The second installment of the C4SS Mutual Exchange on Spontaneous Order continues with my contribution, Invisible Hands and Incantations: The Mystification of State Power.
Summary: while spontaneous-order mechanisms are often invoked as a benign alternative to state power, there are reasons for thinking that state power itself depends for its maintenance on spontaneous-order mechanisms mechanisms that function primarily to render the oppressive nature of the state invisible.
Great essay. I will like to make just two comments
1) While it is true that most people behave in libertarian ways in their day to day life (in contrast to what they tolerate from state behavior), I guess one can say that depends of specific social milieus and cultures. In countries like mine, many people do not behave in libertarian ways in their day to day life. In the US south, where mobs rallied to lynch black peoples or where private business discriminated against them, that was also not the case. I guess those behaviors, produced by a different set of reasons, could also count as sociological mechanisms to reinforce the state and its coercive nature.
2. What do you think of the cultural industry (movies, television and video games, for example) as part of the mechanisms that reinforce and support statism among people? I think cultural Marxists (and some post modernists) have a a lot of interesting things to say in that respect.
Re (1): yes indeed. In fact that’s mainly what Charles’ essay is about.
Re (2): again, agreed.