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How did the state emerge?

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  • Michael Erwin
    We don t really know, do we? Written history mostly records societies under states, and otherwise records societies bordering on states, sometimes under
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 3 2:27 PM
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      We don't really know, do we? Written history mostly records societies
      under states, and otherwise records societies bordering on states,
      sometimes under extreme circumstances which can further distort the
      results (potlatch emerged in the aftermath of several epidemics).
      Archaeology records societies before state-formation and after state-
      formation, but although it can discover changing technologies, left-
      expectancies, wealth-distribution, etc. it can rarely discover
      political events and processes before writing. Written history
      sometimes records the transition from "chiefdoms" to "states" but
      both have the same basic character.

      It matters which processes create states and which ones destroy them,
      or prevent their creation.

      If we don't know what processes are involved, both "x will degenerate
      into statism" and "x will not degenerate into statism" are very iffy
      arguments.

      As an example, Marxists have argued that class society recreates
      states, but since Marxism doesn't really explain the origins of class
      society, it really can't argue about what will strengthen or weaken
      class structures; in any case, anarchist theorists made better
      predictions than state-socialist ones, and non-Marxist and dissident-
      Marxist theorists made better predictions than "orthodox" Marxist
      ones, about class structure in Marxist states.

      mte
    • BGreen
      from Wendy McElroy s website excerpt: In general, there are four basic and somewhat overlapping theories of how the State originated. Each theory carries
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 3 2:44 PM
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        from Wendy McElroy's website

        excerpt:

        In general, there are four basic and somewhat overlapping theories of
        how the State originated. Each theory carries different implications
        for the State's relationship to Society. The first theory is a
        supernatural one which claims that the State, or at least a certain
        ruler, is in place through the will of God. This theory results in
        theocracy and the Divine Right of Kings. According to it, the members
        of Society -- who are presumably placed by God in that role as well --
        owe some level of allegiance to even an abusive State.

        The second theory attempts to ground the State in more naturalistic
        terms. It claims that the State -- like the family -- is an almost
        spontaneous institution that naturally evolves from the act of
        community. Because individuals and their property require protection,
        an overriding institution naturally evolves to act as a policeman and
        a final arbiter of disputes. According to this theory, no hard line
        necessarily distinguishes the State from Society, which are engaged in
        a co-operative venture.

        The third and fourth theories are ones of conflict. The third one
        claims that the State emerges due to internal warfare within the
        Society. Karl Marx popularized this view by analyzing the State as an
        agency of class warfare by which the capitalists controlled the
        workers. For Marx and his belief in inevitable class conflict, the
        State is an expression and protector of one segment of Society at the
        expense of another segment.(3)

        The fourth theory looks to external conflicts and maintains that the
        State arose as the result of one tribe conquering another tribe.

        Within classical liberalism, two theories of the origin of the State
        have struggled for domination: the naturalistic theory by which the
        State evolves from Society; and, the external conflict one by which
        the State may be considered to be a continuing act of war committed
        against Society by a separate group. The former is called the consent
        theory of the State. The latter is known as the conquest theory of the
        State. These are not merely historical suppositions. They are
        analytical approaches intended to call into question or to confirm
        whether the State can ever claim legitimacy. If the State in its very
        genesis requires the mass violation of human rights, it becomes far
        more difficult to ethically justify the institution than if it arose
        from mass agreement.

        to read rest:

        http://www.wendymcelroy.com/state.htm

        bg

        --- In LeftLibertarian2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Erwin <merwin@...> wrote:
        >
        > We don't really know, do we? Written history mostly records societies
        > under states, and otherwise records societies bordering on states,
        > sometimes under extreme circumstances which can further distort the
        > results (potlatch emerged in the aftermath of several epidemics).
        > Archaeology records societies before state-formation and after state-
        > formation, but although it can discover changing technologies, left-
        > expectancies, wealth-distribution, etc. it can rarely discover
        > political events and processes before writing. Written history
        > sometimes records the transition from "chiefdoms" to "states" but
        > both have the same basic character.
        >
        > It matters which processes create states and which ones destroy them,
        > or prevent their creation.
        >
        > If we don't know what processes are involved, both "x will degenerate
        > into statism" and "x will not degenerate into statism" are very iffy
        > arguments.
        >
        > As an example, Marxists have argued that class society recreates
        > states, but since Marxism doesn't really explain the origins of class
        > society, it really can't argue about what will strengthen or weaken
        > class structures; in any case, anarchist theorists made better
        > predictions than state-socialist ones, and non-Marxist and dissident-
        > Marxist theorists made better predictions than "orthodox" Marxist
        > ones, about class structure in Marxist states.
        >
        > mte
        >
      • tony_hollick
        Michael: It seems pretty inescapable. First, you grab some land. You can t control it on your own. So you recruit some help. To pay the help, you impose levies
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 3 3:18 PM
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          Michael:

          It seems pretty inescapable.

          First, you grab some land.

          You can't control it on your own. So you recruit some help.

          To pay the help, you impose levies on the subjugated occupants.

          To organize all this requires a degree of formality.

          So now you have a statelet.

          The more successful statelets expands by accretion and/or
          conquest and/or merger etc.

          What could be simpler? States are coercive "landowners."

          Regards,

          Tony


          --- In LeftLibertarian2@yahoogroups.com, Michael Erwin <merwin@...> wrote:
          >
          > We don't really know, do we? Written history mostly records societies
          > under states, and otherwise records societies bordering on states,
          > sometimes under extreme circumstances which can further distort the
          > results (potlatch emerged in the aftermath of several epidemics).
          > Archaeology records societies before state-formation and after state-
          > formation, but although it can discover changing technologies, left-
          > expectancies, wealth-distribution, etc. it can rarely discover
          > political events and processes before writing. Written history
          > sometimes records the transition from "chiefdoms" to "states" but
          > both have the same basic character.
          >
          > It matters which processes create states and which ones destroy them,
          > or prevent their creation.
          >
          > If we don't know what processes are involved, both "x will degenerate
          > into statism" and "x will not degenerate into statism" are very iffy
          > arguments.
          >
          > As an example, Marxists have argued that class society recreates
          > states, but since Marxism doesn't really explain the origins of class
          > society, it really can't argue about what will strengthen or weaken
          > class structures; in any case, anarchist theorists made better
          > predictions than state-socialist ones, and non-Marxist and dissident-
          > Marxist theorists made better predictions than "orthodox" Marxist
          > ones, about class structure in Marxist states.
          >
          > mte
          >
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