A state is a nonphysical entity that is represented by one centralized government and has sovereignty over a country. A state often has a military_.

A state is an organized political system with sovereignty over a defined space, with borders agreed by other nation-states.

Today, most people are familiar with states as nation-states: states that are overlayed teritorially with a nation that make up the primary population group. However, in the past States have ranged from strong centralized governments (`Roman Empire`_) to decentralized weak government (pre-Christian Scandinavia), to gignatic empires with hundreds of ethnicities and nations (Persia, Mongolia) to tiny city states that band together in time of distress (Antiquity Greece).

The concept of a nation state can be compared and constrained with that of a multinational state, city state, empire, or confederation.

A multinational state is a sovereign state that comprises two or more nations. This is in contrast to a nation state, where a single nation accounts for the bulk of the population. For example, the Soviet Union.

There are no half-states. Either a state survives or it dies. The merchant republics of Italy did not survive, crushed by stronger states elsewhere. The types of states that did survive were the Westphalian states, those states which survived the 30 Years War in Europe and went on to be the state model that was followed the world over via Colonization.

A state differs from a nation in that a nation is a people who are deemed to share a common culture, ancestry, or history. A nation is a group of people with common attributes and characteristics.

“country” often emphasizing geographical expanse, “nation” often emphasizing people, and “state” often emphasizing government.

A nation is an exclusive race, which is why Bonaparte and others spoke of the 'Jewish nation' long before Israel was 're-established'.

A country is not necessarily a sovereign state. For example, the United Kingdom consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. For example, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Denmark, and three countries that together constitute the Kingdom of Denmark. Similarly, Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles, and the Netherlands are three constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


1   Political spectrum


The political compass is a multi-axis political model used to label political thought on two axes: economic (left-right) and social (authoritarian-libertarian).

A political spectrum is a system of classing different political positions upon one or more geometric axes that symbolize independent political dimensions.

Most long-standing spectra include a "right wing" and a "left wing", which originally referred to seating arrangements in the French parliament after the `French Revolution`_.

1.1   Social liberals

If there really is race and gender pay discrimination, wouldn't employers be motivated to hire more of the group that's willing to accept lower wages?

1.2   Social conservatives

The awkward, hard-to-admit truth is that the American national anthem is a form of right-wing political correctness

2   Welfare

There are historical examples of countries giving out land to citizens (such as the Homestead Acts in the US) as a way to distribute the resources people needed to succeed. Today, the fundamental input to wealth generation isn't farmland, but money and ideas -- you really do need money to make money.

3   Formation

There are several different competing theories for why states form.

3.1   Static vs. Roving bandit theory

In Power and Propersity (2000), Mancur Olson comes up with the fruitful distinction between a stationary bandit and a roving bandit. A roving bandit will confiscate wealth with little regard for the future. A stationary bandit has some incentive to invest in improvements, because he will reap some return from those improvements.

Essentially, it harkens back to the neolithic ages. The Neolithic age is a sort of pre-history time when humans started to settle down and farm, instead of running around hunting. When they did so, a contigent of these hunter-gatherers were discontent with the new backbreaking lifestyle of farming and decided they would rather steal the food they need. Once I’ve taken your food and burned your home, I have nothing left to gain: so I move on to the next settlement, and keep moving so keep myself satisfied. Eventually, I might realize you’re willing to give me some food in exchange for not burning your home down. This is better for me, since now I don’t have to risk death to get fed. However, while I am away another raiding group comes and destroys the village. And thus now I have no food.

Eventually, the smarter raiding groups realized that if they protected the settlements they could have an endless supply of food with relatively little work. This formed the very basis of taxation: we rule over you, keep you safe, you make sure we’re fed. In areas that its easy for the farmers to defend themselves, this isn’t as likely to happen: they’ll take their chances against the raiders. However, in places with large open space and no places to hide/defend, they wholeheartedly agreed to this deal. Thus, in Mesopotamia, river basins and coastal areas these proto-states cropped up and, with them, the start of civilization.

