Mentality: On the Individual and the State

state, mentality, philosophy

He, who delegates his critical sense, his mentality, loses a proportional amount of his autonomy. Banality confuses the senses and hinders reason. Logical reasoning gives way to mere reproduction devoid of analysis. Instead of thinkers, imitators. We go through our lives without stopping to think about why we do what we do, nor why we believe what we believe, thus helping to immortalize misconceptions. We become tools for the perpetuation of the illogical and the indefensible. The more common, the less we think about it. The state strengthens itself by seizing the notion of normality.

Just like our parents and grandparents, we were born into a society dominated by state power. We have always lived immersed in this kind of reality, so we see the state as something natural, routine. The idea of extinguishing it doesn’t even cross most of our minds, because the idea of doing away with something so familiar, so old, so important, and, in fact, so essential to life in general, seems unthinkable.

How do we accept and even glorify those who domesticate us? From what moment does normality occur? From what moment does normality become the parameter for what is correct? Questions to which I humbly seek answers are broken down below.

On Mentality & State

A considerable number of the barriers that plague our existence are self-imposed, meaning to be within us, the reason for their perpetuation.


One of the most powerful weapons used to legitimize the state is the creation of a national identity that contains it. Flags, coats of arms, anthems, etc., are important tools used to create a sense of belonging in the population.

The similarities with religion are not mere coincidences. The State conveys an image of a superior being, as something above others. This powerful entity, endowed with characteristics that transcend the mere individual, comes to be seen as a source of salvation. The cult of rulers begins. Symbols, rituals, dates, and national heroes are worshiped. Slowly, the State gains strength through appearances.

Without realizing it, we begin to judge individuals using countries’ names. When foreigners criticize the country where we were born, we take it personally. We are not our country, however, nor do we represent it. We were just born in a territory delimited by imaginary political lines.

The state hides its true nature and its true objectives, coming to be seen as a savior, as a transcendental entity that founds the social order, as a guarantor of rights. A provider, not a dominator. Thus, the principles of its perpetuation are created.


Humanity restarts with each new generation. If the knowledge is not passed from the old generation to the new ones, the species will not be able to advance to the next stage. A lack of perspective regarding the past can lead to a simplistic view of the present, with potentially destructive effects.

One generation has the power to destroy what several have built. Destroying is much easier than building.

Whoever wishes to control the mentality of the population must take upon himself the responsibility for the education of the new generations. If he succeeds, even with only a few, he may have significant control over the mentality present in society.

If the reason for the existence of the state comes from human nature itself, a state composed of human beings cannot be the solution. How could the creation of a privileged class solve such a fundamental problem?

Under the pretext of providing essential services and public goods, the state intends to show that, without its existence, these services could not exist or that human society would not be able tofunction. Expensive, inefficient, mandatory-payment services are more useful to legitimize the existence of the state itself than to supply the needs of the population. The state may be useful, but it is only necessary for the contexts it creates.

The emergence of the state is grounded in a pre-existing social structure. Human evolution is closely linked to the development of the state, which indicates that its emergence is a natural stage in the development of human social dynamics, but does not prove that its existence is necessary for humanity to live in societies with more advanced dynamics. The emergence of the state does not prove its necessity for the development of human societies but indicates that, with the development of human societies, its constituent elements have emerged, making its creation possible.

The evolution of political consciousness was fundamental to the origin of the state, but this social dynamic could not exist without coercion, force, or threat being applied to peaceful individuals.

Final considerations

The further a society moves away from the ideals of freedom, the closer it comes to its ruin. Our reality is the result of a complex interaction between causes and effects, and it is not possible to establish a definitive line of separation on several occasions. To understand a state, one cannot ignore the population it dominates. To understand a dominated population, one cannot fail to analyze the state to which it submits. States are the reflection of the societies they dominate while assisting in their construction.

The problem, however, is not the state, but the mentality that underlies its dynamics of power. Fighting this problem will, once again, mark the current generation. Solving it will be one of the greatest achievements in human history.

The legitimacy of the state comes from a collective illusion present in the society it is based on. Information shapes knowledge. Knowledge composes the mentality. Mentality is the foundation of the prevailing social order. The path to freedom is, therefore, defined.

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Gabriel Cardoso

Born in Brazil, currently studying civil engineering. Austro-libertarian interested in politics, economics and philosophy.


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