Recent comments

  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 30 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Well, I think it is a mistake to call these folks sheeple: http://strike-the-root.com/some-problems-with-farm-analogy They are human beings just like we are. Anyway you are mixing metaphors, or analogies. Sheep are not violent. I was simply pointing out that for any given individual, no matter how aware they are, it is always easier to get them to leave us alone than it is to get them to accept our whole program. There will always (or at least, for the foreseeable future) be statists in the world, and we will likely never outnumber them. We have to face that fact. All we need from them is basic tolerance. Most people are already capable of it; they need only be convinced to apply it consistently. I am also pointing out that ideas spread not only through evangelism, but also through observation. People see other people being happy because those others are free, then they want that too. Your viewpoint is that of a teacher, naturally; but lots of learning goes on without teachers.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 years 30 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    As you well know, Suverans2, I wholeheartedly agree with your post. As you also know, there were a goodly number of individuals in 1933 who refused to obediently gather their gold coins and bullion and turn it over to state-owned banksters in exchange for worthless fiat "currency" simply because a sociopathic tyrant dictated that is what they "must" do..."it's our LAW!" (yuk yuk yuk) If you could locate and retrieve a cache of that gold still buried deep in the earth it would be worth a "fortune" today. At that part of Dr. North's essay you quote he is emphasizing the need to define terms before one can understand why "economists" cannot or will not sanction economic theory. Writers often say "country," when they mean – or should have meant – the banking cartel's senior bankers, the system of individuals enforced by the Federal Reserve, who "advise" the chattels who dominate the illusion of "power" ("presidents", "prime ministers", etc) who dictate the terms of "money" to the unwashed masses. I refer to myself as a Sovereign State. I am a citizen. The ONLY citizen as a matter of fact. I chance to live close to people I love on a land mass named after a dubious "discoverer". I have not needed to move away from my family and friends to a "state" (is it "New Hampshire"?) or to a platform floating out in the sea to achieve and/or maintain sovereignty. Sovereignty be where ah is. State functionaries are still pains in the ass just like all the other common thieves -- except with ordinary thieves I have the advantage of knowing that the thief KNOWS s/he is a thief. As such I have total responsibility for MY well-being and MY behavior (I include this jurisdiction to include family and loved ones to the extent they seek my help due to their not yet having learned to declare and practice sovereignty for or by themselves). My President is responsible for the rotation of the earth on its axis and maintains the critical distance from the medium sized star that we know as "our sun". My Representative sustains such laws as photosynthesis. That is a good nation in which to live. I could not live any other way. Regards, Sam
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 30 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    I am enjoying your writings, Vahram, but be very careful; "Fame, we may understand, is no sure test of merit..." (THOMAS CARLYLE, Goethe)
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 30 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    G'day Sam, Within the article you recommended, we read the following: "...the banking cartel's senior bankers, the system enforced by the Federal Reserve, which persuaded Franklin Roosevelt to unilaterally confiscate all of the gold coins and gold-denominated debt certificates of all residents of the United States and all American citizens, no matter where they lived." Notice that the PRESIDENT, (not Franklin Roosevelt), could only "unilaterally confiscate all of the gold coins and gold-denominated debt certificates of all residents of the United States and all American[sic] [UNITED STATES] citizens"? The PRESIDENT has no authority over those who choose not to be members of his "group[1]". As an Individual Secessionist I am neither a "resident[2]" nor a "citizen" of[3], i.e. belonging to, the UNITED STATES or any of its franchise/affiliate STATES. _____________________________________________________________________________________ [1] Secession. The act of withdrawing from membership in a group. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 1351 [Emphasis added] [2] Don't be fooled by the word "resident". Word "resident" has many meanings in law, largely determined by statutory context in which it is used. Kelm v. Carlson, C.A.Ohio, 473 F2d, 1267, 1271 [3] Of. A term denoting that from which anything proceeds; indicating origin, source, descent, and the like... Associated with or connected with, usually in some causal relation, efficient, material, formal, or final. The word has been held equivalent to after; at, or belonging to; in possession of; manufactured by; residing at; from. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 1080 [Emphasis added]
  • livefreeretiree's picture
