From the title, I thought this was going to be about the One Universal World Religion: Statism. But, no, it was about Christianity and abortion and the interpretation of language, and all that boring stuff that’s been beaten to death for decades, if not centuries.
That’s an entirely different article and, while abortion may seem boring to you, as an anti-statist, I assume you recognize it as a woman’s right that is presently denied or limited by the state in virtually every jurisdiction on Earth. In that context, surely it is worth mentioning. It is also worth mentioning Christianity, since the bulk of the Old Testament is just a bunch of laws to be employed by states, allegedly because God wants it that way.
I’m much more interested in the way Statism continues to fly under the radar, with almost nobody recognizing it for what it is. The nation-state as it is conceived today carries all the same attributes as a religion: belief in the non-existent (national boundaries) symbiology elevated to the level of holy icons (flags, monuments), scripture (constitutions and laws), binding authority of the priesthood (politicians), ritual singing (national anthems) and mantras (pledges of allegiance). Nationalism (“our country is the best on earth”) is effectively the same thing as the claim religions make for themselves (“ours is the one true religion”).
What you are describing can be described as a religion. In fact, the only difference between a patriot in a democracy and a patriot in a theocracy, is that the former believes his or her government derives its legitimacy from majoritarian preferences, and the latter believes that legitimacy comes from a divine being. In neither case do the laws the government produces need to be logical or sensible for the patriot to defend their worth.
But, politics extends far beyond the state. It is present in every interpersonal interaction, every interaction an individual has with a group, and every interaction between groups. If your politics include a preference for authoritarianism, then surely you will be a statist, whether or not you are a Christian as well. Just as conventional religion is politics, so, too, is statism politics.
Even most people who call themselves “atheist” worship at the altar of the nation-state, although lately I’ve been seeing hopeful signs of apostasy. Now that the faithful flock have chosen a knuckle-dragging mouth-breather to be their high priest, I’ve seen an encouraging number of people starting to say, “Now wait just a god-damn minute! Something’s fundamentally fucked up here!”
This is an unscientific conjecture, as is often the case when “most people” is invoked to suggest that “most people are this” or “most people are that.” It’s easy to get the impression that people around the world are patriotic when you live in the United States, which always ranks among the most patriotic countries in the world, but plenty of places aren’t like that.
You’re right, folks! Keep on with that train of thought. Next thing you know, you’ll be imagining a peaceful world where people will live out their lives and work out their differences without lying priests drumming up wars.
Why do lying priests drum up wars?