked as “exploitation” and “usury,” mutually beneficial exchanges
denounced as “selfishness,” and somehow with the conclusion always
being drawn that more resources should be siphoned from the private
to the “public sector.” The induced guilt makes the public more
ready to do just that. For while individual persons tend to indulge
in “selfish greed,” the failure of the State’s rulers to engage
in exchanges is supposed to signify their devotion to higher
and nobler causes – parasitic predation being apparently morally
and esthetically lofty as compared to peaceful and productive work.

In the present
more secular age, the divine right of the State has been supplemented
by the invocation of a new god, Science. State rule is now proclaimed
as being ultrascientific, as constituting planning by experts. But
while “reason” is invoked more than in previous centuries, this
is not the true reason of the individual and his exercise of free
will; it is still collectivist and determinist, still implying holistic
aggregates and coercive manipulation of passive subjects by their

The increasing
use of scientific jargon has permitted the State’s intellectuals
to weave obscurantist apologia for State rule that would have only
met with derision by the populace of a simpler age. A robber who
justified his theft by saying that he really helped his victims,
by his spending giving a boost to retail trade, would find few converts;
but when this theory is clothed in Keynesian equations and impressive
references to the “multiplier effect,” it unfortunately carries
more conviction. And so the assault on common sense proceeds, each
age performing the task in its own ways.

Thus, ideological
support being vital to the State, it must unceasingly try to impress
the public with its “legitimacy,” to distinguish its activities
from those of mere brigands. The unremitting determination of
its assaults on common sense is no accident, for as Mencken vividly
maintained: The
average man, whatever his errors otherwise, at least sees clearly
that government is something lying outside him and outside the
generality of his fellow men – that it is a separate, independent,
and hostile power, only partly under his control, and capable
of doing him great harm. Is it a fact of no significance that
robbing the government is everywhere regarded as a crime of less
magnitude than robbing an individual, or even a corporation? .
. . What lies behind all this, I believe, is a deep sense of the
fundamental antagonism between the government and the people it
governs. It is apprehended, not as a committee of citizens chosen
to carry on the communal business of the whole population, but
as a separate and autonomous corporation, mainly devoted to exploiting
the population for the benefit of its own members. . . . When
a private citizen is robbed, a worthy man is deprived of the fruits
of his industry and thrift; when the government is robbed, the
worst that happens is that certain rogues and loafers have less
money to play with than they had before. The notion that they
have earned that money is never entertained; to most sensible
men it would seem ludicrous.[19]

the State Transcends Its Limits

As Bertrand
de Jouvenel has sagely pointed out, through the centuries men have
formed concepts designed to check and limit the exercise of State
rule; and, one after another, the State, using its intellectual
allies, has been able to transform these concepts into intellectual
rubber stamps of legitimacy and virtue to attach to its decrees
and actions. Originally, in Western Europe, the concept of divine
sovereignty held that the kings may rule only according to divine
law; the kings turned the concept into a rubber stamp of divine
approval for any of the kings’ actions. The concept of parliamentary
democracy began as a popular check upon absolute monarchical rule;
it ended with parliament being the essential part of the State and
its every act totally sovereign. As de Jouvenel concludes:

Many writers
on theories of sovereignty have worked out one . . . of these
restrictive devices. But in the end every single such theory has,
sooner or later, lost its original purpose, and come to act merely
as a springboard to Power, by providing it with the powerful aid
of an invisible sovereign with whom it could in time successfully
identify itself.[20]

Similarly with
more specific doctrines: the “natural rights” of the individual
enshrined in John Locke and the Bill of Rights, became a statist
“right to a job”; utilitarianism turned from arguments for liberty
to arguments against resisting the State’s invasions of liberty,

Certainly the
most ambitious attempt to impose limits on the State has been the
Bill of Rights and other restrictive parts of the American Constitution,
in which written limits on government became the fundamental law
to be interpreted by a judiciary supposedly independent of the other
branches of government. All Americans are familiar with the process
by which the construction of limits in the Constitution has been
inexorably broadened over the last century. But few have been as
keen as Professor Charles Black to see that the State has, in the
process, largely transformed judicial review itself from a limiting
device to yet another instrument for furnishing ideological legitimacy
to the government’s actions. For if a judicial decree of “unconstitutional”
is a mighty check to government power, an implicit or explicit verdict
of “constitutional” is a mighty weapon for fostering public acceptance
of ever-greater government power.

Professor Black
begins his analysis by pointing out the crucial necessity of “legitimacy”
for any government to endure, this legitimation signifying basic
majority acceptance of the government and its actions.[21] Acceptance of legitimacy becomes a particular
problem in a country such as the United States, where “substantive
limitations are built into the theory on which the government rests.”
What is needed, adds Black, is a means by which the government can
assure the public that its increasing powers are, indeed, “constitutional.”
And this, he concludes, has been the major historic function of
judicial review.

