Reviews for Society, the State, and the Warrior
Atlas Bergeron chapter 2 . 11/29/2006
What a refreshing and interesting insight into the State-Freedom dichotomy! I will go right into the rebuttals.

"It is logical for specialists in the predation of other humans to pool their resources with each other, and with skilled organizers, to improve their returns and minimize their losses, and because of the nature of violence, competition between firms, which we call gangs, inevitably results in territorial monopolies, which we call States when they become large enough."-I found this to be assuming too much. You are assuming A. that violent people are both inteligent enough to understand the value of pooling resources as well as stable enough to successfully pool resources (if they were not stable, not only would they hurt them self, but they would face the chance of rebellion from those they are oppressing), B. that such violent people are unwilling to work in defense of other's rights (i.e. the hero), and C. in sum of all of them, that states are formed to destroy and oppress those who are under it, rather than formed to protect those who are under it. You are practically assuming that individuals never form militaries and police forces for their own (justified) protection. Being (what I thought) and Anarcho-Capitalist, I would think you would assume the opposite.

"It was not the Nazi (see endnotes, #5) bureaucrats pushing Jews into gas chambers, but armed soldiers and guards."-But was it the armed soldiers and guards who were perpetrating the *idea* of killing jews, or did that job belong to the mystics of the Nazi mindset?

Victor Hugo once wrote, "There is one thing more powerful than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea who's time has come." I would argue, in this case, that this statement unfortunately works both ways. It may be the soldiers which are pushing them it, but it is the idea which drives the soldiers. And that comes from something wholly more evil. (i.e. it is the bureaucrats, or Hitlers, or whatever which guide the army, not the other way around.)

"It would be more correct to say that a bureaucracy that opposes the State can not stand."- Again, I disagree. It is the intellectual leaders (although they may not be the official leaders) which lead a state. The soldiers without the leaders would be a confused blob of plundering criminals, not an organized mass of tyranny and oppression.

"Nonetheless, it is also true that, just as a certain kind of person is predisposed to be an artist"-I find it odd how, when the rest of your paper is so thorough, you simply dismiss the blank slate argument here. But your essay does not suffer horribly in my opinion, since that was not the focus.

"War rewards brutality on an individual level and deceitfulness on an institutional level; policing rewards meddlesomeness and dishonesty on all levels."-I find this to be a sweeping generalization. Sometimes, one side of a war is just.

I found your essay an interesting perspective on the State-Freedom dichotomy. However, your thinking is, in my opinion, fundamentally flawed because in all your arguments you start with the presupposition that the State and freedom can not co-exist and then you routinely try to prove this. You never look at the alternative, and therefore your argument is lacking in the fact that it creates, as I see it, a clear false dichotomy-you say either freedom or state-as if the state can never exist in defense of freedom. On this point, we must disagree.

However, I wholly find myself agreeing with your perspective on a historical point of view. The idea that states are evolved “better gangs” is truly shocking, and holds a lot of truth in my opinion. Really quite brilliantly put together. Atlas Bergeron gives it a thumbs up for disgustingly intellectual insight.
Mbwun chapter 2 . 7/5/2006
You Nazi sonofabitch.
communista chapter 1 . 6/30/2006
man when are u gonna finish this thing yah!
Typewriter King chapter 2 . 3/28/2006
The part about the leadership's devolving or decaying of "skills more useful in the voluntary society" doesn't seem to be true of obstetricians/gynecologists serving in the congress. My own senator, Dr. Coburn, has delivered 4,0 children, and still practices, despite threats from the ethics commity.

Endnote number five was written for me.

I looked over the last paragraph again, and the problems I pointed out to Flames seems to have worked out. It looks right, now.

“I thought your ideas were very interesting, and I really like your work. Keep writing!”
highwaytohell chapter 1 . 3/25/2006
Thanks for the review.

Regardless the matter of what you said.
No Trust chapter 2 . 3/19/2006
You’ve showm me where I seriously need to flesh out the theory, so thanks. I’m going to leave this up as is though and ammend it as I add to it, as it’s intended to be a work in process.
MrFlames chapter 1 . 3/18/2006
Population density does reflect resource amounts; however, a non-dense population can have division of labor depending on resources and technology. When quality of life reaches a threshhold, population density tends to plateau while division of labor increases.
No Trust chapter 2 . 3/18/2006
As always, I appreciate your input Flames.

I haven’t seen V yet. I have a strong suspicion it will suck horribly, so I’m not going to go see it in the theatre. I’ll wait for it to show up on video or On Demand.

“I disagree with your use of the phrase, "a logical social evolution" in paragraph six. Evolution cannot be logical or illogical, it merely is or is not.”

You’re right that this is kind of a sloppy turn of phrase. As is often the case, I was writing it a different way, then decided to re-word it, and mixed up the two different statements.

“While perhaps true to an extent, this is a fairly misleading statement. The trend toward division of labor is based off more a mixture of population density, resource availability, and technological development.”

I don’t see how that’s relevant. Population density is linked to resource availability and technological development.

“I'm not sure about your idea of the state having a monopoly of violence.”

It’s not my idea. It’s the standard definition.

“It seems interest groups within a state will often use violence against each other, and this would undermine the theory of a monopoly.”

I had a whole paragraph and an endnote to deal with exactly this objection.

“Your last paragraph could probably be rewritten to: "Gulf War II was a really fucking stupid idea."

I disagree. That’s (sort of) an implication of it certainly, but I’m dealing with theory here.

“Overall, pretty solid, although as always it is nice in a piece like this to have some idea of what sort of resource material you're using.”

I’m launching from Misesian social theory, though if you read the relevant sections of Human Action (and Socialism), you’ll notice I diverge from him significantly. In fact I’m pretty sure he’d call me a socialist, or some similar epithet.
MrFlames chapter 2 . 3/18/2006
Paragraph 2: "What that cause happens to be has long been the subject of myth." This is an awkward sentence in the context of the paragraph; you weren't using the word "cause" before.

I disagree with your use of the phrase, "a logical social evolution" in paragraph six. Evolution cannot be logical or illogical, it merely is or is not.

Paragraph 4: "The denser populated a society, the greater the trend towards specialization by individuals." While perhaps true to an extent, this is a fairly misleading statement. The trend toward division of labor is based off more a mixture of population density, resource availability, and technological development.

I'm not sure about your idea of the state having a monopoly of violence. It seems interest groups within a state will often use violence against each other, and this would undermine the theory of a monopoly.

Your last paragraph could probably be rewritten to: "Gulf War II was a really fucking stupid idea."

In the fourth paragraph from the end, you overuse the phrase "This is because". Not sure if you use it too much in the piece as a whole.

This piece had some really good points, though, especially in the latter half.

The first chapter seemed a bit sketchy; you spend all your time speaking about why you're not using a biological metaphor, which doesn't really help chapter 2 that much.

Overall, pretty solid, although as always it is nice in a piece like this to have some idea of what sort of resource material you're using.

Question completely off topic: Have you seen V for Vendetta yet?