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Politics, Social

State (Black Rose Books; No. E18) epub ebook

by Franz Oppenheimer

State (Black Rose Books; No. E18) epub ebook

Author: Franz Oppenheimer
Category: Politics & Government
Language: English
Publisher: Black Rose Books (March 1, 1975)
Pages: 122 pages
ISBN: 0919618596
ISBN13: 978-0919618596
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 429
Other formats: lit lrf txt lrf

Franz Oppenheimer (March 30, 1864 – September 30, 1943) was a German sociologist and political economist, who published also in the area of the fundamental sociology of the state.

Franz Oppenheimer (March 30, 1864 – September 30, 1943) was a German sociologist and political economist, who published also in the area of the fundamental sociology of the state. After studying medicine in Freiburg and Berlin, Oppenheimer practiced as a physician in Berlin from 1886 to 1895. From 1890 onwards, he began to concern himself with sociopolitical questions and social economics.

In its twenty chapters, this book explores the winning strategies and pitfalls of case studies ranging across fourteen countries: the United States, Canada, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Poland, China, France, Belgium, Germany, and Australia. As much a manifesto as a guide, this explosive book, the first ever on the topic in English, is written for those who want to revolutionise their city and move it forward.

The State (German: Der Staat) is a book by German sociologist Franz Oppenheimer first published in Germany in 1908. Oppenheimer wrote the book in Frankfurt am Main during 1907, as a fragment of the four-volume System of Sociology, an intended interpretative framework for the understanding of social evolution on which he laboured from the 1890s until the end of his life. The work summarizes Oppenheimer's general theory on the origin, development and future transformation of the state.

Items related to State (Black Rose Books; No. E18). Franz Oppenheimer State (Black Rose Books; No. ISBN 13: 9780919618596. State (Black Rose Books; No.

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The State book -Franz Oppenheimer, the State

Ships from USA. Will take 25-35 days. No State, therefore, can come into being until the economic means has created a definite number of objects for the satisfaction of needs, which objects may be taken away or appropriated by warlike robbery. Franz Oppenheimer, the State. Wherever opportunity offers, and man possesses the power, he prefers political to economic means for the preservation of his life.

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The State, Oppenheimer persuasively argues, is always born in the conquest of one group by another

The State, Oppenheimer persuasively argues, is always born in the conquest of one group by another. The conquerors then set themselves up as the government and extract tribute in the form of taxes from the conquered. Furthermore, he argues, the State can have originated in no other way than through conquest and subjugation, and to advance his argument, he draws on vast historical knowledge with dramatic examples of the beginnings of the State from prehistoric to primitive, from huntsmen to herders, from the Vikings to modern day.

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"A classic of sociology and political science that helps us to realize how recent, precious and fragile are the ideas and institutions of democracy."--Stanislav Andreski
Reviews (7)
Cannot believe the State has allowed this book to remain in print. All humans should read this book. especially Americans

Very enlightening; new perspectives on many issues.

Original viewpoint of state

I bought this book (along with several others) to use as a source when writing papers in college. Specifically, the most useful section of the book deals with the "economic means" and the "political means."

While I earned high grades, my professors were quite unhappy to learn that there are only two methods of human interaction/acquiring wealth. Voluntary (economic means) and coercive (political means). Almost everyone likes to forget about the gun the room.

This s a historically important work in that writers for a few decades relied on this book and it's author to keep the flame of liberty alive. It is short but not an easy read. I am glad I read it primarily because the proto-libertarians before the 1950s looked to his work in many cases. If you aren't interested in libertarian thought this book might not be for you.

The State by Franz Oppenheimer (1864-1943) was recommended to me by libertarian friends years ago, but now I suspect some of them did not actually read the book, but only passages about it.

They recommended it to me as a Libertarian classic of political science. But in my opinion, Oppenheimer's book, to my consternation, turned out to be a Hegelian-Marxian treatise on the theoretical formation and development of the State based on the subjugation, conquest, and the endless "class contest" of one class of citizens over another.

I have read Our Enemy, the State (1935) by "philosophic anarchist," Albert Jay Nock (1870-1945), a true libertarian classic, which was indeed influenced by Oppenheimer's book, and by The Law (1850) by French Republican statesman, Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), a true classical liberal thinker, who today would be considered, correctly, a conservative. These two latter books are more concise and apropos to the immediate subject under study, namely the State and how it functions today using coercion and monopoly of force to subjugate the individual to the collective. This is not the gist of the political philosophy I found in Oppenheimer's book. To the contrary, let me continue.

