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What is a government or state?

by the Centre for a Stateless Society

Governments, also known as states, are coercively-imposed territorial monopolies on the provision of the service of dispute resolution, better known as “law”. More plainly and only slightly less precisely, they are protection rackets with good PR.

The most basic function of any government is ostensibly to protect the lives of their citizens. However, individuals are not given the ability to choose who they will have protect them. They are forced to purchase this protection from their local monopoly who will take their money for the service whether the individual wants it to or not. If they resist, they will be jailed or worse.

One of the ways which market anarchists approach this issue is, “should a service ever be forced upon someone at gunpoint?” We, of course, oppose such acts of brutality on ethical grounds and also assert that such forcible interference with consumer choice creates additional problems. In this context, governance is not based upon consent of the governed, but upon conquest under a false pretense of legitimacy.

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Resources

You can make use of the following text and video to expand your knowledge and understanding of the topic covered in this unit.

A Review Of “The State”

About Authority: The Evolution Of The State

Abstain From Beans

Anatomy Of The State

But That Would Be Anarchy

Democracy Is Impossible

Democracy Is Slavery

Disproving The State

Freedom, Reason, and Cults

Government As Rape

Government Bullshit

How The State Destroys Social Cooperation

How To Establish A Government

If You Were King

Ignorance Of The Law Is An Excuse

In Search Of The Super Villain

Interdependence

Is Voting An Act Of Violence?

On The Meaning Of Voting

On Voting

On The 'Rule Of Law’

Only Cowards Vote

Politics Is The Opiate Of The Masses

Statist Reasoning: Non-Freedom For Non-Voters

Statist Reasoning: Not Me, But Everybody Else

Tangled As Political Allegory

The Immorality Of The State

The Irrationality Of Politics

The Myth Of The Social Contract

The Origin Of Government Authority

The Social Contract: Defined And Destroyed

The State Is Not Great: How Government Poisons Everything

The State: Human Parasite

The Tragedy Of Political Government

The Truth About Voting

Unintended Consequences

What Are The Myths Of Statism?

What Does “Libertarian” Mean?

What Is A Government Or State?

What Is Authority?

When Is Government A Legitimate Authority?

Why Don’t You Just Leave?

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