4   History

The word "politics" come from the Greek word polis, which means "city-state". Plato wrote several dialogs about political matters, and a book, `The Republic`_. The first known person to use the term "political science" was Aristotle.

Thomas Hobbe wrote Leviathan.

In ????, Machivaelli wrote The Prince.

It is much safer to be feared than loved. Love is sustained by a bond of gratitude which, because men are excessively self-interested, is broken whenever they see a chance to benefit themselves. But fear is sustained by a dread of punishment that is always effective.

The French Revolution marked the end of monarchy.

Until the mid-19th century, most of the world was a sprawl of empires, unclaimed land, city-states and principalities, which travellers crossed without checks or passports. As industrialisation made societies more complex, large centralised bureaucracies grew up to manage them. Those governments best able to unify their regions, store records, and coordinate action (especially war) grew more powerful vis-à-vis their neighbours. Revolutions – especially in the United States (1776) and France (1789) – helped to create the idea of a commonly defined ‘national interest’, while improved communications unified language, culture and identity. Imperialistic expansion spread the nation-state model worldwide, and by the middle of the 20th century it was the only game in town. There are now 193 nation-states ruling the world. [1]

These are cities with the same independent sovereign authority as nations, places such as Monaco or Singapore. [1] Cities also have demographic weight on their side: for the first time in history, in 2014 the majority of humans live in cities. [1]

Before that there was Venice of course, and that was merely the most well-known of many independent city-states dotted across what is now Italy in the 10th to 16th centuries, including Florence, Bologna and Turin. But even this is ‘recent’ in the lifetime of the ancient city-state, which reaches back to Jerusalem, before that Athens, before that Babylon, and all the way back to Ur. Only a few formal city-states still exist today (Monaco, Singapore and the Vatican are the completely sovereign city-states; others, such as Hong Kong, act like one but do not have full sovereignty). [1]

Clearly, nation-states won’t go down tamely. Carving out a new form of sovereign authority from an existing one is extremely difficult, and is generally frowned upon by the UN. There’s a more prosaic reason too. In 2015, 2.1 million residents of Venice in Italy (89 per cent of those who voted) voted for independence in a non-binding referendum. Residents were annoyed that the city pays $20 billion more in tax than it gets back. But Italy will certainly not let Venice and its $20 billion tax go easily. [1]

5   Classification

5.1   Republic

A republic is a state which is organized with a form of government in which power resides in elected individuals representing the citizen body.

Ergodan (of Turkey) faked a failed coup, granting him the ability to arrest thousands of people. Any similarities with when the German Reichstag was burned so the nazis could come into power are purely coincidental...

5.2   Empire

An empire is a state that exerts control over another state through at least two of three ways: military, economic, or cultural. (Read this, don't know) For example: the `Roman empire`_ or the `British empire`_.

6   Defense

The security dillemma refers to an apparently paradox where a states that tries to increase its defense too much may threaten other states, leading to conflict. For example, if the United States had developed reliable anti-intercontinental ballistic missile technology (e.g. Regan's "Star Wars"), during the Cold War, it could have forced the Soviet Union to use their nuclear weapons before they became obsolete.

7   Further reading

8   References

[1](1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Jamie Bartlett. Return of the city-state.
[2]Anton Howes.

Recipe for police state:

  1. Define new, extra-bad crime (terrorism, hate crime).
  2. Expand its definition to include whatever you want.

If communism doesn't work, why do so many people support it? Because they don't work either.

Left: "A man can't talk about abortion since he doesn't have a uterus".

Also Left: "A man can be a woman even if he doesn't have a uterus."

The constitution (like money in some sense)

It's a Kantian beauty contest.

Fundamental to communist ideology is the common ownership of the means of production and abolishment of social classes and social hierarchy. In practice, that means no (or very few) private property rights, and forced redistribution of wealth from those who are most able to produce to those who are less able or unwilling to do so.

