A machinery of coercion

Describing the Mughal system of revenue collection on page 179 of The Cambridge Economic History of India – Volume 1, c1200-1750, Tapan Raychaudhuri calls it:

“a vicious circle of coercion helping to maintain a machinery of coercion.”

Never mind the Mughals; this is as succinct and clear a description of statehood itself as I’ve ever seen. And more accurate every day as the machinery of coercion improves in sophistication and reach.