(Previously posted to Patreon)
Government- or more accurately, The State- is always a net negative to society.
There is simply no excuse for it.
But, but...!!! What about all these people out there who claim to have seen the absence of government in various hellholes around the planet (generally while invading with a government military and therefore responsible to a great degree for the hellhole quality of the place), and so insist that government is "necessary" or "essential"?
First off, they are lying.
The places they point to are never examples of "no government", but are usually examples of competing governments. Gang warfare, between competing gangs of bullies seeking to govern the same area. In other words, not a case of "too little government" but a clear case of too much government. Like Somalia, for example.
But, they don't know they are lying. They have come to believe unless a government matches one of the templates in their head-- involving the infrastructure, rituals, dress code, etc.-- it can't be a government. So when the murder, theft, and corruption is more openly committed than by the governments they are accustomed to seeing, by people who don't look or act like they expect government to look and act, they mistakenly view it as a lack of government rather than a case of government competition.
They may point to warlords (government) or rape gangs (government) or thieves and murderers (government) violating the people of the area, and say how much better it is here. The reason it is "better" (less brutal, perhaps) here is that the people here don't generally fight back against the bullies here, seeing them as somehow "legitimate". I know- it's utterly insane! But they usually do. Their first instinct is to comply with the most arbitrary and evil demands, as long as those demands come from a government employee. Otherwise there would be no such thing as "drivers licenses", anti-gun "laws", the War on Politically Incorrect Drugs, speeding "laws", property codes, dog licenses, and... well the list could go on for page after page.
Then too, the cases where the government here murders, rapes, robs (beyond "normal taxation"), and behaves like those foreign bad guys, are carefully ignored unless it is impossible to do so. Then it's a "few bad apples", or "he should have just obeyed their orders", or "he brought it on himself". It's never the fault of government, but of the victim. It's a sick world-view.
But, if it is a gang seeking monopoly control of the people in a region, sustaining itself with theft ("taxation" or some other kind), making up arbitrary rules and enforcing those rules under penalty of death, it is a government. What is more honestly referred to by quaint people who aim for accuracy, as a State.
There is no such thing as too little government. It's like claiming a person can be too healthy. There are bad guys everywhere. What they do always involves the political means, rather than the economic means. Whether they are called "the government" or not is irrelevant. What matters is how they behave. Do they employ aggression and theft? Then they are government of one kind or another, no matter what you call them.
So, do you prefer one form of slavery over another? I don't blame you if you do. But the solution isn't to excuse the slavery because it could be worse. The solution is to hang the slavers up by their entrails and stop being a slave.
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