Document Type


Publication Date



We cannot wish (or think) away the modern state any more than the postwar generation could wish away atomic power. And we cannot ignore the state in our efforts to come to terms with modern economy and society any more than we can ignore equally difficult concepts like modern capitalism or modern law. Attempts to try to reckon with modernity in lieu of hard thinking about such abstract concepts will probably end up deploying some overdetermined and cartoonish causation of a mainly biographical or interest-group sort. Or, like libertarianism, neoliberalism, or other popular anti-statist credos, they will leave us with an embarrassingly thin set of unrealistic concepts, rules, and ideas with which to size up an unrelentingly complex – and increasingly dangerous – world.