Government

Survival Strategies of Governmentus Omnipotus

Government has evolved a variety of sophisticated survival strategies.

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Government, an aggressive and complex multicellular organism, can be found in nearly every region and climate of the planet, including those such as North America where the natural habitat is often inhospitable. In order to thrive in such climates, government has evolved a variety of sophisticated survival strategies. These have enabled it to co-exist with, and often out-compete, other species. 

A full examination of these strategies falls beyond the scope of this paper, but a brief summary should suffice to acquaint the lay reader with the more salient ones.

Learned Predator Recognition. Government in the United States has several  highly sophisticated means, from satellite surveillance to warrantless wiretapping, to scrutinize its environment for potential threats, both external and internal. The Nixon administration maintained an enemies list. The administration of President Barack Obama developed an "attack watch" website, and its Department of Homeland Security identified veterans returning fromIraq as potential terrorists. And, like the FBI under President Bush, the Justice Department under Obama trolled through the phone logs of national reporters, seeking out potential weaknesses.

Hypertrophy. Size alone confers distinct advantages in the competition for resources and the battle for survival. It is not surprising, therefore, that government grows at a remarkable rate. Consider public education: In 2009, the cost of a K-12 education, per student, exceeded $151,000 – almost three times the amount, after adjusting for inflation, spent per student in 1970.  The story is the same for social-welfare spending, which has increased 375 percent in constant dollars since 1965. Even the most fearsome apex predators often are daunted by the prospect of confronting such powerful creatures. 

Metastasis. Many government operations are able to permeate the bureaucratic lining and spread to other agencies. The federal government alone operates 33 distinct housing-assistance programs across four different agencies, and 49 job-training programs across eight different agencies. This strategy helps ensure that even if one strain of programs dies off, many others will remain.

Alleopathy. In the competition for finite resources, government has developed various means of inhibiting other organisms. Public school systems have become adept at fending off school-choice proposals, for instance. The Internal Revenue Service also has been used as a weapon. The earliest known occurrence of this in the wild was recorded during the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. President Nixon highly favored this tactic as well. More recently, the Obama administration has targeted tea-party groups and other organizations that "criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution," according to published accounts. 

Crypsis. The simplest way to evade attack is to avoid being detected. Government therefore has several means of remaining unnoticed – principal among them taxpayer withholding. Through withholding, the government is able to feed its voracious appetite without, in many cases, the host organism's knowledge or awareness. 

Thanatosis. Many creatures, including the possum and the hog-nosed snake, feign death to avoid predation. This behavior has been observed in government as well. Programs thought to have been killed off only to spring back to life at a later date include the WWII-era mohair subsidy and the even older federal helium program, originally created to ensure a supply of helium for WWI-era dirigibles. In 2013, The Washington Post reported that the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to continue its operations. 

Symbiosis. In many cases government programs have developed mutually beneficial relationships with other organisms that help them to ward off attack. Military systems are particularly adept at this survival technique. The F-22 Raptor program involves more than 1,000 contracting companies in 46 states. Military systems have even developed defenses against attacks from other government colonies. In 2010 the U.S. Army conducted a review of MEADS, the Medium Extended Air Defense System, which found it ill-suited to current defense needs. "Current Army position is: Terminate MEADS," the Army wrote. Yet according to a 2013 issue of Government Executive, MEADS "is continuing to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in government funding." 

Invasiveness. Constantly seeking out new territory and food sources, government is among the most aggressive of all invasive species. Anti-poverty programs, once designed to ease the plight of the poor, now routinely seek out applicants with incomes of two to four times the federal poverty level. The Affordable Care Act, passed by Congress in 2010, conferred on government the unprecedented power to force Americans to purchase a commercial good independent of any consumer behavior. The U.S. Department of Agriculture proclaims as its goal to "increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program." To that end it has adopted a variety of strategies, including a partnership with the Mexican government through which Mexican consulates spread the word that resident aliens can apply for U.S. food stamps without having to answer questions about their immigration status. And in 2013, The Washington Post reported on the experience of federal employee Dillie Nerios in Florida: "It is Nerios's job to enroll at least 150 seniors for food stamps each month, a quota she usually exceeds." 

