The role of the state

James Baird jlbaird3 at
Thu Oct 8 08:47:28 PDT 1998

>I read in Popper that according to Hume the State originates as
>the tool of the conqueror to control the conquered. Popper seems
>to agree, but says regardless of the State's original purpose,
>there is no reason it cannot be used otherwise today. He says
>that the State can be used to mediate between the conflicting
>interests within a society, instead of merely being a one-sided

I am a horrible marxist (I'm still trying to get through Wealth of Nations as a prelude to Capital), but wouldn't Marx say that the "conflicting interests", just like Madison's "factions", are really another word for classes? Not that everyone would automatically agree on everything in a classless society, but society in that state would take on more of the aspect of a voluntary association, with no need for a central authority, elected or otherwise.

I think this is the difference between anarchists like Chomsky and most Marxists: both see the same ultimate goal - a classless society - they just see different ways of getting there. Chomsky distrusts all authority, even that wielded in the name of the proletariet.

Jim Baird

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