    livefreeretiree 2 years 30 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Sweet deal. Peter Mac, the host of an internet radio show, read this article and now wants to interview me for his show tonight (Wednesday) from 5-6 pm California time about politics, freedom, anarchism, capitalism, etc... should be an interesting listen and perhaps the beginning of my path to fame if you can listen: http://www.themicroeffect.com/ More info on the show here: http://www.petermacshow.com/ Hope to see you there.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 years 30 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    Nicholas Snow laments, "...So why then do some economists jump the train of economic theory?..." And then he goes into an intellectual discussion of "the importance of economic theory". Very good. But first I'd like you to read what Gary North had to say about the nature of "economists" and the Federal Reserve over on Lew Rockwell a few months back: http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north962.html Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 years 30 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Well, Vahram. I had seven children, just had my twenty-fourth (24th!!!) grandchild, and am working on my 6th great grandchild -- all in homeschool programs (not the 7 of mine -- 4 of them are over 50). Does that count??? Damn, it's so hard to be humble. Sam
  • livefreeretiree's picture
    livefreeretiree 2 years 30 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Good on you, but why stop at just four? Let's take over the world.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 30 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    The bottom line? "The fact that federal loan guarantees were even necessary for Solyndra tells us that few, if any, lenders thought that giving the firm money was a very good idea." ~ Jerry Taylor and/or Peter Van Doren And, I'm not at all certain that the fact that "major Democratic donor, George Kaiser, had a major stake in the firm" had nothing whatsoever to do with Barack Hussein Obama's decision to offer up over FIVE HUNDRED MILLION TAXPAYER DOLLARS in federal loan guarantees to SOLYNDRA.
  • Gwardion's picture
    Gwardion 2 years 30 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    I have an IQ over 130 and a good constitution and I am also a huge fan of liberty and anarchism. I kind of see it as my duty to help fill the ranks. I have 4 children, 2 girls, 2 boys. Watch Idiocracy, contrast and compare with society as a whole, be horrified, have smart children.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 30 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Say, isn't that precisely what those behind the Roman Catholicism conspiracy promoted? Hm-m-m-m, and, with 1.1 billion adherents, currently, it seems to have worked. Imagine what could be accomplished if one had a rational foundation, such as the Law of Nature.
  • Evan's picture
    Evan 2 years 30 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Well, when you put it that way... okay.
  • livefreeretiree's picture
    livefreeretiree 2 years 30 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    However, history attests that the sheeple will not leave us alone, at least until we out-number them and it becomes obvious to them that their best interest is to join us. This is precisely what defines them as sheeple: their violent oppression of the unfamiliar and unthinking propensity to follow the general trends. I realize quite clearly through my own experiences and the hindsight of history how lofty the goal I am talking about it is. The spreading of an idea occurs through inspiration, as it is difficult for one to reach the logical conclusion of anarchy without at least first being aware that the option exists. The best minds born into the wrong locations or centuries will never join us simply because they do not know that there is an "us" to join and an alternative to what seemingly all their neighbors believe. The section about selecting the right kind of students for education and paradigm enhancement addresses this issue. This is not a cure-all, it is a rational approach to identifying and nurturing those seeds which are ready to sprout. Most people are just bad seeds... but we don't have to worry about them so long as we can continue to sprout those good ones still left untended and exponentially grow our numbers until this ideology is naturally replicated in their young as they come to maturity in an environment of good seeds. At times, I wonder how long it might have taken for me to reach this understanding had I not been fortunate enough to have been born into a situation where I had access to the books that I did and the personal influences (such as John Pugsley and his writings as I mentioned in this piece) that I have. At any other time in history with lower technology or in any other country in world, I may very well have been doomed to spend my life as a cynical old recluse with a permanent embitterment toward the state of society (or perhaps I would have run off to build a cabin in the woods a la Thoreau...)
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 30 weeks ago
    How to Get a Job
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Well, my wife does what she wants to do; and pays little attention to my advice (which is to stop working in the above-ground economy). She is hardly a wage slave. She plays the part of Hank Rearden to my John Galt. :-) One extra point I forgot to make: you as an employee bring a cost, and a benefit, to the employer. Cost is not only your wage, but regulations and all sorts of non-monetary stuff (of course government has increased everyone's cost to employers). If your cost is higher than what you produce, you might coast along in a hot economy, but not in a slow one. It's to your advantage to make the benefit greater than the cost, and the larger that gap is the less likely you will be part of a layoff. That's why I never in my life asked for a raise. I just told my employer that if I ever got the impression I was being taken advantage of, I would leave. I made enough money to suit my needs, because I was not envious or even curious what others made. Not my business...
