To know an evil institution

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Tout institution qui ne suppose pas le peuple bon et le magistrat corruptible est vicieuse.

Any institution which does not suppose the people good, and the magistrate corruptible, is evil.

Maximilien Robespierre

Amid the farce of what is being called a “new” Cold War with Russia by bitter old US politicians, I grow more and more convinced that the state is evil and it’s time for the West to understand this aspect of modernity, finally. This case is going to be the subject of several upcoming essays authored by me at a number of media sources that will be further discussed and explained in adequate depth here at the blog.

Antistatism is the interpretation that the state is harmful and unnecessary. Antistatism also describes any forces aimed at weakening the central government of an existing state. Antistatism differs from anarchism, which in name actually refers to rejecting all authority. I have always felt that most variants of anarchism are ineffective, having existed for long enough to prove their effectiveness if they had any. My belief is that they failed precisely because of their rejection of the necessity of certain authority forms, which leads to ineffective communication and marginalization. At present, forms of authority are still necessary for practical purposes, although the idea that this must necessarily take nationalist and statist forms would be a fallacy.

I hold to the view that the nation is a myth and does not exist, as proven over and over again by many distinguished sociologists including Immanuel Wallerstein and Benedict Anderson. The so-called nation has no real history, and it has always been based on narratives explicitly aimed at justifying governments ruling over a given area rather than being based on protecting real rights and real liberties. The American people do not exist, the British people do not exist, the Australian people do not exist. These are all terms used by politicians to create a sense of legitimacy and thereby gain some form of control over people, making them feel indebted to what they never had any choice in – the location where they were born.

As Wilfred Owen showed in a famous poem “Dulce et Decorum est”, to die for one’s country is not sweet and fitting. It is folly, because there is no nation. This is true everywhere, but I see that it is closer to being accepted in Western countries like the UK and other EU states than non-Western states. The exception to this post-nation-state trend in the West is found in the US, where misguided “patriotism” is so valued.

I deeply hope that the debate over illegal immigration in the US will see the US’s sense of “nation” challenged by the need to accept “alien” communities, and this outcome must be encouraged by progressives. We need a US that is up to date with modernity, like the UK. We need a US that can accept all humans as equals, rather than arbitrarily denying them on the basis of not being part of the fake “nation”. Such a development will be an accomplishment for the antistatism.

When the nation is gone, thereafter we can move on to a transnational community without the state.

By Harry J. Bentham

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