Let Black illustrate
the problem:

The supreme
risk [to the government] is that of disaffection and a feeling
of outrage widely disseminated throughout the population, and
loss of moral authority by the government as such, however long
it may be propped up by force or inertia or the lack of an appealing
and immediately available alternative. Almost everybody living
under a government of limited powers, must sooner or later be
subjected to some governmental action which as a matter of private
opinion he regards as outside the power of government or positively
forbidden to government. A man is drafted, though he finds nothing
in the Constitution about being drafted. . . . A farmer is told
how much wheat he can raise; he believes, and he discovers that
some respectable lawyers believe with him, that the government
has no more right to tell him how much wheat he can grow than
it has to tell his daughter whom she can marry. A man goes to
the federal penitentiary for saying what he wants to, and he paces
his cell reciting . . . “Congress shall make no laws abridging
the freedom of speech.”. . . A businessman is told what he can
ask, and must ask, for buttermilk.

The danger is real enough that each of these people (and who is
not of their number?) will confront the concept of governmental
limitation with the reality (as he sees it) of the flagrant overstepping
of actual limits, and draw the obvious conclusion as to the status
of his government with respect to legitimacy.[22]

This danger
is averted by the State’s propounding the doctrine that one agency
must have the ultimate decision on constitutionality and that this
agency, in the last analysis, must be part of the federal
government.[23] For while the seeming independence of the federal
judiciary has played a vital part in making its actions virtual
Holy Writ for the bulk of the people, it is also and ever true that
the judiciary is part and parcel of the government apparatus and
appointed by the executive and legislative branches. Black admits
that this means that the State has set itself up as a judge in its
own cause, thus violating a basic juridical principle for aiming
at just decisions. He brusquely denies the possibility of any alternative.[24]

Black adds:

The problem,
then, is to devise such governmental means of deciding as will
[hopefully] reduce to a tolerable minimum the intensity of the
objection that government is judge in its own cause. Having done
this, you can only hope that this objection, though theoretically
still tenable [italics mine], will practically lose enough
of its force that the legitimating work of the deciding institution
can win acceptance.[25]

In the last
analysis, Black finds the achievement of justice and legitimacy
from the State’s perpetual judging of its own cause as “something
of a miracle.”[26]

Applying his
thesis to the famous conflict between the Supreme Court and the
New Deal, Professor Black keenly chides his fellow pro-New Deal
colleagues for their shortsightedness in denouncing judicial obstruction:

[t]he standard
version of the story of the New Deal and the Court, though accurate
in its way, displaces the emphasis. . . . It concentrates on the
difficulties; it almost forgets how the whole thing turned out.
The upshot of the matter was [and this is what I like to emphasize]
that after some twenty-four months of balking . . . the Supreme
Court, without a single change in the law of its composition,
or, indeed, in its actual manning, placed the affirmative stamp
of legitimacy on the New Deal, and on the whole new conception
of government in America.[27]

In this way,
the Supreme Court was able to put the quietus on the large body
of Americans who had had strong constitutional objections to the
New Deal:

Of course,
not everyone was satisfied. The Bonnie Prince Charlie of constitutionally
commanded laissez-faire still stirs the hearts of a few zealots
in the Highlands of choleric unreality. But there is no longer
any significant or dangerous public doubt as to the constitutional
power of Congress to deal as it does with the national economy.
. . .

We had no means, other than the Supreme Court, for imparting legitimacy
to the New Deal.[28]

As Black recognizes,
one major political theorist who recognized – and largely in advance
– the glaring loophole in a constitutional limit on government of
placing the ultimate interpreting power in the Supreme Court was
John C. Calhoun. Calhoun was not content with the “miracle,” but
instead proceeded to a profound analysis of the constitutional problem.
In his Disquisition, Calhoun demonstrated the inherent tendency
of the State to break through the limits of such a constitution:

A written
constitution certainly has many and considerable advantages, but
it is a great mistake to suppose that the mere insertion of provisions
to restrict and limit the power of the government, without
investing those for whose protection they are inserted with the
means of enforcing their observance [my italics] will be sufficient
to prevent the major and dominant party from abusing its powers.
Being the party in possession of the government, they will, from
the same constitution of man which makes government necessary
to protect society, be in favor of the powers granted by the constitution
and opposed to the restrictions intended to limit them. . . .
The minor or weaker party, on the contrary, would take the opposite
direction and regard them [the restrictions] as essential to their
protection against the dominant party. . . . But where there are
no means by which they could compel the major party to observe
the restrictions, the only resort left them would be a strict
construction of the constitution. . . . To this the major party
would oppose a liberal construction. . . . It would be construction
against construction – the one to contract and the other to enlarge
the powers of the government to the utmost. But of what possible
avail could the strict construction of the minor party be, against
the liberal construction of the major, when the one would have
all the power of the government to carry its construction into
effect and the other be deprived of all means of enforcing its
construction? In a contest so unequal, the result would not be
doubtful. The party in favor of the restrictions would be overpowered.
. . . The end of the contest would be the subversion of the constitution
. . . the restrictions would ultimately be annulled and the government
be converted into one of unlimited powers.[29]

