Entry for November 28, 2007

THE ADVERSARIAL STATE

What is a state for? One of the functions of the state is to safeguard the life and well-being of its citizens. Are my life and well-being secured just because I live in this state?

I get up in the morning and I am not sure whether I will be able to hear the news on the state radio because the state radio channel is not properly financed and the presenters have either given in notice, or the van which usually picks up the presenters on the way to the studio – before any other public transport starts functioning – failed to get out of the garage for the same reason: there was no money to buy petrol or to pay the driver.

I cannot read a quality newspaper in my own language which would make me feel I am able to have my say in the national decision-making

When I am crossing the street, I know that I must be careful over and above any normal attentive behavior: drivers (especially those who drive posh cars) will bear little responsibility if I am run over. Those who have pulls with the powers-that-be will present the accident in the way that will leave me the “party in fault”.

If my apartment is burgled or if I am robbed of my mobile phone on an unlit flight of steps and then apply to the police about it, the policeman will reluctantly accept the application and will promise something uncertainly. His promise will hardly be fulfilled.

If I decide to open my business, there will appear oodles of bureaucratic hurdles on the way, which will prove unsurmountable if I don’t tickle the takers’ palms. If my business gets eventually going and I make up my mind to do it by honestly paying all the required fees, duties, taxes etc., I will not survive against my competitors because the competitors make their goods or services cheaper by paying ridiculously low taxes – just because they make machinations with import papers or simply by hiding the real turnover — with the state turning a blind eye to all that.

In the same way I will not get a high-quality education if I rely only on teachers salaried by state, neither will I get proper treatment at state medical institutions…

My state cannot defend my country: it lets aggressive neighbors do here whatever they like (we are putting up with foreign military bases on our territory, we are losing the battle against the influx of illegal immigrants). Moreover, the state cannot protect even its own defenders – soldiers! There are so many reports about cases when conscripts are terrorized and victimized by older servicemen.

And our statesmen are having their incessant infighting – with the president being the puppeteer. What is, then, the state for?

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