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If he's engaging in naive statist technocracy, you're engaging in naive proprietarian minarchism: "Just get the state out of everything except property and contracts and it'll all work out fine somehow!"



The problem is an entrenched system that has nerfed the ability to impose change at the ballot box, and it is the same problem for everyone looking for substantive change. Statism, fascism, the military industrial complex, corporatism... call it what you like. Voting, or even engagement with the political process, is not the starting point.

Obamacare is the recent high water mark for change. Woo! Right? We have to solve that problem first.


Ok, let me state very clearly my problem with the term "statism": it is a negative. Not a negative in the sense of having a negative emotional connotation, but a negative the way a piece of photographic film is negative.

"Statism" doesn't tell me anything about the position being labelled statist. It only tells me that the person doing the labelling is a ~~libertarian~~ proprietarian minarchist. Left-anarchists don't even use the unvarnished term "statist", not even as a term for policies they oppose.

I want people to stop using terms that tell me about their personalities and start using terms that tell me about the politics under discussion.


Oh, it's a good thing that all of your comments are so constructive and engaging with the subject, then.

FWIW, in my usage "Statism", is a reference to the assumption that by default, a problem should always be dealt with by the state, and when a problem isn't dealt with correctly, the default assumption is that it's a symptom of the state holding too little power and too few resources.

I think that these assumptions are not always false, but they are false often enough that the possibility that they are warrants careful discussion.


>FWIW, in my usage "Statism", is a reference to the assumption that by default, a problem should always be dealt with by the state, and when a problem isn't dealt with correctly, the default assumption is that it's a symptom of the state holding too little power and too few resources.

These are "assumptions" that almost zero real people actually assume.


These are "assumptions" that almost zero real people actually assume.

No, that's pretty much the default assumption of the statist. It sounds like you just don't like the term.


Find me the set of people who self-consciously refer to themselves as statists. Not the ones who say "statist" if asked explicitly, "Are you statist or anarchist?", but the ones who actually wave the word "statist" as their own flag for an official ideology of Statism.

You can't. The word is used solely by anarchists to mean "everyone who's not an anarchist", except that the left-anarchists decided they had more common cause with non-anarchist socialists and dropped it. Thus, the only people using the term "statist" of their own initiative are minarcho-capitalists, who use it to mean, "Everyone who's not us."

There is no such party as the Statist Party. There is, however, such a thing as Every Party But the Libertarian Party, which is what "statist" actually means.

The word is thus empty of specific semantic meaning, and is simply a smear-word used by minarcho-capitalists.


Almost nobody self-consciously refer to themselves as sexists, racists, bigots, exploitative capitalists, corrupt, selfish or greedy. So those things don't exists. And if you happened to think that they might exists, after all, you certainly can't use these terms, because you would only ever refer to people by the terms they self-consciously refer to themselves by.


Yeah, obviously statists don't refer to themselves as statists. You leftists hate the term obviously, but his definition was pretty accurate.

And you're wrong about only anarchists using that term. But I find your minarcho-capitalists usage pretty amusing.


I say "minarcho-capitalist" because it's the accurate terminology (though you guys tend to prefer "anarcho-capitalist"). The problem being that anarchists as a whole are against property as well as anti-state; most anarchists are left-anarchists.

Hence why leftists aren't called "statists" by the way: because the Left includes anti-state, anti-property leftists (who see no contradiction there: they hold that it's the state which creates property in the first place and property arrangements which create the superstructure in which the state acts!).


Statism is the analog of Satanism for libertarians. It's basically made up by the libertarians in order to have a straw man to attack. To the extent people identify as statists, it's in order to mock libertarians and celebrate their freedom from libertarianism, just like LeVey's Satanism.

It's one of those things that make it abundantly clear that libertarianism is a form of fundamentalism.


Bakunin used the term in "Statism and Anarchy" (a literal translation from Russian). If the left doesn't talk about statism, I think it is a testimony to either their pragmatism or their shortsightedness. If one sees the state as the wielder of the monopoly on "legitimate" violence, then conceding to its existence makes it rational to expect that such violence will be used in the interest of one's self within the vaguely agreed constraints of moral conventions. Thus the poor can expect the taxing of some real estate as a way to keep housing affordable, while the rich can expect the police to keep the homeless off their property. True anarchists see a compromise in both instances, and a form of short-term progress in the first one.


Please quote the bit where I said that? No? Ok, then.

My position is that we do need the state, but we need to inject a lot more realism (ie cynicism) about what what government can realistically do (not to mention, do well) into the debate in order to get to a better place.

EDIT: I suspect that you might be referring to my comments on different posts. I find that arguing the libertarian point of view is a useful method of injecting the mentioned realism. Do I find the stateless society appealing? Yes, in theory, as a construct to debate the extreme consequences of ideas. It's a rewarding intellectual exercise to consider how justice might work without the state. But I'm no utopian and I have no illusions about the extreme dangers of revolution. So my "real world" political contributions is in the space of injecting more cynicism into the democratic process in the hope of inspiring more people to avoid reflectively turning to the state to mend their ills and consider, for an example, technological solutions instead.


And I would say that if you think there is a one-dimensional battle, "State: for or against? Pick a side, we're at war!", then you're ignoring most of real politics.


You're right! Most 'real' politicians only pick the 'for' side. ;)




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