Jun 13, 2017

Murray Rothbard on the nature of the State

The State, in the words of Oppenheimer, is the “organization of the political means”; it is the systematization of the predatory process over a given territory.  For crime, at best, is sporadic and uncertain; the parasitism is ephemeral, and the coercive, parasitic lifeline may be cut off at any time by the resistance of the victims.  The State provides a legal, orderly, systematic channel for the predation of private property; it renders certain, secure, and relatively “peaceful” the lifeline of the parasitic caste in society.  Since production must always precede predation, the free market is anterior to the State.  The State has never been created by a “social contract”; it has always been born in conquest and exploitation.  The classic paradigm was a conquering tribe pausing in its time-honored method of looting and murdering a conquered tribe, to realize that the time-span of plunder would be longer and more secure, and the situation more pleasant, if the conquered tribe were allowed to live and produce, with the conquerors settling among them as rulers exacting a steady annual tribute.

~ Murray Rothbard, The Anatomy of the State (1974)

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