Governments: Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Kill Them

Some countries allow more freedom and opportunity for their citizens and residents than others. Some nations are more prosperous and welcoming than others. By observing the flow of talented and ambitious emigrants and immigrants, one can get a general measurement of which countries provide more freedom and opportunity — and which countries are considered the more desirable destinations.

Immigration: Destination Countries

Immigration: Destination Countries

Despite the relative desirability of particular countries on the emigration — immigration scale, it is possible for their citizens to feel marked antipathy for their governments. This is increasingly the case in Obama’s America, for example.

Americans have felt less free year by year since 2006, and there’s a evidence to back up their perceptions of eroding liberty. That includes slippage in rankings of economic freedom and a plummet in the ratings of press freedom.

Distrust of government has become so pervasive that the Census Bureau thinks the only way to get cooperation from the seething masses is with threats. Probably because that always evokes warm and fuzzy feelings.

The good news for politicians, not that they deserve any, is that there’s enormous room here for growth, and little downside. Frankly, it would be hard for them to disappoint a public that holds them in such low regard. __

All Governments are Coercive

In the beginning, the US government took great pains to limit its control over its citizens. The combination of unimaginable freedom and opportunity attracted large numbers of ambitious immigrants — and triggered phenomenal economic growth within the new nation. But as the nation grew in prosperity and power, so did its government grow in size, scope, and greed. The nation that began as a haven of opportunity was becoming indistinguishable from the very type of tyranny that many of its citizens and citizen’s ancestors had fled. It had become “just another government.”

Government has exclusive possession and control within its geographical area of whatever functions it is able to relegate to itself, and it maintains this control by force of its laws and its guns, both against other governments and against any private individuals who might object to its domination. To the extent that it controls any function, it either prohibits competition (as with the delivery of first class mail) or permits it on a limited basis only (as with the American educational system). It compels its citizen-customers by force of law either to buy its services or, if they don’t want them, to pay for them anyway….

Government is, and of necessity must be, a coercive monopoly, for in order to exist it must deprive entrepreneurs of the right to go into business in competition with it, and it must compel all its citizens to deal with it exclusively in the areas it has pre-empted. Any attempt to devise a government which did not initiate force is an exercise in futility, because it is an attempt to make a contradiction work. Government is, by its very nature, an agency of initiated force. If it ceased to initiate force, it would cease to be a government and become, in simple fact, another business firm in a competitive market. __

Limited government usually works well when it is tried, but it doesn’t last. Governments rarely allow themselves to remain limited. They tend to grow larger and more controlling, as long as the people tolerate this growth and steady encroachment.

… the masses tend to view big government as an inevitability of life; as a natural extension of culture. Rarely if ever do they ask what tangible purpose it serves. Are they really getting what they want out of their government? Or, is the government taking what it wants from them? ___

Most modern humans cannot imagine a world without government, as we know it. They tend to build their lives around the demands and restrictions of government, as if the mighty institution would always be there.

But deep changes are slipping into the dynamic conflict between the interests of governments and the interests of individuals, families, and communities. As the potential of new and disruptive technologies (and ways of thinking) begin to unfold, we are beginning to see ways of “transitioning” from government. It is becoming unnecessary to “kill government” in order to wrest back precious freedoms.

Disruptive Technologies: What Are They?

Disruptive technologies are technological innovations which, as their name suggests, disrupt the status quo. They may displace existing technology, or introduce an entirely novel concept to society…

… There’s usually no way to tell when a disruptive technology is the wild card which will totally change the system. Development and investment in such technologies is therefore highly risky, as the effort may pay off, or it may fall spectacularly flat __

The link above is a relatively conventional and non-threatening take on disruptive technologies. But the truth about disruptive technologies is that they can overturn everything you thought would last forever — including government.

Here is a list of 10 “disruptive technologies” as seen by defence analysts

A lot of money has been put into defence technologies over the past 75 years, and it is likely that many terrifying weapons systems will result. But weapons do not represent the most disruptive of technologies, short of a species-eradicating conflict.

The most disruptive technologies of the future are the technologies that will make government unnecessary for all but the most hopelessly inept of humans. Technologies that allow individuals, families, and communities to “go their own way” independent of governments, represent a threat to the status quo.

Not in the early stages. Early in the implementation of disruptive technologies for the masses, they will appear insignificant. The technologies will be too expensive for wide spread adoption, and too complicated for most citizens to master. Governments will pass laws limiting — or banning — the use of these technologies, whenever the danger is appreciated.

But just as in “the war on drugs,” individuals and cooperative groups will find ways to circumvent and infiltrate the enforcing agencies. More and more people will discover that “freedom and opportunity” are worth taking risks for, and will learn to adapt and master disruptive technologies.

