Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Nation-State is a Death Penalty

A couple of days ago, Glenn Reynolds linked to an interesting article in the Washington Examiner about the recent botched death penalty execution in Arizona.  The article itself deals with the comments of one of the judges involved and his view that a return to firing squads might be in order.  But as interesting as the article is, the focus of this OLS post is on Reynolds comments accompanying the original link.  He has a tremendous ability to hone in on the essentials of an issue and to put them into stark relief.  And in this instance, I couldn't agree with his position more.  So let me excerpt his entire comment here:
So, I’m skeptical of the death penalty’s administration because the criminal justice system is a disaster. But, assuming guilt, I don’t really care much about the morality of killing people. The nation-state is all about killing people. Its sole reason for existing is that it’s better at killing people in large numbers than any other form of human organization. If you don’t like the idea of the state killing people, you don’t like the idea of the state. If you don’t realize this, it’s because your thinking is confused.
100% exactly.  This is exactly my sentiment on the nation-state.  So let me state for the record: I'm against the state killing people, so I'm definitely against the state.  And please do not confuse the concept "state" with "society"; they are most definitely not synonyms.