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Can government be "outgrown"?

 
 
Icon
 
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 08:55 am
I have been contemplating government as of late and I have began to wonder... Would it possible to outgrow government? In other words, would it be possible to grow out of the need for government and controlling parties?

Can we, as a species, ever hope to achieve true political independence on a global scale?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 16,888 • Replies: 73
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Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 09:46 am
@Icon,
Icon wrote:
I have been contemplating government as of late and I have began to wonder... Would it possible to outgrow government? In other words, would it be possible to grow out of the need for government and controlling parties?

Can we, as a species, ever hope to achieve true political independence on a global scale?


Wow, wouldn't that be nice. I'd think it was possible, for sure; but that's admittedly a universal concession.

Realistically; I doubt it. I suppose I could imagine a time in the distant future where respect, reciprocation, compassion and cooperation could reach a point where boundaries and 'laws' were no longer needed. But something tells me this just isn't likely. It's hard to have hope for such a widespread 'higher consciousness' given what we see in the present and over our long history.
MJA
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 10:07 am
@Khethil,
I find myself bound by an infinitely boundless universe governed by the nature of true freedom herself, ourselves, Oneself.

Whoa is me!

=
MJA
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 12:50 pm
@Icon,
I doubt that government could be outgrown. There are far too many people on the planet that do not have the capacity to govern themselves. While government could be reduced drastically, I think it is in the best interest of communities to have a body that make decisions for the community--even if everyone participates.
0 Replies
 
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 01:07 pm
@Icon,
How would you represent what the masses want without a government?
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 01:14 pm
@Icon,
I do not think government is so much about representing what the masses want considering they often do not know what is best for them, but rather mediating and shifting the priorities of the masses.
0 Replies
 
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 01:17 pm
@Icon,
Yes the governments that we have now, do that, im talking about the idea of government and what it is they're actually meant to do which is represent what the masses want, im fully aware that they dont actually fill that role.Smile
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 03:09 pm
@Icon,
I am talking about what governments ought to do. The should mediate between individuals and society and shift the priorities of the masses as necessary. The Revolt of the Masses by Jose Ortega y Gasset (you can find excerpts from the book in his subforum on this site) warns against what happens when governments are representatives for what the masses want. Talent, merit,and purpose are the first things that go and from there society decays into a state of barbarism. Government should exist to protect the masses from themselves, which probably helps explain why things ended up as they are today.
0 Replies
 
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 03:15 am
@Icon,
yeah that's one way of looking at it but how does talent merit etc get lost along the way? Do i have to read the book or cant you just tell me coz if the government represented what the masses want, say they stopped armstraffickers isnt that a good thing or do i have to read the book?
Mr Fight the Power
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 07:59 am
@Caroline,
Caroline wrote:
How would you represent what the masses want without a government?


The "masses" don't want anything. We are not The Borg.

To answer the original question, the state is necessarily inefficient. An open society costs less, free people are more productive, and the government will whither under its own costs as production, information, and transportation technologies provide individuals with the abilities to overcome exorbitant transaction costs.
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 08:11 am
@Caroline,
Caroline wrote:
yeah that's one way of looking at it but how does talent merit etc get lost along the way? Do i have to read the book or cant you just tell me coz if the government represented what the masses want, say they stopped armstraffickers isnt that a good thing or do i have to read the book?


Well, arms trafficking is outside the scope of the book considering it was written in the early 20th century. Arms trafficking is a result of human tendencies towards barbarism so that would be an example of one of the functions that government ought to have. But the problem is that most governments are not involved in this process, rather facilitators.

Talent and merit get lost along the way, because these things make the mass man feel inferior. The mass men are self-satisfied and are offended my talent and merit. Therefore, the mass man seeks to eliminate their effect upon society.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 08:27 am
@Mr Fight the Power,
I think I see what Caroline's asking/saying... please scream if I'm way off on this, but if it's even close, I think it a very valid point:
[INDENT]If one of the functions of a_government is to act for the people it represents, in a concerted fashion. How might a mass of individuals have their in-common interests satisfied if there's no single-entity, no unified 'force' to act towards those needs/desires?
[/INDENT]How'd I do?
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 08:43 am
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
I think I see what Caroline's asking/saying... please scream if I'm way off on this, but if it's even close, I think it a very valid point:
[INDENT]If one of the functions of a_government is to act for the people it represents, in a concerted fashion. How might a mass of individuals have their in-common interests satisfied if there's no single-entity, no unified 'force' to act towards those needs/desires?
[/INDENT]How'd I do?