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 30 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    This is a good prescription, if one agrees with the premise: that it is our job to make people see the light. It's the premise I have trouble with. "It is a major intellectual leap to see through the false alternative of “state rule vs. chaos” and to begin conceiving of solutions in terms of individuals working in conjunction for their own benefit and innovating improvements that permeate outward to the masses without the need for state intervention." That it is, and this is where I part company with Vahram. Sure, make a case for freedom. But know when to stop. You don't have to turn people into anarchists to be successful. All you need them to do is leave you (and me) alone. This is a more attainable goal by far, which in turn keeps burnout away. If you insist on the higher standard, complete conversion, cynicism and hatred of the "sheeple" is in your future. And that won't help. That last step into anarchism, I think, has to be a personal, self-motivated one; not the result of a clever sales job. We aren't selling used cars here, or trips to Hawaii.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 30 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    G'day Vahram Diehl, Now that, young man, is a "strike the root" thesis!! And this sums up, nicely, not only what you have written, "To act in contrast with the laws of nature will only be counterproductive in the long run...", but what has taken place in the world far too long, as well. I was unable to give you a hundred stars and had to settle for a meager ten star rating.
  • mikehauncho's picture
    mikehauncho 2 years 30 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    Wow, they obviously didn't want to chase after him for fear of having to answer many questions about their terrible conduct. Dam this awful police state that steps on the powerless.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 2 years 30 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    Double posted. My bad.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 2 years 30 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    What saved this guy was the camera. Absent the cam this guy gets a curb stomping and ends up in jail.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 2 years 30 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    I studied Taylor's book in grad school. From what I know about him and his progeny Taylor was more about squeezing the last drop of effort from everybody employed in an enterprise in order to increase profits. "Scientific Management" was just a ruse to baffle and mislead.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 30 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Positions of power attract corruptible/corrupt individuals.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 30 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    "...it risks losing its meaning"? "Freedom is man’s power to exercise his own faculties [abilities] as he chooses as long as he prohibits no other man from doing the same." ~ Dr. Milton R. Wolf What?!?! I perceive that the meaning of freedom is already lost, to you, Milton, if that is your definition of the word. How about this one, Milton? Freedom. The power of acting, in the character of a moral personality, according to the dictates of the will, without other check, hindrance, or prohibition than such as may be imposed by just and necessary laws and the duties of social life. ~ A Dictionary of Law (Henry Black's 1st edition, c.1891) page 520 Or this one: Freedom. The power of acting, in the character of a moral personality, according to the dictates of the will, without other check, hindrance, or prohibition than such as may be imposed by just and necessary laws and the duties of social life. ~ A Dictionary of Law (Henry Black's 2nd edition, c.1910) page 523 Or this one: Freedom. The power of acting, in the character of a moral personality, according to the dictates of the will, without other check, hindrance, or prohibition than such as may be imposed by just and necessary laws and the duties of social life. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 664 Imagine that, Milton, it didn't change, by even one word, in ONE HUNDRED FRICKEN YEARS! And, do tell, what is wrong with it? Wondering what the phrase, "in the character of a moral personality" means? Let us see if these clarify, for you, what that means. Natural liberty, consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. It is a state of exemption from the control of others, and from positive laws and the institutions of social life. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language Natural liberty is the right which nature gives to all mankind of disposing of their persons and property after the manner they judge most consistent with their happiness, on condition of their acting within the limits of the law of nature, and so as not to interfere with an equal exercise of the same rights by other men. Buriamaqui, c. 3, § 15; 1 Bl. Comm. 125 ~ A Dictionary of the Law (Black’s 1st c. 1891), pg. 716 NATURAL LIBERTY. The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, unless [except] by the law of nature. 1 Bl. Comm. 125. ~ A Dictionary of the Law (Black’s 1st c. 1891), pg. 801 [Bracketed information added] "In the character of a moral personality" means, acting in harmony with the law of nature, i.e. the natural law of man, Milton, which are the only "just and necessary laws and the duties of social life".
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 30 weeks ago Web link Westernerd
    The background is pretty cool too!