CONCLUSIONWhile a certain amount of government is necessary for the health of any ecosystem, too much can prove devastating. It is important, therefore, to actively monitor and limit government lest it threaten Nature's delicate balance. However, government's aggressiveness and highly developed survival mechanisms will make this an arduous task for the foreseeable future.

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  1. While a certain amount of government is necessary for the health of any ecosystem…

    And you were doing so well up to this point, too.

    1. Meh. No need to disown the minarchists. They (we? I’m not sure…) are natural allies.

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    2. Only a crazed anarchist nutjob would think that is not the case.

      1. Guilty as charged.

    3. And you wonder why people think libertarians are anarchists.

      1. To be fair, a lot of them (us? I’m not sure…) are. And what’s so wrong with that? It’s a pretty natural conclusion once you adopt the NAP.

        1. I just think it is naive to think that society can exist without a group of violent men getting together to extract tribute from those without means to fight back.

          1. I fully agree. It’s obvious that people will have need to protect themselves. I happen to believe that such things can be accomplished by private defense organizations. And maybe even that those defense organizations won’t devolve into what we think of as states.

            1. I dunno. I would think that competition among defense organizations would resemble war, and the winner would demand that everyone within a geographical area pay for its services whether they want to or not. Kinda like government.

              1. I’m not sure I agree. War is extremely costly. It’s also an extreme gamble. Private defense organizations would have one incentive to go to war – to acquire more customers. But they’d have tons of reasons not to – the cost, the uncertainty, the poorer defensive position it might put them in, potential war weariness amongst their clients…It seems that it’s only a net benefit to go to war when you can nationalize resources. In other words, when a state already exists.

                Of course, such a situation could easily devolve into a state. I’m not denying that; in fact, it’s likely what happened many times in early human history. I’m just claiming that it may not be inevitable if the clients are vigilant enough.

                Nozick deals with all this in “Anarchy, State, and Utopia”.

                1. I don’t see how there could be competing defense agencies within the same geographical area without them getting into violent conflict each other. One of them has to have the last word in violence. And once an organization has the last word in violence, it has license to steal (tax). Who’s going to stop it? It has the last word in violence.

                  1. Agreed. You’re missing a step, though. Without the last word in violence, the license to steal simply isn’t there. And without license to steal, it’s very difficult to fight a war. You’re assuming that the defense agencies already resemble states in having the power to steal.

                    Of course, a defense agency that doesn’t have the power to steal will be vulnerable to ones that do. So it’s not good enough to be vigilant against excesses by your own defense agency. You need to expect that others do as well. It’s a system of constant tension. But that’s the case for libertarians in states, as well.

                    1. Without the last word in violence, a defense agency is pretty much useless, isn’t it?

                      There just isn’t a way to achieve balance. Either they are an effective defense agency with the last word in violence, or they are not. And with that last word in violence comes the license to steal.

                      Anarchy is a naive pipe dream.

                    2. And with that last word in violence comes the license to steal.

                      Which is why a mugger with a gun is government, right?

                    3. Which is why a mugger with a gun is government, right?

                      If there is no one you can call to help you, then effectively yes.

                    4. If there is no one you can call to help you, then effectively yes.

                      It was a rhetorical question, I know what your answer is.

                  2. I don’t see how there could be competing defense agencies within the same geographical area without them getting into violent conflict each other. One of them has to have the last word in violence.

                    We have competing states within the same geographical area (i.e., earth), and they frequently get into violent conflict with each other. Does one of them have “the last word in violence”?

                  3. Arbitration, common law courts and polycentric law would all carry enough weight to highly restrict the ability of defense agencies to go to war. Defense agencies wouldn’t even be able to function without arbitrators, ‘legitimate’ courts, and numerous sources of law.