That's the problem-to find something that works and that's my question.
Smile

---------- Post added at 09:44 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:43 AM ----------

Theaetetus wrote:
Well, arms trafficking is outside the scope of the book considering it was written in the early 20th century. Arms trafficking is a result of human tendencies towards barbarism so that would be an example of one of the functions that government ought to have. But the problem is that most governments are not involved in this process, rather facilitators.

Talent and merit get lost along the way, because these things make the mass man feel inferior. The mass men are self-satisfied and are offended my talent and merit. Therefore, the mass man seeks to eliminate their effect upon society.

I agree with that.
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 08:49 am
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
[INDENT]If one of the functions of a_government is to act for the people it represents, in a concerted fashion. How might a mass of individuals have their in-common interests satisfied if there's no single-entity, no unified 'force' to act towards those needs/desires?

[/INDENT] Well, that is a good question, and probably best answers to why it would be near impossible to "grow out of government." In order for a group of people to have their common interest satisfied there must be an organization that is responsible for deliberation. Even if hierarchical government was eliminated, there would be a network of concerned individuals that would necessarily have to deliberate on decisions.
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 08:56 am
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
The "masses" don't want anything.
The masses don't want security and sustenance?

We are not the Borg, we are not the Lillies of the Field either.
Mr Fight the Power
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 10:09 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen wrote:
The masses don't want security and sustenance?

We are not the Borg, we are not the Lillies of the Field either.


What is security and sustenance? Can you tell me how they are distributed? Perhaps you can direct me to the nearest security and sustenance store? Yes, people need security and sustenance, but these fields only apply because they are so broad that they are practically useless to the topic. Prison provides both, shall government imprison us?

I simply mean that referring to the "masses" as if they have some collective set of wants is elitist thinking that has generally lead to the problems of government so far.

While there may be some universal values, they are extremely subtle and resistant to expression and standardization. Values are ultimately an individual property, no values are actually shared, and as such their fulfillment is best achieved through peaceful exchange and free
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 10:51 am
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
What is security and sustenance?

Security I would say refers to numerous things relating to feelings of safety, whether personal, communual or national. Sustenance I would say refers to such things as a roof over one's head, bread on the table, that sort of thing.
Quote:
Can you tell me how they are distributed?

Products and roles relating to security and sustenance are distributed as goods, services and employment opportunities from and by a variety of outlets.
Quote:
Perhaps you can direct me to the nearest security and sustenance store?

I haven't a clue what it's like round your way. My local shopping centre sells products and services (some of which are even apprently free) that sustain me and help me feel more secure. Of course the products of security and sustenance are not all similar, some are available from shops, others can be found in murky realms where hidden parts of government vie with organised crime.
Quote:
Yes, people need security and sustenance, but these fields only apply because they are so broad that they are practically useless to the topic.

No. People DO look to governments to provide these things - and in order to retain power governments must either do so, or invent very convincing cover stories for why they cannot do so.

To say "they are to broad to work within the topic" seems to me to be ignoring the elephant in the room - unless you can reason how to go about reassuring people that they don't need the government to provide the most obvious things that they look to governments to provide - then I don't think you're going to do more than preach to the choir.

Quote:
Prison provides both, shall government imprison us?

I don't want to be seen to run from these queries, though I suspect they are rhetorical. Governments clearly do imprison people and a lot of the reasons behind imprisonments are to do with making other people feel secure, or to secure (or control, if you like) sustenance for other people.

I would also point out that, as someone who is a proponent of anarchism, I'm pretty sure you view certain government activity as metaphorical imprisonment.

As a fan of a certain degree of government I would happily admit that living in North Korea would feel like prison to me.

All things in moderation.

Quote:
I simply mean that referring to the "masses" as if they have some collective set of wants is elitist thinking that has generally lead to the problems of government so far.


You may have a point - but on the other hand to ignore that there are certain things that the vast majority of people want for themselves and/or their loved ones is naive.

Quote:
While there may be some universal values, they are extremely subtle and resistant to expression and standardization.


You may know people who like having their stuff taken from them without permission, or who like to be intimidated and physically hurt. I accept that there are all manner of unusual people out there - but there is a gestalt desire for security - just as there is a gestalt desire for freedom. People compromise one with the other and governments attempt to administer this compromise, some more adroitly than others.
Mr Fight the Power
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 11:23 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen wrote:
Security I would say refers to numerous things relating to feelings of safety, whether personal, communual or national. Sustenance I would say refers to such things as a roof over one's head, bread on the table, that sort of thing.

