- File Size: 422 KB
- Print Length: 62 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute (July 13, 2011)
- Publication Date: July 13, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005CRVFSM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,926 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$4.95|
Save $1.96 (40%)
The Anatomy of the State (LvMI) Kindle Edition
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Rothberg is merely an intellectual residue of that big wave of Anarchism/Socialism/Marxism/Communism/1960's Counter-Culture liberalism - which never would (or could) learn from History because it opposed and denied all the developments that High History of human cultures imparted to our times.
His book "Anatomy of the State" is as evil as 'Das Kapital' was in its intention just as much as it is jejune, feeble and dilettantish intellectually, however - its aim is definite and straight: the destruction of the human Culture in favor of the allegedly liberated human animal free to pursue its lowest passions unchecked... and this is what he calls "moral freedom". Shame on the author!
Ok I've read "the anatomy of the state". It's provocative and fails to address the good things a state does. I don't think the name is correct, it should be "a cynic's anatomy of the state". When it does get to the good things like a police force, the view is combative:
"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." (p. 24)
The author leads the reader into this view of the state through only considering one example of how it arose - the highwaymen approach of co-opting a functioning tribe or society and forcing them to pay tributes. The pathetic negativity of this view is easily registered when considering the many other ways states have arisen and the strongly positive, egalitarian agendas they have for the peoples they serve. Consider the obsession in Holland with humble architecture of state buildings, to emphasize the state function there of primarily serving the people rather than being parasitic and indulging in grand architecture, or statements of dominance. Another example is the prison system in Sweden, which has a focus on rehabilitation of people, assuming a reparable deficit of function possibly due to mental ill health or socioeconomic factors. This is opposed to considering them as targets for retaliation, based on the assumption they acted against others totally out of free will, psychopathically, without justification or evidence of their behavior being a reasonable response to a set of circumstances that might test the ability of even the most stoic to act "ethically".
His rather heroic, even melodramatic attempt at cynicism perhaps confuses the author here:
"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." (same page)
It occurs to me that they wouldn't have to do this because the people would already be convinced, for the reason the author states at the start of the quote. Rather I'd say it would be a harder task to convince the people the attack was only on the rulers!
It was at this point I checked the date of the publication expecting it to be from the time of aristotle, but it's 2009, so obviously this is a polemic. By the way, on the subject of aristotle, he wrote a book on the same subject, Politics, check it out:
...we were told about it on our recent Greece tour. The contents was taught amongst others by Aristotle to Alexander the Great, at a school here:
Η Σχολή του Αριστοτέλη - Η Σχολή του Αριστοτέλη
Next up there is a quote about science as a god:
"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 rulers." (p. 28)
The reason this is debatable is because, along with the shift to secularism, has been a massive increase in the number of people given a secular education. This involves things like learning how to think critically and design experiments. Nature can now be cleaved at its joints efficiently with this method by huge numbers of people. The way the world works is therefore more fully understood by more people. There are less gaps in understanding to be filled by a "god of the gaps", the world is less of an experience of dealing with one mysterious pattern after another. More people are now exploiting their understanding of how some of nature's patterns work, they are living longer etc as a result. To assert that such a populace would tolerate any god is to state that one does not know the effects I've outlined of a secular education for the majority of the people. This is the mark of a lazy, merely antagonistic attempt at critiquing the State if one doesn't wish to recognize the way people are in the modern, secular world.
Then on p. 42:
" Sincethe 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."
Who cares? The validity of the state doesn't rest on merely which side of some economic theory-fence it sits. The state is also not necessarily a mechanism to sustain a ruling caste. As I observed before, and as illustrated in this comic:
...the state also can serve the people, such as by introducing cigarette plain packaging regulations to help reduce their "coolness". Both, and other, types of states exist. It's disappointing, if viewed as anything other than a polemic, to see the author restrict his view to the state as parasite. Obviously, to me at least, capitalism unsupervised by something like a state is bad and can be parasitic also. An example is that businesses exist which exploit people's, even encouraging children's, addiction to cigarettes. These cause cancer and are one of the biggest causes of early death. You could leave it to the Holy Market to eventually eradicate such exploitation of addiction by companies, or you could do the sensible thing and create something like a state to do such good things for its people, using a scientific evidence based approach. Not creating a state to do such things, knowing the scientific evidence about cancer from cigarettes and the general s***tiness of using addiction to make money off people in this context, strikes me as being psychopathic. Returning to the quote, there is a broader context that a state could be evaluated within than its degree of enthusiasm for an economic theory, and to restrict one's evaluation just to that means you're missing the point of some states, admittedly not all, and the distinctive good they can do for individuals. As an individual it is not a better experience for me to spend some of my life the victim of an advertising campaign trying to make me feel inadequate unless I buy an addictive carcinogen from some company. It is a better experience as an individual to have a group of people protecting me from such parasitic companies by sharing their scientific knowledge in the form of market regulations.
Through the above, yes I make the counter argument that the Holy Market of the author's capitalist utopia is in fact inhabited by some parasites and the state can protect individuals from these. Not the other way round that the author would have us think. I'm all for getting rid of parasites, hell who wouldn't be. It's just that the author in his narrow, cynical, ancient view of what a state is, has missed the fact that many states no longer are, and the good work these ones do attacking other parasites, some of which are companies trying to sell addictive carcinogens to children.
In his concluding chapter there is the remark
" 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."
I'm not convinced that this book is about social vs state power. Rather it's about parasites (and misses the point they're not only states). I don't really care who is doing it, parasatism is bad and I have provided evidence that non-state parasites exist such as cigarette companies. The aforementioned comic illustrates an example of a state (Australian federal government) attacking this parasite with a plain packaging regulation, and an attempt by the parasite to overturn this through the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP:[...]).