One of the
few political scientists who appreciated Calhoun’s analysis of the
Constitution was Professor J. Allen Smith. Smith noted that the
Constitution was designed with checks and balances to limit any
one governmental power and yet had then developed a Supreme Court
with the monopoly of ultimate interpreting power. If the Federal
Government was created to check invasions of individual liberty
by the separate states, who was to check the Federal power? Smith
maintained that implicit in the check-and-balance idea of the Constitution
was the concomitant view that no one branch of government may be
conceded the ultimate power of interpretation: “It was assumed by
the people that the new government could not be permitted to determine
the limits of its own authority, since this would make it, and not
the Constitution, supreme.”[30]

solution advanced by Calhoun (and seconded, in this century, by
such writers as Smith) was, of course, the famous doctrine of the
“concurrent majority.” If any substantial minority interest in the
country, specifically a state government, believed that the Federal
Government was exceeding its powers and encroaching on that minority,
the minority would have the right to veto this exercise of power
as unconstitutional. Applied to state governments, this theory implied
the right of “nullification” of a Federal law or ruling within a
state’s jurisdiction.

In theory,
the ensuing constitutional system would assure that the Federal
Government check any state invasion of individual rights, while
the states would check excessive Federal power over the individual.
And yet, while limitations would undoubtedly be more effective than
at present, there are many difficulties and problems in the Calhoun
solution. If, indeed, a subordinate interest should rightfully have
a veto over matters concerning it, then why stop with the states?
Why not place veto power in counties, cities, wards? Furthermore,
interests are not only sectional, they are also occupational, social,
etc. What of bakers or taxi drivers or any other occupation? Should
they not be permitted a veto power over their own lives?
This brings us to the important point that the nullification theory
confines its checks to agencies of government itself. Let
us not forget that federal and state governments, and their respective
branches, are still states, are still guided by their own state
interests rather than by the interests of the private citizens.
What is to prevent the Calhoun system from working in reverse, with
states tyrannizing over their citizens and only vetoing the
federal government when it tries to intervene to stop that
state tyranny? Or for states to acquiesce in federal tyranny? What
is to prevent federal and state governments from forming mutually
profitable alliances for the joint exploitation of the citizenry?
And even if the private occupational groupings were to be given
some form of “functional” representation in government, what is
to prevent them from using the State to gain subsidies and other
special privileges for themselves or from imposing compulsory cartels
on their own members?

In short, Calhoun
does not push his pathbreaking theory on concurrence far enough:
he does not push it down to the individual himself. If the
individual, after all, is the one whose rights are to be protected,
then a consistent theory of concurrence would imply veto power by
every individual; that is, some form of “unanimity principle.” When
Calhoun wrote that it should be “impossible to put or to keep it
[the government] in action without the concurrent consent of all,”
he was, perhaps unwittingly, implying just such a conclusion.[31] But such speculation begins to take us away from
our subject, for down this path lie political systems which could
hardly be called “States” at all.[32] For one
thing, just as the right of nullification for a state logically
implies its right of secession, so a right of individual
nullification would imply the right of any individual to “secede”
from the State under which he lives.[33]

Thus, the State
has invariably shown a striking talent for the expansion of its
powers beyond any limits that might be imposed upon it. Since the
State necessarily lives by the compulsory confiscation of private
capital, and since its expansion necessarily involves ever-greater
incursions on private individuals and private enterprise, we must
assert that the State is profoundly and inherently anticapitalist.
In a sense, our position is the reverse of the Marxist dictum that
the State is the “executive committee” of the ruling class in the
present day, supposedly the capitalists. Instead, the State – the
organization of the political means – constitutes, and is the source
of, the “ruling class” (rather, ruling caste), and is in
permanent opposition to genuinely private capital. We may,
therefore, say with de Jouvenel:

Only those
who know nothing of any time but their own, who are completely
in the dark as to the manner of Power’s behaving through thousands
of years, would regard these proceedings [nationalization, the
income tax, etc.] as the fruit of a particular set of doctrines.
They are in fact the normal manifestations of Power, and differ
not at all in their nature from Henry VIII’s confiscation of the
monasteries. The same principle is at work; the hunger for authority,
the thirst for resources; and in all of these operations the same
characteristics are present, including the rapid elevation of
the dividers of the spoils. Whether it is Socialist or whether
it is not, Power must always be at war with the capitalist authorities
and despoil the capitalists of their accumulated wealth; in doing
so it obeys the law of its nature.[34]

the State Fears

What the State
fears above all, of course, is any fundamental threat to its own
power and its own existence. The death of a State can come about
in two major ways: (a) through conquest by another State, or (b)
through revolutionary overthrow by its own subjects – in short,
by war or revolution. War and revolution, as the two basic threats,
invariably arouse in the State rulers their maximum efforts and
maximum propaganda among the people. As stated above, any way must
always be used to mobilize the people to come to the State’s defense
in the belief that they are defending themselves. The fallacy of
the idea becomes evident when conscription is wielded against those
who refuse to “defend” themselves and are, therefore, forced into
joining the State’s military band: needless to add, no “defense”
is permitted them against this act of “their own” State.

