In the whole history of capitalism, no one has been able to establish a coercive monopoly by means of competition in a free market...Every single coercive monopoly that exists or ever has existed...was created and made possible only by an act of government...which granted special privileges (not obtainable in a free market) to a man or a group of men, and forbade all others to enter that particular field.
I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of any individual. Anarchists oppose the State because it has its very being in such aggression, namely, the expropriation of private property through taxation, the coercive exclusion of other providers of defense service from its territory, and all of the other depredations and coercions that are built upon these twin foci of invasions of individual rights.
Collectivists would have you believe that individualism is merely another word for selfishness, because individualists oppose welfare and other forms of coercive redistribution of wealth, but just the opposite is true. Individualists advocate true charity, which is the voluntary giving of their own money, while collectivists advocate the coercive giving of other people's money; which, of course, is why it is so popular.
G. Edward Griffin
The chief duty of governments, in so far as they are coercive, is to restrain those who would interfere with the inalienable rights of the individual, among which are the right to life, the right to liberty, the right to the pursuit of happiness and the right to worship God according to the dictates of ones conscience.
William Jennings Bryan
The power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbor and perhaps my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest "functionaire" possesses who wields the coercive power of the state, and on whose desecration it depends whether and how I am allowed to live or to work.
Friedrich August von Hayek
The moment you frame your own awareness within a second level of self -consciousness is the moment your mind is most up for grabs. ... You're safe because you have an ironic distance from the coercive techniques I'm employing. All of them that is, except this one. Are you on your guard yet? Does it feel good? Of course not.
The search for truth is a cooperative, unending endeavor. We can, and should, engage in it to the extent we can and encourage others to do so as well, seeking to free ourselves from constraints imposed by coercive institutions, dogma, irrationality, excessive conformity and lack of initiative and imagination, and numerous other obstacles.
People of faith should not invoke the power of the state to decide what everyone can believe or think or read or do. In such cases, like abortion or prayer or prohibition or sexual identity, the proper role of religion is to appeal to the free conscience of each person, not the coercive rule of secular law.
In stark contrast with the views of the Greek philosophers and with those of the rest of western intellectuals to the present day, Chinese Taoist thought always defended individual liberty and laissez-faire while attacking the systematic and coercive use of violence typical of government.
Jesus Huerta de Soto
Coercive measures may have a restraining effect for a time, but can never subdue an untractable spirit: it is only by engaging the affections and enlarging the understanding, that the heart can be meliorated or principles be formed; for like a bow forcibly bent, the mind recoils from oppression with elastic power.
While it is positive for young black males and females to learn discipline and self-responsibility, those attitudes, values, and habits of being can be taught with pedagogical strategies that are liberatory, that do not rely on coercive control and punishment to reinforce positive behavior.
..where effective competition can be created, it is a better way of guiding individual efforts than any other... regards competition as superior not only because it is in most circumstances the most efficient method known but even more because it is the only method by which our activities can be adjusted to each other without coercive or arbitrary intervention of authority.
Friedrich August von Hayek
If a society takes it upon itself to prescribe and proscribe certain streams of belief - to prohibit certain less-favored strains of conscience - it may be the non-believer who is among the first to be condemned. A coercive monopoly of belief threatens everyone, whether we are talking about those who search the philosophies of men or follow the words of God.
Almost everywhere we find . . . the use of various coercive measures, to rid ourselves as quickly as possible of the child withinus--i.e., the weak, helpless, dependent creature--in order to become an independent competent adult deserving of respect. When we reencounter this creature in our children, we persecute it with the same measures once used in ourselves.
In a Western or a thriller there is often room for reflection upon the coercive necessities; even, occasionally, some attempt to pose other possibilities. In the horror movies there is finally a Hobbesian state of nature: 'continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short'.
Revolutionary feminism embraces men who are able to change, who are capable of responding mutually in a subject-to-subject encounter where desire and fulfillment are in no way linked to coercive subjugation. This feminist vision of the sexual imaginary is the space few men seem able to enter.
The freedom to talk with God and of God is being opened by God's joy. It cannot be forced. For true awareness cannot be coercive; it does not come about by either authoritarian pressure or the force of logic. It presupposes liberty. Being aware of God is an art and-if the term may be permitted-a noble game.
The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control. The capsule could be implanted at puberty and might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births.