                    1. Sure, sure, because the defense agencies would simply comply with what the courts told them to do, even though the court has no way to force them to comply, right?

                2. it may not be inevitable if the clients are vigilant enough.

                  There will *always* be a point where the ‘clients’ are no longer vigilant enough.

                3. Organized warfare is mankind’s favorite recreational activity. Never bet on a war being to “costly” to start. One side will be figuring the costs differently, and it only takes one side to start a war.

            2. Question for those who advocate private defense organizations: it seems to me that such a thing is at least theoretically possible. What I’m not clear on is how such a system would work in the current world “system.”

              E.g. say the state of Anarchia evolves into a region without a government and is defended by a number of peacefully competing private defense organizations.

              But, not too far way (although not necessarily a neighbor) is the nation of Gigantia. Gigantia is equipped with a full nation-state military with all the modern weapons. It decides to invade Anarchia (for whatever reason). Are those private defense organizations able to defend Anarchia?

              And yes, I know, about the American Revolution, Vietnam, Iraq. But the little guys didn’t defeat the big guys, they just made it unprofitable for the big guys to stay. Would that be the outcome?

              I’m not disagreeing with the anarchist approach; It’s just I’ve never seen it addressed in a world in which modern nation-states coexist and was wondering how its advocates view such a possibility.

              1. Gigantia is equipped with a full nation-state military with all the modern weapons. It decides to invade Anarchia (for whatever reason). Are those private defense organizations able to defend Anarchia?

                Now stop using this horrible analogy as a argument against anarchy. If a giant nation-state with a huge army decides to take over any other country, they’re going to do it regardless of how that smaller country is run.

                1. Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough. I’m not arguing against anarchy (or for it, for that matter). I was trying to get more understanding of something that puzzles me.

                  My question was not an analogy. It was a fictional set up to ask a question. I didn’t specify the size of Anarchia. It could be the largest region in the world. And the invader could be small. My question is: how does a region/state/whatever with private defense organizations defend territory against a fully equipped nation-state?

                  In case I’m still not clear. This is not a rhetorical question. It’s an interrogative statement designed to elicit information I don’t currently possess.

                  Unless, of course, your response was /sarc, in which case disregard this commment.

                  1. how does a region/state/whatever with private defense organizations defend territory against a fully equipped nation-state?

                    My answer wasn’t sarcasm. The answer is: the same way any other territory does. The real issue here is that many people use this argument to say “See, anarchy can’t work because someone bigger will just come in and take over”. Well guess what, if a big country wants to take over a small country and has enough force to overwhelm the small country it doesn’t matter one bit how that smaller country is organized. The best one could hope for is that the defense organizations would temporarily band together to defend the territory they were hired to defend. If one group loses, they all lose. Therefore it is in their interest to do so.

                    1. Hmm, OK that makes sense.

                    2. no it doesn’t make sense. What the hell? If the people of an area get together and hire a “defense organization”, they are forming an army. They are claiming that they, the people, have the last word on violence. This is the exact same thing that classic western liberal theory claims as the purpose of government, so that the people have the last word on violence.
                      All you are doing is giving old concepts new names. Whats’ the difference between an army/police force and a “defense organization”?
                      By the way, you need a main commander for the D.O. Well, we can call him a general, maybe.
                      Oh, and somebody has to tell the general what to do. Well, we will call him the President, maybe, or the Prime Minister.
                      How do we decide what the Prime Minister tells the general? Or who the Prime Minister is? Maybe we could all vote on what we think, you know, like have an election, or something.
                      Of, course, then we will need people to do all the work of setting up the election, and others watching to make sure it is all done fairly. And, since they are spending a lot of time doing it, maybe we can pay them. Hey, we can call them “bureaucrats”.
                      Anarchy is a seductive idea, it just doesn’t work. Libertarianism is NOT anarchy, but believes that the smallest amount of government necessary should be used, and that it should be tightly controlled.

