The Human Types that Make Statism Necessary

Three kinds of individuals are particularly attracted to statism, the ideology that that there is no social problem for which increased political control isn’t the best solution. It is impossible to imagine statism surviving apart from these types of people:

Imperious Statists

First, there are individuals mesmerized by the exercise of power, especially power over other people, and in modern democracies, power to “do good.” They derive meaning in life from controlling others, and they can justify this control by convincing themselves that they intend to exert power to help others, not harm them. They gravitate toward the state as the institution that owns the only valid monopoly on coercive violence because such unparalleled power is necessary to accomplish such massively virtuous social goals as they entertain. If they were in Third World countries, they’d lead or participate in a coup and install a military junta, but since that’s impossible in democracies, they opt for peaceful political power grabs. These are the imperious statists. 

Slacker Statists

Second, consider unmotivated, irresponsible, and lazy citizens that can’t count on enough people to voluntarily subsidize their laxity, so they support a state that will coerce other people to capitalize their aimlessness, irresponsibility, and laziness. You’ll often hear them castigating rich (or middle class) people or business owners as “greedy.” This is code for: “A strong-arm Robin Hood should take some of their money and give it to me.” This type is the human oil that greases the engine of socialism and other interventionist economies. These are the slacker statists. 

Patronizing Statists

Finally, note that class of citizens that envision The Good Society, and support creating a political system that will enforce it. Most citizens are too obtuse or timid to know or act for their own good, so they need strong, gifted, altruistic people to show them the way. Or, rather, force them to take the way. These are the folks who in school were often tattle-tales, enlisting the teacher to enforce rules they couldn’t persuade others voluntarily to follow. In the Covid world, they’re derided as Karens — but males can be just as guilty. These are the patronizing statists.

When these three human types come to predominate a society, it inevitably marches toward statism, and without them, it is simply inconceivable.  Changing them is not a political problem, but a cultural problem.

This means that you can’t get rid of statism by using the state to do it.


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