Reason’s Matt Welch, in a very interesting article, essentially explains why the state will never die, although I’m not altogether certain that’s what he meant to convey by his article.
The state, like religion, never dies. It just changes from one form to another. The essential characteristics for belief in both, however, remain resoundingly the same: "can’t live without them." Never mind that religious crusades of one form or another–state or church sponsored–and state conquests–whether secular or religious–have been responsible for more murders than all other forms of death combined, save for natural causes. We are talking in the many hundreds of millions.
Now, contrast that with science, agriculture, and industry. Contrast that with arguably the greatest savior of mankind in all of human history (odds are that you have never in your life heard his name; and that should tell you just about all you need to know about the current state of human culture: from top to bottom and wall to wall).
But instead, we moronically reject what is right in front of our eyes, choosing instead to believe and trust that "Jesus is coming again," and/or that "The President will save us." Of course, all will be paradise, then. The underlying structure of the belief and trust is identical.
It’s true that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to argue against the benefits people perceive that they get from their religious myths, and what they think they receive from the state. It’s so hard because people don’t seem to know or care to understand where their values actually come from. Just ask Norman Borlaug, for example. You could also go ask any of those "Robber Barons" from the past, along with current Satans like Bill Gates. No, nobody will ask them. But they’ll ask the likes of Dan Rather, Barbara Walters, Oprah. In business, they’ll ask those who are ultimately failures in business, or those who "teach" it, but have never created a value or signed a paycheck in their lives.
They’ll ask their minister–who hasn’t seen hide nor hair of God, either. They’ll ask every form of parasite, hanger on, and poseur imaginable. They will never get to the true sources of their values in physical form, and thus will never understand the ultimate and fundamental source of every single value they hold dear: man’s mind.