Wednesday, November 09, 2011

"State of Nature" My Ass

Shikha Dalmia at Reason:

I think from all of this we can conclude that so far at least the Zuccotti Park experiment is bearing Hobbes out.

Um, no.

First of all, the larger Occupy encampments are nothing like the "state of nature." Sure, there are anarchists involved, but the pathologies of statism, including the internal emergence and external impositions of the political class are very much on display as well.

Secondly, these small islands of relative freedom in seas of surrounding statism are natural attractants to those whom the state itself has generally failed to serve, suppress, or otherwise deal with: The homeless, the mentally ill*, the violent entrepreneurs produced by generations of prohibition, etc.

Occupy has a bigger per capita percentage of "problem children" to deal with than the state does, many of them produced by the state itself.

It's had less than two months to learn how to contend with the problems, while also contending with statism itself; the Westphalian nation-state has had 500 years.

And when it's all said and done, anyone would be hard put to argue that Occupy's doing any worse than the state has.

h/t -- Gary Chartier

* With Szaszian reservations as to the meaning of the term. Read: Those whose mental frame of reference falls outside state-prescribed norms.

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