TED Conversations

Mitch SMith

TEDCRED 100+

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?

Share:

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.

  • Feb 7 2013: I would like to discuss this topic in greater depth, but sadly, I have very little free time left for it.


    I cannot think of any system that would be completely uncorruptable. Functioning of ruling system largely depends of worth of ruling class. In monarchy, autocracy and similar ruling methods largely it depends on virtue of ruling class while methods such as democracy or republic depends more on voters worth. In democratic regimes, laws more often can be twisted to will of ones who execute them while in Absolutism or communism it's far less true.
    In order to create good system you first need to identify your country's flaws and strong points. Not every nation needs a democracy, it's far from the best way to rule for a lot of nations. I wouldn't like to get into details just that exactly every way of ruling would need, but I would like to say that accountability is one of the most important things. Also, it would be good to think that exactly are main ways of corruption. By identifying problems and fixing them in one way or another makes system less likely to fall by those flaws. For example: if political system is consists of hierarchy then you would need to make sure that this ruling elite would feel pressure and from "bellow" to better perform their duties. I'm referring to one of the main flaws of Soviet Union. If a burocrat have an immense authority and it's only accountable to his superiors then there is quite a chance that he will try to use his power to his own advantage. Even more, he have quite a chance to hide all his personal pursuits! Also, he can convince his superiors to profit mutually. Because of this, corruption can easily hide itself in lower and even higher tiers of ruling hierarchy thus making it very tempting. If this or some other activity is a low-risk and high-reward then I can bet, that sooner or later it will be exploited despite a virtue of rulers or voters.
    • thumb
      Feb 7 2013: how about anarchy? your argument relies on the existence of rulers. but what if we don't have rulers?
    • thumb
      Feb 8 2013: Hi Ernestas,

      I thank you for the time you have given - it is already considerable!
      Also very helpful.

      Communism failed .. mostly because it wasn't really communism. It failed as democracy fails because these are ideals. Ideals make us strive to become the best humans we can be, but no matter how hard we try, we remain humans - with the best and the worst mixed in. Sometimes I am pure, other times I am corrupt. The idealist judges me on my corruption and how they can use me, the corrupt judges me by the threat I pose - and how they can use me. I judge everyone how they are benefit to me.
      We are humans .. mutuality is our strength. Advantage is our breath.
      But it's not a straight line - and this is where we fail.

      I agree with Krisztián. Anarchy does not demand for us to be what we are not. Is understanding what we are necessary? Or do we just do it? This is a hard question.

      All the thing wilth "rulers" is an old old problem - Israel chose a king and god was upset with them for doing that - there will be good kings and bad kings.

      I think that all humans should become free to choose what is their advantage - and just do it - and if someone kills them for it, they fail. I think we are already like that, but we have forgotten that we are.
      I think we should stop pretending.
      If we stop pretending we can be honest. If it serves us to give our value, then we should give our value, if we should withold, we should withold - and let others give. According to our advantage.

      But - if we do not give enough we will get left behind.

      This is why I give here - and why you do as well. We are nothing alone, but we are ourselves.
      Then we are pleased that our families have a place, then we are pleased that our tribe has a place, then we are pleased that our region has a place. Beyond the tribe .. there are laws - laws codify mutual advantage beyond what we can see for ourselves - it is obscured. Laws create winners, losers and cheats. Laws are crafted by cheats - the "state".
    • thumb
      Feb 8 2013: Adendum:

      If you wish to explore further, my emial is mitch at ozwhistles drt com.

      Your communication is welcome there.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.