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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Statism \Sta"tism\ (st[=a]"t[i^]z'm), n. [From State.] The art of governing a state; statecraft; policy. [Obs.]

The enemies of God . . . call our religion statism.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1600, in reference to church-state matters; 1880 as "the art of government;" 1919 as the modern political opposite of individualism; from state (n.) + -ism.


n. The belief that the centralization of power in a state (sovereign polity) is the ideal or best way to organize humanity.


In political science, statism is the belief that the state should control either economic or social policy, or both, to some degree.

  • Statism is effectively the opposite of anarchism. An individual who supports very limited intervention by the state is a minarchist.

While the term "statism" has been in use since the 1850s, it gained significant usage in American political discourse throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Ayn Rand made frequent use of it in a series of articles in 1962.

Usage examples of "statism".

But when I try to discuss welfare statism and all they want to do is peel bananas.

Varien wishes to make his offer to governments which, unknown to him, are about to turn their backs on space as part of a general retreat into the kind of statism we had all thought lay safely in the last century.

This country needs and deserves a potent voice of loyal opposition to the policies of statism and socialism that this president represents.

Yet through multiculturalism, cultural relativism and a therapeutic curriculum our schools often promote the very values from which new immigrants are fleeing - tribalism, statism and group rather than individual interests.

They control the media, and the purse-strings, and a nation of sheeple sucking at the tit of statism.

What did exist were only so-called mixed economies, which means: a mixture, in varying degrees, of freedom and controls, of voluntary choice and government coercion, of capitalism and statism.

The relationship is reciprocal: statism rises out of prehistorical tribal warfare, out of the notion that the men of one tribe are the natural prey for the men of an­other—and establishes its own internal subcategories of rac­ism, a system of castes determined by a man’s birth, such as inherited titles of nobility or inherited serfdom.

But when I try to discuss welfare statism and all they want to do is peel bananas.