Are society and community the same thing as The State?

Society and Community

Our previous Mental Lever showed that statists wrongly assume The State is the same thing as the country.  Statists make a similar mistake when it comes to society and community. Statists assume that society and community are the same thing as the State. But how could that possibly be true? For one thing…
Societies and communities are always larger than the state institutions that rule them. This suggests that a State is merely a part of a society, or a community. More importantly…
The State’s use of initiated force is inherently antisocial and anti-community.

  • Society and community are words that describe peaceful, voluntary relationships
  • The State operates on the opposite principle, using threats of violence to compel submission.  

Libertarians believe that to optimize society and community we must reject initiated force. We must feel empathy for others, and respect individual conscience. We must use persuasion and peaceful cooperation.

Libertarians believe governments must obey the Zero Aggression Principle. Governments must not initiate force. They must only use force defensively. 

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Jim Babka

About the Author

Jim Babka

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Jim Babka is co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and President of, Inc. He’s an author and former talk show host.
Previously, he was the President of, Inc., defending free press rights all the way to the Supreme Court. He and Susie are the proud, home-schooling parents of three teenagers. He enjoys theology, UFC, target practice, and Tai Chi.

Perry Willis

About the Author

Perry Willis

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Perry Willis is the co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and Downsize DC. He was the National Director of the Libertarian National Committee on two occasions, and ran two Libertarian Party presidential campaigns. He has an extensive background in marketing and fundraising, and has ghost written direct mail appeals for numerous luminaries, including Karl Hess, Ron Paul, Charlton Heston and Harry Browne.

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Show Comments 9


  1. It would be nice if this were true. But society and community are not really voluntary things. You’re born into one and have a limited set of choices of which to belong to. “None” isn’t one of those choices. That’s not voluntary; in fact, it works the same as our “choice” of which State to live under.

  2. In the beginning, coercive govt. (organized crime) didn’t exist. One person didn’t create it. A conspiracy did. I don’t think exploitation by design started immediately, but as time went by the political power granted to a few changed them, changed their outlook on life, and that was reinforced by working with others who were psychopaths. A mindset of “them and us” grew into a way of life that dehumanized. The larger parts of society had to be convinced their life needed to be controlled. But that was easy. They had trusted an elite with organizing for them, and to sacrifice a little seemed like fair payment. But as time goes by the payments increase and the benefits decrease, until the general population is angry and wants change but they have no alternative institutions, no other paradigm for political interaction. This is where we are today. People are blind to the political option of a non-violent form of government.

    1. I’ll agree with that Don. but then you make me remember there are also other angles and a whole biger picture to look at. The main part I’ve had to keep focusing on lately is how so many in the non ruling class just seem to keep obsessing about their need to defeat the members of their less favorite party. The ruling class strategy of keeping us fearfull and angry to pave the way for all their divide and conquer plans is working Marvelously for them. Way too many have fallen in love with their belief that there is such a thing as a good political party. It all inspired me to make this post on Tracebook last week: Prez Washington explained exactly what would hapen if We the People would be foolish enough to have political parties, and Prez John Adams said he dreaded the idea of having parties. POLITICAL PARTIES ARE ONE OF THE ABSOLUTE WORST IDEAS EVER. Try changing my mind on this if you want to.

      1. What harm could a political party do if the political paradigm was non-violent? But now, opinions are forced on all, rights be damned, the Constitution be damned, legal principles de damned, logic be damned, reason be damned. How is this possible? The underlying (fundamental) political principle is based on the use of the initiation of violence, threats, and fraud. This is not sustainable. It is immoral/impractical.
        Only new paradigm based on reason, rights, and choice is sustainable, humane.
        We need to convince about 10-15% of this political concept and it will change the world.

        1. I don’t disagree with any of that Don! I thought the objective here is to figure out how to get more people to see and maybe even care about the corruption in our government, when they are so blinded by their present beliefs and paradigms, all the things they’ve been brainwashed into. Did you ever read Washington’s Farewell Address? He explained exactly what political parties would do to people’s minds, and We the stupid People have been prooving how right he was ever since. Don’t you think telling them about that is a good way to help them start to figure it out?

          1. I think “telling them” is a waste of time. “They” are not open to outside lectures, anymore than a superstitious person is open to abandoning a cherished belief. Emotion is tied to beliefs that started in childhood, before full cognitive development. Correction of contradicting beliefs is an art, but a few people are developing methods, e.g., Larken & Amanda Rose’s “Candles in the Dark” and Anthony Magnabosco’s “Street Epistemology”.
            These two “Socratic” approaches are a “good way to help start to figure it out”. “They” do most of the talking and you guide them a little with just the right questions.

  3. HAY, i’m a Larken and Amanda fan too! One thing I know is that it’s a rare and amazing thing when people’s minds change. and it’s quite a skill to be good at inspiring anybody change. Are you good at it? It is scarey to keep learning how much most people love the bad ideas they keep, and how theyseem to hate the idea of improving what they believe. I’ve been trying to improove my beliefs for about 64 years though – and still wundering why it’s such an unpopular thing to do.

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