When liberal whites fail to understand how they can and/or do embody white supremacist values and beliefs even though they may not embrace racism as prejudice or domination (especially domination that involves coercive control), they cannot recognize the ways their actions support and affirm the very structure of racist domination and oppression that they wish to see eradicated.
Freedom, in a political context, means freedom from government coercion. It does not mean freedom from the landlord, from the employer, or freedom from the laws of nature which do not provide men with automatic prosperity. It means freedom from the coercive power of the state ' and nothing else
If on one day we find the fast-spreading recognition of popular rights accompanied by a silent, growing perception of the rights of women, we also find it accompanied by a tendency towards a system of non-coercive education--that is, towards a practical illustration of the rights of children.
True power is invisible and impeccable, like good taste. It is never clumsy or artless. Powerful people whisper, suggest, seduce, in order to coerce. They only use volume for effect. This is how you can tell a blowhard from a mogul. ... Most powerful people don't need to coerce; their mere presence is coercive.
We should distinguish at this point between "government" and "state" ... A government is the consensual organization by which we adjudicate disputes, defend our rights, and provide for certain common needs ... A state on the other hand, is a coercive organization asserting or enjoying a monopoly over the use of physical force in some geographic area and exercising power over its subjects.
Some who support [more] coercive strategies assume that children will run wild if they are not controlled. However, the children for whom this is true typically turn out to be those accustomed to being controlled"" those who are not trusted, given explanations, encouraged to think for themselves, helped to develop and internalize good values, and so on. Control breeds the need for more control, which is used to justify the use of control.
The stupidity of the average man will permit the oligarch, whether economic or political, to hide his real purposes from the scrutiny of his fellows and to withdraw his activities from effective control. Since it is impossible to count on enough moral goodwill among those who possess irresponsible power to sacrifice it for the good of the whole, it must be destroyed by coercive methods and these will always run the peril of introducing new forms of injustice in place of those abolished.
Authoritative leaders mobilize people toward a vision. Affiliative leaders create emotional bonds and harmony. Democratic leaders build consensus through participation. Pacesetting leaders expect excellence and self- direction. Coaching leaders develop people for the future. And coercive leaders demand immediate compliance.
[W]e must first experience the kingdom if we are even to know what kind of freedom and what kind of equality we should desire. Christian freedom lies in service, Christian equality is equality before God, and neither can be achieved through the coercive efforts of liberal idealists who would transform the world into their image.
Human rights' are a fine thing, but how can we make ourselves sure that our rights do not expand at the expense of the rights of others. A society with unlimited rights is incapable of standing to adversity. If we do not wish to be ruled by a coercive authority, then each of us must rein himself in... A stable society is achieved not by balancing opposing forces but by conscious self-limitation: by the principle that we are always duty-bound to defer to the sense of moral justice.
Human rights' are a fine thing, but how can we make ourselves sure that our rights do not expand at the expense of the rights of others. A society with unlimited rights is incapable of standing to adversity. If we do not wish to be ruled by a coercive authority, then each of us must rein himself in...A stable society is achieved not by balancing opposing forces but by conscious self-limitation: by the principle that we are always duty-bound to defer to the sense of moral justice.
Violent men, and men in authority over violent men, and the broader public that authorises those men, are not yet shamed by the harm of coercive control over women... Maybe we can rest some hope on the growing activity of men of goodwill calling on each other to change. When that group hits a critical mass, the majority of men will be more likely to want to change.
Organized labor is organized to take control of an asset away from its rightful owners without paying for it. Organized labor is organization of property by those who don't own it. Organized labor, by driving up the costs of production through coercive means, destroys industries. Organized labor is piracy without the boats and eye patches. Why would anybody want to celebrate organized labor?
It is curious that people tend to regard government as a quasi-divine, selfless, Santa Claus organization. Government was constructed neither for ability nor for the exercise of loving care; government was built for the use of force and for necessarily demagogic appeals for votes. If individuals do not know their own interests in many cases, they are free to turn to private experts for guidance. It is absurd to say that they will be served better by a coercive, demagogic apparatus.
Murray N. Rothbard
I would hope that wherever I go I bring good news - that's what that word means, right? It began with the first followers of Jesus taking a Roman military propaganda term and co-opting it for their own subversive purposes, insisting that the world isn't made better through coercive military violence but through sacrificial love. How great is that!? Unfortunately this word has been hijacked in several years for other purposes but no worries, we're taking it back.
