The difference between the statist and the libertarian has to do with methodology. The statist begins his discussion of the economy from the perspective of the collective enterprise known as civil government. He equates the state (the monopoly of coercion) and society (voluntary institutions). He also identifies the state and the nation. He sees the state as the agency which alone legally represents the nation. In some cases, he actually believes that the state is the same as the nation. Rousseau is the best case. He argued for the existence of the General Will — collective humanity, but stripped of intermediate loyalties and bonds — which is represented by the state.
There is no doubt that there is a legal entity called the United States government. It is a judicial construct. It is marked by its proponents' assertion that it has final jurisdiction over the use of badges and guns inside its borders. It has a monopoly of violence that cannot legally be challenged by any other entity. It has the final say over who gets to point a gun at whose belly.
If we do not think of the state in this way, we will not understand what the state really is: legalized coercion. The state is the agency that asserts and enforces its right to stick guns in people's bellies. There is a great debate over the legal and moral foundations that undergird this judicial assertion, but the right of lawfully holding a gun and sticking it in somebody else's belly is the essence of the state.
Segunda-feira, Agosto 06, 2012
Em The Statist Propositions of Protectionism: