Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Murray Rothbard -

"Once a State has been established the problem of the ruling group or 'caste' is how to maintain their rule. While force is their modus operandi, their basic and long-run problem is ideological. For in order to continue in office, any government (not simply a 'democratic' government) must have the support of the majority of its subjects. This support, it must be noted, need not be active enthusiasm; it may well be passive resignation as if to an inevitable law of nature. But support in the sense of acceptance of some sort it must be; else the minority of State rulers would eventually be outweighed by the active resistance of the majority of the public. Since predation must be supported out of the surplus of production, it is necessarily true that the class constituting the State — the full-time bureaucracy (and nobility) — must be a rather small minority in the land, although it may, of course, purchase allies among important groups in the population. Therefore, the chief task of the rulers is always to secure the active or resigned acceptance of the majority of the citizens."  
"Of course, one method of securing support is through the creation of vested economic interests. ...[T]his ... secures only a minority of eager supporters, and even the essential purchasing of support by subsidies and other grants of privilege still does not obtain the consent of the majority. For this essential acceptance, the majority must be persuaded by ideology that their government is good, wise and, at least, inevitable, and certainly better than other conceivable alternatives. Promoting this ideology among the people is the vital social task of the 'intellectuals.' For the masses of men do not create their own ideas, or indeed think through these ideas independently; they follow passively the ideas adopted and disseminated by the body of intellectuals. The intellectuals are, therefore, the 'opinion-molders' in society. And since it is precisely a molding of opinion that the State most desperately needs, the basis for [the] age-old alliance between the State and the intellectuals becomes clear." 

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