We may first observe that communism and socialism--which we shall hereafter group together and dub Statism--cannot live with Christianity nor with any religion that postulates a Creator such as the Declaration of Independence recognizes. The slaves of Statism must know no power, no authority, no source of blessing, no God, but the State....
J. Reuben Clark
The majority of those who are loosely identified by the term 'liberals' are afraid to let themselves discover that what they advocate is statism. They want to keep all the advantages and effects of capitalism, while destroying the cause, and they want to establish statism without its necessary effects. They do not want to know or to admit that they are the champions of dictatorship and slavery.
Politically, the goal of today's dominant trend is statism. Philosophically , the goal is the obliteration of reason; psychologically , it is the erosion of ambition. The political goal presupposes the two others. The human characteristic required by statism is docility, which is the product of hopelessness and intellectual stagnation. Thinking men cannot be ruled; ambitious men do not stagnate.
The goal of the 'liberals' - as it emerges from the record of the past decades - was to smuggle this country into welfare statism by means of single, concrete, specific measures, enlarging the power of the government a step at a time, never permitting these steps to be summed up into principles, never permitting their direction to be identified or the basic issue to be named. Thus, statism was to come, not by vote or by violence, but by slow rot - by a long process of evasion and epistemological corruption, leading to a fait accompli.
The libertarian philosophy doesn't explain the best way to grow a vegetable garden!" Why do some people talk as if there should be one concept or principle which is all you'll ever need to know in order to handle everything in life? Right now the PRIMARY threat to humanity-by a factor of a zillion-is the belief in "authority." And the solution-the ONLY solution-is for people to escape that superstition. Questions like, "But how do we care for the poor?" are 100% logically IRRELEVANT to proving that statism is immoral and destructive. "But gee, if I stop sawing off my toes with this steak knife, how will I balance my checkbook?" Why the hell do people imagine that anarchists have some obligation to explain how every aspect of everyone's life will work, just because they say, "Having a ruling class is immoral and irrational"? When someone tells you to stop advocating evil crap (e.g., statism), they don't suddenly acquire an obligation to explain the whole universe to you, or to guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to anyone ever again.
- Larken Rose
The rise of statism in our time is the natural result of the longing of godless, unchurched people for some kind of protection. When we lose to God we turn to what looks like the next most powerful thing, which is the state. How bad a choice that is, let Germany and Russia in recent years testify.
Those who create the wealth naturally want to keep it and devote it to their own purposes. Those who wish to expropriate it look for ever more-clever ways to acquire it without inciting resistance. One of those ways is the spreading of an elaborate ideology of statism, which teaches that the people are the state and that therefore they are only paying themselves when they pay taxes.
One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It's very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project, most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can't afford it.
Some people giving orders and others obeying them: this is the essence of servitude. Of course, as Hospers smugly observes, "one can at least change jobs," but you can't avoid having a job - just as under statism one can at least change nationalities but you can't avoid subjection to one nation-state or another. But freedom means more than the right to change masters.
Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group (to "society," to the tribe, the state, the nation) and that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force - and statism has always been the poltical corollary of collectivism.
The worst of this ever growing cancer of Statism [ie big 'paternal' government - socialism, communism and fascism] is its moral effect. The country is rich enough to stand its frightful economic wastage for a long time yet, and still prosper, but it is already so poverty-stricken in its moral resources that the present drain will quickly run them out.
Albert J. Nock
If men want to oppose war, it is statism that they must oppose. So long as they hold the tribal notion that the individual is sacrificial fodder for the collective, that some men have the right to rule others by force, and that some (any) alleged "good" can justify it-there can be no peace within a nation and no peace among nations.
Isn't our choice really not one of left or right, but of up or down? Down through the welfare state to statism, to more and more government largesse accompanied always by more government authority, less individual liberty, and ultimately, totalitarianism, always advanced as for our own good. The alternative is the dream conceived by our Founding Fathers, up to the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with an orderly society.
At first glance, an alliance of anarchists and government might appear to be somewhat paradoxical. But the formal convergence in Oakland makes explicit the movement's aims: They're anarchists for statism, wild free-spirited youth demanding more and more total government control of every aspect of life - just so long as it respects the fundamental human right to sloth.
Government-to-government foreign aid promotes statism, centralized planning, socialism, dependence, pauperization, inefficiency, and waste. It prolongs the poverty it is designed to cure. Voluntary private investment in private enterprise, on the other hand, promotes capitalism, production, independence, and self-reliance.
SCREW CHILDREN! That's the mantra of the world. Instead of burying them with a national debt, shoving them in shitty schools, drugging them if they don't comply, hitting them, yelling at them, indoctrinating them with religion and statism and patriotism and military worship, what if we just did what was right for them? The whole world is built on "screw children", and if we changed that, this would be an alien planet to us.
And when you look at the twentieth-century experiment with collectivism-that Ayn Rand, more than anybody else, did such a good job of articulating the pitfalls of statism and collectivism-you can't find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism than Ayn Rand.