Anarchism as the name for an ideal total social form is a really complicated question. I have never found satisfying answers from anarchists about the definition of the state they are opposed to. Most are opposed to coercive forms of state power. Questions about large scale systems of organization and how they will be funded - those are questions it's hard to get anarchists to give good answers to.
Liberalism is, in fact, the ideology of the capitalist revolution that prodigiously raised the living standards of the mass of people; a doctrine gradually elaborated over several centuries, which offered a new concept of social order, encompassing freedom in the only form suited to the modern world. Step by step, in practice and theory, the various sectors of human activity were withdrawn from the jurisdiction of coercive authority and given over to the voluntary action of self-regulating society.
The terminology of philosophical art is coercive: arguments are powerful and best when they are knockdown, arguments force you to a conclusion, if you believe the premisses you have to or must believe the conclusion, some arguments do not carry much punch, and so forth. A philosophical argument is an attempt to get someone to believe something, whether he wants to beleive it or not. A successful philosophical argument, a strong argument, forces someone to a belief.
Anarchists are opposed to violence; everyone knows that. The main plank of anarchism is the removal of violence from human relations. It is life based on freedom of the individual, without the intervention of the gendarme. For this reason we are the enemies of capitalism which depends on the protection of the gendarme to oblige workers to allow themselves to be exploited--or even to remain idle and go hungry when it is not in the interest of the bosses to exploit them. We are therefore enemies of the State which is the coercive violent organization of society.
But the 20th century suffered "two" ideologies that led to genocides. The other one, Marxism, had no use for race, didn't believe in genes and denied that human nature was a meaningful concept. Clearly, it's not an emphasis on genes or evolution that is dangerous. It's the desire to remake humanity by coercive means (eugenics or social engineering) and the belief that humanity advances through a struggle in which superior groups (race or classes) triumph over inferior ones.
Only the power of unbounded love practiced in regard to all human beings can defeat the forces of interhuman strife, and can prevent the pending extermination of man by man on this planet. Without love, no armament, no war, no diplomatic machinations, no coercive police force, no school education, no economic or political measures, not even hydrogen bombs can prevent the pending catastrophe.
Consider the sexual harassment which continually occurs between a secretary and a boss . . . while objectionable to many women, [it] is not a coercive action. It is rather part of a package deal in which the secretary agrees to all aspects of the job when she agrees to accept the job, and especially when she agrees to keep the job. The office is, after all, private property. The secretary does not have to remain if the 'coercion' is objectionable.
The real transgression occurs when religion wants government to tell citizens how to live uniquely personal parts of their lives. The failure of Prohibition proves the futility of such an attempt when a majority or even a substantial minority happens to disagree. Some questions may be inherently individual ones, or people may be sharply divided about whether they are. In such cases, like Prohibition and abortion, the proper role of religion is to appeal to the conscience of the individual, not the coercive power of the state.
Psychologist Nathaniel Branden speaks of a benevolent sense of life possible to those with rational, productive values, vividly contrasted with the coercive parasitic group-culture of mystics and altruists we live in, where people all around you seem a burdensome annoyance, a threat to your survival. Having been told from childhood that life is a zero-sum game in which you owe everything to others, at some level you worry all the time that someday the bastards will collect. And collect they do, every April 15th. Why do you think they call it collectivism?
L. Neil Smith
Anarchism is opposed to states, armies, slavery , the wages system, the landlord system, prisons, monopoly capitalism, oligopoly capitalism, state capitalism, bureaucracy, meritrocracy, theocracy, oligarchy, governments, patriarchy, matriarchy, monarchy, oligarchy, protection rackets, intimidation by gangsters, and every other kind of coercive institution. In other words, anarchism opposes government in all it's forms.
Schooling that children are forced to endure-in which the subject matter is imposed by others and the 'learning' is motivated by extrinsic rewards and punishments rather than by the children's true interests-turns learning from a joyful activity into a chore, to be avoided whenever possible. Coercive schooling, which tragically is the norm in our society, suppresses curiosity and overrides children's natural ways of learning. It also promotes anxiety, depression and feelings of helplessness that all too often reach pathological levels.
