J.R.Donohue/Commentary/Jefferson's Glory/No Government
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No Government/Competing Governments



     A response to those proposing no government.

     To advocate the idea that there ought to be no government whatsoever is to advocate anarchy. Anarchy is mob rule. I would call it civil war, except that phrase is too generous. If my stick is bigger than your stick, I become a power and there is nothing to stop me, no inhibition to my lust for ruling you as a slave or looting your possessions. How any rational person could advocate this as a desirable or proper culture surpasses understanding. I always suspect the anarchist is simply out of control with fear and rage against authority in general that he summarily rejects the possibility of limited, rational authority. He would rather face the brutal jungle filled with irrational beasts than take a chance that authority could ever be properly ordered. Whatever the reason, the advocate of anarchy contributes nothing to political science.

     A response to those proposing competing governments or private policing.

     "Competing governments" or "anarcho-governments," or "private police and armies" amounts to anarchy dressed up politely. There is no mechanism for limiting the number of these governments; there could be thousands and thousands in a given geographical area. More would emerge every day as splinter groups that believe the same will band together. Since it is unlikely their properties would be contiguous, how does ‘jurisdiction’ have any meaning? What about ‘extradition?’ There is no mechanism for unified application of objective law across competing governments, since one might interpret law completely differently than the next. They could be severely antagonistic. There is nothing to stop one or many or all from being completely irrational. Now that is a prescription for civil war.

     Perhaps the response to the above objection is, ‘private government like this would not be attempted until a majority of the population is civilized, rational and thinks objectively." Well, you can be sure that such a populace will not emerge from anarchy and savage chaos, nor from any collectivist culture. If on the other hand the suggestion is that the a proper populace will come from a highly organized society which will gradually become less and less "governed," then all that is being described is the Revolutionary government proposed in this essay, minimal, limited, under one principle. What reason would citizens have for ever dividing up such a fantastic success into thousands of little parts?

     Employment of force is only legitimate as retaliation against a citizen who has voided his sovereignty by initiating force against one or many sovereign citizens. This is an objective line and there is no need for more than one police force to carry out the decision of the judges. Having only one government assures that it carries the big stick, preventing pockets of armed authoritarians from arising in the nation, deterring crime by the reputation of universality and relentless power and professionalism in prosecuting it Potency in the execution of universal objective jurisprudence is no vice.

     If the tiger of the use of force must be let out of the cage, it ought to be one big tiger, easy to spot, out in the middle of a huge clearing, with bells on. Revolutionaries will keep an eye on it.

     It is no small matter, as well, that the guarantee of "equal standing before the law" would be shaky at best under thousands of competing governments. No, there must be an authority of last resort, one that holds the final level of force in its grasp. Because of volition, because man is fallible, because there are many reasons failure can occur in applying reason to a situation, there is always risk of a miscarriage of justice. But to use this as an excuse to not write objective law, to not judge that a violation has occurred, or to not apply force in rectifying crime would be a betrayal of the nature of man and the death of civilization.

     Making this point always prompts questions concerning the fear of the "government getting too big and powerful." This fear is real in a culture that has irrational laws on the books, laws that entail the initiation of force by government on a sovereign or permit one citizen to intrude upon another. Its not the size and strength of government that has been the problem; it is the failure to rest all law in the Foundation Principle. Toleration of irrational law is no virtue.

     On the other hand: for those who think it safe and wise to expand the scope of government because there can be "good government": Government always means the employment of physical force against citizens or against other nations. If it is claimed that there are things that government can do without force, please realize that government initiates force to collect wealth to use for these missions. Second, if an entity is doing something that does not compel by force or threat of force, and force was not used to obtain financing for the project, then really, it is not government, it is a volunteer organization. More power to it, as long as everything is voluntary, no sovereigns (or their money) coerced. But don’t call it government, as that invokes a sense of power and orthodoxy for something that is the merely the choices and work of private citizens.




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