Yesterday, 02:42 PM
I don't see how the state has changed at all. I agree that the form fo the state doesn't matter. American efforts at a limited state are more or less a historical aberration. But the nature of the state -power based on violence- has been the same since the beginning of human history. The only thing that has changed is the ability of the state to achieve the goal of total control. It isn't the desire to gain total control, it is the ability to actually do so. And this is where technology comes in.
I chose King Louis because he, and his fore bearers like him, were absolute rulers -kings with total power- who stood on the precipice of the Industrial revolution's complete and radical technological changes. But there is nothing special about him. You could go back to Caesar or Pharaoh and encounter the same nature of the state -the grasping for absolute power. The difference is that a thousand years ago it took Caesar's orders weeks to travel across the empire, giving you or I enough time to get out of dodge and completely disappear if we needed to do so. Today communication is nearly instantaneous. With the presence of satellites and the Internet, the ability of the state to watch every step you take. Industrialization of food, production, travel, and weapons have given the state the tools it needs to track you down and do as it wishes to you, if you could escape at all. That it wants to do so is nothing new. Every king and monarch has claimed absolute ownership of everything in the kingdom -which is essentially socialism's dictatorship of the proletariat- since the inception of monarchies. heck, William the Conqueror literally had a book of everything everyone owned in the kingdom made up so he could know how much stuff HE owned.
And Louis XVI's incentive was the same as any modern politician's. The concentration of wealth and power into his own hands. He suppressed the market all together and allowed the nobles of the kingdom to hold absolute monopolies on the wealth and production powers of the country.
Modern states are nothing new. Their claim to authority and power and control are nothing new. The only thing new is their ability to realize that power and enforce those claims through technology.