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 years 30 weeks ago Web link Westernerd
    As an old draftee of the Korean era, I often forget to be thankful to have come to "see the light" and recognize the depth of the problem of "war". The nature of state is the cause of war. The natural tendency of slaves who come to adore, worship and support their masters is the cause of war. Voting (and not recognizing the gang-mentality of "democracy") is the cause of war. From the Army Times article: The war in Afghanistan is dampening support for Obama. Support for his handling of the war has dropped significantly since the last Military Times survey in January 2010 Last time I voted was 1964. I stomped the roads and highways of Texas trying to get Barry Goldwater elected -- much like the Ron Pauliens of today (including many of my own children and grandchildren). When Lyndon Johnson trounced Goldwater I became gravely disillusioned. I had, however, not yet become an anarchist. I don't think I had even acquired the term "libertarian" in my vocabulary. I suppose I was what today we might call a "non voting statist" -- I knew there was something wrong with "My-Country", but I could not place my finger upon the problem. I was still a long way from becoming exposed to Murray Rothbard. http://mises.org/easaran/chap3.asp "Cognitive dissonance" is a term bandied about by psychiatric types today, along with "PTSD". I believe for me and a few of us here that caption could describe that space of time in our habitué when we had dipped our toes into the cold h2o of "true libertarianism", but had not yet plunged into the icy waters of anarchy -- the understanding that all political authority will always lead "we the people" into war. And the subtle distance from friends, family and colleagues resulting from their suspicion we had joined some weird political/religious "cult". Agents of state (I've quit using the reification "The-Government") are afraid of returning veterans. They know many of them are becoming like us -- "unpatriotic" types who will no longer lend support to them. Anarchists!!! Be kind to the returning vets. Sam
  • rita's picture
    rita 2 years 30 weeks ago Web link Westernerd
    You know, reading the headline, you'd almost think that our brave troops are ready to stop the senseless killing of civilians and come home. But no, they're just now starting to wonder whether they can win the war.
  • DanClore's picture
    DanClore 2 years 31 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    I can't help but think of what happened when the Yippies tossed dollar bills onto the stock exchange--
  • livefreeretiree's picture
    livefreeretiree 2 years 31 weeks ago
    How to Get a Job
    Page Paul Bonneau
    "If you are considering going to college or going back to college, you are not being serious." I like it. ;D
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 years 31 weeks ago Web link Michael Dunn
    Gary North: "...Here it is: Keynesianism's bait and switch. Usually, it is applied to thrift. It is called the paradox of thrift. If everyone saved more, we are told, it would cripple the economy. But the point of the free market is that individuals decide. They do not make the same decisions at the same time... http://lewrockwell.com/north/north1032.html
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 2 years 31 weeks ago Page gautry
    Yeah, here's a sample of the wise collectivist Chinese government in all its central planning command economy glory: http://io9.com/5790596/watch-jarring-footage-of-chinas-massive-ghost-towns
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 2 years 31 weeks ago
    How to Get a Job
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Posted twice. my bad.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 2 years 31 weeks ago
    How to Get a Job
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Paul I am sorry. My tone was too harsh. It's just that in 20 or so years of on/off activism and having listened and read and personally known many anarchists, socialists, communists, libertarians, and many other political persuasions I've noticed a big gap between what they say and what they do (as in how they live). I enjoy your articles.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 31 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    He can probably kiss his political aspirations good-bye with statements like that. "To the man who tells the truth, give a fast horse; he will need it to escape on."
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 31 weeks ago
    How to Get a Job
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Question No. 6. -- Mr. Gutier: "Are you employed?" Mr. Cooper's answer: No, I am not. I am not employed. I am not unemployed. I am not self-employed. I am not gainfully employed. In fact, I am not employable. But, I work. Besides, Arizona is a right to work State. [Mr. Gutier nodded his head in agreement and went on.] ~ Excerpted from Standard Screening Questions
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 31 weeks ago
    How to Get a Job
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Very constructive advice, Paul Bonneau. Because I am outside the system and have had no affiliation with any governments, (hence no numbers, ID's, or licenses of any kind), for well over ten years, I have had to work myself into the "underground economy". For those who may eventually withdraw from membership in man-made governments, i.e. secede, it has been easier than what I first envisioned; (I originally thought I might not be able to survive as a non-member). And, as Paul Bonneau stated, "reputation" has played, perhaps, the most important part in it; (word-of-mouth is still the best advertising). I am paid in cash, usually on a daily basis, sometimes weekly. One fellow, who I did work for, for a short period of time, insisted on writing a check, made out to an assumed name, arranged for his bank to cash it without any "acceptable identification"; (he "introduced" me to the bank employees). To say the least, it has been an interesting journey. Oh, and to KenK, the collectivist troll, I have provided 100% of the "family nut" for well over ten years; my wife has not been a "wage-slave" since we left "the system".
