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Why Statism Is Theoretically Impossible

Wallstreetatheist
Posts: 7,132
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10/11/2013 5:23:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The Austrian economic theory of the impossibility of socialism can be expanded and transformed into a complete theory on the impossibility of statism, understood as the attempt to organize any sphere of life in society via coercive commands which involve intervention, regulation, and control and emanate from the body with a monopoly on institutional aggression (the state). The state cannot possibly achieve its coordination goals in any part of the social-cooperation process in which it attempts to intervene, especially the spheres of money and banking, the discovery of law, the dispensing of justice, and public order (understood as the prevention, suppression, and punishment of criminal acts), for the following four reasons:

1. The state would need a huge volume of information, and this information is only found in a dispersed or diffuse form in the minds of the millions of people who participate each day in the social process.
2. The information the intervening body would need for its commands to exert a coordinating effect is predominantly tacit and inarticulable in nature, and thus it cannot be transmitted with absolute clarity.
3. The information society uses is not "given;" it changes constantly as a result of human creativity. Hence, there is obviously no possibility of transmitting today information which will only be created tomorrow and which is precisely the information the agent of state intervention needs to achieve its objectives tomorrow.
4. Finally and above all, to the extent state commands are obeyed and exert the desired effect on society, their coercive nature blocks the entrepreneurial creation of the very information the intervening state body most desperately needs to make its own commands coordinating (rather than maladjusting).

Not only is statism theoretically impossible, but it also produces a whole series of distorting and highly damaging peripheral effects: the encouragement of irresponsibility (as the authorities do not know the true cost of their intervention, they act irresponsibly); the destruction of the environment when it is declared a public good and its privatization is prevented; the corruption of the traditional concepts of law and justice, which are replaced by commands and "social" justice; and the imitative corruption of individuals' behavior, which becomes more and more aggressive and less and less respectful of morality and law.

The above analysis also permits us to conclude that if certain societies thrive nowadays, they do so not because of the state, but in spite of it. For many people are still accustomed to behavior patterns that are subject to substantive laws; areas of greater relative freedom remain; and the state tends to be very inefficient at imposing its invariably clumsy, blind commands. Furthermore, even the most marginal increases in freedom provide great boosts to prosperity, which illustrates how far civilization could advance without the hindrance of statism.

Finally, we have already commented on the false belief held by all those who identify the state with the provision of the ("public") goods it now provides (poorly and at great cost) and who wrongly conclude that the disappearance of the state would necessarily mean the disappearance of its valuable services. This conclusion is drawn in an environment of constant political indoctrination at all levels (especially in the educational system, which no state wishes to lose control of, for obvious reasons), an environment where standards of "political correctness" are dictatorially imposed, and the status quo is rationalized by a complacent majority, which refuses to see the obvious: that the state is nothing but an illusion created by a minority to live at others' expense, others who are first exploited, then corrupted, and then paid with outside resources (taxes) for all sorts of political "favors."

Source: http://mises.org...
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slo1
Posts: 4,353
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10/11/2013 1:53:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/11/2013 5:23:45 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
The Austrian economic theory of the impossibility of socialism can be expanded and transformed into a complete theory on the impossibility of statism, understood as the attempt to organize any sphere of life in society via coercive commands which involve intervention, regulation, and control and emanate from the body with a monopoly on institutional aggression (the state). The state cannot possibly achieve its coordination goals in any part of the social-cooperation process in which it attempts to intervene, especially the spheres of money and banking, the discovery of law, the dispensing of justice, and public order (understood as the prevention, suppression, and punishment of criminal acts), for the following four reasons:

1. The state would need a huge volume of information, and this information is only found in a dispersed or diffuse form in the minds of the millions of people who participate each day in the social process.

I don't understand. The state only need information pertaining to those who defy the establishment. Information in the minds of people is irrelevant. The better way is to use propaganda to plant the thoughts, then you really don't need all that information.

2. The information the intervening body would need for its commands to exert a coordinating effect is predominantly tacit and inarticulable in nature, and thus it cannot be transmitted with absolute clarity.
3. The information society uses is not "given;" it changes constantly as a result of human creativity. Hence, there is obviously no possibility of transmitting today information which will only be created tomorrow and which is precisely the information the agent of state intervention needs to achieve its objectives tomorrow.
4. Finally and above all, to the extent state commands are obeyed and exert the desired effect on society, their coercive nature blocks the entrepreneurial creation of the very information the intervening state body most desperately needs to make its own commands coordinating (rather than maladjusting).

Not only is statism theoretically impossible, but it also produces a whole series of distorting and highly damaging peripheral effects: the encouragement of irresponsibility (as the authorities do not know the true cost of their intervention, they act irresponsibly); the destruction of the environment when it is declared a public good and its privatization is prevented; the corruption of the traditional concepts of law and justice, which are replaced by commands and "social" justice; and the imitative corruption of individuals' behavior, which becomes more and more aggressive and less and less respectful of morality and law.

The above analysis also permits us to conclude that if certain societies thrive nowadays, they do so not because of the state, but in spite of it. For many people are still accustomed to behavior patterns that are subject to substantive laws; areas of greater relative freedom remain; and the state tends to be very inefficient at imposing its invariably clumsy, blind commands. Furthermore, even the most marginal increases in freedom provide great boosts to prosperity, which illustrates how far civilization could advance without the hindrance of statism.

Finally, we have already commented on the false belief held by all those who identify the state with the provision of the ("public") goods it now provides (poorly and at great cost) and who wrongly conclude that the disappearance of the state would necessarily mean the disappearance of its valuable services. This conclusion is drawn in an environment of constant political indoctrination at all levels (especially in the educational system, which no state wishes to lose control of, for obvious reasons), an environment where standards of "political correctness" are dictatorially imposed, and the status quo is rationalized by a complacent majority, which refuses to see the obvious: that the state is nothing but an illusion created by a minority to live at others' expense, others who are first exploited, then corrupted, and then paid with outside resources (taxes) for all sorts of political "favors."

Source: http://mises.org...

Maybe I just don't have the imagination to understand why society is better stateless. I just can't even grasp how anarcho-capitalism operating requirements are even enforced without a state? How does one enforce property ownership and property rights without a state? Hire your own mercenaries to protect your property from anyone who would try to vandalize or take it?

What am I missing?