In future articles, we will go more in depth into new technologies and new ways of thinking that will allow the creation of parallel, alternative paths relatively free of government extortion, coercion, and other interference.

In the meantime, it is worthwhile considering that government bureaucracy is merely a particular way to organise the delivery of services considered the province of the government. A very corrupt and wasteful form of organisation, to be sure, and one that is becoming less friendly to individuals and individual opportunity.

Many other forms of complex organisation have been evolved by nature over billions of years, and are worth studying to reap alternative concepts of ways to deliver vital services. It is only after studying the wide range of alternative forms of complex organisation that we can develop the best systems to utilise the coming disruptive technologies.

Bionomics: Economics as an evolving ecoology

Murray Rothbard, at wiki

Rothbard concluded that all services provided by monopoly governments could be provided more efficiently by the private sector. He viewed many regulations and laws ostensibly promulgated for the “public interest” as self-interested power grabs by scheming government bureaucrats engaging in dangerously unfettered self-aggrandizement, as they were not subject to competitive pressures that would temper greed and self-interest with the need to produce goods and services that people actually wanted to pay for. Rothbard held that there were inefficiencies involved with government services and asserted that market disciplines would eliminate them, if the services could be provided by competition in the private sector.[7][8][9]

Rothbard was equally condemning of state corporatism. He criticized many instances where business elites co-opted government’s monopoly power so as to influence laws and regulatory policy in a manner benefiting them at the expense of their competitive rivals.[10]

Review of the new 3rd edition of David Friedman’s “Machinery of Freedom”

In Chapter 37, he also has some wise words for radicals about civil disruption, discussing how shock tactics and property damage will only instill in people a desire for strong government. He warns that anarchists should avoid traditional revolutionary techniques used by those who want to usurp government power because the same strategy does not work for destroying government power all together.

A lot of wise and intelligent people have given these topics a great deal of thought. The difficult problem is to knock people out of their habitual modes of thought, so that they can begin to think creatively about objects and systems which they had always just taken for granted in times past.

This entry was posted in Dangerous Child, Dysgenics, Future, Government, Technology, Utopia and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Governments: Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Kill Them

  1. bob sykes says:

    All human societies are necessarily hierachial. This is a matter of human genetics. Governments are only one way of organizing and legitimizing the hierachy. Even if technologies eliminate current governments there will still be a hierachy that is equally disposed to using force. Think street gang.

    Anarchy is not a possible end state. Anarchy is a tactic that is used to break down the current capitalist government and society and replace it with a totalitarian socialist society.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Nature has spent billions of years using trial and error, to evolve forms of self-organsation — with outcomes of variable hierarchy. We can take some of these evolved ideas and improvise off them. It is crucial to keep human nature in mind, but then the range of human nature is just another evolved variable.

      The human hierarchies we commonly see — from governments to street gangs — are dominated by powerful personalities over relatively short time scales. Thus they do not evolve in ways that are sustainable over time. Thus the natural collapse of tyrannies when dictators die, or the collapse of empires as the original populations are diluted by opportunistic but disloyal newcomers.

      Conventional views of “anarchy” are not likely to portray useful endpoints. But we can learn from various schools of “anarchy,” such as the Murray Rothbard school — where the ways in which vital services can be provided are spelled out ih detail.

      I am thinking in terms of something I call “unarchy,” which contains sliding scale hierarchical systems, depending upon the population size and cohesiveness.

      • Abelard Lindsey says:

        The post-scarcity adhocracy as described in James Hogan’s novel “Voyage from Yesteryear”, the Chironians, is one such concept of spontaneous self-order. Murray Rothbard suggests another. Like Rothbard, I’m essentially an anarcho-capitalist.

    • Abelard Lindsey says:

      The problem with hierarchy is that it is inherently parasitical in that it inhibits productive accomplishment and innovation. We are not advocating anarchy, per se. Rather we are advocating a replacement of hierarchy with spontaneous self-order.

      • alfin2101 says:

        The concept is quite complex and not easily explained in a comment, article, or even a single lengthy monograph.

        Self-organisation — or autopoiesis — is an inevitable part of any system — including government hierarchy. Self-organisation is not necessarily antithetical to hierarchy, but in certain settings it can generate alternatives to current hierarchies which exist.

        Bob makes some good points, as does Abelard.

        The path to a more open-ended and prosperous society is not an easy or simple one — it will not happen by itself, or via magical thinking. But in order to move forward along the path we will need to emerge into more sophisticated ways of understanding the world around us.

Comments are closed.