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Anonymous

refections on an old post...
    #2923204 - 07/24/04 10:51 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

this was part of a post i made a while back in response to something annapurna1 said.

"in the course of human interactions, there will be force. there will even be organized force. in any sphere of human existence, there will be some group, or even a single person, who has a greater ability to project force than any others. whatever body this is we call the government. it can be the alpha male in a tribe of nomads. it can be a king. or a warlord. it can be a dictator. it can be an elected body of officials. the defining characteristic is that this body has the greatest ability to project force in the land. the existance of such a body is as inevitable as the existance of force.

the government is not special. it is only the biggest army in the land. if something is wrong for a single person to do, it is also wrong for a group to do, even if that group happens to be the one with the biggest army in the land... the trouble with force is that it can only be quelled by force. if you wish to limit the amount of force involved in human interaction, there will come a time when the only way this can be accomplished is by the use of force. force, therefore, is not always completely wrong. it is not wrong to employ force in self-defense or in the defense of a third party from force- the only proper use of force is in response to force, and it is never ok to be the initiator of force. it is wrong for a single person to initiate force, it is wrong for a small group of people to initiate force, and it is wrong for a large group of people to initiate force... even the one with the biggest army in the land.

now... i welcome you (with an open mind) to point out flaws in this line of reasoning and propose an alternative theory of government."


unfortunately, annapurna1 didn't bother to address any of the arguments, and the thread was dragged off-topic by irrelevent debate about the "alpha male" claim by another member who failed to address any of the arguments.

i stumbed across this thread while i was searching for another archived thread and after reading my argument now, i can see something awry.

this account of government\natural law is not a defense of limited government. it is an attack against it. it is really a defense of anarchy.

i claimed:

"the government is not special. it is only the biggest army in the land. if something is wrong for a single person to do, it is also wrong for a group to do, even if that group happens to be the one with the biggest army in the land..."

this is inescapably an attack against all forms of government, including minarchy. a government, above and beyond being more capable of projecting force in a geographic area, must also claim and enforce a legal monopoly on the use of force in non-emergency situations. even a minarchy requires this; private citizens cannot make arrests, conduct trials, and carry out sentences... meanwhile, the state can.

while it is unavoidable that my earlier description of the state is an attack on any and all types of government, i also cannot see how the reasoning used to arrive at it is flawed.


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OfflineAncalagon
AgnosticLibertarian

Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1,364
Last seen: 7 years, 9 months
Re: refections on an old post... [Re: ]
    #2923228 - 07/24/04 11:07 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

In order to secure natural rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their power from the consent of the governed. The only legitimate role of government should be to secure those natural rights, that is the right to do what one wishes so long as he does not initiate force, and by derivation threat of force, or fraud against another. The founding fathers of this country were acutely aware that government was force(Government is not eloquence, it is not reason, it is force! And like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master -GWash [quoted from memory, excuse mistakes]). They accepted though that a minimal amount of government would be neccesary in order to secure rights. They wanted this government to be as small as possible and also DEMANDED that the people be aware that should government ever become destructive of it's ends, that it is the RIGHT and OBLIGATION of citizens to throw down what they set up and establish new government.

Odds are I didn't answer your question in any way, shape, or form. Was fun rambling though.


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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Anonymous

Re: refections on an old post... [Re: ]
    #2925885 - 07/25/04 02:19 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

does anyone else (particularly the minarchist libertarians) here see the problem?

anything which we call a "government" is an organization which claims a right to act in ways in which private citizens may not. from where does the state derive the authority to do this?


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OfflineAncalagon
AgnosticLibertarian

Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1,364
Last seen: 7 years, 9 months
Re: refections on an old post... [Re: ]
    #2925898 - 07/25/04 02:23 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Consent of the governed?


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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Anonymous

Re: refections on an old post... [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2925911 - 07/25/04 02:27 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

if that is the case, it may not govern those who do not consent. that doesn't work either.


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