One extra thought that I didn’t fit into yesterday’s post.
If a centralised state is going to impose its authority on the general populace (as they tend to do), it has the responsibility to justify its existence, and provide ample reason why it should get to do that.
In other words, you don’t get to tell me what to do unless you have a damn good reason, whoever you are. And pointing out that you’re here and you’re bigger than me isn’t going to cut it.
Now, the main way that most states tend to justify their existence – at least in the modern democratic world – is that some sort of centralised national infrastructure is necessary to provide essential public services and their upkeep: hospitals, roads, police, that kind of thing.
And you don’t need me to explain that this is a very persuasive argument. It could even be correct. As I said yesterday, I’m still in the middle of reading through one anarchistic counter-argument; currently, the obvious idea that some kind of centralised government body is needed to get stuff done is still very compelling to me.
But it’s worth remembering that anyone in favour of the state does need to make this argument. People exerting authority over other people cannot be called a good thing in itself. It needs to be justified by producing sufficiently positive and important results.
If a system without hierarchical authority could provide everything that a state system is relied upon to provide, such as the services listed above, then by definition the system without authority would be preferable.
If you’re not an anarchist, your implicit claim is that a state authority is a necessary evil. And that’s okay; I’m not attacking that claim in this post, just clarifying that it’s there.