You could extend your view by saying the majority who do not think deeply about the hazards of authority are seduced by the promise of protection and redistribution from statist politicians, whether the misguidedly sincere or the manipulatively insincere. Majority democracy allows the tyranny of the majority’s belief that they will receive more from redistribution than they will personally contribute to manifest itself as an unjust redistributive authoritarian system. The unthinking majority does not need a lot of help or conditioning to choose a redistributive system. Individuals who are capable of accumulating great wealth by providing services that are freely chosen in the free market are willing to use their skills and wealth to turn lemons into lemonade for themselves. If they don’t then they will become a milking cow for every individual who would like a little unearned loot, and there’s no shortage of those. So yes, they maneuver the sheep, and some of them become cynical full time professionals at it. Fundamentally the sheep’s mindset leaves them with three choices, become a slave to the sheep, educate the sheep (and wind up like Jesus Christ), or become the masters of the sheep and keep them docile on the farm, basically feeding them with their own resources while skimming off a little something for themselves. And since this game is already in play why not up the ante and do all the stuff Yoza wrote about? It is the responsibility of each individual to do their own thinking and see what makes the world around them tick. If they don’t do this they can never be free. So if you walk around all nice and woolly and bleating all the time of course some benevolent or not so benevolent sheepherder is going to take you in. Usually these sheepherders are OK with a bag of wool but every now and then they get a hankering for mutton……
Although statism is accepted by many without consideration of its implications and restrictions, I believe the modern state is more a consequence of the unthinking acceptance of authority derived from the concentration of capital in the hands of a statistically insignificant minority. The state is a mechanism whereby the masters of capital can coerce the significant majority into subsidizing the security interests of the affluent elite. What I believe is based more on 'faith' is the acceptance of the proclamations made by those in control, the domination of the 'mainstream' media institutions by corporations is an important module in this dissemination of information to this end. Educational and Judicial institutions also play an important role in reinforcing the dogma that the wealthy deserve their status by virtue of their control of capital.
I do discuss these subjects with a number of An-Caps, Left-Libertarians, Mutualists and the like, and, although I can directly sympathise with many arguments put forward by the more right leaning anarchist comrades I struggle with the propositions forwarded for the protection of the property rights of the individual in a stateless society. The individualist assumption seems to be that those who are ruthlessly exploited by someone in control of large amounts of capital will, without coercion, respect the right of that individual to continually threaten and undermine their existence and social development. The social programs of the state are more of an attempt to ameliorate the impact of the disparity created by the vast concentrations of wealth of the elite minority on an increasingly disenfranchised and marginalised majority, programs without which the affluent elite would not enjoy the security and opportunity to consolidate and enhance their control of the socioeconomic environment.
So, in conclusion, I would argue that it is the worship of the illegitimate authority of the institutions serving the interests of the affluent minority which originated the modern state, and, the acceptance of the states authority is little more than a consequence of this condition.
It's kind of quiet in here! :-) I agree with IrishOutlaw, a dialog needs to be started and people need to really come together with solutions to society's problems. I tend to be liberal socially but moderate fiscally. I don't believe the government has any place governing in your personal life as long as no one is being harmed by your behavior. I don't believe any government should be imperialistic.
One could argue that statism is the most popular religion.
I have forever been saying that statist have a blind devotion to government that resembles religion. They look to the state as their savior. Fairly disgusting I think.
I think that a dialog needs to be started and believe that the best way to do that is to bring together as many schools of thought as possible. I agree with the post-left school of thought that holding on to long dead philosophy from long dead philosophers is counter productive to creating a stateless society, but I am open to ideas and thoughts from all camps. I also believe you are an anarchist by working towards a stateless society and that is all that matters. I do not think someone that calls for a temporary absence of the state only until a future time when a new state can arise is really an anarchist, but they can add to the debate.