In war, State
power is pushed to its ultimate, and, under the slogans of “defense”
and “emergency,” it can impose a tyranny upon the public such as
might be openly resisted in time of peace. War thus provides many
benefits to a State, and indeed every modern war has brought to
the warring peoples a permanent legacy of increased State burdens
upon society. War, moreover, provides to a State tempting opportunities
for conquest of land areas over which it may exercise its monopoly
of force. Randolph Bourne was certainly correct when he wrote that
“war is the health of the State,” but to any particular State a
war may spell either health or grave injury.[35]

We may test
the hypothesis that the State is largely interested in protecting
itself rather than its subjects by asking: which category
of crimes does the State pursue and punish most intensely – those
against private citizens or those against itself? The gravest
crimes in the State’s lexicon are almost invariably not invasions
of private person or property, but dangers to its own contentment,
for example, treason, desertion of a soldier to the enemy, failure
to register for the draft, subversion and subversive conspiracy,
assassination of rulers and such economic crimes against the State
as counterfeiting its money or evasion of its income tax. Or compare
the degree of zeal devoted to pursuing the man who assaults a policeman,
with the attention that the State pays to the assault of an ordinary
citizen. Yet, curiously, the State’s openly assigned priority to
its own defense against the public strikes few people as
inconsistent with its presumed raison d’tre.[36]

States Relate to One Another

Since the territorial
area of the earth is divided among different States, inter-State
relations must occupy much of a State’s time and energy. The natural
tendency of a State is to expand its power, and externally such
expansion takes place by conquest of a territorial area. Unless
a territory is stateless or uninhabited, any such expansion involves
an inherent conflict of interest between one set of State rulers
and another. Only one set of rulers can obtain a monopoly of coercion
over any given territorial area at any one time: complete power
over a territory by State X can only be obtained by the expulsion
of State Y. War, while risky, will be an ever-present tendency of
States, punctuated by periods of peace and by shifting alliances
and coalitions between States.

We have seen
that the “internal” or “domestic” attempt to limit the State, in
the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, reached its most notable
form in constitutionalism. Its “external,” or “foreign affairs,”
counterpart was the development of “international law,” especially
such forms as the “laws of war” and “neutrals’ rights.”[37] Parts of international law were originally purely
private, growing out of the need of merchants and traders everywhere
to protect their property and adjudicate disputes. Examples are
admiralty law and the law merchant. But even the governmental rules
emerged voluntarily and were not imposed by any international super-State.
The object of the “laws of war” was to limit inter-State destruction
to the State apparatus itself, thereby preserving the innocent
“civilian” public from the slaughter and devastation of war. The
object of the development of neutrals’ rights was to preserve private
civilian international commerce, even with “enemy” countries, from
seizure by one of the warring parties. The overriding aim, then,
was to limit the extent of any war, and, particularly to limit its
destructive impact on the private citizens of the neutral and even
the warring countries.

The jurist
F.J.P. Veale charmingly describes such “civilized warfare” as it
briefly flourished in fifteenth-century Italy:

the rich
burghers and merchants of medieval Italy were too busy making
money and enjoying life to undertake the hardships and dangers
of soldiering themselves. So they adopted the practice of hiring
mercenaries to do their fighting for them, and, being thrifty,
businesslike folk, they dismissed their mercenaries immediately
after their services could be dispensed with. Wars were, therefore,
fought by armies hired for each campaign. . . . For the first
time, soldiering became a reasonable and comparatively harmless
profession. The generals of that period maneuvered against each
other, often with consummate skill, but when one had won the advantage,
his opponent generally either retreated or surrendered. It was
a recognized rule that a town could only be sacked if it offered
resistance: immunity could always be purchased by paying a ransom.
. . . As one natural consequence, no town ever resisted, it being
obvious that a government too weak to defend its citizens had
forfeited their allegiance. Civilians had little to fear from
the dangers of war which were the concern only of professional

The well-nigh
absolute separation of the private civilian from the State’s wars
in eighteenth-century Europe is highlighted by Nef:

