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The State [Paperback]

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Item description for The State by Harold Barclay...

The state is neither an inevitable, nor natural, phenomenon, but the creation of despots. Its history is a history of power, wealth and tyranny. The immortality of the state is the greatest myth of our society. Anthropologist Harold Barclay explains how a powerful elite has hijacked control of society. Through control of agriculture, warfare, trade, labor and other resources the state has seized complete power. Do we really need the state or should we organize society ourselves?

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Item Specifications...

Pages   110
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 4.75" Height: 6.5"
Weight:   0.24 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2003
Publisher   Freedom Press
ISBN  1904491006  
ISBN13  9781904491002  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Anthropology > Anthropology
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The State?

The State as Despotic Power  Nov 28, 2006
This book provides both a historic and theoretical analysis of the State ranging everywhere from its origins, nature and development. Though this book may from the outset seem to serve as a mere refresher for those already familiar with the seminal works of Jouvenel and Oppenheimer, it differs from them in both content and approach in several fundamental ways.

Like Jouvenel, Harold Barclay describes the importance of ideology as a way of securing acquiescence to State rule. But he goes further, adumbrating the necessity of modern technology in creating a Totalitarian form of government, relying on sophisticated methods of surveillance and data collection. In differentiating between Modern and Archaic States, he goes on to describe the peculiar characterstics of the former, and how they are successful in allocating absolute Power by the State over its citizenry.

Like Oppenheimer, Harold Barclay provides a framework for the origin and development of the State. He gives particular attention to population, the growth of cities, the cultivation of plants, irrigation, and trade or general interaction among laboring persons. Barclay also gives a wonderful account of the several relationships that are possible between people, among these being reciprocity, redistribution and market. He concludes, much like Oppenheimer, that military organization and conquest are the necessary means to the creation of a State.

Overall, I was very pleased with this work. It is written by an anarchist anthropologist, and continues in the tradition of the authors mentioned above as well as presenting to the reader some new and profound insights into the character of the modern State. He launches some devastating blows at the institution of Democracy and the U.N. I would recommend this work to anyone even remotely interested in political theory and philosophy.

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