TED Conversations

Mitch SMith


This conversation is closed.

Is "the state" our enemy?

I am seeing a growing trend of antipathy towards "the state".

This is coming from all sides of political discourse. But Mostly, none of it is qualified by what this "state" is.

I find that confusing.
I assumed that "the state" was a collection of "us" and that the "democracy" we support is simply a process of having representatives make laws which we agree to obey ..

SO .. let's have a look!

Is our state antithetical to our own agreement?

Please let me know what you think the "state" is and why it is your enemy?

If we can get some kind of understanding for that, then we might be able to advise our representatives. We vote for them after all .. is that just "entertainment"? Or is it real?


Closing Statement from Mitch SMith

Many thanks for those who contributed here!
The discussion has been quite inspiring.

Is "the state" our enemy?

I conclude that if we are part of the definition of the state, it cannot be our enemy.
However, if we are excluded from that definition, it could very well be our enemy.

If you observe that the state is separate from you, then you must decide:
1. if you need to defend yourself against it.
2. If you should negotiate an allegence with it.
3. If you should join with it.
4. If you should attack it.
5. If you should create another state which includes you in its definition.

I would suspect that a state will resist attempts by outsiders to change it - this is the same as an attack and will be dealt with accordingly.

I will point out that western "democracies" have included the mechanism of electoral terms. If such terms were treated as an opportunity to dissolve and re-form a state, then inclusion would be the first principle.

Is the Western state our enemy? No - the enemy lies in the political parties who have corrupted the power of the electoral term - this is where the enemy should be met.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Todd G

    • +1
    Feb 1 2013: Sometimes the words 'State' and 'Government' are used interchangeably. As far as I see it the government does not have the interest of the people in mind. The government is just people who can be bought out by the highest bidder. On the whole most laws passed are to benefit certain entities at the expense of others. It seems to me that the government is a collection of sociopathic people who somehow convince people to vote them into office. It is debt money that is everyone's enemy. The system it creates causes most of the problems we see in society and in government.
    • thumb
      Feb 1 2013: So .. the "state" does not have your agreement?

      And laws are being passed that damage you?

      Can you be more specific? Which laws are hurting you?

      Can you explain how debt-money is destructive?

      I am not trolling you here - I am asking you to understand your own complaint.
      This is what is needed - specifics. Actual reality of case. I am in no doubt that these things exist - but without nailing the detail - the devil will continue to live in it.

      Does that make sense?
      • Todd G

        • 0
        Feb 2 2013: No it doesn't have my agreement. , I want to just be left alone to live my life. I don't want 'The State' in every aspect of my life.

        This isn't something that effects me here but as an example in many places in the country and in the world government has made it illegal to acquire a necessity of life in favor of you paying a private or government owned utility. In some places you can not even capture the rain that falls on your own roof and use it to drink shower or water your lawn. Demanding people purchase what is a necessity of life when it is freely available to them is downright wrong. It is even more wrong when where they are required to get their water from a depleting reservoir in the next state.

        Eminent domain is consistently abused. People are often evicted from their own land for private projects that are clearly not in the best interests of the people in the community but are for the profit of friends of city councils.

        Resources are taken from under peoples homes without compensation and water supplies contaminated for the sake of corporate interest and profit. As an example battles over the fracking industry are occurring right now in my country. The residents generally lose because they do not have the financial resources of a large corporation.

        Communities taxes are put into privately own real estate projects (arena's and stadiums) claiming they will bring profit to the city despite people fighting against it. If the city doesn't own it the people shouldn't have to pay for it.

        Oil and gas always win over solar, wind and hydro because they have the most lobbyist dollars.

        Government is rarely about doing what is best for people and mostly about who can bring the most profit.
      • Todd G

        • 0
        Feb 2 2013: Retired people on fixed incomes have had leins put against their properties, fined or forced to move because they could not afford to hook up to sewer lines and pay sewer fees despite the fact that they had perfectly working septic systems.

        The health care industry in many places is more about profit for insurance and pharmaceutical companies than it is for actually making people healthy. Having people sick is a big business.

        One could spend days finding examples of how government harms people.

        So, Debt based money. Debt based money and privately owned central banks are the biggest scam ever. One day in the US in the early 20th century a bunch of private bankers managed to get congress to pass the Federal reserve act.. It created a central bank that would print money and LOAN it to the government, thus making all the citizens of the nation indebted to that bank. Up until that point there were no federal taxes, money was 100% backed by real commodities and the government produced it's own money. On that day the country no longer belonged to the citizens but was sold off to banks.