Even postal
communications were not successfully restricted for long in wartime.
Letters circulated without censorship, with a freedom that astonishes
the twentieth-century mind. . . . The subjects of two warring
nations talked to each other if they met, and when they could
not meet, corresponded, not as enemies but as friends. The modern
notion hardly existed that . . . subjects of any enemy country
are partly accountable for the belligerent acts of their rulers.
Nor had the warring rulers any firm disposition to stop communications
with subjects of the enemy. The old inquisitorial practices of
espionage in connection with religious worship and belief were
disappearing, and no comparable inquisition in connection with
political or economic communications was even contemplated. Passports
were originally created to provide safe conduct in time of war.
During most of the eighteenth century it seldom occurred to Europeans
to abandon their travels in a foreign country which their own
was fighting.[39]

And trade being increasingly recognized as beneficial to both
parties; eighteenth-century warfare also counterbalances a considerable
amount of “trading with the enemy.”[40]

How far States
have transcended rules of civilized warfare in this century needs
no elaboration here. In the modern era of total war, combined with
the technology of total destruction, the very idea of keeping war
limited to the State apparati seems even more quaint and obsolete
than the original Constitution of the United States.

When States
are not at war, agreements are often necessary to keep frictions
at a minimum. One doctrine that has gained curiously wide acceptance
is the alleged “sanctity of treaties.” This concept is treated as
the counterpart of the “sanctity of contract.” But a treaty and
a genuine contract have nothing in common. A contract transfers,
in a precise manner, titles to private property. Since a government
does not, in any proper sense, “own” its territorial area, any agreements
that it concludes do not confer titles to property. If, for example,
Mr. Jones sells or gives his land to Mr. Smith, Jones’s heir cannot
legitimately descend upon Smith’s heir and claim the land as rightfully
his. The property title has already been transferred. Old Jones’s
contract is automatically binding upon young Jones, because the
former had already transferred the property; young Jones, therefore,
has no property claim. Young Jones can only claim that which he
has inherited from old Jones, and old Jones can only bequeath property
which he still owns. But if, at a certain date, the government of,
say, Ruritania is coerced or even bribed by the government of Waldavia
into giving up some of its territory, it is absurd to claim that
the governments or inhabitants of the two countries are forever
barred from a claim to reunification of Ruritania on the grounds
of the sanctity of a treaty. Neither the people nor the land of
northwest Ruritania are owned by either of the two governments.
As a corollary, one government can certainly not bind, by the dead
hand of the past, a later government through treaty. A revolutionary
government which overthrew the king of Ruritania could, similarly,
hardly be called to account for the king’s actions or debts, for
a government is not, as is a child, a true “heir” to its predecessor’s

as a Race Between State Power and Social Power

Just as the
two basic and mutually exclusive interrelations between men are
peaceful cooperation or coercive exploitation, production or predation,
so the history of mankind, particularly its economic history, may
be considered as a contest between these two principles. On the
one hand, there is creative productivity, peaceful exchange and
cooperation; on the other, coercive dictation and predation over
those social relations. Albert Jay Nock happily termed these contesting
forces: “social power” and “State power.”[41] Social power is man’s power over nature,
his cooperative transformation of nature’s resources and insight
into nature’s laws, for the benefit of all participating individuals.
Social power is the power over nature, the living standards achieved
by men in mutual exchange. State power, as we have seen, is the
coercive and parasitic seizure of this production – a draining of
the fruits of society for the benefit of nonproductive (actually
antiproductive) rulers. While social power is over nature, State
power is power over man. Through history, man’s productive
and creative forces have, time and again, carved out new ways of
transforming nature for man’s benefit. These have been the times
when social power has spurted ahead of State power, and when the
degree of State encroachment over society has considerably lessened.
But always, after a greater or smaller time lag, the State has moved
into these new areas, to cripple and confiscate social power once
more.[42] If the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries
were, in many countries of the West, times of accelerating social
power, and a corollary increase in freedom, peace, and material
welfare, the twentieth century has been primarily an age in which
State power has been catching up – with a consequent reversion to
slavery, war, and destruction.[43]

In this century,
the human race faces, once again, the virulent reign of the State
– of the State now armed with the fruits of man’s creative powers,
confiscated and perverted to its own aims. The last few centuries
were times when men tried to place constitutional and other limits
on the State, only to find that such limits, as with all other attempts,
have failed. Of all the numerous forms that governments have taken
over the centuries, of all the concepts and institutions that have
been tried, none has succeeded in keeping the State in check. The
problem of the State is evidently as far from solution as ever.
Perhaps new paths of inquiry must be explored, if the successful,
final solution of the State question is ever to be attained.[44]


We cannot, in this chapter, develop the many problems and fallacies
of “democracy.” Suffice it to say here that an individual’s true
agent or “representative” is always subject to that individual’s
orders, can be dismissed at any time and cannot act contrary to
the interests or wishes of his principal. Clearly, the “representative”
in a democracy can never fulfill such agency functions, the only
ones consonant with a libertarian society.

Social democrats often retort that democracy – majority choice of
rulers – logically implies that the majority must leave certain
freedoms to the minority, for the minority might one day become
the majority. Apart from other flaws, this argument obviously does
not hold where the minority cannot become the majority, for
example, when the minority is of a different racial or ethnic group
from the majority.

