A state is a territorial monopoly that possesses ultimate decision-making power, a monopoly on the use of force, over the individuals who live within that territory. It is made up of either a single absolute monarch/ruler or an oligarchy (a multitude of rulers) of some sort, a relative minority of the overall population of the given territory. Thus, a state is an institution constituted by a minority of the populution of a given territory (I.E. all states are oligarcies) that exercises a monopoly power over the use of force within that territory. It is the final arbiter of all disputes not only between its subjects, but between itself and its subjects, and therefore it is a judge in it's own case. Since it is a judge in it's own case, the state can be considered lawless, as it is not bound by any arbiter above itself and possesses the capability to exempt itself from its own rules. This is true no matter what type of state is in question.
The defining features of any state are (1) the power of taxation, that is, the organization unilaterally fixes a "price" for living within the territory, and enforces this under the threat that force will be used in some way if payment is not made (2) the placement of barriers to competition from any other institutions in the enterprise of law, security and arbitration within the territory (3) control over who is allowed to enter and exit the territory (4) enforcement of both economic and social regulations of the lives of those who are within the territory and (5) the propogation of mystical or false justifications for its power, which is usually coupled with the formation of a class of intellectual elites and the use of "bread and circuses", economic and social bait, to lure the populace into compliance.
The formation of a state is very much like how a mafia works. Every state's creation is founded on some very basic things such as the invasion and occupation of a territory, the confiscation of land property within a given territory, familial inheritance of stolen property, extortion of a community by a small band of thugs for an extended period of time and the practise of having a syndicate bait people into remaining complacent. When such a practise becomes institutional, a state has formed. States expand their power by expanding the jurisdiction of their territory and trying to control areas outside of its jurisdiction, increasing taxation and finding other methods of accrueing funds such as cartelization or control of banking, increasing the amount of people directly working for it and "buying out" and colluding with special interests within the public.
Monarchy and Tribe
An absolute monarchy is a state in which one individual possesses ultimate decision-making power over everyone within the territory. Tribal and primitive societies are localized forms of absolute monarchy. Both tribal states and European absolute monarchies share a hereditary aspect. In hereditary monarchy, membership of the state is determined by "birthright" from particular familial chains, and incest and hegemonic arranged marriages between multiple states is common due to the incentive to keep the familial ties established. The most primitive form of government stems from the family, when a particular family is given monopoly power over the given territory, and a patriarchal shaman or king is put at the top. Monarchy can be generalized as rule of the many by an extreme few, in its purest form by one person.
Non-absolute monarchy starts to form when the monarchal family begins to collude with or grant power to particular interest groups and oligarchal bodies within the territory. This means that something resembling a parliament forms, but the system continues to be a monarchy so long as the monarch is given ultimate decision-making power to the extent of putting the parlaiment in a suboordinate position. The union of church and state was one mechanism by which the monarch came into collusion with oligarchies such as the clergy. It also functioned as a mechanism to attempt to justify the power of the king, not from familial ties so much as the idea of "the divine right of the king". Economically, the increased bereaucracy of the monarchy was the result of patronage and protectionism between the king and nobles, which formed the fuedal system.
The ancestral aspect of tribal states is also religious. That is, the earliest states literally considered the ruling family to be gods. And over time, if the current ruling family were not considered gods, they were considered the ancestors of gods, and so the bloodline of the monarchs was the main justification given for state rule. As this idea too had worn threadbare in European societies, the divine right of the monarch became the main justification given for state rule. Thus, the essence of popular justification for state power in primitive societies and monarchies stems from the divine and the familial. Even when the familial becomes less relevant, the divine is commonly used to justify it. In either case, ancestor-worshop is the primary derivation of such systems.
A state starts to transform into a democracy when the role of the monarch is phased out, and the role of the oligarchy is expanded. While the state has one ruler in an absolute monarchy, and one ruler in collusion with an oligarchy in parlaimentary monarchy, in a democracy the state is made up of a multitude of rulers. Democracy does not get rid of privileged rulers. It replaces a system in which one person is at the top of the heirarchy with one in which multiple people are at the top of the heirarchy. Indeed, democracy does not get rid of heirarchy. What democracy does is allow more people to become part of the political class, and hence it actually expands special privileges.
The initial premise of democracy is that by expanding access to the governmental apparatus to everyone, wether that be through voting or through eligibility for holding political office, we will get rid of exploitation of men by men. The idea is that this will get rid of the special privileges in society, converting everyone into more or less a state of "equality under the law". This premise of democracy is practically universally accepted, especially in west. It is simply assumed that democracy is the best form of government. But these premises are wrong. In a democracy, the state itself is still constituted by a relative minority in comparison to the overall population; an oligarchy.
