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Later, at the site where world leaders are meeting to negotiate a climate pact outside of Paris, [California governor Jerry] Brown urged a small crowd to "never underestimate the coercive power of the central state in the service of good."
From "Jerry Brown: 'Never underestimate the coercive power of the central state," Sacramento Bee, December 7, 2015.
“You can be sure California is going to keep innovating, keep regulating,” the Democratic governor said. “And, shall I say, keep taxing.”
"Sacramento Bee, December 7, 2015."
December 7. A day that will live in infamy.
Who knows what Brown's really meant, but, ironically, history shows that when the central state uses coercive power in the service of good it tends to under perform compared to when it uses it in the service of evil.
A good quote, but, of course, the last five words ("in the service of good") are superfluous.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”
That "coercive power of the state" requires human motivations for its exercise.
Real, live, human beings use that power as determined means for determined ends.
The power embodied in a state is only coercive by the purpose, manner and to the extent of its use by humans as means for their ends.