Oppenheimer's The State (1914), allows us to see the political spectrum, as I and others have described it*, as a horseshoe with a very narrow gap with the extremes almost touching between the anarchistic Right (no government to libertarianism and Ayn Rand's Objectivism) and the collectivist Left (i.e., socialism and fascism to communism and the total state). The little gap is the state of Anarchic-tyranny. Oppenheimer blurs the distinctions in propounding the creation and development of the state based on class warfare ("class contest"), the endless exploitation of one economic class by another using the "political means" (robbery), or using Marxian jargon and arguments. We are left with his optimistic forecast that the "economic means," i.e., peaceful exchange of goods and services, will ultimately come to pass when the beneficent State triumphs, conquers all, and ultimately creates a "freemen's citizenship," melting away! With good reason, Oppenheimer did not call himself an anarchist or libertarian, but a liberal-socialist!

This is small book, and the first 55 pages are Introductions and the author's Preface. The book itself is 130 pages, plus notes and index. The book, though, presents surreptitiously the dilemma of the German sociologists, anthropologists, and proponents of Hegelian dialectics of the late 19th and early 20th century about the philosophy of history. These scholars seem to want it both ways: They yearn for political and economic freedom, even anarchism, while at the same time espousing for socialism, wealth redistribution, and equality of outcome. One cannot have it both ways and then called themselves freedom philosophers! Torture the terms and concepts as much as we will, libertarian freedom and economic equality are mutually exclusive terms. Despite a beautiful thesis on the creation and conception of the State, Oppenheimer skirts by this looming contradiction. Even though he wrote this treatise in 1914, he did not even foresee the horrors of World War I or World War II, but presaged only a contradictory economic equality and liberal-social utopia, when in fact war and devastation, not to mention fascism and communism, were just over the horizon!

As to the contents of this book, they have been discussed here at length by another reviewer, much more sympathetic, and I have no major disagreements with his summary, only interpretation. So let me conclude by pointing out that Oppenheimer also did not foresee that the upper "ruling classes" would not be using the State to rob the middle class of the fruits of their labors in order to dispense those fruits to others, and create a dependent underclass, now the idealized, empowered proletariat, in exchange for the acquisition and consolidation of power, as we have seen not only institutionalized as legal plunder in Western Europe but also in the United States of America.

Frederic Bastiat, although writing a half century earlier, foresaw and predicted the triumph of the State if unrestrained by the (natural) Law, that our own Founders crystallized as the rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of occupation, health and happiness. I recommend Albert Jay Nock's and Frederic Bastiat's true gems of classic liberalism without any reservation for the popular reader and the initiates. But I reserve Oppenheimer's The State only for those who already have at least some knowledge of political philosophy with the formal acquaintance of the writings of Our Founders as well as the instructive little book The Law of Frederic Bastiat, on the one hand, and Karl Marx's The Communist Manifesto (1848) on the other. This is necessary to prevent the initiate from getting bogged down in the sociological and economic morass of uncertain political philosophy.

*see Faria, M, The Political Spectrum (Part I): The Totalitarian Left from Communism to Social Democracy; (Part III): The Extreme Right: Anarchism; haciendapublishing (2011).

Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D. is the author of Cuba in Revolution- Escape from a Lost Paradise (2002)

Franz Oppenheimer (1864-1943) was a German-Jewish sociologist and political economist, who wrote many other books, but they have not been translated into English. He taught in Palestine in 1934-1935, and emigrated to the U.S. to escape Nazi persecution in 1938.

He wrote in the Author's Preface to this 1907 book (published in English in 1922), "It is not my purpose to develop this historical theme. I am concerned only with tracing the development of the sociologic idea of the State... By the 'State,' I do not mean the human aggregation which may pechance come about to be, or as it properly should be. I mean by it that summation of privileges and dominating positions which are brought into being by extra-economic power."

He argues that the occupation of land must have been "preempted by a ruling class against its subject class, and settlement prevented. Therefore the State... can have originated in no other way than through conquest and subjugation." Oppenheimer calls this the "sociologic idea of the State." (Pg. 8)

He later asserts that "The combination of Caesar and Pope tends in all cases to develop the extreme forms of despotism." And whenever a State has split into a number of territorial (and ostensibly independent) States, "The great State gobbles up the smaller ones, until a new empire has arisen." (Pg. 90) He suggests that the State progresses through the stages of the "primitive robber State," to "developed feudal State," through absolutism, and then to the "modern contitutional State." (Pg. 114)

He concludes on the optimistic note, "This has been the path of suffering and of salvation of humanity, its Golgotha and its resurrection into an eternal kingdom---from war to peace, from the hostile splitting up of the hordes to the peaceful unity of mankind, from brutality to humanity, from the exploiting State of robbery to the Freeman's Citizenship." (Pg. 129)

Oppenheimer's book was very influential on anarcho-libertarians such as Murray Rothbard and Albert Jay Nock, and will be of continuing interest to modern libertarians and anarchists (and their sympathizers).

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