Products and roles relating to security and sustenance are distributed as goods, services and employment opportunities from and by a variety of outlets.

I haven't a clue what it's like round your way. My local shopping centre sells products and services (some of which are even apprently free) that sustain me and help me feel more secure. Of course the products of security and sustenance are not all similar, some are available from shops, others can be found in murky realms where hidden parts of government vie with organised crime.

No. People DO look to governments to provide these things - and in order to retain power governments must either do so, or invent very convincing cover stories for why they cannot do so.

To say "they are to broad to work within the topic" seems to me to be ignoring the elephant in the room - unless you can reason how to go about reassuring people that they don't need the government to provide the most obvious things that they look to governments to provide - then I don't think you're going to do more than preach to the choir.

I don't want to be seen to run from these queries, though I suspect they are rhetorical. Governments clearly do imprison people and a lot of the reasons behind imprisonments are to do with making other people feel secure, or to secure (or control, if you like) sustenance for other people.


They are rhetorical and I asked them to point out that, while people may universally desire security and sustenance, the preferred services and products that provide these things are wide and varied. As an aesthetic pacifist and individualist, I would prefer to simply purchase insurance on anything I find valuable enough to physically defend and secure sustenance by working.

Unfortunately, I am forced to deal with state provisions of these things, and these state provisions are so beholden to enormous disparate interest groups that they do little but insure the decision makers of our society don't change.

Quote:
I would also point out that, as someone who is a proponent of anarchism, I'm pretty sure you view certain government activity as metaphorical imprisonment.

As a fan of a certain degree of government I would happily admit that living in North Korea would feel like prison to me.

All things in moderation.


I look at the state as an organized criminal syndicate.

Quote:
You may have a point - but on the other hand to ignore that there are certain things that the vast majority of people want for themselves and/or their loved ones is naive.


It would be outright stupid to believe that. I simply believe it to be naive to think that the state will provide these things to the benefit of those who actually need them.
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 12:08 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
They are rhetorical and I asked them to point out that, while people may universally desire security and sustenance, the preferred services and products that provide these things are wide and varied. As an aesthetic pacifist and individualist, I would prefer to simply purchase insurance on anything I find valuable enough to physically defend and secure sustenance by working.

Unfortunately, I am forced to deal with state provisions of these things, and these state provisions are so beholden to enormous disparate interest groups that they do little but insure the decision makers of our society don't change.


The reason for these disparate interest groups is that people are individuals who have conflicting needs and desires. Humanity is not an actor.

At the risk of putting words into your mouth, I detect a bit of "if only everyone were an individualist, like me" argument brewing here - surely it's an oxymoron? No one, as far as I am aware, denies that people are individuals. The various degrees of generalising or grouping people under governments comes about due to differing degrees of worry about the individual desires of neighbours, rivals, strangers and so on (and, of course, manipulation of that worry by those who seek power).

The irony seems to me to be that because humanity is not an actor, and has no telelogical movement towards putting government behind it - ever more sophisticated governments are held up as actors on behalf of groups of people.

Quote:
I look at the state as an organized criminal syndicate.

Fair enough - no one can deny that those who seek power are, on an individual level, rarely without a thuggish aspect.

However, isn't this simply an ugly truth of those who seek power, and whatever system is developed power seekers will act as thugs to exploit it? People are not alike in appetite for power, and not alike in the skill needed to aquire and retain it.

Better to have thugs where you see them and have some degree of holding them to account.

Quote:
It would be outright stupid to believe that. I simply believe it to be naive to think that the state will provide these things to the benefit of those who actually need them.


I know of no state that promises it's citizens that this is a dainty world. Those utopian visionaries who do promise us a dainty world also seem to go on to create the most horrific states.

Humans are a social species, but they are also by nature rapacious. Choosing a social order for themselves is always going to be a choice between evils. Those with an appetite for power, and skill for aquiring it, are always going to exploit the system. There is no teleological move in humanity away from leaders and their oligarchies.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Apr, 2009 02:47 pm
@Icon,
Icon wrote:
I have been contemplating government as of late and I have began to wonder... Would it possible to outgrow government? In other words, would it be possible to grow out of the need for government and controlling parties?

Can we, as a species, ever hope to achieve true political independence on a global scale?

The history of mankind has been the story of changing forms... While we can outgrow this government we cannot outgrow government...But those with self control need no government, and those without self control generally ruin government so that sooner or later government must be reformed, like a snake shedding his skin and his parasites too... And they are the ones who always hold the hardest to the old form, when clearly an new form is needed...
 

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