Mister Turnip wrote:
Briefly, in perhaps a few bullet points, please summarize for me what you perceive is the proper role of government. When is authority legitimate? Illegitimate? Why?
Several thousand years ago, the end of the last minor ice age happened to co-occur with the presence of a land animal with a preposterously large brain known as human. Humans took advantage of the fact that the first plants to colonise a catastrophic landscape (which is what a landscape is following an ice age) are the wild grasses. They learned how to tame those wild grasses and so began the beginning of human farming.
Farming allowed the first surpluses to occur. This, in turn led to a small number of unscrupulous, lazy and ruthless humans forming gangs and going up to those who had produced a surplus and demanding, say, 10% of their surplus or they would kill them. The natural thing to do was to give them the 10% to get them to piss off. If you think about this it makes sense. Why would you risk your life for the sake of 10%? Sure, it's a pain in the arse having to give it away but its not like it is going to affect you greatly and also the costs of giving it are far outweighed by the benefit of not dying.
The trouble is, those 10 percents added up and pretty soon those ruthless gangs had amassed a huge amount of wealth relative to any other individuals. As such they were able to raise armies, build roads, invent money, a judiciary etc etc etc.
In other words, the beginning of human civilisation.
The beginning of the state
Those people have been in charge ever since
The history of the state = the history of civilisation = the history of the subjugation of the many by the few