Kim Petersen: Dissolving the State Won’t be Easy

Review of The Operating System and its China-bashing

Dissident Voice, May 18th, 2021

The State is anti-societal; some would say sociopathic. It is elitist; it is riven by affiliation with a “Core Identity Group” contraposed to the Other; in most countries, the State provides and secures the basis for capitalism to flourish, separating the population into a few haves and multitudes of have-nots. While capital flows more-or-less freely across borders, workers are at a disadvantage since they do not enjoy the same freedom of movement. Eric Laursen, in his book The Operating System: An Anarchist Theory of the Modern State, discusses the aforementioned and other intricacies of the State and why anarchists find the State abhorrent.

The Operating System identifies the starting point for understanding the State being its legal, administrative, and decision-making structure — the government. (p 60) The State is the government; its writes the laws; its police, festishized by mass media, enforce the laws while shielded from accountability for their actions by qualified immunity. Prejudice forms the underbelly to the State and, hence, its “vested interest in maintaining if not promoting sexism, gender inequity, homophobia, and transphobia.” (p 177)

That the State is regressivist, that it promotes elitism and eschews diversity, that it is anti-democratic is made clear: “Today, the State is well on its way to creating, for the first time in human history, a worldwide monoculture tied to a uniform economic model and a single pattern of governance by a self-selecting global elite.” (p 26) But the masses are inculcated to believe the State is a necessity. (p 27)

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