Though many analogized statism to religion, for some time now I’ve held that a better analogy of statism is to addiction—with the concession, of course, that just like most anything else, religion can become an addiction.
But I study the fascinating subject of addiction, and have recently learned that true addiction (as opposed to mere physical dependency or habitual behavior) is driven by a psychological process in which the addict perceives him or herself to be in a position (temporarily or chronically) of powerlessness or helplessness, experiencing a lack of control over their life—which then triggers the decision to indulge in the addiction activity or behavior as a way of temporarily regaining a sense of power or control—even though ironically, that particular action is an overall, or long-term, destructive one.
So statism is, in fact, analogous to both religion and addiction; the state conducts itself, presents itself, considers itself, in much the same way that a religious institution does, and as a result garners leagues of followers, or worshippers—but perhaps it’s their misconception of helplessness, of powerlessness, of lack of control over their lives, which drives people to accept, to participate, to tolerate, to support, to worship the state—even though ironically, that particular action is an overall, or long-term, destructive one.
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