Joseph A. Schumpeter, Capitalism,
Socialism, and Democracy
(New York: Harper and Bros., 1942),
p. 198.

The friction
or antagonism between the private and the public sphere was intensified
from the first by the fact that . . . the State has been living
on a revenue which was being produced in the private sphere for
private purposes and had to be deflected from these purposes by
political force. The theory which construes taxes on the analogy
of club dues or of the purchase of the service of, say, a doctor
only proves how far removed this part of the social sciences is
from scientific habits of mind.

Also see Murray
N. Rothbard, “The Fallacy of the ‘Public Sector,”‘ New
Individualist Review
(Summer, 1961): pp. 3ff.

Franz Oppenheimer, The
(New York: Vanguard Press, 1926) pp. 24–27:

There are
two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance,
is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires.
These are work and robbery, one’s own labor and the forcible appropriation
of the labor of others. . . . I propose in the following discussion
to call one’s own labor and the equivalent exchange of one’s own
labor for the labor of others, the “economic means” for the satisfaction
of need while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others
will be called the “political means”. . . . The State is an organization
of the political means. No State, therefore, can come into being
until the economic means has created a definite number of objects
for the satisfaction of needs, which objects may be taken away
or appropriated by warlike robbery.

Albert Jay Nock wrote vividly that

the State
claims and exercises the monopoly of crime. . . . It forbids private
murder, but itself organizes murder on a colossal scale. It punishes
private theft, but itself lays unscrupulous hands on anything
it wants, whether the property of citizen or of alien.

Nock, On
Doing the Right Thing, and Other Essays
(New York: Harper
and Bros., 1929), p. 143; quoted in Jack Schwartzman, “Albert Jay
Nock – A Superfluous Man,” Faith and Freedom (December, 1953):
p. 11.

Oppenheimer, The State, p. 15:

What, then,
is the State as a sociological concept? The State, completely
in its genesis . . . is a social institution, forced by a victorious
group of men on a defeated group, with the sole purpose of regulating
the dominion of the victorious group of men on a defeated group,
and securing itself against revolt from within and attacks from
abroad. Teleologically, this dominion had no other purpose than
the economic exploitation of the vanquished by the victors.

And de Jouvenel
has written: “the State is in essence the result of the successes
achieved by a band of brigands who superimpose themselves on small,
distinct societies.” Bertrand de Jouvenel, On
(New York: Viking Press, 1949), pp. 100–01.

On the crucial distinction between “caste,” a group with privileges
or burdens coercively granted or imposed by the State and the Marxian
concept of “class” in society, see Ludwig von Mises, Theory
and History
(New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1957),
pp. 112ff.

Such acceptance does not, of course, imply that the State rule has
become “voluntary”; for even if the majority support be active and
eager, this support is not unanimous by every individual.

That every government, no matter how “dictatorial” over individuals,
must secure such support has been demonstrated by such acute political
theorists as tienne de La Botie, David Hume, and Ludwig von Mises.
Thus, cf. David Hume, “Of the First Principles of Government,” in
Literary, Moral and Political
(London: Ward, Locke, and
Taylor, n.d.), p. 23; tienne de La Botie, Anti-Dictator
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1942), pp. 8–9; Ludwig von
Mises, Human Action
(Auburn, Ala.: Mises Institute, 1998), pp. 188ff. For more on
the contribution to the analysis of the State by La Botie, see
Oscar Jaszi and John D. Lewis, Against
the Tyrant
(Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1957), pp. 55–57.

La Botie, Anti-Dictator, pp. 43–44.

a ruler makes himself dictator . . . all those who are corrupted
by burning ambition or extraordinary avarice, these gather around
him and support him in order to have a share in the booty and
to constitute themselves petty chiefs under the big tyrant.

This by no means implies that all intellectuals ally themselves
with the State. On aspects of the alliance of intellectuals and
the State, cf. Bertrand de Jouvenel, “The Attitude of the Intellectuals
to the Market Society,” The Owl (January, 1951): pp. 19–27;
idem, “The Treatment of Capitalism by Continental Intellectuals,”
in F.A. Hayek, ed., Capitalism and the Historians (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1954), pp. 93–123; reprinted in George
B. de Huszar, The
(Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1960), pp.
385–99; and Schumpeter, Imperialism
and Social Classes
(New York: Meridian Books, 1975), pp.

Joseph Needham, “Review of Karl A. Wittfogel, Oriental
,” Science and Society (1958): p. 65. Needham also
writes that “the successive [Chinese] emperors were served in all
ages by a great company of profoundly humane and disinterested scholars,”
p. 61. Wittfogel notes the Confucian doctrine that the glory of
the ruling class rested on its gentleman scholar-bureaucrat officials,
destined to be professional rulers dictating to the mass of the
populace. Karl A. Wittfogel, Oriental Despotism (New Haven,
Conn.: Yale University Press, 1957), pp. 320–21 and passim. For
an attitude contrasting to Needham’s, cf. John Lukacs, “Intellectual
Class or Intellectual Profession?” in de Huszar, The Intellectuals,
pp. 521–22.