              2. Commonwealth of Iceland had an arguably stateless society for over 400 years before it ended the way you described, by the invasion of a Norse king.

                1. It helped that Iceland was not exactly on a main route.

                  1. Marginal real estate always seems to be the last to be invaded.

          2. The projection is strong in you, grasshopper. You’re just like John.

            1. The difference between me and John is that I view government as an inevitable evil, while he views it as a necessary good.

              1. Perhaps both? A necessary evil? Always evil, occasionally necessary?

                1. I always say that government is at best a necessary evil. But almost certainly inevitable.

              2. And the difference between you and me is that I view government as a lie and a false choice foisted upon everyone by people like you and John.

                Violence is a choice. Both of you choose it, and claim it is inevitable. You are the problem.

                1. I don’t choose it. Rather I am powerless to stop it.

                  1. Government is like rape. The Constitution is like consent to a date.

                2. In a perfect world, we’d live in a very minarchist system, with free markets, flying cars, and robot slaves. And you’d be a bitter anarchist rebel, who’d we’d have to hunt down and reluctantly kill, after really massive levels of due process.

                  Sadly, for now, we must continue to be allied against the total statists, who have kicked our ass up until now.

                  1. Sorry, Pro Libertate, I think you’ll have to speak for yourself on hunting down the anarchists. Most of us will be too busy with our flying cars and robot sex slaves.

                3. Government isn’t a lie, anarchism is. Like John said, an anarchist society requires a New Man just as a Marxist one does. Both are unworkable collectivist fantasies for silly people.

                  1. an anarchist society requires a New Man just as a Marxist one does. Both are unworkable collectivist fantasies for silly people.

                    First we already have a new man compared to our ancestors. The degree of freedom and prosperity in society today would not be possible with the political culture and morality of our ancient ancestors. There’s nothing utopian about a ‘New Man’ unless one is claiming that New Man will lack self-interest. And secondly, there’s nothing collectivist about an ideology that makes the individual the basic operating unit.

                4. Violence is a choice. Both of you choose it, and claim it is inevitable.

                  Considering human nature, isn’t it inevitable? This is not to say enviable, but are you unfamiliar with human beings?

                  Come and see the violence inherent in the species!

          3. I just think it is naive to think that society can exist without a group of violent men getting together to extract tribute from those without means to fight back.

            Which is why I’m neither a pacifist, nor a fan of the work of John Graham Chambers.

        2. You are not required to accept the NAP as a moral absolute inviolable even by God. Coercion is not a sin that sends you to hell, but rather a danger that needs to be minimized. Minarchists support a minimal level of institutional coercion because it is a check against greater levels of violence. It’s like fire, it’s always a danger but a world where fire does not exist is fantasy.

          Peaceful anarchy is purely theoretical, while historical examples of societies losing their state and subsequently collapsing into banditry and warlordism are a dime a dozen.

          If you ever come up with a bona fide peaceful anarchy, I will pay you to move there. But in the meantime I will work towards a minimal state.

          1. If you ever come up with a bona fide peaceful anarchy, I will pay you to move there. But in the meantime I will work towards a minimal state.

            Commonwealth of Iceland. Now pay for my time travel. Hopefully once I get there I won’t run into any “if you don’t like it you can get out” arguments.

            1. It wasn’t an anarchy. Coercion was institutionalized in the clan. You could make a good argument that being ruled by your great uncle is better than being ruled by Bushobama, but that doesn’t mean you were not ruled.

              1. The Althing has been meeting since what, 930 CE? Longest running continuous ‘democracy’ in the world is not what I would term ‘anarchy’.

      2. I think most people think Libertarians are Anarchists because they’re too ignorant to know the difference.

        1. Well, we fucking know. There’s no hate better than internecine hate. Fucking Episiarch anarchists.

          1. Well, since you and Epi have been around here before the time of governments, in some sort of primordial dream time, I will take your word.

