T Nation

Striking The Root


Please explain to me, as you would explain to a 6 year old, how the state works and where it gets it's resources.

Please think about it if you want.


But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and
whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.
False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it biteth, the biting
one. False are even its bowels.
Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as
the sign of the state. Verily, the will to death, indicateth this
sign! Verily, it beckoneth unto the preachers of death!

Thus Spoke Zarathus­tra


Haha, I bought "The Antichrist" just yesterday!


The state protects people from outside forces (military), other people (judiciary), and businesses (regulatory). In the industrialized world the state provides education and healthcare. It also progressively taxes people and business based on their net income in order to provide for those incapable of providing for themselves, in addition to running its other services.

A 6 year old would get most of that... I think... lol


The following essay describes what the state is and what it is note:

Anatomy of the State


Where does it get its money from?
You say progressive taxing... Is it voluntary? or is it mandatory?
Caring for the incapable seems like a morally good cause, why are mandatory taxes needed to provide care for the less fortunate?
And with the same logic, why can't people themselves provide education or healthcare?

Is it a wild leap to think that government should provide housing and food aswell?


It was a statement of definition, not a statement of opinion.

Obviously the taxing is mandatory.
Well you can a.) let them die b.) make them rely on charity or c.) redistribute wealth to help them.

"And with the same logic, why can't people themselves provide education or healthcare?

Is it a wild leap to think that government should provide housing and food aswell? "
You obviously want to say something... just say it.


So if taxing is mandatory, its not voluntary, thus is relies on force, right?

Why can't defence, the courts and business regulations come about without force?

And why do people allow an institution to force them to hand out their money?
I would certainly be shocked and afterwards angry if I was robbed by somebody in a dark alley.


Because its what the majority of people want?

Most of the things outside of basic defence and enforcement were brought about by democracy.


That's a win-lose situation.
Why can't it be win-win?

What if the majority of the people want to put Jews in the gas chamber. Is that morally defendable "because most guys wanted it"?
2 rapists and a hottie wash up on uninhabited island,... majority rule is virtuous!
Ok, very radical examples.

These are just my opinions! Just brainstorming :wink:

I come back on my question: If most people want it, why don't they just do it themselves without forcing other people (through taxation) to do the same thing???
That question has been bothering me for quite some time.


Guess you didn't expect this to really be about explaining things to a six-year-old. :wink:


I believe the answer from an Economics point of view is that the above are public goods:

National Defense is the most applicable here. Someone has to pay for defense (obviously) but those not paying cannot be practically excluded from receiving its benefit. Thus, it makes the most sense to force everybody to pay.


Well, the 6 year old is going to keep asking "Why?" so I want to prepare as well as I can :wink:


So killing people financed through extortion makes sense?
What if there is nothing to defend against?
Would you march down to Iraq or Afghanistan just because some stranger told you to?

Only because it's called "public goods" doesn't mean it has no owner.


I'm not going to respond to those questions because they are completely unrelated to what I wrote. And a 6 year old wouldn't ask them.

If you want to argue against me, you would structure this argument around the points I have made, that is one or both of:
1) National Defense is not a public good
2) Just because it is a public good does not mean it should be financed by force.