For thousands of years, philosophers have argued that society must invest great power in the rulers because only great power can hold back the forces of evil — violence, plunder, and disorder. They have often conceded, however, that this solution has a down side: powerful rulers may themselves resort to violence and plunder.
In any event, society’s positive, productive forces always resided within the people themselves. All the genuine peace, cooperation, production, and order the society enjoyed sprang from them. So the state was never a solution to a problem the people could not solve for themselves, but itself a problem masquerading as the only solution to problems whose real solutions already lay close at hand, if they existed at all.
Given that wealth destruction undermines social well-being, how did it come to pass that the state — an institution based on violence and plunder — has overridden peaceful cooperation as the dominant factor in social life virtually everywhere on earth? Although this simple question requires a complex answer, we know that the rulers have used fear — of themselves and of other dangers known and unknown — to terrorize the people and convince them that they are incapable of providing security, that only the state can provide it. First through fear alone, then through complementary religion, and ultimately through complementary ideology, the people’s convictions were twisted into forms compatible with the rulers, the priest/ideologists, and the military elite’s living at the expense of the plundered masses, who were kept in line more by false beliefs than by raw force.
So it remains today. Is any feasible alternative conceivable?
Full piece: http://www.mises.org/daily/6570/The-...-Power-of-Love