            1. primordial dream time ooze

              1. I punched him in the mitochondria.

            2. It’s true, I invented government when I got the rest of the tribe to turn on Episiarch (then known as “Frar-[Click]-Scarg”) and drive him out. After a good beating, of course. Sorry for the consequences of my invention, but I think you all can see that it was necessary.

              1. You all know ProL is my dad, right? And your mom is my mom?

                1. That means Warty is like Cain, or something…

                  1. I prefer to refer to ProL and Epi as Byatis and Dythalla, respectively, during my nightly incantations. Although my sanity does suffer for it.

                  2. He came from the Land of Zod, which isn’t explained anywhere.

                    1. I hear they do a lot of kneeling there

                    2. Yeah. Nobody knows why. Except maybe Warty.

        2. Tell the average person you’re an anarchist and they think of that foul breed of communitarians that use the anarchist label. as if supporting a massive soul-crushing redistributive state mechanism could possibly be classified as anarchy. ignorance indeed.

    4. Self governance is still governance.

      1. I highly doubt this is what most people have in mind when they use the word “government”. And I highly doubt it’s the sense that Hinkle is using it in.

        1. Ahh but there is the rub. Anarchists continually neglect the very definition of their word. As a consequence they misinterpret their own philosophy.

          When you have more than one human you have government. A monopoly on force is not required. Taxation is not required. Representation of class is not required. Just more than one human. NOW, the AnCaps state that without the above you have an anarchist utopia. I respond that the absence of the above does not in any way constitute anarchy. Anarchy is not something the wont exist. It is something that doesn’t by the broad definition. What they claim is anarchy is really just another form of governance.

          The sooner we all get on board with that the sooner we can make the above three criteria a reality.

          1. Wikipedia seems to have the definition as I and most people understand it: “A government is an organization exerting centralized control over a community (i.e., over a state). This is made possible by imposing taxation via such agencies as the revenue service and, if necessary for the actualization of a policy, by use and initiation of force via such agencies as the police and the military.”

            In every other definition, you’ll find something about “centralized”, “state”, etc. Government is inherently a centralized operation. It’s simply not true that more than one human = government. It only becomes so when the political authority is centralized. I can think of many scenarios in which that is not the case.

            1. Can’t we all be compelled to get along?

                1. As Christ said in the new government-issued Bible, “Love your brother or die.”

              1. You’re not the boss of me!

                1. That’s not what Obama said. He said I own you, provided I go through government channels to exercise my oppression.

            2. There are many retarded ideas of what government means floating around H&R. Although I must say this is the first time I’ve seen government = more than one person.

              1. To put it pointedly, governance is the exertion of authority by one over another. A government is the one(or ones)doing the exerting. It need not always be the same person and it need not require force.

                1. More and more I tend not to think of government at all. It’s better to think more about distribution of power. Something called ‘government’ without power is *not* government.

            3. I will not bring in to question your source but instead address the points you raised: Centralized is an interesting qualifier. Does that mean geographically, because with modern tech and air force one and the like where IS out central authority. Does it mean a central group of actors because is that congress, senate, house, president, does it have to be the same people at the same time? Does it mean legally because our constitution has been amended 27 times (true 10 were at once) does that mean we have had different central laws and therefore different governments?

              If Government is inherently centralized what would the Lakota tribes be referred to as? What about Special Olympics and the Boy Scouts. Are they NOT governments? Or even the Catholic Church? Where is the central line drawn?

              My intention is not to be overly pedantic but to point out that Anarchy and Government are not the nice little talking points people think. There is an asymptotic line starting at the most oppressive and overbearing forms and moving towards an infinity or less government but never reaching zero. If the AnCaps would just address the issue as Self Government (not BY DEFINITION anarchy) then I would agree.

              1. My intention is not to be overly pedantic

                Too late.

