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Monday, September 03, 2012

The State Is Like a Gang... to Some Extent

Every false doctrine contains a germ of truth, otherwise no one could ever come to believe it. I think Marx's postulate that value is based on labor (it was not a "labor theory of value": he explicitly postulated this) clearly falsifies reality, but its plausibility rests on the fact that labor clearly has some connection to value.

Realistic "statists" have always recognized that there is a similarity between the state and a dominant gang, but also that there are many differences as well. Consider the "statist" Augustine:
Regimes, including Rome for Augustine, can make at best a partial claim for justice, which makes his own claim that a just war is about punishing a transgressor questionable, or at best tentative, because the identity of the original transgressor, if such an entity can be said to exist, is unclear (something of course he realized, though did not always state explicitly) when political societies are so frequently founded in blood. 
 The state ain't great. But it's better than anarchy, and in the "city of man," that is all we can hope for.

3 comments:

  1. Gene,

    I see at least three propositions in there (that the state isn't great, that the state is better than anarchy, and that given the characteristics of humankind, "better than anarchy" isthe best we can hope for).

    Stating the propositions is all well and good, but do you have any arguments in favor of their validity to offer?

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    Replies
    1. Well, it's not intended to be funny, and I don't see how it is.

      You are often very good at poking holes in anarchist dogma, but are you capable of supporting your own claims, or are they likewise just arbitrary dicta?

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