Jeanne Ribs, “The War Plotters,” Liberation (August, 1961):
p. 13. “[s]trategists insist that their occupation deserves the
‘dignity of the academic counterpart of the military profession.'”
Also see Marcus Raskin, “The Megadeath Intellectuals,” New York
Review of Books (November 14, 1963): pp. 6–7.

Thus the historian Conyers Read, in his presidential address, advocated
the suppression of historical fact in the service of “democratic”
and national values. Read proclaimed that “total war, whether it
is hot or cold, enlists everyone and calls upon everyone to play
his part. The historian is not freer from this obligation than the
physicist.” Read, “The Social Responsibilities of the Historian,”
American Historical Review (1951): p. 283ff. For a critique
of Read and other aspects of court history, see Howard K. Beale,
“The Professional Historian: His Theory and Practice,” The Pacific
Historical Review (August, 1953): pp. 227–55. Also cf. Herbert
Butterfield, “Official History: Its Pitfalls and Criteria,” History
and Human Relations
(New York: Macmillan, 1952), pp. 182–224;
and Harry Elmer Barnes, The
Court Historians Versus Revisionism
(n.d.), pp. 2ff.

Cf. Wittfogel, Oriental Despotism, pp. 87–100. On the contrasting
roles of religion vis–vis the State in ancient China and Japan,
see Norman Jacobs, The
Origin of Modern Capitalism and Eastern Asia
(Hong Kong:
Hong Kong University Press, 1958), pp. 161–94.

De Jouvenel, On Power, p. 22:

The essential
reason for obedience is that it has become a habit of the species.
. . . Power is for us a fact of nature. From the earliest days
of recorded history it has always presided over human destinies
. . . the authorities which ruled [societies] in former times
did not disappear without bequeathing to their successors their
privilege nor without leaving in men’s minds imprints which are
cumulative in their effect. The succession of governments which,
in the course of centuries, rule the same society may be looked
on as one underlying government which takes on continuous accretions.

On such uses of the religion of China, see Norman Jacobs, passim.

H.L. Mencken, A
Mencken Chrestomathy
(New York: Knopf, 1949), p. 145:

All [government]
can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an
invasion of its prerogatives. The most dangerous man, to any government,
is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without
regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably
he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under
is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic,
he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally
he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.

Ibid., pp. 146–47.

De Jouvenel, On Power, pp. 27ff.

Charles L. Black. Jr., The
People and the Court
(New York: Macmillan, 1960), pp. 35ff.

Ibid., pp. 42–43.

Ibid., p. 52:

The prime
and most necessary function of the [Supreme] Court has been that
of validation, not that of invalidation. What a government of
limited powers needs, at the beginning and forever, is some means
of satisfying the people that it has taken all steps humanly possible
to stay within its powers. This is the condition of its legitimacy,
and its legitimacy, in the long run, is the condition of its life.
And the Court, through its history, has acted as the legitimation
of the government.

To Black, this “solution,” while paradoxical, is blithely self-evident:

the final
power of the State . . . must stop where the law stops it. And
who shall set the limit, and who shall enforce the stopping, against
the mightiest power? Why, the State itself, of course, through
its judges and its laws. Who controls the temperate? Who teaches
the wise? (Ibid., pp. 32–33)


Where the
questions concern governmental power in a sovereign nation, it
is not possible to select an umpire who is outside government.
Every national government, so long as it is a government, must
have the final say on its own power. (Ibid., pp. 48–49)

Ibid., p. 49.

This ascription of the miraculous to government is reminiscent of
James Burnham’s justification of government by mysticism and irrationality:

In ancient
times, before the illusions of science had corrupted traditional
wisdom, the founders of cities were known to be gods or demigods.
. . . Neither the source nor the justification of government can
be put in wholly rational terms . . . why should I accept the
hereditary or democratic or any other principle of legitimacy?
Why should a principle justify the rule of that man over me? .
. . I accept the principle, well . . . because I do, because that
is the way it is and has been.

James Burnham,
and the American Tradition
(Chicago: Regnery, 1959), pp.
3–8. But what if one does not accept the principle? What will “the
way” be then?

Black, The People and the Court, p. 64.

Ibid., p. 65.

John C. Calhoun, A
Disquisition on Government
(New York: Liberal Arts Press,
1953), pp. 25–27. Also cf. Murray N. Rothbard, “Conservatism and
Freedom: A Libertarian Comment,” Modern Age (Spring, 1961):
p. 219.

