To What Extent Is the State a Form of Oppression?

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TO WHAT EXTENT IS THE STATE A FORM OF OPPRESSION? The idea that the state is a form of oppression is one that is held my marxists and anarchists, who argue that the state is unnatural, and goes against the potential of having freedom and equality. Marxists view the state as a form of oppression, based on the idea that it’s sole purpose is to uphold the bourgeoise ideology of gaining profit through the capitalist society. Anarchists however see the state as a body which undermines the human rationality to live together in society as harmonious beings. The state assumes that it has power over individuals, which a view blights human freedom as was expressed by Proudhon ‘to be governed is to be inspected by creatures who neither have the right nor virtue to do so’. Liberals on the over hand do not view the state in such an pessimistic way, however believe that if the state was so have too much power it could indeed become oppressive and tyrannic thus threatening the sovereign individual: something that liberals heavily endorse. Therefore, liberals argue for a minimum ‘night watchman’ state (Nozick). This essay will argue that the state is not an oppressive body but instead a paternal figure, which serves to protect individuals more than it oppresses them. It can be argued from the anarchist perspective that the state is an oppressive body, which undermines human reason and the capacity for self governance. Laws do not solve the problem, rather they make individuals dependant on outside authorities, to regulate out lives and provide answers for problems that may arise. Therefore, we lose our reason and ability to think for ourselves, we lose out natural autonomy. Thus a state has the opportunity to put a moral code upon us which we cannot question as we become dependant on the rules of the state. Godwin argued that human beings are naturally rational and have the
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