Statist: The Definition of How Government Rules Through Economy

By LibertasBella | libertasbella | 6 May 2022

“Statism is nothing more than gang rule. A statist dictatorship is a gang devoted to looting the effort of the productive citizens of its own country.”
– Ayn RandWar and Peace, The Objectivist Newsletter, Oct 1962

What is statism? Merriam-Webster defines it as the “concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry.” 

In essence, statism is the belief that the state or government, regardless of its size or the amount of control it exerts over its subjects, is legitimate to at least some extent. In practice, a government becomes more statist as it exercises increasing control over the economy.

While libertarians often use the word “statism” to brand any state control they deem authoritarian and antithetical to the free market, a statist doesn’t necessarily endorse despotism, fascism, socialism, conservatism, or any other “ism.”

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