When that devil's bullet lodged itself inside the body of Martin Luther King, he had already begun an astonishing mobilization of poor, Black, white, latino Americans who had nothing to lose. They would challenge our government to eliminate exploitative, merciless, and war-mongering policies, nationwide, or else "tie up the country" through "means of civil disobedience." Dr. King intended to organize those legions into "coercive direct actions" that would make of Babylon a dysfunctional behemoth begging for relief. Is it any wonder he was killed?
Anarchism is a definite intellectual current in the life of our times, whose adherents advocate the abolition of economic monopolies and of all political and social coercive institutions within society. In place of the present capitalistic economic order Anarchists would have a free association of all productive forces based upon co-operative labour, which would have as its sole purpose the satisfying of the necessary requirements of every member of society, and would no longer have in view the special interest of privileged minorities within the social union.
With calm, knowledgeable precision, Daniel Ziblatt wades into the adjacent swamps of federalism and nineteenth-century European history, emerging with hands full of gems. Beneath the tangle of great statesmen and national culture he discovers conflicting regional political interests, sharp regional variations in political capacity, fearful defenses against excessive democracy, coercive conquest of weak states, and unintended consequences galore. Read, think, and learn.
When you own gold you're fighting every central bank in the world. That's because gold is a currency that competes with government currencies and has a powerful influence on interest rates and the price of government bonds. And that's why central banks long have tried to suppress the price of gold. Gold is the ticket out of the central banking system, the escape from coercive central bank and government power.
[S]ocial order displays not the absolute presence or absence of intolerance to difference but a spectrum of intolerance. Each of us bears responsibility to some degree for maintaining these protocols of intolerance, which could not be kept in place if every single one of us did not play our part. From bringing up children 'appropriately', to lovingly correcting or punishing their inappropriate behaviour, to making sure we never breach the protocols ourselves, to staring or sniggering at people who look different, to coercive psychiatric and medical intervention, to emotional blackmail, to physical violence-it's a range of slippages all the way that we seldom recognize.
Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom. But the personality formed in an environment of coercive control is not well adapted to adult life. The survivor is left with fundamental problems in basic trust, autonomy, and initiative. She approaches the tasks of early adulthood-establishing independence and intimacy-burdened by major impairments in self-care, in cognition and memory, in identity, and in the capacity to form stable relationships. She is still a prisoner of her childhood; attempting to create a new life, she reencounters the trauma.
Judith Lewis Herman
No individual or private group or private organization has the legal power to initiate the use of physical force against other individuals or groups and to compel them to act against their own voluntary choice. Only a government holds that power. The nature of governmental action is: coercive action. The nature of political power is: the power to force obedience under threat of physical injury-the threat of property expropriation, imprisonment, or death.
This was to say, however, that she did not long, at times, for some even greater variation, that she did not pass through those abnormal hours in which one thirsts for something different from what one has, when those people who, through lack of energy or imagination, are unable to generate any motive power in themselves, cry out, as the clock strikes or the postman knocks, in their eagerness for news (even if it be bad news), for some emotion (even that of grief); when the heartstrings, which prosperity has silenced, like a harp laid by, yearn to be plucked and sounded again by some hand, even a brutal hand, even if it shall break them; when the will, which has with such difficulty brought itself to subdue to its impulse, to renounce its right to abandon itself to its own uncontrolled desires, and consequent sufferings, would fain cast its guiding reins into the hands of circumstances, coercive and, it may be, cruel.
There is perhaps some hope to be derived from the fact that in most instances where an attempt to realize an ideal society gave birth to the ugliness and violence of a prolonged active mass movement the experiment was made on a vast scale and with a heterogeneous population. Such was the case in the rise of Christianity and Islam, and in the French, Russian and Nazi revolutions. The promising communal settlements in the small state of Israel and the successful programs of socialization in the small Scandinavian states indicate perhaps that when the attempt to realize an ideal society is undertaken by a small nation with a more or less homogeneous population it can proceed and succeed in an atmosphere which is neither hectic nor coercive.
