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Ben and Ki talk about the root of the Ferguson problem, and how it’s just a symptom of a much larger issue.
The state, just like IBM, is an institution. It is made up of individuals. It is inseparable from the individuals who make it up only in that without those individuals there would be no state, yet the idea “state” remains. Those individuals act as agents of the state.
The cop driving down the street looking for someone to harass is an agent of the state, the institution with the monopoly on coercion. Where it would be prosecutable for me to force someone off the road, this agent can do anything and everything up to and including murder, and get away with it because acting as an agent of the state he enjoys Sovereign Immunity.
The state exists as an idea. The people who act as agents of the state make it real.
Does “the state” act? No. Its agents do. In the same way I say I bought a hamburger from Burger King, while having done no such thing in reality, it is the state which taxes because only in their capacity as agents of the state does the agent assume the authority to legitimately rob people.
I get where you are coming from when you say that the state doesn’t exist. I think it makes more sense to look at it a different way though. The state exists but it is not what they tell us it is. The state is an organization of thugs that extort us for money. It’s very real in that it is a group of people, acting together to do crime against us. It is the most organized of organized crime units. When that cop forces us out of our home because we didn’t pay property tax, it is not an individual cop robbing us but the organization of cops and their bosses that are robbing us. Yes that individual is a criminal for acting against us but he is not doing this individual crime for his/her own motive. To him it is just a part of a larger job that anyone else would do if he/she didn’t. I think it’s important to make a distinction between an individual criminal and a gang of criminals. They are not one in the same. It is the state that robs you because if that cop won’t do it, another will. Again, this does not lesson the crime of the individual participant in the crime.
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