Melbourne Anarchist Archives Index

The State (1966)

  1. Aims of the State

    1. long range: aims expressed in its ideology;
    2. shorter range: action to conserve and consolidate its powers
    3. pursuit of the interests of its upper and ruling groups.

  2. Methods of State Action

    1. Economic pressures on and military threats to other societies;
    2. Subversion either to bring about conversion to an approved ideology or policy or to remove a threat;
    3. Creation of puppet and client states and use of remote wars to protect state interests, contain other powers, protect military positions and promote or destroy ideologies.
    4. Direct tactical wars to remove small but "close" military threats or centres of other ideologies.
    5. Total war to save its ideology from a major threat.
    6. Internal propaganda to win popular acceptance, smear opposition groups, promote certain group interests and consolidate its position.
    7. Elimination of internal opposition;
      1. ideological opponents can be killed, arrested, deported, spied on, harassed or made impotent by exposure;,
      2. opponents of short-range policies can be smeared as ideological opponents, dealt with by identification with external interests, by propaganda or by simple appear to authority;
      3. opposing interest groups can be dealt with as above or bought off.
    8. Altruism: aid to other nations (usually with strings attached); internal aid (either because of obvious necessity, pressure of powerful groups, threat of large-scale revolt or external pressures).

  3. Effects of the State

    1. Creates and maintains class divisions.
    2. Causes and prosecutes wars.
    3. Suppresses individuals and out-groups.
    4. Retards social progress.
    5. Divides the world politically, economically and militarily.
    6. Creates, defines and punishes criminals.

  4. Opposition to the State

    1. Demonstrations against war, conscription and military alliances.
    2. Agitation for legal reforms.
    3. Extra-state activities - Abschol, Freedom from Hunger.
    4. Promotion of unpopular movements and ideas.
    5. Conscientious non-compliance.
    6. Class warfare.

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