I recently posted in a Facebook group, “There is no legitimate reason for a government…discuss”. Unfortunately, I had to go out and wasn’t able to get back to the discussion. I was a bit surprised that the discussion carried on, with several participants, over 300 comments, and remained civil. Merely suggesting a government is not necessary in a Facebook group, generally brings out an emotionally charged backlash of anger, which results in the thread being derailed by name calling trolldom. So, to my surprise, I really enjoyed reading the conversation. There were too many comments for me to address individually by the time I was able to get back to the thread, so I copied many of the more interesting comments, sorta grouped them into categories, and decided I would address the categories here. As I stated, this discussion took place in a Facebook group, and the people involved may not want to be identified outside of that group. So, in this document, I will use initials when referencing a specific comment, for the sake of privacy.
I guess we should start with the question, Is government necessary?
Obviously, my position is no, government is not necessary.
N. S. agrees with me and sums it up quite simply in one comment.
There are no legitimate reasons for having government because anything government can do, [it] can be done better without government.
Except maybe warfare. Governments are REALLY good at waging war.
And I think J.R. was trying to argue for having a government, but actually helped make my case.
“There is no legitimate reason for government.” False. It’s just that there are many better arguments for not having it.
For many years I was a minarchist, believing there is a legitimate role for government A very limited, specific role, but a role nevertheless. It never really occurred to me, beyond a quick rebellious fleeting thought here and there, that society could exist without a government. I mean, we’ve always had a government, so it must be necessary, right? And I think most people believe this way too. It is simply alien to us, to entertain the notion of a stateless society.
What about the post office? Who will build the roads? How would we defend our borders? What about national defense? Who will care for the elderly without Social Security? How could we deal with the poor? How will we educate our children?
These are just a few of the more common questions that come to mind from most people…including me at one time! In fact, J.R.H. asks:
And you think people naturally help those who are hungry, homeless and in need of assistance? People will provide medical care to those in need just because it’s the right thing to do? That people will voluntarily pay for repairs and upkeep in the commons? That’s what you think would happen?
Yes, I do think that. But if/when one actually thinks about it, none of those things are provided solely by a government. The State is merely a middleman. It takes from some, and redistributes to others. I cannot think of one single function a government provides, that cannot be provided without a government. Can you? If we woke up tomorrow, and no government existed, would we stop corresponding? Would we forget how to build roads? Would we become helpless to care for our elderly and poor? Would we stop educating our children? Are we, as individuals, as well as a society, so stupid that we could not handle these things? Of course not. Now, there is an argument to be made that we are so stupid that we would replace the old government with a new one. But why? Think this time we’ll get it right? Think another Constitution will restrain and limit the next government? Think writing another Bill of Rights will this time protect us from the new government? Not likely.
We are conditioned
Through indoctrination/conditioning, passed on from generation to generation, we have the default position that somebody must be in charge. I mean, if nobody is in charge, nothing would get done, and chaos would ensue. We are just conditioned to think that just because a government does do something, it must do that something. Nonsense.
We are horrible beasts, with no self control, and without government, morality would cease to exist. Do you really believe that? I have never once heard from anybody who supports a stateless society, that without government, there’d never be bad people. Or without a central authority, bad things will never happen. But what I constantly hear from people who advocate the state, is everybody would become mindless, immoral, uncaring, dog eat dog lunatics without government.
J.H. made the following comment, and I’m not sure she specifically meant to make the point I am going to try to make using her comment but:
Guess I think something like – institutions have been telling us things we should already know for so long, it will take some adjusting to get (back?) to where we can live peacefully without them.
We have become what convicts refer to as institutionalized. I think most people, as individuals, believe they would get along and function quite nicely on their own. But for some reason, they think the next individual cannot or will not. And a group of individuals?..forget it! “They will become a gang and oppress me!” Don’t they understand, the U.S. federal government is by far, the largest, most powerful gang on the planet? And that gang’s sole purpose is to oppress them! The three branches in our federal government create laws, interpret laws, and enforce laws. And what exactly are laws? Simply words saying what you are allowed to do, or prohibited from doing. I don’t care how altruistic your motives in creating any law, the law itself is oppressive. Every single law on the books. Not one is exempt from this truth. Let’s take the most obvious law. It is illegal to commit murder. No kidding? We needed a law to tell us murder is an immoral act?
So going back to J.H.’s comment, most of us already do live peacefully without them. Most of us do not wake up in the morning with the intent of acting immorally. Most of us wake up and plan our day around the idea of being productive to serve our needs and the needs of our families. We do not start our day off by asking, “how can I initiate force against others to meet my needs?”
J.H. Ever heard of the deer in a cage experiment? (Not real ethical but whatever, science.) When a deer was caged long enough, and they opened the door, it stayed there. It forgot how to think of escape.
Yes, this is exactly how they train fleas as well.
J.R.H. do you honestly believe we’re victims of “cage” mentality because of government or that we weren’t brought up to be all we can be, FFS
I absolutely believe we are victims of cage mentality. We are taken from our homes at age 5, bused into state run indoctrination factories, placed in cubicles of conformity until the age of 17/18, and taught how to be good citizens. Please don’t get me started on public education. I could write endlessly on that horrific experiment, so its best to leave that for another document. But for those who are interested, I have gathered quite a bit of information related to the subject.
People are good/bad
How much sense does it really make to believe that people are inherently bad, so we need a select few of these inherently bad people to prevent all the rest of us from being bad? And seriously, look at those who think they can keep the rest of us from being bad. They are among the baddest of the bad.
There are many prominent Psychologists that believe humans are born bad and they have to develop civilization to prevent the worst from happening, then there are just as many who think we are all born good. The correct answer probably lies somewhere in between.
I’m sure the answer does lie somewhere in between, but I can’t see how this is a justification for a government. Does a government actually prevent bad people from being bad? Never. And simply because a government says something is illegal, does that automatically make a certain group bad?
Look at the war on drugs, as an example. This fiasco has created criminals, and has done nothing to curb or deter drug use. Peaceful people, having their property destroyed or confiscated, their families being broken up, kidnapped, thrown in cages, scarred with a criminal record, financially ruined, etc…for what?
How many billions of dollars have we dumped into this farce? How many innocent people have been at the wrong end of violence from the state, because some clerk wrote down the wrong address? How many billions of dollars do we spend housing non-violent people, who have done nothing but posses something that some find objectionable? How many children have been stolen from their parents and thrown into state run factories because their loving, caring, parents were deemed criminals for smoking a plant? I could go on and on and on, just with this one issue, and it is only one issue of many (I’d argue all) showing how absolutely insane governmental policy is. Aren’t we capable of dealing with the medical issue of addiction without a central authority? I say yes, and we’d do it cheaper and get better results.
It has occurred to me, as I was writing this, it would be impossible to address every issue, in detail, to make the case for anarchy in one document. And that really wasn’t my intention. My intention is simply to get you, specifically YOU, the individual, to just ask the question: “Is a government really necessary?” I will add a “Part II”, (and probably additional “parts”) in the near future, using more questions and comments from “you”. But in the mean time, I want you to begin thinking of all the issues you currently believe the government addresses, and ask yourself, “Is that the only way to address these things? Is that the best way to address them? Are there alternatives?”
More from Josey Wales
- About “Josey Wales”
- How Do You TSU?
- Josey Wales intro YouTube
- Josey Wales is being a Hypocrite
- Joseys Time in Government Schools
- Letter to Amber
- Republican Wave 2014
- Short Rant on Voting
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