  • mikehauncho's picture
    mikehauncho 2 years 31 weeks ago
    How to Get a Job
    Page Paul Bonneau
    I believe he didn't state it because it has no bearing on the advice he gave.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 2 years 31 weeks ago
    How to Get a Job
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Paul, this is excellent! The mind-set of people in this country MUST change if we're to see any improvement, and mind-set CAN be the difference between getting a job and languishing in the unemployment line. The independent mind-set that helps one create an honest income also helps one see the truth of the State -- although its not a one-to-one correlation, unfortunately. Finding out what problems an employer has and just walking in and offering to solve them, showing the employer how you could actually improve their business or eliminate a problem they're having to deal with, is a far better way of gaining employment than searching the want ads or Craigslist, I suspect.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 31 weeks ago
    Homeschooling Is Easy!
    Page Paul Bonneau
    One of the ladies on the list pointed me at my 2004 email entry (sorry, members only so I can't post it). But my recollection of it is essentially correct, although I had forgotten how emphatically some of them said that homeschooling was easier. But anyone should be able to reproduce this experiment. Just ask the same question on your homeschool list. If you do, it might be a good idea to remove from your sample anyone with some kids in school and some homeschooled, because if you have even one child in school your life is back on the government school schedule, you still have to interact with teachers and educrats, etc.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 2 years 31 weeks ago
    How to Get a Job
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Paul you left unstated how much of your family's monthly nut you provide with your "off the grid" efforts and how much your wage slave wife kicks in. None of my business of course but it's a major consideration about how valid the rest of your advice is. Being a libertarian philosopher is probably way easier when you're with a partner who is regularly employed.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 31 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Great article, Alex. More down-to-earth examples are what we need, and less theoretical reasoning.
  • JoshuaPettigrew's picture
    JoshuaPettigrew 2 years 31 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    This may be yet another example of why historians must have a grasp of economic theory in order to do this sort of analysis: http://blog.mises.org/18371/murphy-replies-to-david-graeber-on-menger-an...
  • mikehauncho's picture
    mikehauncho 2 years 31 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    Brilliant article, I have my fingers crossed for Social Security to fail before i get out of university.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 31 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    SH*T!! The PTB don't want to "track prepaid debit cards", they want to track those who use them. The "real losers", at least from our point of view, may be Individual Secessionists, people without the "mark of the beast", i.e. those who don't possess, or use, any gubbermint "tracking number", i.e. those who don't possess, or use a Taxpayer Identification Number (U.S.). The WALMART MoneyCard website already states this at the bottom of their home page: "Federal law requires us to obtain, verify and record information that identifies you when you open up a Walmart MoneyCard. We will use your name, address, date of birth and other information (including Social Security Number for U.S. citizens) for this purpose." And, the UPside Card this: "The USA PATRIOT Act is a Federal law that requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. You will be asked to provide your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. You may also be asked to provide documentation as proof of identification. Card issuance is contingent upon successfully passing this mandatory identification confirmation."
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 31 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    http://lewrockwell.com/rep2/10-years-after-911.html
  • Evan's picture
    Evan 2 years 31 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    And don't forget zenarchism.
  • Evan's picture
    Evan 2 years 32 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    You can add eco-agorism to the list. :P www.kogwaki.com
  • Evan's picture
    Evan 2 years 32 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    I'd be interested in seeing this Slate article, being loosely affiliated with Free Staters and Keeniacs myself. Got a link?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 32 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    [Libertarianism] "...is the only philosophy I have found that operates in accordance with human nature, and not in opposition to it." ~ Alex R. Knight III Which kind of "libertarianism", Alex R. Knight III? Perhaps you didn't see Samarami's list on his recent comment here. http://www.strike-the-root.com/not-enough-enemies-let%E2%80%99s-create-more
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 32 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    "That needs to be looked into by the STATE POLICE and others." ~ Alex Jones You want the fox that guards the hen house to look into it, Alex?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 32 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    Anyone else catch this? “Are you [Michael Allison] going to disappear into the Illinois prisons at taxpayers expense because you dare audio and video tape our owners?” ~ Alex Jones
  • david_z's picture
    david_z 2 years 32 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I really was hoping that piece at Mises was a joke. Unfortunately, no. Then again, there are plenty of raving left-anarchists on the 'net with precisely the opposite position. Mention anything even remotely "propertarian" (even mutualism) at reddit/r/anarchism, for example, and prepare to get downvoted in to oblivion. I really hope that all of this "The world isn't big enough for more than one ideology/social experiment" is a symptom of the state, and in its absence would wither.