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Mitch SMith

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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?

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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.

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  • Feb 5 2013: My comment on this topic could use some editing and further improvements, but I want to state my personal experience and opinion before this topic is not too old.


    We have founded our nation as a response to foreigners attacks. It was pretty late in world's history and we were one of the last one's to do so. State have represented two things: a need to achieve something that is too much for any individual entity or rule that was bringed to local populace by force. In history we can clearly see how evolvement of central rule and of unity have increased nation's power. The most remarkable example might be an transition from feudal rule to absolutism. One ruler have forced a nation to centralise, to hoard its resources to one place instead of wasting them among many separate rulers. By that a nation were able to wield much larger armies thus making such rule of method superior. As we can see, there are direct connection between that a country's unity and its power. By diving itself into smaller self-ruling areas we simply degrade ourselves to ancient times which obviously, isn't the best idea for many reasons.


    As it's now, a country is more of tradition. As we are born into pre-existing "working" model of government, we take it for granted without a serious thought put into "why" or "maybe". This is the part of far deeper problem. I believe that ours view about personal liberty are deeply flawed. Too much liberty are toxic and often serves no purpose just to parasite for personal benefit. For now, I will focus on talking about on how personal freedom and basics rights can twist into something that is dangerous to the nation.
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      Feb 5 2013: Hi ernestas,
      Many thanks for your contribution!
      Here are the factors you have identified:

      warfare
      selfish public servants
      disengaged publc
      short term thinking
      leaders become entertainers

      I feel there is a need to examine ancient times. Humans survived for 200,000 years before any formal government.
      We may have forgotten some important things.
      For instance, the history of Israel shows that they lived well enough without kings .. The very early agricultural cities in the americas lived without warfare.
      Perhaps democracy needs to evolve into something else?
      Perhaps we need processes to:
      assure honesty in leaders,
      to address long term issues,
      to engage the public in their own state,
      to ensure public servants actually serve and
      to disolve the motives of warfare?

      At the moment, it seems to me that the illusion of permanence is our enemy - it corrupts the "state".

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