The introduction of the institution of voting does not make "the people" unanimously consent to the state. To begin with, many of the people in a democracy choose not to vote, and therefore have not demonstrated consent to the state. As for those who do vote, democracy forces "the people" into a hobbesian state of cultural warfare in which those who take part in the voting process are battling over how to use the state for their advantage at the expense of others. Since majority rule is the standard for voting in a democracy (and it is important to keep in many that it is almost always a numerical majority rather than an actual one) out of those who participate in the voting process, those who "win" are in effect forcing their will on the minority, those who "lose". Thus, those who "lose" cannot be said to have demonstrated consent either. Furthermore, even those voters who "win" are not directly controlling the state, they are voting for what is supposed to be representatives, and those representatives still possess the power to go against the will of even those who voted for them.
A constitutional Republic is a type of state that, while containing certain aspects of representative democracy, relies on the existance of a "rule of law" in the form of a written constitution that is meant to limit both the power of the state and to protect the citezen from the excesses of majority rule. It is therefore more aristocratic than a more pure democracy would be. Ideally, a constitutional Republic is supposed to avoid having a monarch, while at the same time avoid having an absolute participatory democracy. The concept of a "limited state" can be considered largely synonimous with a constitutional republic.
Over time, written constitutions restrain a state less and less because they become interpreted and nullified by the state itself, since it is a judge in its own case as the courts are most likely still within the state apparatus itself. While the constitution in a Republic is supposed to be the supreme law of the territory, the state has the ability to simply not enforce it, or to either change it or interpret it as to reverse its original purpose. Furthermore, even if such a constitution were fully enforced by the state, constitutions typically contain imperfections in themselves, being written by fallible men and having vested interests create loopholes within the document from its inception.
A constitutional Republic has been transformed into a democracy or some other type of system when either the rule of the majority (numerical or not) or the state itself has produced the effect of a nullification of the constitutional document that is supposed to bind the state. Furthermore, constitutional contracts have never been signed by the entire populace as sensible common contract standards would require, but rather signed by aristocracies made up of a small band of individuals constituting or allied with the state apparatus itself. That is, no constitutional contract has ever been an actual voluntary contract with the people because the people at large have never had any choice in choosing the contract, signing it or making it. Those who are born into the system are simply assumed to have tacitly consented to the contract.
A theocracy is a state either constituted by or subject to religious institutions and leaders. A theocracy may be monist in form, where the administrative heirarchy of the government is identical with the administrative hierarchy of the religion, or it may have two "arms", but with the religious hierarchy dominating the state administrative hierarchy. The union of church and state in European monarchy was theocratic. The word theocracy originates from the Greek θεοκρατία (theokratia), meaning "the rule of God". This in turn derives from the Greek words θεος, meaning “god,” and κρατειν (kratein), meaning “to rule.” Thus the meaning of the word in Greek was “rule by gods" or human incarnation(s) of god(s). The most primitive theocracies were therefore primitivist and tribal societies in which the ruler was literally considered to be a god, or descended from one.
Ideologically, communism proposes that the individual must be subordinate to the collective, while as a system it makes the individual, and the masses of individuals constituting the overall populace, subordinate to the state. A communist state is a state that owns most if not the entirety of the means of production within the territory. That is, the state claims and enforces ownership over as much of the property within the territory as possible, in the name of collective ownership of property. Communism is genuinely opposed to private property and market transactions that are free from state control.
The stated purpose of the communist state is to equalize economic ends to flatten everyone out on a certain level, and for this reason the state takes control of the means of production and attempts to centrally plan the economy. In communism, production and consumption of goods and services are attempted to be essentially completely controlled by the state apparatus, leaving pretty much no room for individual choice in such matters. Typically, a communist state is ruled by one party and does not have genuine democratic voting. Ideologically, communism is ideally supposed to be a global system.
Fascism, as a political ideology, considers the individual and other societal interests subordinate to the needs of the state. Fascism as a modern political system formed out of socialism, with the merging of socialist and conservative viewpoints around the time of the end of the 19th century and in the early 20th century. Fascism tends to embrace nationalism, more specifically national socialism, which is to mean national territorialism, which is a reinforcement of the state's monopoly of a nation-sized territory. Since nationalism is strong in fascism, fascism is opposed to communism only insofar as communism is globalist, but it also just as opposed to international capitalism.
Economically, the fascist system is more about government regulation and control of property than government ownership of property. More specifically, the main economic difference between communism and fascism is that in fascism, the state colludes with private buisiness and heavily regulates private property, while in the communist system the state attempts to absorb all property into itself and there is hardly any private property to regulate. Fascism is typically very aggressive in its foreign policy. In practise, both fascism and communism don't have too much difference between their results, but do differ somewhat in their economic content.
Imperialism is the forceful extension of a state's authority by territorial expansion or by the establishment of economic or political dominance over territories outside of its jurisdiction. An imperialist state is one that engages in a lot of warfare. Imperialism involves invasion and occupation of territories by states, as well as the practise of nation-building. Imperialism and an expansive and aggressive foreign policy go hand in hand. It can be represented by control of a state by another (a puppet state type of deal) or forced citezenship to the imperial state on the part of people in foreign territories. Colonialism is a peculiar form of imperialism where people from the territory of the imperial nation literally move to the occupied territory to live.