              2. If you can quit it, it’s not a government.

                1. I can quit the US.

                  Practically and theoretically.

                  (Yes the practical may take a lot more effort but it is not only possible but has been done recently numerous times)

                  1. No, emigration still requires permission. If you were free to quit you wouldn’t need the good graces of a bureaucrat in a far away city who thinks he owns a portion of you and all you create.

          2. When you have more than one human you have government. A monopoly on force is not required. Taxation is not required. Representation of class is not required. Just more than one human.

            No. More than one human is a society, not a government.

            Government is force. That is all. It is the people with the last word in violence.

            In Anartopia everyone would settle their differences peacefully, but that’s not reality.
            People will have conflicts, and that’s why courts developed. But courts are useless unless the decisions can be enforce, and the only way to enforce those decisions is by having the last word in violence.

            1. I can easily point to possible (and historical) societies where government did not have a claimed/legitimate monopoly on force. A look at Tuscany in the 13th-15th centuries for example. Even feudal England after the fall of Rome could be considered after Alfred the great’s “unification”.

              1. I didn’t say monopoly on force. I said last word in violence.

                You can use force to defend yourself. So government doesn’t have the monopoly on it.

                So government doesn’t have the monopoly on force. It does has the monopoly on the initiation of force. You can’t go and punch someone in the face because they didn’t call you “Sir,” but a cop can.

                1. A discussion of practical reality is outside the scope of our philosophical meanderings. Cops are an entity unto themselves and for a Dunphy thread.

                  afatfpic

                  /hth

              2. Britainia after the fall of Rome had already been abandoned as a province by 476 and after the departure of Roman rule in Britainia new kings sprung up and conquered their neighbors. Just because a government ceases to exist doesn’t put society in anarchy. And just because a government lacks a true monopoly of force, doesn’t make it less of a government. Pick any civil war in history where that monopoly is contested, that doesn’t mean the belligerent parties weren’t governments.

          3. When you have more than one human you have government. A monopoly on force is not required. Taxation is not required. Representation of class is not required. Just more than one human.

            Should we take your word on that? Government really is a territorial monopoly of legal violence. Every credible source, from Seneca and Machiavelli to a 2013 edition dictionary could tell you that. Semantics aside, there is nothing intrinsically coercive about a relationship between people especially ones acting towards one another in accordance with the NAP.

          4. Of course a monopoly on force is required! That is THE definition of government! For example, I am Secretary of State for the USA, and I want to discuss fishing rights off the coast of North Korea. Does the US government deal with the government in exile, the people that we wish ruled the country? Of course not, we deal with the odious people who actually have control of the country; i.e. the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, because they actually control all the violence in North Korea, ipso facto they ARE the government

      2. But governance is not government.

    5. While a certain amount of government is necessary for the health of convenient in any ecosystem…

      FTFY.

    6. You can’t have freedom without government. Government is vital to control the initation of force, otherwise you get NGOs that do the same but worse. See Somalia, Haiti, ’90s Liberia.

      1. Sure, because in a world filled with people like you other people can’t be just left alone to do as they please.

        1. Assume a can opener New Man.

          1. I’m sure you jest, but I’m rather a fan of Nietzsche.

          2. Assume a can opener New Man.

            A “New Man” is like a new car. Once he gets driven off the lot, he’s no longer new and there’s always next year’s model to look forward to.

      2. You can’t have freedom without government.

        Spoken like a true statist.

        1. Somalia, sarc. SOMALIA.

          1. You can’t have freedom without roads. Fact.

          2. People use Somalia as a joke, but it does stand as a good case study. The collapse of the Somalian government did not lead to a peaceful anarchy, it led to a bunch of violent warlords ruling in its place. There’s a reason Ethiopians are not migrating en masse to Somalia.

            Absent the “New Man” mentioned above, you will always have coercion and aggression. The question is whether you have relatively violent banditry or relatively peaceful government.

            1. We are new men, right now in 2013. I have no reason to think people are getting more violent because year after year they get less violent.