Inflationism, however, is not an isolated phenomenon. It is only one piece in the total framework of politico-economic and socio-philosophical ideas of our time. Just as the sound money policy of gold standard advocates went hand in hand with liberalism, free trade, capitalism and peace, so is inflationism part and parcel of imperialism, militarism, protectionism, statism and socialism.
Ludwig von Mises
I see no other conceivable strategy for the achievement of liberty than political action. Religious or philosophical conversion of each man and woman is simply not going to work; that strategy ignores the problem of power, the fact that millions of people have a vested interest in statism and are not likely to give it up.... Education in liberty is of course vital, but it is not enough; action must also be taken to roll back the State...
The welfare state destroys the market mechanisms - lessens free choice and willing exchange. Simultaneously creating unnatural specializations, it must, granted statism's premise, resort to welfarism; that is, it must assume the responsibility for the people's welfare: their employment, their old age, their income, and the like. As this is done, man loses his wholeness; he is dispossessed of responsibility for self, the very essence of his manhood. The more dependent he becomes, the less dependable!
We must realize that the Reformation world view leads in the direction of government freedom. But the humanist world view with inevitable certainty leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no god, must put something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government, or the state.
Francis A. Schaeffer
There are few problems in the world that economic prosperitycannot help solve. Yet the engines of that prosperity are under fierceattack. The forces that seek power over others have gained the upperhand against those that seek freedom. By harming wealth creation,they cause even more strain on society. Historically, this is nothingnew. State domination over its subjects has roots that connect statism,totalitarianism, communism, and socialism to more modern-day variantsof liberalism and progressivism. It is a constant fight and we mustwin.
Ziad K. Abdelnour
With a chip on his shoulder larger than his margin of victory, Barack Obama is approaching his second term by replicating the mistake of his first. Then his overreaching involved health care - expanding the entitlement state at the expense of economic growth. Now he seeks another surge of statism, enlarging the portion of gross domestic product grasped by government and dispensed by politics. The occasion is the misnamed 'fiscal cliff,' the proper name for which is: the Democratic Party's agenda.
Enforcing equality to compensate for the monstrous unfairness of nature destroys liberty. But total liberty leads to various forms of aristocracy and decay. Yet total equality leads to oppressive statism and decay. However, equality of opportunity leads to a vibrantly chaotic and creative meritocracy.
Peter J. Carroll
Of all the statist violations of individual rights in a mixed economy, the military draft is the worst. It is an abrogation of rights. It negates man's fundamental right-the right to life-and establishes the fundamental principle of statism: that a man's life belongs to the state, and the state may claim it by compelling him to sacrifice it in battle. Once that principle is accepted, the rest is only a matter of time.
The history of mankind is a history of the subjugation and exploitation of a great majority of people by an elite few by what has been appropriately termed the 'ruling class'. The ruling class has many manifestations. It can take the form of a religious orthodoxy, a monarchy, a dictatorship of the proletariat, outright fascism, or, in the case of the United States, corporate statism. In each instance the ruling class relies on academics, scholars and 'experts' to legitimize and provide moral authority for its hegemony over the masses.
Thirty years ago [written 2009], over-regulation, over-taxation, mis-regulation, statism, state corporatism, and economic folly, cosiness and regulatory capture, and a crescent ideological enemy without, who were assisted by enemies - both fifth columnists and useful fools - within, had led to a crisis of confidence in the West, and in all lands that - and amongst all peoples, particularly those who were oppressed in their own lands, who - loved and desired liberty. Of course, thirty years ago, Britain had Margaret Thatcher to turn to.
The real enemy" is the totality of physical and mental constraints by which capital, or class society, or statism, or the society of the spectacle expropriates everyday life, the time of our lives. The real enemy is not an object apart from life. It is the organization of life by powers detached from it and turned against it. The apparatus, not its personnel, is the real enemy. But it is by and through the apparatchiks and everyone else participating in the system that domination and deception are made manifest. The totality is the organization of all against each and each against all. It includes all the policemen, all the social workers, all the office workers, all the nuns, all the op-ed columnists, all the drug kingpins from Medellin to Upjohn, all the syndicalists and all the situationists.
When I argue with devout statists, sometimes other voluntaryists tell me that I'm wasting my time, opining that a particular statist is never going to "get it." I often respond by saying that that's rarely my intention. Most of the time, when I argue with statists, the goal is for ME to learn more about the mentality and psychology of authoritarian indoctrination, and to hopefully help any SPECTATORS-whether statist or anarchist-learn something from the exchange. (Both of those goals can be achieved even if the statist continues to be a lunk-headed dupe.) Earlier today, a funny but possibly profound analogy came to mind about this: When I argue with "true believer" devout statists, I'm not being a doctor trying to heal an ailing patient; I'm being a coroner, doing an AUTOPSY on a patient who is already beyond any hope of saving, in the hopes that I, and anyone observing, may learn more about the "disease" of statism, in order to better understand the nature of it, and possibly prevent others from experiencing a similar fate.