The individualist insists that drastic depressions are the result of credit inflation; (not excessive savings, as the Keynesians would have it) which at all times in history has been caused by direct government action or by government influence. As for aggravated unemployment, the individualist insists that it is exclusively the result of government intervention through inflation, wage rigidities, burdensome taxes, and restrictions on trade and production such as price controls and tariffs. The inflation that comes inevitably with government pump-priming soon catches up with the laborer, wipes away any real increase in his wages, discourages private investment, and sets off a new deflationary spiral which can in turn only be counteracted by more coercive and paternalistic government policies. And so it is that the "long run" is very soon a-coming, and the harmful effects of government intervention are far more durable than those that are sustained by encouraging the unhampered free market to work out its own destiny.
William F. Buckley Jr.
Combat and rape, the public and private forms of organized social violence, are primarily experiences of adolescent and early adult life. The United States Army enlists young men at seventeen; the average age of the Vietnam combat soldier was nineteen. In many other countries boys are conscripted for military service while barely in their teens. Similarly, the period of highest risk for rape is in late adolescence. Half of all victims are aged twenty or younger at the time they are raped; three-quarters are between the ages of thirteen and twenty-six. The period of greatest psychological vulnerability is also in reality the period of greatest traumatic exposure, for both young men and young women. Rape and combat might thus be considered complementary social rites of initiation into the coercive violence at the foundation of adult society. They are the paradigmatic forms of trauma for women and men.
Judith Lewis Herman
Research on organised abuse emphasises the diversity of organised abuse cases, and the ways in which serious forms of child maltreatment cluster in the lives of children subject to organised victimisation (eg Bibby 1996b, Itziti 1997, Kelly and Regan 2000). Most attempts to examine organised abuse have been undertaken by therapists and social workers who have focused primarily on the role of psychological processes in the organised victimisation of children and adults. Dissociation, amnesia and attachment, in particular, have been identified as important factors that compel victims to obey their abusers whilst inhibiting them from disclosing their abuse or seeking help (see Epstein et al. 2011, Sachs and Galton 2008). Therapists and social workers have surmised that these psychological effects are purposively induced by perpetrators of organised abuse through the use of sadistic and ritualistic abuse. In this literature, perpetrators are characterised either as dissociated automatons mindlessly perpetuating the abuse that they, too, were subjected to as children, or else as cruel and manipulative criminals with expert foreknowledge of the psychological consequences of their abuses. The therapist is positioned in this discourse at the very heart of the solution to organised abuse, wielding their expertise in a struggle against the coercive strategies of the perpetrators. Whilst it cannot be denied that abusive groups undertake calculated strategies designed to terrorise children into silence and obedience, the emphasis of this literature on psychological factors in explaining organised abuse has overlooked the social contexts of such abuse and the significance of abuse and violence as social practices.
Military force is another element of power. It provides a nation the capability to impose it's will on another nation through the threat or use of violence. Military force also provides a state the capability to resist another's coercive actions. The types of military forces required will depend on the state's physical characteristics and its enemies' capabilities. A landlocked state has little need for a navy. If a nation's opponent has a strong air force, then the nation should have strong air defenses. The size and composition of military force available will dictate the types of operations a state may conduct. A landlocked power with no navy will never dominate the seas. A state without an air force or navy today will have great difficulty projecting and sustaining military forces over great distances. A strong army with no ability to move to another area has little impact on foreign policy, except on protecting its homeland. The technological sophistication of its weaponry versus that of an opponent's will provide a state an advantage or disadvantage in projecting its will. All other things being equal, a state weapons that can kill an opponent's soldiers faster and more efficiency that those of the opponent's has an advantage. Of course, rarely are all other things equal. Technological superiority can provide an advantage, but it cannot guarantee success. Technology will also affect the state's ability to sustain its forces. Commonality of the civilian and military technological base will enhance logistical capabilities by making it easy for civilian industry to provide military forces the equipment needed. The location of military forces with respect to the theater of war and the enemy is another component of military power. If the military forces are near their warfighting positioning, their deterrent and warfare capabilities are greater. The degree of civilian control and willingness to employ military force prescribes the manner in which a state may employ its military power. This point relates to the national will element of power. If the will to employ the military force available does not exist, the military force has no utility. No power results from the simple existence of the military force. Power results from the will to use military power, or at least an enemy's perception of the willingness to do so, and the capability of that military force to defeat all enemy. Available reserves limit the duration of combat a state can endure. Once all the trained or trainable men and women are casualties, a state cannot continue. A state's manpower pool always serves as a limit on the size of the military force it can raise.
John M. House