J. Allen Smith, The
Growth and Decadence of Constitutional Government
York: Henry Holt, 1930), p. 88. Smith added:

was obvious that where a provision of the Constitution was designed
to limit the powers of a governmental organ, it could be effectively
nullified if its interpretation and enforcement are left to the
authorities as it designed to restrain. Clearly, common sense
required that no organ of the government should be able to determine
its own powers.

common sense and “miracles” dictate very different views of government
(p. 87).

Calhoun, A Disquisition on Government, pp. 20–21.

In recent years, the unanimity principle has experienced a highly
diluted revival, particularly in the writings of Professor James
Buchanan. Injecting unanimity into the present situation, however,
and applying it only to changes in the status quo
and not to existing laws, can only result in another transformation
of a limiting concept into a rubber stamp for the State. If the
unanimity principle is to be applied only to changes in
laws and edicts, the nature of the initial “point of origin” then
makes all the difference. Cf. James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock,
Calculus of Consent
(Ann Arbor: University of Michigan
Press, 1962), passim.

Cf. Herbert Spencer, “The Right to Ignore the State,” in Social
(New York: D. Appleton, 1890), pp. 229–39.

De Jouvenel, On Power, p. 171.

We have seen that essential to the State is support by the intellectuals,
and this includes support against their two acute threats. Thus,
on the role of American intellectuals in America’s entry into
World War I, see Randolph Bourne, “The War and the Intellectuals,”
in The
History of a Literary Radical and Other Papers
(New York:
S.A. Russell, 1956), pp. 205–22. As Bourne states, a common device
of intellectuals in winning support for State actions, is to channel
any discussion within the limits of basic State policy and to
discourage any fundamental or total critique of this basic framework.

As Mencken puts it in his inimitable fashion:

gang (“the exploiters constituting the government”) is well nigh
immune to punishment. Its worst extortions, even when they are
baldly for private profit, carry no certain penalties under our
laws. Since the first days of the Republic, less than a few dozen
of its members have been impeached, and only a few obscure understrappers
have ever been put into prison. The number of men sitting at Atlanta
and Leavenworth for revolting against the extortions of the government
is always ten times as great as the number of government officials
condemned for oppressing the taxpayers to their own gain. (Mencken,
A Mencken Chrestomathy, pp. 147–48)

a vivid and entertaining description of the lack of protection for
the individual against incursion of his liberty by his “protectors,”
see H.L. Mencken, “The Nature of Liberty,” in Prejudices:
A Selection
(New York: Vintage Books, 1958), pp. 138–43.

This is to be distinguished from modern international law, with
its stress on maximizing the extent of war through such concepts
as “collective security.”

F.J.P. Veale, Advance
to Barbarism
(Appleton, Wis.: C.C. Nelson, 1953), p. 63.
Similarly, Professor Nef writes of the War of Don Carlos waged
in Italy between France, Spain, and Sardinia against Austria,
in the eighteenth century:

the siege of Milan by the allies and several weeks later at Parma
. . . the rival armies met in a fierce battle outside the town.
In neither place were the sympathies of the inhabitants seriously
moved by one side or the other. Their only fear as that the troops
of either army should get within the gates and pillage. The fear
proved groundless. At Parma the citizens ran to the town walls
to watch the battle in the open country beyond. (John U. Nef,
and Human Progress
[Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University
Press, 1950], p. 158. Also cf. Hoffman Nickerson, Can We Limit
War? [New York: Frederick A. Stoke, 1934])

Nef, War and Human Progress, p. 162.

Ibid., p. 161. On advocacy of trading with the enemy by leaders
of the American Revolution, see Joseph Dorfman, The
Economic Mind in American Civilization
(New York: Viking
Press, 1946), vol. 1, pp. 210–11.

On the concepts of State power and social power, see Albert J.
Nock, Our
Enemy the State
(Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, 1946).
Also see Nock, Memoirs
of a Superfluous Man
(New York: Harpers, 1943), and Frank
Chodorov, The
Rise and Fall of Society
(New York: Devin-Adair, 1959).

Amidst the flux of expansion or contraction, the State always
makes sure that it seizes and retains certain crucial “command
posts” of the economy and society. Among these command posts are
a monopoly of violence, monopoly of the ultimate judicial power,
the channels of communication and transportation (post office,
roads, rivers, air routes), irrigated water in Oriental despotisms,
and education – to mold the opinions of its future citizens. In
the modern economy, money is the critical command post.

This parasitic process of “catching up” has been almost openly
proclaimed by Karl Marx, who conceded that socialism must be established
through seizure of capital previously accumulated under

Certainly, one indispensable ingredient of such a solution must
be the sundering of the alliance of intellectual and State, through
the creation of centers of intellectual inquiry and education,
which will be independent of State power. Christopher Dawson notes
that the great intellectual movements of the Renaissance and the
Enlightenment were achieved by working outside of, and sometimes
against, the entrenched universities. These academia of the new
ideas were established by independent patrons. See Christopher
Dawson, The
Crisis of Western Education
(New York: Sheed and Ward,


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