“I shall now explore how institutional analysis applies specifically to the State and to offices in the State. Then I shall move from institutional analysis considered descriptively to the normative” or moral implications of institutional analysis. To what extent are those individuals who work within an association morally and/or legally responsible for the institutional products of that association? This thorny area is undoubtedly the most complex and controversial aspect of the institutional analysis, yet it must be addressed if the moral implications of electoral voting are to be flushed out. Anarchist theory will never advance beyond a rudimentary level so long as this issue remains unresolved.”Smith first discusses the institutional purpose of the State. Smith says minarchists maintain that the purpose is the “defense of individual rights” while anarchists think the real purpose is “territorial sovereignty.” Anarchists claim that “defense of individual rights” is just something that became necessary in order to legitimize the true purpose of territorial rule.
For me, this is just simple logic because if I can’t freely opt out of the State’s rule, then my rights are certainly not being protected. It’s impossible to say you are defending individual rights if you take away individual rights to do so. So if the purpose really isn’t territorial rule then I could opt out, just like I can opt out of any other institution if I do not wish to associate with it.
The rest of this third part moves further into the issue of what constitutes membership in the State and how membership promotes and sustains the purpose of the institution, even with no overt aggressive act on the part of the individual member.
If I’m a member of some institution or association, I get certain privileges and powers that those outside of the institution don’t have. Anyone who holds political office gets privileges and powers others don’t have, so they are obviously members of the State.
Unfortunately, this membership gives the office holder the power to fill the territory under his rule with loads of laws that we don’t really need.
Which is kind of how some people use their membership in Sam’s Club – by filling their house with way too much stuff that they don’t really need.
Of course, the politician is in a completely different category. As George says:
Such a person is a dangerous threat to innocent persons everywhere. Not only has he captured a position of immense power, but he also swears an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and accepts payment (i.e., stolen money) for "services rendered." When a person voluntarily seeks and attains invasive power, swears to enforce the rules that maintain his power, and receives a handsome salary to boot, the conclusion is inescapable: this person has become a full-fledged member of the State. He accepts its privileges, pledges his loyalty, and reaps its rewards. The protest of the libertarian office-holder — that he intends to use his power for beneficent ends — is beside the point. His actions speak louder than words. He has joined the "ruling class."He goes on to discuss the issue of liability again and how political office supports State sovereignty. You can read more about the specifics for yourself but let me close with one more quote from part three:
The guardianship of State sovereignty is the most significant institutional role of high offices. They are designed to preserve and promote that sovereignty; and this purpose is served regardless of who occupies the office, so long as the occupant meets the demands of his job. (See the discussion of the auto worker in Part Two.)