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Statism is the ideology that the existence of a state, i.e., a government, is necessary for the proper function of most societies. That's pretty much it, really.[1]

Libertarians and anarchists really don't like statists and use the term as a snarl word to describe anyone they perceive as an ideological enemy, frequently conflating statism with authoritarianism.[2] Much like the way "fascist" is used on the internet, the word appears to be used to say that someone's a "bad person", regardless of its nominal meaning. If acknowledged at all, it is generally greeted with, "So how's your alternative supposed to work?"[3] The unstated assumptions behind its use as a term of abuse[4] say more about the speaker than the target.


  1. Dictionary definitions, such as the "Concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry" or "A political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs", which imply some form of planned economy and/or authoritarianism, don't seem to be used much.
  2. This is especially dumb since the vast majority of minarchists, Paulbots, and other "mainstream" libertarians qualify as "Statists" themselves, since they want to preserve the court system, Congress, the military, etc. Only complete anarcho-capitalists avoid the broad (and at this point almost meaningless) label.
  3. At which point apparently the underpants gnomes are supposed to show up or something.
  4. Gubberment bad!