The sociopath and the state

Murray Rothbard often told us that the state is defined as the system that enjoys a legal monopoly on the use of violence within a given territory. Even with all the media propaganda and the physiological conditioning of the government schools, one should be able to see that the state can only compel people through violence, threat of violence or fraud to force them to do what they would not have done on a free-will, voluntary basis. The rulers and their minions try to paint their various political actions as noble, morally principled, and above all else devoted to serving the “general welfare”. The truth is the opposite of what the state’s minions claim.

The reality of the situation is that the “We the People” in Constitution has never referred to all the people in the same way. All the people are equal but some people are far more equal than others. It is those who control the system that benefit from it, and the benefit comes from the system’s domination and brutality towards the “common” citizens. Many may also see that it is even worse for those unfortunates condemned to the lowest rung of society.

It is curious that people tend to regard government as a quasi-divine, selfless, Santa Claus organization. Government was constructed neither for ability nor for the exercise of loving care; government was built for the use of force and for necessarily demagogic appeals for votes. If individuals do not know their own interests in many cases, they are free to turn to private experts for guidance. It is absurd to say that they will be served better by a coercive, demagogic apparatus. ~ Murray N. Rothbard (Power and Market: Government and the Economy, 1970).

If the state is a brutal, demagogic and coercive apparatus then what sort of people do we suppose would most likely try to become part of that apparatus? What is the character of a man whose goal in life is to wield the violence of the state? What sort of morality can I expect from people who choose a career that allows them to use the arbitrary power and force of the government over other people?

H.L. Mencken once wrote that “All government, in its essence, is organized exploitation, and in virtually all of its existing forms it is the implacable enemy of every industrious and well-disposed man.” What about the men who enforce this organized exploitation upon the rest of us? What about the men and women who serve the implacable enemy of the well-disposed and industrious?


It is my belief that service to the state attracts sociopaths. Since it is said that sociopaths become that way due to their environment verses the psychopath who suffers from an hereditary condition (this is controversial of course) it seems to me that not only does the state attract the sociopath but makes him even more sociopathic after he is inside the system wielding the power of the state.

A clerk at a DMV office may not exhibit the same traits as the brutal SWAT team member who is trained to shoot the family pets upon breaking into the citizen’s home, but this is but a matter of degree and not one of kind. The officials of the state whose functions are to enforce some government law are prepared to initiate violence against anyone regardless of the morality of the situation. This is the sort of thing that attracks the sociopath to service to the state in the first place.

The policeman has an appetite for ultimate power over others and that drives him toward becoming a cop in the first place. Then the unbelievable power and immunity of the job causes him to enjoy the mindless brutality that he dishes out on a daily basis. And the man who joins the war-machine to go overseas and kill innocent men, women, and children who have no power to threaten the U.S. mainland at all must be one of the most despicable sociopaths imaginable. Or consider the president himself who personally picks people to put on a “kill list” to have minions of the state bomb innocent men, women and children for his pleasure and amusement.

We may imagine that what happened in places like Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia and so on were aberrations caused by evil men and women, but there were no more sociopaths in those places than we have here in the U.S. — it is all a matter of opportunity to practice mindless brutality. On a per capita basis we have no more, or less, evil people today in the U.S. than were in those totalitarian nightmares: all that is needed is for the right conditions to let them bloom and unleash the brutality that is in their nature.  Consider the 50,000 people employed by the TSA to inspect and degrade you. They are mostly middle aged and for some reason they chose to change careers and to have the opportunity to spend their days degrading and humiliating innocent men, women, and children. Sociopaths all.

It is said that we need the state to control the evil among us, but all the state does is give the evil among us vast power over the rest of us. It is time to realize that the entity called the state is the enemy of humanity. We must seek the end of the state.

4 thoughts on “The sociopath and the state

  1. I could not agree with you more regarding sociopaths being attracted to state “service”. I’ve long thought the term civil servant an oxymoron. Throughout my life I have witnessed and experienced many examples of bureaucrats enforcing their will on people with little recourse but to obey. In many of those cases the state action was initiated by a non-state actor, someone who has found a way to vicariously wield the power of the bureaucrat to injure others, in many cases, for personal gain.

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