The Libertarianism.UK Podcast: Swithun Dobson — What Actually is The State?

In our second Libertarianism.UK Podcast, I discuss with British economist Swithun Dobson, that most slippery of subjects, what actually is the State?

To help us grow the podcast and create more content like this, please remember to like and share the video, subscribe to the channel, and click on the notification bell.

Youtube Version

Vimeo Version

You can listen to Swithun Dobson’s Mindcrime Liberty Show, here:

You can hire Swithun Dobson for his professional tutoring services, here:


  • 0:00 – Intro
  • 1:25 – A Technical Definition of the State
  • 9:43 – Different Theories on the Origin of the State
  • 13:46 – Why do People Tolerate the State?
  • 18:13 – Murray Rothbard and How the State Uses Intellectuals
  • 21:40 – The ‘Legitimacy’ of the State
  • 22:54 – Is the State Necessary?
  • 24:30 – Solving Disputes on Hoppe Island
  • 26:50 – What will Stop Micro-States Becoming a One World State?
  • 28:34 – Is a One World State on the Cards?
  • 31:59 – How Can Individuals Reduce the Power of the State?
  • 35:24 – Wrap Up

Some quotes from the Podcast:

“I would say that where the state began as an embryo version is when it becomes a monopolist over the trial function and the rendering of legitimate judgement.”

“I think specifically that what the state does is that it’s an organisation that monopolises law. That seems [to be] the essential element.”

“There’s an element within all the concepts of the state that it has overwhelming force in certain respects, but it also has ‘legitimacy’.”

“[Under J.B. Say’s class analysis], you break society down into the net tax payers and the net tax gainers.”

“One of the biggest ways [the state] influences regular people isn’t directly by [subsidising] the intellectuals, because [ordinary people] don’t read the intellectuals and don’t watch any of the stuff that they produce. What happens is that a lot of art producers and makers of films or music or whatever, are influenced ultimately by philosophy and intellectual ideas. [The intellectuals] are influencing people who make culture, who make TV, films, et cetera and this is then disseminated around the population.”

“[The state] is changing [its use of democracy as a legitimising tool] because democracy is now giving the wrong results. The [Brexit] EU referendum is the best example of that. Donald Trump’s election in 2016 is also a good example of that.”

“[The state] is moving away from democracy proper to saving the world from climate change and [also using] public health interventions.”

“You already have [a single world state] in certain respects, given the almost universal response to the corona virus with lockdown policies.”

“One of the ways in which you can lessen the power of the state is to home-educate your children, because even the private schools are basically Leftist indoctrination factories.”


If you want to see more content like this, please remember to like and share the video on all your favourite social media sites, subscribe to the channel, and click on the notification bell.

Leave a Reply