Tim and Joe define the concept of the State, and illustrate how the State initiates force at each scale of the built environment. This is the second of three episodes in the Foundations Series.

The Scales Framework returns for the tragic second act.

Use hashtag #ana002 to reference this episode in a tweet, shared post, or comment.


How do you shape the land to foster your ideal vision of societal organization? One of early America’s premier architects shaped the built environment for the ideal of democracy by drawing the lines of the Continental Grid.

But these lines weren’t drawn with a pen; they were drawn with an eraser.


  • Definition of a State
    • Initiation of Force
    • Consent and Legitimacy
    • The Violence Inherent in the System
  • The State or The Mafia?
  • Justifications for Government
  • Government Monopolies
  • Limits on government power
  • Realities of Democracy
  • Democracy as a tool for legitimacy
  • The Scales Framework goes to Washington
  • Would you initiate force in your house? Neighborhood? Canada?
  • House, Property and Neighborhood Scales
    • Outsourcing force to the state; Police as hired guns
    • Noise, social norms, ordinances, and zoning
    • Garden gnomes and the Virgin Mary in a Bathtub
  • Metropolis Scale
    • Taxes as aggression
    • Infrastructure, public schools, public transport
    • Does monopoly solve poverty?
    • Does voting solve monopoly?
    • Non-experts running services
    • A prerequisite for political office
    • Crowding out low cost private schools
  • Region Scale
    • Infrastructure as redistribution
    • Regulation and Standardization
  • Global Scale
    • International Standards and trade wars
    • Immigration
    • War and legitimacy
    • Problem solving in Detroit and Yemen
    • Aggression, radicalization, and blowback
  • The fundamental contradiction of government force
  • Conclusion


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