        Many other nations also created central banks and/or pegged their currency against the dollar. As time went on the backing for money was removed until we get to today where there is nothing backing the currency but debt itself. The money is being printed into oblivion by the banks, and the nations are becoming increasingly indebted to the central banks (who provide NOTHING of real value). The value of the money is almost 95% what it was worth in 1913.Currency that people have looses value every day essentially making them poorer. Since entire nations are now indebted to central banks they begin imposing austerity measures on their citizenry. Governments and their relationship to the monetary system is absolute insanity that harms everyone except those who own the banks. .
        • thumb
          Feb 3 2013: Hi Todd,

          Yes - I heard of the case concerning the roof water.
          But, I did not look up the legislation which was applied. Nor did I look up the court case record. Just like you, I got the broadcast of a polarising story. This could be entirely fictitious - without checking, I cannot say it without propogating what might actually be a lie.
          In my experience, the media distills false emotive responses out of complex situations. The media consuming public are too busy or too lazy to check - our bell gets rung, our righteous indignation rises and off we go into battle - all without checking the facts. This is how good intelligent people are sent off to die in wars for lies.
          Matters of balance are problematical - we all rush from one extreme to the other for the lack of that one specific detail which has been ommitted - the one which calls for discression and balance.
          It is very likely that governmental regulation will over-shoot .. it is a very blunt instrument.
          My main problem with governments (apart from them becoming voracious self-serving parasites) is that they are assumed to be permanent.
          The founding fathers of our "democratic" nations knew this was a problem - which is why we have electoral terms - our governments were never meant to be permanent. A thing which is permanent will fight to defend its permanence at all cost.
          On top of that, a permanent thing becomes mal-adapted - life moves on, and the world changes. Things that were OK in small towns and farming communities are not OK in massive cities and industrial scale resource processing. Our old institutions are obsolete, and need re-making - just as our ancestors knew they would.
        • thumb
          Feb 3 2013: Currency works OK in a free market without usury, but the market is not free and usury is rife. A fiat currency is incapable of tracking current value .. some value is current, some has been consumed, and some is yet to be. When there is usury all money comes home to the usurer - along with the value it represents.
          There is no crisis in current value - if we are alive, there is enough value for us to be alive. If there is insufficient current value, we die. About 2 billion people are dying of starvation, but another 2 billion throw half their food away. The problem with money is that it can be hoarded while real value cannot be hoarded. This prevents it from tracking value expiry(consumption) and concentrates wealth which drained from the economy. The incentive to create new value is removed from the hoarder who then becomes an endless drain on value.
          Future value is credit. It is based on trust and reasonable expectations. If such promises against the future go unbridled by reasonable expectation, the people are committed to promises that none can aquit - trust must collapse. When trust collapses, there is no government, there is no community.
          We become tribes.
          Without institution, the tribe is as much as we can trust.
      • Todd G

        • 0
        Feb 4 2013: Essentially what I was speaking of are called "Water rights laws". You can do a search for it if you need specific laws. Basically it gives the first entity to access the water supply rights over that water which includes all tributaries, streams and runoff leading to that water source. The laws were initially created to prevent people's streams from being dried up from someone upstream but it has harmed the individual by scaling up to include huge reservoirs run by private or government water authorities, So essentially ALL rain belongs to some entity. The interpretation and enforcement of these laws is sometimes taken too far in spite of common sense. To require an individual to pay for the right to collect rain is ludicrous. To be fair, since the Western US has been having water problems and these issues are becoming more common, the laws are starting to be changed. Government has become too bloated, slow and abused by those with the ability to abuse it. It can not adapt to change fast enough and as a result tries to pigeonhole new problems into old laws.

        The entire structure of government need to change. Monetary interests need to be taken out of the equation entirely, people need to be considered first and decisions need to be made based on logic, research and science, not by votes of people who have no expertise or collect money from those who will benefit from a law. Things need to be malleable. When something is no longer relevant it needs to be removed. If this were the case there would be far fewer laws. Too often i see people harmed because someone else is making money from it. This has to stop! Everything In the US is business, Even prisons and prison services are business.
        • thumb
          Feb 4 2013: I agree.

          So I do these provocations. And I find that there is a lot more thinking going on out there that the propagandists would have us ignore.

          The way I see it is that "the state" is a default thing that humans do. It is our attempt to capture it which wrecks everything. every law creates 3 things - winners, losers and cheats. If you allow an entity to live by making laws, there will be too many laws.

          I have many committed friends laboring to make good laws. These are good people full of compassion .. but the error is permanence. Nothing can be permanent. The world moves past in deceptive majesty and power sweeping aside all barriers - it goes where it goes.And it cares not for our permanent comfort.
          We all need a certain amount of comfort, but there is no stopping - and too much comfort is sickness.

          Beware the giver of comfortable gifts. all we own is our time - and this is what creates value .. not government, not compassion .. there is only motion. It is joy and passion which makes motion into life. Property is the closure against being alive. Some live, some die, sadness is not our enemy - our enemy is depression - refusal. The undifferentiated fear of death - which always comes, despite our fear.

          Walk on by your fear. It isn't going anywhere.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.