Private property and the exclusive access to the fruits of one's own labor are fundamental human rights under natural law. In order for communism to be moral, it requires everyone to voluntarily cooperate with each other towards a common goal. Unfortunately, people do not work this way. They are different in their ambitions, in their capabilities, and in their values. These differences cause different outcomes, cause some to be more successful than others, and even cause differences by which success is measured in the first place. But communism requires collectivism in order to work. Communism must eliminate those variations of the individual in order to harmonize with the collective good. This is absolutely counterintuitive to everything about human nature.

In order to realize communist goals, private property and the individual's right to their own labor must be seized from them for the sake of the collective. And because this is antithetical to individual freedom, communist governments must also work to eliminate dissent. Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

In light of the authoritarian oppression of every communist regime in the history of ever, there are those who still make the argument that the idea of communism is good; it's just been "done wrong" by every communist state that has attempted it. However, this is not true. Communism is a fundamentally flawed ideology at its core. Its goals are attractive in principle, but completely unworkable in practice.

Communist governments must necessarily use coercion to achieve the social harmony they promise, depriving the individual of the right to choose their own destiny -- especially if those choices lead to better outcomes for them than for others. This is why every communist state has been a totalitarian nightmare replete with rampant and gross human rights violations. That is the inevitable destiny of any communist regime because it is utterly and completely incompatible with individual freedom and conscience.

What does Utopia look like? Is government a necessary evil or a positive good? Should we think about utopias?

There was a great deal of debate among the American founders about how much power to grant to their desired form of government. Yes, they desired a system that would not be too powerful, so that it would not closely resemble a monarchy. But many of the early founders were just as wary of creating a government that was too weak.

The founders were well versed in history, and while they generally believed that monarchy inevitably led to tyranny, they also understood that many of history's great democracies had fallen to the opposite fate. The ancient Greek states, and later the Roman republic, had proven too internally chaotic to stand the test of time. John Adams, in particular, had a variety of fun quotes on this topic. From a letter to John Taylor, in 1814:

"I do not say that Democracy has been more pernicious, on the whole, and in the long run, than Monarchy or Aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as Aristocracy or Monarchy. But while it lasts it is more bloody than either."

The American founders sought to build a system of government that was more durable and stable than a Greek democracy, and also more egalitarian and free than a European monarchy. To do so, they sought to found a government that included elements of both.

This line of thinking was also heavily influenced by the specific problems which the United States was facing at the time of the constitution's writing. Keep in mind that our current constitution comprises the second government of the United States. The first US government was chartered under the Articles of Confederation.

I'll save you a long-winded history of the Articles of Confederation, but suffice it to say, by the time the Constitutional Convention was called in 1787, the problems that the United States was facing resembled far more a descent into Greek, democratic anarchy than a return to monarchy. At the time, most of the states viewed each other more as rivals, rather than as co-equal partners in a unified nation. Many of the founders - Washington and Hamilton in particular - viewed these internal divisions as an existential threat to the future security and prosperity of the country. For more on this, I highly recommend reading Washington's Farewell Address.

Thus when the delegates gathered to write our current constitution, they intentionally included a mix of principles drawn both from the English monarchical/parliamentary system, as well as from ancient Greek and Roman republicanism. For example, the presidential "veto" is drawn from the Roman power of the Tribunes, while "impeachment" was derived from the English legal system. In total, these powers comprise the American system of checks and balances which were designed so that no one branch of government would accumulate too much power, and become tyrannical.

Our republic isn't designed just to do what the people want. It's intentionally designed so that good people can sometimes do something unpopular in the public interest. For this to work, it's incumbent on the voting public to elect good people.

ot all voters are well-informed. Some may be ignorant, incompetent, or uninterested in the common good

A nation needs to have a shared culture: a common set of values. They should also need to have a language. Ask anyone who grew up in a multi-lingual. Ask what happens when you have multiple competing languages.

If you have huge country levels of immigration, you need to make sure everyone is united in something beginning with language.