            2. It is a bad analogy because 1) the collapse was due to a struggle for power NOT a desire for the dissolution of power 2) you still ended up with a bunch of states, because they were still statists

              It would be the equivalent if the American Union broke up. Would that be anarchy? No. Simply that the 50 states would now become independent states

              1. ^this

        2. Bullshit. Once again, the anarchists defame libertarianism with their all-or-nothing view point. Some government IS wanted, maybe even REQUIRED, for freedom. “and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” is what Hobbes wrote about the state of nature some 400 plus years ago. He makes arguments about why it is better for the individual to have a government capable of protecting his rights for him. John Stuart Mills, writing a generation later, agreed with that thought, but added more weight to the wants of the individual. Both of these writers, and more, were extremely influential on the founding fathers, and some of the wording of the Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. Constitution, are almost direct quotes of their writings. The classic idea is that everybody surrenders their individual right to wage war, and transfers that power to the government. The government then has the last word on violence, and the people need to enact safeguards to ensure that said power is kept in check. the tired cliche is still 0 correct: Government is like fire; it a useful servant but a dreadful master.

      3. You can’t have freedom without government. Government is vital to control the initation of force, otherwise you get NGOs that do the same but worse. See Somalia, Haiti, ’90s Liberia.

        What about Somalia is remotely anarchist? Is it the litany of de facto micro-states that have sprung up? Is it the warlords’ absolute rule? How about Haiti and Liberia, is it the virtually unlimited government power that made you think of anarchy? Or was it the civil wars between parties competing for state power? Tell me more.

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    8. I disagree. I think one organization having a monopoly on the legitimate use of force is a good thing. And when that organization only uses force to right wrongs thus creating a disincentive for individuals/groups to initiate force against others (this would be the definition of legitimate use of force).

  2. Government is a parasite. It grows by sucking the blood out of the host, until it kills it. Then it sort of dies, but really it just goes into hibernation until it smells the blood(revenue) of it’s next victim.

  3. Good piece, Hinkle.

  4. See, this is what happens when there’s not an abortion or pizza thread to distract everyone.

    Now we see the pedantry inherent in the system!

    1. ER! MAH! GERD!

  5. stationary bandit, nothing more.

  6. Classical Liberal = 80% libertarian
    Minarchist = 90% libertarian
    Anarchist / Agorist / Voluntarist = 100% libertarian

    where % denotes the degree and consistency of applying the NAP

    1. I could get behind those numbers.

  7. an aggressive and complex multicellular organism

    You forgot ‘parasitic’.

  8. It is important, therefore, to actively monitor and limit government lest it threaten Nature’s delicate balance.

    If a predator in this situation threatens to destabilize the ecosystem, the usual solution is to hunt excess population. We can put bounties on the figurative heads of government agencies.

  9. Nice work, Mr. Hinkle.

    Also, kudos to the commentariat; my day is not complete without visiting this place.

  10. Anarchy would work if the entire world’s population consisted of the people on this thread. But in real life, a well contained government, capable of reacting to large scale problems with large scale resources, is sometimes necessary. It is just like the cliche says comparing gov. to fire. I don’t want to live in a cold place, and I don’t want to live in a Mad Max world, either. But just because I use a small fire to heat my home and cook my food, does not mean that I don’t need to make sure that the fire is well contained, and kept under control.

    1. I agree. People aren’t perfect and will violate the non-aggression principle, and we need a means to right these wrongs, and thus create a disincentive for criminal behavior.

      While other means to right wrongs have been used in the past (e.g. guilds who pledged to right wrongs and used force to do so), this could lead to violence between the groups without a higher “court” to resolve it. Thus, our founders gave States the responsibility to deal with criminals, rather than the federal government. And they gave the federal government the right to overthrow state laws that violated our rights. A balance of power that provide checks on the abuse of it (except at the federal level where we rely on politically appointed judges to protect our rights).

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