Believe it or not this is one of the top questions people ask me privately. Therefore, let’s cut everyone some legwork.
As a concept the state is nothing but that : a concept. It can’t be good or bad, nice or ugly, right or wrong, famous or infamous, green, pink or purple. This is because concepts are devoid not of properties, but of the ability of having a property in the first place. There’s no property that may stick to a concept. As such the concept of murder is neutral, the concept of rape is neutral,i and on it goes, standardisation is neutral, socialism is neutral, banking is neutral and so forth, a seemingly endless list.
To better understand this, imagine you’re looking at the innards of a numeric computer. Pick the southbridge bus, the TCP/IP stack, the monitor cable, doesn’t really matter where. The numeric computer goes about its daily business on the basis of a set of concepts simplified to the very core : there’s only two of them. One’s one and the other’s zero. By picking any one one or any one zero traveling its way through the guts of any machine you haven’t in fact chosen a something about which you can speak meaningfully. Is that 1 going through the network cable right now good or bad ? Is it right or wrong ? Well… it’s neither. It’s just a number, devoid of meaning outside of its context. But even within its context, where it works as a concept, it’s still neutral. There’s nothing that is or could be wrong about the 1 itself. There may be something amiss with the process that generated it, or it may cause some trouble with the process it’s going into, but on its own merits it’s just itself, nothing more. Smooth as a bearing ball made out of thought, nothing may stick to it.ii
Concepts can be implemented in practice, and here the trouble starts. Most people seem to think that there’s no possible implementation of rape which is good, and most people seem to think that there exists at least one implementation of socialism which works (just, you know… we haven’t found it yet). I happen to know a little history, and as such can readily point to good, wholesome, functional and productive implementations of rapeiii. The reverse is a little trickier, as it’s not in principle possible to prove a negative. But that aside yes, I happen to know a little history here and there, and to understand a little of this and that, and on the basis of this actual education I can venture a guess that no, there’s no such thing as a good implementation of socialism, because there can’t be.
Be all this as it may, most implementations have what’s known as failure modes. For instance, the notion of playing poker implemented as any one person actually sitting down at a table and playing has the widely known and amply discussed failure mode of “going on tilt”. This is when particularly indigest manifestations of variance change the player’s play style to one yielding worse results on the long term.
Most houses start as a concept, which is then sketched (first, rough, draft implementation). This implementation is then checked. What’s it checked for ? Why, known failure modes. Beams strong enough to withstand 1 unit of charge being charged with 1.5 units ? Known failure mode, the implementation is flawed, redo. Most actual houses, once built, have known failure modes too. Wet ceiling ? Cracked wall ? Curved floor ? Failure modes. The same is true of pretty much any product of human industry, cars, aeroplanes, candybars, you name it.
As an aside : people, having an endless propensity for dirtying their balls, tend to make the mistake of thinking that the first, draft implementation of the concept on paper is “the concept”. This is false : anything concrete, anything that exists in the world is already an implementation. The advantage of making mock-ups of any concept before pouring a lot of time and effort into the full blown implementation is significant in many cases (even enough so as to justify three stages of implementation in some applications, design-prototype-production) but that still doesn’t make the concept something of this world, that you can crumple up and take a dump on. Concepts are thoughts and thoughts onlyiv.
Just like any other implementation, the implementation of state has known failure modes. So, to answer the titular question : do I hate the state ? No, I don’t, mostly because not I nor anyone else can hate such a thing. But I am firmly convinced that the current implementation is working in a known failure mode, which I’ve recently called Leviathanesque, in reference to Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil, a book published in the 1600s by another English fellow known as Thomas Hobbes.
In short : the state may never function if and will inevitably fail once it becomes the larger half of human society. This is a point of fact, unassailable except under false pretenses borne out of ignorance. For this simple reason all Western states are doomed, and there’s nothing I, you or anyone else can do, write or dream up to change this. It’s a foregone conclusion.
What I do hate about the entire situation is that here we are stuck with a moribund. I hate that it’s still here once we know it’s not going to make it. I’d much prefer someone took it out and shot it.———
- I’m skipping a word here, I hope you notice and are aware and know that now you owe me one. [↩]
- And as a sidepoint : the mental ability to maintain this rule is one of the main markers of intelligence. Stupidity manifests itself over time in how dirty one’s mental bearing balls have become. [↩]
- A prime example would be the rape of the Sabines, and if you happen to have never heard of that we can safely conclude your education has failed to educate and has managed to brainwash instead. [↩]
- And in case you wonder what the difference between a thing and a thought is, Chief Justice Thomas Bryan informs you :
The thought of man shall not be tried, for the devil himself knoweth not the thought of man.
This commoner, dead in 1500, has nevertheless made a solid point : the difference between a thought and a thing is that the thing exists in such a way as to be accessible to others.