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Role of Government

"The shadow of the state falls upon almost every human activity. From education to economic management, from social welfare to sanitation, and from domestic order to external defence, the state shaes and controls and where it does not shape and control it regulates, supervises, authorises and proscribes. Even those asects of life usually thought of as private(marriage divorce,abortion,religious worship and so on) are ultimately subject to the authourity of the state."

   --  Andrew Heywood

Two questions to be asked

How much liberty is good for the individual? 
How much government do we need?

Things to consider

Who should make decisions?
Do you trust government to make decisions for you? Do you trust strangers to make decisions for you.
There are more private ways to resolve disputes than statists recognise.
State takes sides – state is an agent of some parts of the population(becomes extortion racket instead of a protection racket)

People expecting the government to do something is like a junkie expecting a fix. It doesn't solve the problem

The contradiction

Quote 205

What is my wisdom if even the fools can dictate to me?

   --  Ayn Rand

If man is unfit to govern himself, how can he possibly be fit to govern others?

If man is fit to govern himself, he needs no masters. If man is unfit then who is he to govern others?
Unless some men are better than others, but looking at the worlds leaders do they seem full of wisdom and goodness? Or especially far superior to your neighbour?

What it means to be governed

"'That government is best which governs least', 'That government is best that governs not at all'"

   --  Henry David Thoreau

It is to be:
  • watched over
  • inspected
  • spied on
  • directed
  • legislated
  • regimented
  • closed in
  • indoctrinated
  • preached at
  • controlled
  • assessed
  • evaluated
  • censored
  • commanded 
all by creatures that have neither the right, nor the wisdom, nor the virtue.

Nanny state

"Not only does paternalism prevent individuals from making their own moral choices and, if necessary, from learning from their own mistakes, but it also creates the prospect that those invested with responsibility for others will abuse their position for their own ends."

   --  Andrew Heywood

Quote 871

"the strongest of all the arguments against the interference of the public with purely personal conduct, is that when it does interfere, the odds are that it interferes wrongly, and in the wrong place. On questions of social morality, of duty to others, the opinion of the public, that is, of an overruling majority, though often wrong, is likely to be still oftener right; because on such questions they are only required to judge of their own interests; of the manner in which some mode of conduct, if allowed to be practised, would affect themselves. But the opinion of a similar majority, imposed as a law on the minority, on questions of self-regarding conduct, is quite as likely to be wrong as right; for in these cases public opinion means, at the best, some people's opinion of what is good or bad for other people; while very often it does not even mean that; the public, with the most perfect indifference, passing over the pleasure or convenience of those whose conduct they censure, and considering only their own preference."

   --  John Stuart Mill

This websites position is

That individual well-being, prosperity, and social harmony are fostered by "as much liberty as possible" and "as little government as necessary."
Working together, cooperating for the common good without compulsion.

Government needs competition

The proper functions of governement fall into three broad categories. All of them involving the issues of physical force and the protection of mans rights: the police, to protect men from criminals- the armed services, to protect men from foreigh invaders- the law courts, to settle disputes amoung men according to objective laws.

   --  Ayn Rand

Government strengthens its grip

Government control

"Today the state controls almost everything. Politicians are not satisfied. They want to control everything."

   --  Vernon Coleman

The principle of taxing heavily and giving money back to the people in allowances is favoured because it gives the state more control over our lives.

   --  Vernon Coleman

Is this old video of Humpty dumpty a metapor for government?

Greedy Humpty dumpty


Subpages (2): Minarchy Sovereignty